Saunders gets third in contest

Clint Saunders, a photography instructor at Dakota College at Bottineau and a local artist, placed third in The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition sponsored by Agnea Gallery in New York City, and will have his work published in an international art magazine.

The annual Chelsea International Fine Art Competition is a renowned art contest that is juried by prominent museum curators and art experts. The fine art contests are juried by influential voices in the New York art world. The 2013 competition was juried by Anthony Haden-Guest, a British writer, reporter, cartoonist, art critic and occasional performer, who lives in New York and London.

The competition is open to visual artists from anywhere in the world and at all stages in their career. In previous years the juror has selected artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, mixed media and print. The competition is a great opportunity for the juror-selected artists to gain exposure by exhibiting their work in the famed Chelsea Art Gallery District as well as be part of online and print promotions.

As a third place winner, Saunders will have his art featured in a full page write up in the November issue of ARTisSpectrum magazine where his work will be critiqued by a known art critic. This issue will be a special issue celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication.

In a press release, Saunders said he was thrilled when he found out that the juror had selected works from his surrealism series titled, “The Misfits.” However, when Angela Di Bello, gallery director and ARTisSpectrum editor, contacted him, she was interested in using two of his other works, “Haven” and “Pandora’s Box,” in the publication.

“At first I was a little bummed because they weren’t going to publish ‘The Misfits,'” Saunders said in the press release, “but then it hit me that I had two more pieces being recognized, one series by the international juror, and two other works by an international art magazine editor. Then I thought it was pretty cool.”

While Saunders has been entering the competition for many years, this is the first time he has placed. “It’s a huge international competition,” said Saunders. “I enter every year, and to be honest, I never expect to hear back from them, but I always hope.”

The Agora Gallery hosts the competition every year, but they have no input in the decisions of their distinctive jurors. The gallery will, however, often contact artists who entered the competition and invite them to show in their gallery. Saunders has been invited to show with the gallery twice in previous years and loved the experience.

Along with Saunders’ art work, which can be viewed at his website,

(clintsaunders.com), Saunders is also known in North Dakota for Obsessed Photographers Gallery and the outdoor photography book, “Obsessed With North Dakota,” which he published with his business partner Daron Krueger in 2009. Work from this book can be viewed at (opgart.com).