Category 38 Winners! Richter, Grozdanovski, Conant, Lialko, Sharp, Jurgilaite, Spinks, & Lialko The World’s Best Religious Painters Of 2016

1st Place Winner

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This year the American Art Awards ( had winners from 40 countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, USA, and Wales.

In CATEGORY 38, RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL, galleries awarded 1st Place to Austria’s Jolanda Richter. Tying for 2nd was Serbia’s Ivan Grozdanovski and America’s Nancy Conant. UK’s Rachel Sharp tied for 3rd with American Iryna Lialko, who also took 6th Place. Lithuania’s Aiste Jurgilaite was awarded 4th. 5th went to American Johanna Spinks.


1ST PLACE: JOLANDA RICHTER, AUSTRIA,, “Song Of The Spirits Over The Waters” 120 x 120cm Oil.

2ND – TIE: IVAN GROZDANOVSKI, SERBIA,, “Seam Of Our Souls” 102 x 34cm Acrylic on panel.

2ND – TIE: NANCY CONANT, USA,, “His Peaceable Kingdom – Isaiah 11:6″ 40 x 53” Pastel.

3RD – TIE: IRYNA LIALKO, USA, instagram@iryna_lialko, “Sun Meditation” 72 x 58″ Oil, canvas, goldleaf.

3RD – TIE: RACHEL SHARP, UK,, “Buddhist Monk (4)” 8 x 10″ Oil on canvas.

4TH PLACE: AISTĖ JURGILAITĖ, LITHUANIA,, “Hesitation” 120 x 80cm Acrylic on canvas.

5TH PLACE: JOHANNA SPINKS, USA,, “Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno” 50 x 40″ Oil on linen.

6TH PLACE: IRYNA LIALKO, USA, instagram@iryna_lialko, “Meditation With Mudra Tooth Of Dragon” 46 x 58″ Oil, canvas, gold leaf.



Jolanda Richter was born in 1971 in Almelo, Netherlands. At the age of three the family moved to Hamburg, later at the age of six to Vienna. She soon engaged in art and music and was subsequently admitted into the prestigious ‘University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna‘, where she studied cello for five years. Since childhood Jolanda also displayed remarkable rendering skills, but music and performances consumed her time. Longing to paint, she enrolled at the ‘University of Applied Arts Vienna‘ in 1994, in the master-class for painting and graphics, from which she graduated in 1999. Since 1993 Jolanda partook in numerous exhibitions in group shows and individual shows throughout Europe and the USA. Currently Jolanda Richter lives and works as freelance-artist near Vienna, Austria.

Previous awards include:

First Prize winner in the ’8. Salon de l’Art Fantastique Européen 2013‘. Le Mont-Dore, France. 2013.

First Prize winner in the ‘International Art Contest 2005‘, Realism, Australia. 2005.

First Prize winner in the ‘17th Intern. Exhibition of Animals in Art‘, Louisiana State University, USA. 2004.

First Prize winner in ‘Access to Active Art Competition 2003‘, United Kingdom. 2003.

Through the paintings of Jolanda Richter, you delve into a world filled with images and suggestions. You can easily forget your existence and become lost to circumstances that seem strangely familiar. She heartily opens up her wide world, inviting you on a journey where light, shadow, and nature reign. Richter tells us about her childhood, mental scars, fears, but also about her wishes, dreams, and hopes. As an individual with acute sensitive awareness, she absorbs her surroundings, feeling wounds and injuries perhaps more intensely than others. In some paintings Richter combines contrasts to transport hope and forebodings. She describes and circumscribes encounters with living persons to allow her inner world to come alive.



*All images provided with permission by the American Art Awards and Winning Artists!

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