Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center has been selected as one of the 25 best galleries and museums in the United States by the American Art Awards. The awards organization annually selects one museum per state.
"We are thrilled to be recognized this way and extremely proud to be singled out among our Colorado peers," said Erin Hannan, the Fine Arts Center's director of advancement and external affairs.
American Art Awards president and co-founder Thom Bierdz wrote in the Huffington Post that the FAC "is essentially an entire arts district under one roof: a nationally accredited museum, a professional theatre company, and a year-round art school for all ages and skill levels."
In March and April of each year, the awards organization's advisory board chooses the 25 galleries/museums. This summer, the FAC and the other selected galleries and museums will "vote on online images, launching new artists, giving three cash prizes, prestige and career validation to 300 artists "of their choosing," states the American Art Awards website. Any painter, photographer, sculptor or digital artist from any country may submit artwork images via www.americanartawards.com for consideration.
"I just love the fact that there's an opportunity to shine a light on and showcase the amazing arts and culture that's happening right here in the Pikes Peak region that you don't always see in a national spotlight," said Hannan, who said she hopes this will bring new faces into the FAC.
"We are maybe not as well known as we should be in our own community and if this brings a sense of awareness that's a good thing," she said.
HighlightHollywood.com reported in January 2016 that the American Art Awards board's selections "are based on years established, industry reputation, online buzz, location, size, socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists as well as artist, client and visitor references."
The organization's Facebook page states that Bierdz co-founded this opportunity to bring new artists from around the globe into contact with American galleries, which "helps their art be taken seriously." He is also an actor, best known for his role as Philip Chancellor III on "The Young & The Restless."