Academic Artists Association
68th Annual National Exhibition
of Traditional Realism

Download the prospectus

Opening Reception: Sunday, May 6, 2018
Show dates: May 9 – 25, 2018
Wednesday - Sunday, 1 to 5 PM
(Exhibition will close at 4:00 pm on May 25th)

Further details and the prospectus will be available in late 2017. Please check back.

First Saturday in June of each year at 10:15 AM
Location to be announced

Any artist accepted to two Academic Artists Assoc. shows within a period of five years automatically earns membership. Membership entitles the artist to free show submission with paid-up dues. Membership continues as long as dues are maintained in good standing.

Selected photos from the 2016 reception. Photos by Diane Christian

Arts Center East
(formerly Vernon Community Art Center)
709 Hartford Turnpike
Vernon, Connecticut

Please see the calendar of dates to remember below. Dates are subject to change.

Download the prospectus

Vernon Community Art Center

Founded by Springfield artist Harriet R. Lumis in 1949 in response to the developing trend in the art world away from representational work, Academic Artists Association has remained true to Lumis' founding principals. Each year, the Association has sponsored a show representing the finest of realism in art.

Download the prospectus

DATES TO REMEMBER (Subject to change)

Digital submissions open* November 15, 2017
Digital entry Received-by Deadline March 17, 2018
Notification (Digital entries) by March 25, 2018
Shipped Work must be received by April 4, 2018  
No COD's accepted! See prospectus for instructions
Hand Delivery April 7, 2018 10am - 2pm
Hand deliver to the Arts Center East
709 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon CT
Notification: accepted/declined/awards by April 15, 2018
Pick up of declined work April 28, 2018 10am - 2pm
Opening Reception May 6, 2018 1 - 4pm
Awards announced at 3:00 pm
Exhibition closes May 25, 2018 4pm
Artwork removal May 25, 2018 4 - 5pm
May 26, 2018 10am - 2pm
Please note: Academic Artists Association cannot store art after the show ends!
All entries must be removed by 2pm, May 26, 2018
Artwork not picked up will be charged $10 per day.
After 60 days, unclaimed art becomes the property of Academic Artists Association.

Download the prospectus

*Digital submissions - enter by email, submit your entry details and pay online.

If you'd like to submit by email, please send your digital image (1200 pixels in the large dimension minimum) to You'll receive a confirmation email that will include the URL of the entry form (for the text info related to the submission). After submitting the form, you'll be directed to a thank you page that will include the appropriate link to Paypal (member or non-member). You can still submit via CD or walk-in if you prefer.

We are listed with


Steve Wilda in his studio

Steve Wilda

Steve has been a life long artist, working in the commercial art field before making the transition to fine art. He is an accomplished artist in both drawing and painting. For ten years Wilda worked principally in graphite, and in 2015/16 he curated an exhibition of graphite and charcoal artists Leaving Our Mark: In Celebration of the Pencil at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, MA.

In addition to his numerous regional and national awards, Steve received top honors in the American Artist Professional League and the National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic in New York City for his oil and acrylic paintings.

Wilda's drawings and paintings have appeared in various art publications, including North Light Book’s AcrylicWorks, Splash, and Strokes of Genius series. Online magazines ArticulACTION, Artist Portfolio Magazine, and Pratique des Arts have featured his artwork. In 2016 Acrylic Artist Magazine ran an extensive article on his still life paintings series.

A member of the Allied Artists of America, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, and the National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic, Steve works out of his home studio in Hadley, MA.

"Cobweb Patrol" by Gerarde Doucette Gerarde Doucette

Gerarde Doucette is an award-winning classical realist artist working in watercolor, best known for his sensitive portraits and scenes of Americana. Pictured at right is his painting,"Cobweb Patrol."

Gerarde received his training at the Vesper George School of Art with advanced studies in figure painting at the Copley Society in Boston as well as the Museum School of Art. His work history includes Art Director at Russcraft Greeting Cards, freelance illustrator, visual merchandising, and interior decorator all in the Boston area. He currently operates a frame shop and offers conservation services for fine art work.

Doucette lives and works in Charlestown NH, where he teaches and lectures on watercolor. He has been engaged in the lengthy process of lovingly restoring a 19th century brick manse to its former glory, using period techniques and materials.

Besides painting, Gerarde is an avid guitar player and is a member of the Boston Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He can frequently be found playing guitar at pubs and other venues in his area. He is also an accomplished art restorer.

Doucette is a member of the Academic Artists Association, the New England Watercolor Society, the Vermont Watercolor Society, and has held a membership with the Copley Society.

For more information about this show or Academic Artists Association, email
Please check this site for exhibition updates.