[ PLATFORM ] Contest Judges
Redwood Media Group’s 2017 [PLATFORM] Artist of the Year contest, produced in partnership with Art Brand Studios, is the premier awards contest for visual artists looking to become the next big art-world discovery. But what’s a contest without a panel of highly qualified judges? These art-industry pros each bring decades of experience to the table, along with keen instincts about what it takes to make it in the art business. Read on to find out more about our four distinguished judges.
Director, James Baird Gallery
James Baird has been a gallerist, consultant, curator, and agent provocateur in the art world for over 30 years. As a gallery owner, he has introduced numerous artists to new markets, assisting them in establishing careers. As a consultant, he has opened galleries in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Denmark. As a curator, he has created numerous shows for private and public venues. As an agent provocateur, he has done pop-up events, written about art, been on art juries, and founded an artist residency that hosted over 1,000 artists. But what always interests him most is what is coming next.
Publisher and Creative Director, Art Brand Studios
James Lambert has over 20 years of experience in the art, wall, and home decor markets. For seven years, he served as Senior Vice President of New Business Development, Sales, and Marketing for Media Arts Group, a NYSE company with revenues of $150 million per year. While there, he also led product development efforts, including the sourcing of goods and services in Asia. He then served as Vice President of Marketing and Design for Borders Frame, one of the largest home decor and wall art companies in America, where he designed and sold programs to mass-market and home decor stores. In 2002, he started Shoreline Group, a wall art and home decor design and sourcing company, where he served such clients as Target, Walmart, IKEA, Michaels, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Costco, Home Goods, and Pier 1. In 2012, he joined Art Brand Studios as Publisher and Creative Director, overseeing the creative studio and new art development, new product development, and sales to key accounts such as the cruise ship industry.
Mary Ann Cohen
Founder and Curator, MAC Fine Art
Mary Ann Cohen has become one of the nation’s most successful and respected art dealers, with over 35 years of international fine art experience. Cohen has had successful galleries in Los Angeles, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, and has curated art for collectors, galleries, museums, designers, and corporations all over the world. Many of the industry’s top executives seek Cohen’s council for her comprehensive experience in artist representation and fine art publishing. In addition to being a visual art entrepreneur, she has also been the driving force in the development of an impressive list of well-established artists with whom she has collaborated with on many successful publishing or exhibition projects. This summer, Cohen celebrated her 19-year anniversary of founding MAC Fine Art and has grown the business to one of the most successful art companies in the country. Currently, she has a large gallery and fine art atelier located in the MASS District of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
CEO & President, Redwood Media Group
Eric Smith, CEO of Redwood Media Group, is a true art-world insider with over 20 years of industry experience. He is the former Vice President of Summit Business Media, the leading worldwide producer of art shows like Art Miami and art-related trade publications. Smith also spent years as the director of Martin Lawrence Galleries, where he managed over 20 galleries in California, Colorado, and Hawaii, and quickly developed a passion for modern and contemporary art, selling works by Warhol, Rosenquist, Rauschenberg, Oldenburg, and Haring. Smith, a leading expert on the art market and the latest art trends and forecasts, is frequently asked to lecture at industry trade shows and conferences and is regularly quoted by the media.