Artist John Ross Palmer Lays Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

On Friday, January 18, 2019 at 11:15 a.m. EST, Houston Artist John Ross Palmer had the high honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The philanthropic Eagle Scout joined the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and countless United States Presidents in performing the solemn act. The 45-year-old Palmer, who celebrated his twentieth anniversary as a professional artist in 2018 with a Retrospective spanning five days, had twenty-five (25) supporters from around the United States join him to witness the magnificent occasion.

John Ross Palmer Lays Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Palmer’s wreath laying was sponsored by The First Class Club (“FCC”), the elite group of Palmer art collectors that sponsors his annual international trip and art series. Inaugural club members Judy Lindsay of Huntersville, NC and Julio Montano of Houston, TX were in attendance, and, following the ceremony, it was Lindsay that had the pleasure of announcing Palmer’s 2019 destination: Vietnam. Judy Lindsay opened the announcement envelope at the celebratory luncheon hosted by Palmer for all of his supporters in the Cabinet Room of the Old Ebbitt Grill. To date, the FCC has sent Palmer to create art series in Berlin (2010), Dublin (2011), Jerusalem (2012), Sao Paulo (2013), Nice (2014), Port of Spain (2015), Havana (2016), Auckland (2017) and Bogota (2018).

“I have huge respect for our country’s service members and words cannot express my appreciation for those making the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms,” says Palmer. “My career is built upon the freedom of speech that is guaranteed by our Constitution.  As I lay the wreath, I was exuding gratitude for the protections that our soldiers have given to me and millions of Americans.”

Palmer exudes gratitude and respect for fallen soldiers as the Wreath Laying Ceremony concludes with a solemn trumpet solo.

Palmer and his team took painstaking detail to ensure that the ceremony was sufficiently dignified. Renowned floral designer Kevin Aubrey created Palmer’s wreath that masterfully interwove both white roses and an abundance of yellow roses for the fifth generation Texan. The artist donned black leather gloves from Argentina, a custom suit with masterfully fitting black top coat and a black rabbit fur Russian Ushanka hat. Internationally acclaimed artist Elena Sandovici was present to capture the ceremony with her original sketches and watercolors. Documentarians Mike Williams and Evan Hambrick were present to preserve the occasion in film and photos.

John Ross Palmer’s Wreath designed by Kevin Aubrey.

Original Watercolor by Elena Sandovici.


If you have questions about John Ross Palmer or his Wreath Laying Ceremony, please contact Palmer’s husband and Gallery Owner Ryan Lindsay at 713-861-6726 or

Art Launch & John Ross Palmer Initiate the 2019 Escapist Artists

Art Launch and Palmer proudly announce the members of the 2019 Escapist Mentorship Program: Lindsay Burck (Houston, TX), Matthew Conway (Austin, TX), MoNique LeRoux (Houston, TX) and Cynthia Miller (Houston, TX).

The 2019 Escapists: Cynthia Miller, MoNique LeRoux, Matthew Conway and Lindsay Burck.

These four dedicated artists were initiated into the 2019 Escapist Class at an exclusive and inspiring ceremony at Palmer’s Houston Heights Gallery on Sunday, January 27th.  The highlight of the Initiation Ceremony was a rousing keynote address by Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia.  The Escapist Artists were picked from dozens of applicants from around the world.  Courageous artists submit a written application with art images and essays to a jury panel, and then, as a Finalist, they present themselves for a panel interview in Palmer’s Heights Gallery.  Non-Houston applicants appear via Skype. Scoring well in the Interview Phase was critical to advancing as 7 Finalists were interviewed with only 4 applicants earning the 2019 Escapist Artist honor.  Panels for scoring are comprised of top Palmer patrons, including: Mercedes Harris, Kristin Netherland, Shampa Mukerji, Shubhra Endley, Rosa Pollard and Susan Catlett. Read all about the history, mission and goals of this empowering program plus see first-class documentary videos by visiting

John Ross Palmer, Ryan Lindsay, Cynthia Miller, MoNique LeRoux, Matthew Conway, Lindsay Burck and Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

“I cannot believe this is the 10th Anniversary of the program!” exclaims Palmer.  “When I initially wanted to help artists share in success, we met over coffee and took notes in paper journals.  I had no idea the idea would blossom into now having a state-of-the-art artist training ground with the Chrysalis…and fascinating applicants from around the globe.”  The Escapist Mentorship Program, founded in 2009, is now managed and funded by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Art Launch. Palmer and his husband Ryan Lindsay founded Art Launch in 2016.

John Ross Palmer administers “The Pledge of the Escapist” to the 2019 Escapist Artists.

Palmer’s Art Movement of Escapism is aimed to forever destroy the stereotype of the struggling artist.  The only kind in the world, his mentorship program aims to teach artists how to sell on their own and not be tied to the traditional art gallery system.  Artists are in the program for a year, have their own art studios and work alongside Palmer to learn by example.  Palmer does this as a means of giving back to the art world–it is entirely free for the accepted artists and supported by the generous donors to Art Launch.  The Escapist Artists will look forward to an out-of-this-world black tie Graduation Gala on Saturday, October 12, 2019.

If you have any questions about Art Launch, Artist John Ross Palmer or his Escapist Mentorship Program (, please contact gallery co-owner Ryan Lindsay at 281-224-0968 or