Guitar Siren artist receives International
06/23/2013

The coveted FAA Artistic Merit Award, fondly referred to as the "Tony" Award, recognizes artists in Fine Art America, an artist society with 170,000+ members worldwide. This summer it travels to Texas to artist Nikki Smith, best known for her Music Lover's fine art series.

Online PR News – 23-June-2013 – BRYAN, TEXAS – A practice that began in 2008, the FAA Artistic Merit Award, fondly referred to as the "Tony" Award, has traveled from the United States through Canada, Mexico, Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom and many places in between. Most recently this international award, given in recognition of artistic merit, arrived back in the USA. Just as in the tradition of the Oscars, Grammy and Emmy, this award is peer-based.

"I was deeply moved to receive this unexpected honor from my fellow artists around the world," Texas artist Nikki Smith said. She is best known for her Guitar Siren and music lover's series. "There is something absolutely wonderful and special about being recognized by one's peers. I cherish being a part of a such an amazingly creative and caring community."

The award consists of a sculpture created by Tony Murray to recognize artists in Fine Art America, an international online artist society with over 170,000 members worldwide. It is passed to select artists, with the last recipient nominating the next recipient. In all, there have been 42 artists of various nationalities recognized for their stellar qualities or contributions.

Past winners include Margaret Stockdale from Australia, Baard Martinussen from Norway, Abbie Shores from UK, Elizabeth Tudor from Canada, and Angel Ortiz from Mexico. The sculpture has certainly traveled the globe.

Smith was nominated by Christina Rollo, an award-winning fine art nature photographer. In Rollo's nomination, she stated, "Nikki's music series is highly creative, positively upbeat and artistic, with her own unique style. I continue to be inspired by Nikki's work and I enjoy her warm friendly personality. It's easy to see that all of her artful creations are an extension of herself."

Tony Murray, the creator of the award, stated, "So many people here deserve credit for their works of art but also to their contribution to both the art world and their fellow artists. In a way the next artist is actually receiving it from all of the previous artists collectively."

"I found the best part was running my finger over all the names, and knowing that each of those people had touched that same spot. So many miles apart and yet all so near at that moment," said Shores, the UK winner.

"It sure isn't easy to select one artist from among such a wealth of masters at their craft," said past winner Zeana Romanovna from Melbourne, Australia.

This sentiment is echoed by many of the artists when it is their turn to nominate the next recipient. Romanova was nominated by fellow artist Bob Salo from Burlington, Ontario, Canada. In his nomination he said, "This is a very difficult choice to make especially when you are exposed to the incredible works of art from a worldwide creative community. When I first came here I started to realize how many world class artists were registered here that delivered the 'Wow Factor.' By that I mean a portfolio filled with only the best works that consistently make your jaw drop."

Smith agrees. "There are so many talented artists here who have contributed so much to the arts and to uplifting their fellow artists in this global family. I am blown away by their incredible artistic talents and generous souls. This is a great responsibility and I will honor the award with a careful and thoughtful selection of the next recipient."

The award will remain with Smith through the summer and then heads out to the next recipient whom she will select. Each artist engraves his or her name on the base of the sculpture before passing it on. The artist also takes a picture of himself or herself with the award and posts that, along with an acceptance speech on the Fine Art America Web site.

"I seek to convey the transformative power of music through my artwork, often combining musical instruments and the human form to tell a story and build an emotional resonance," states Smith. "My self-portrait, 'Music Was My First Love', represents confidence in one's own skin and the sense of becoming one with the music." Smith writes the "Getting Technical" column for artists in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, and her artwork and techniques have been published in Somerset Digital Studio, Cloth Paper Scissors and Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES magazines. You can see Smith's award winning artwork on her website, http://GuitarSiren.com.