The Vallone Award

The John Palmer Art Gallery and Studio is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and by appointment. Please call 713-861-6726 or text 281-224-0968 to set an appointment if you would like to meet with Houston’s Artist John Ross Palmer.


Artist John Ross Palmer’s husband, attorney Ryan Lindsay, began regularly writing the John Palmer Art Blog when he joined John’s business in 2009.  During Art Chicago 2009, John bragged to the Art Chicago Sales Director, Lisa Witherite, that Ryan writes that Blog “every single day.”  While Ryan was pleased with John’s enthusiasm, he then was thrust into the difficult job of typing out and posting the funny, inspiring and informative John Palmer Art Blog every day.  But, Ryan got into a groove and began to thoroughly love telling stories about John, their travel adventures, cherished art collectors and, of course, their pets.  Over time, the John Palmer Art Blog became extremely popular–with literally hundreds of visitors per day.  At the conclusion of 2009, there was a Count-Down on the John Palmer Art Blog with the subject entitled “Noteworthy Collectors & Individuals.”  This list was determined solely by Ryan and John.  They looked back at the entire year and wrote down names of individuals or organizations that had the most positive impact on the business of John Palmer Art.  These individuals or organizations did not always did not have to be collectors of John’s art–they could also be included if they helped us out tremendously in circumstances not related to sales.  For example, John and Ryan’s Executive Assistant Amanda Assali made the list because she stuck with them through crushing economic times.  Ryan’s former boss, Mr. Donn C. Fullenweider, made the list because he supported Ryan’s new career move and gave his blessing to Ryan’s dream of working with John and promoting his career as a professional artist.

The Winners

In 2009, the Number One Noteworthy Collector & Individual was Mr. Christopher Brown.  Christopher was at the top of the list for several reasons.  First, he authored the book The Art of Meaningful Living that featured John”s artwork throughout.  Christopher orchestrated book signings around the Southwest United States for John and himself as well as a formal book release at the Book Expo America in New York City.  Further, Christopher and his wife Melissa acquired a piece from John’s most exclusive series of his career, Satori 2009.  Christopher is not just an accomplished author and John Ross Palmer art collector–he is a first class friend above everything else.

Christopher Brown with John Ross Palmer at the Book Expo America in New York City in 2009.

In 2010, the Number One Noteworthy Collector & Individual was the Donna & Tony Vallone Family.  During 2010, the Vallones became the world’s premier collectors of John Ross Palmer public artwork.  They commissioned John to complete a massive mural at their amazing Italian eatery, Ciao Bello.  Further, in Ciao Bello, all of the enormous abstract pieces in the main dining area, the Italian-inspired pieces above the glass kitchen and the whimsical pieces in the bar area are all original Palmer’s.  At Tony’s, Palmer is proud to showcase three Escapism panels in the San Remo Room, a massive Escapism piece in the wine library and a Tony Vallone biography piece in the back foyer.  For the Vallones to showcase John Ross Palmer’s work next to prominent artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jesus Morales amounted to one of the greatest accomplishments in his career as a professional artist.

Palmer’s original abstract pieces in the Main Dining Area of Vallone’s Ciao Bello.

In the Spring of 2011, Ryan and John were treated to dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Vallone at their flagship restaurant, Tony’s.  During the dinner conversation, John and Ryan told them how honored they were as well as grateful for their huge support of John and his art career.  They then politely asked the Vallones if they could honor them by formally naming this annual prize “The Vallone Award.”  They graciously agreed and were flattered by the idea.

John Ross Palmer with Donna & Tony Vallone and Ryan Lindsay.

In 2011, the Vallone Award was won by the Douglas Family: David, Lamar, Steven and Brittany.  David & Lamar Douglas kicked off John’s 2011 by underwriting an exclusive unveiling of John’s latest series at the San Remo at Houston’s legendary Tony’s.  The series unveiling showcased John”s use of the egg tempera technique utilized by the Old Masters.  On this magical evening, David & Lamar presented David’s son Steven and his fiance Brittany with an amazing “art package” from John Ross Palmer. Later in the year, Steven and Brittany became independent collectors of Palmer’s work.  One of the most prized pieces in their collection is a 70″ x 40″ original Escapism piece that was included in the 2009 Art Chicago Catalogue (the first time John Palmer Fine Art exhibited at an international art fair).  Unlike past years when the Vallone Award was announced via the John Palmer Art Blog, this year the award was presented to the Douglas Family by Mrs. Donna Vallone at Palmer’s annual October black-tie gala, An Evening of Escapism.  Honorable mentions for the 2011 Vallone Award were given to 2011 First Class Club Member Shelly Contreras and Inaugural First Class Club Members Scott & Yvette Hill.

John Ross Palmer with Donna Vallone, Steven & Brittany Douglas, Ryan Lindsay, Lamar Mathews & David Douglas. Photo credit to Paul Ladd.

The 2012 Vallone Award was awarded to Brian & Janet Franklin of Houston, Texas at a private ceremony prior to The Afternoon & Evening of Escapism in October.  John and Ryan met Mrs. Janet Franklin at the World Series of Dogs at Reliant Park.  The Franklins are major canine enthusiasts–regularly competing with their champion and prized Jack Russell Terrier, Zin, in JRTCA events.  Janet commissioned John for a masterful pet portrait of Zin to be included in his massive Jane & Co. Pet Portrait and Book Project.  Since that time, the Franklins have become Palmer mega-collectors–aptly nicknaming their home “the Palmer Gallery West!”  They became members of the exclusive First Class Club in 2011 and in that same year John honored their friendship and support by highlighting their names on his Holiday Window at Houston’s Neiman Marcus.  The Franklins are Faces collectors and the proud owners of Palmer original pottery, furniture and numerous international series pieces.  Brian and Janet support Palmer’s Escapist Mentorship Program by also collecting the incredible artwork of the graduates of his Escapist Mentorship Program.

Ryan Lindsay, John Ross Palmer, Janet & Brian Franklin

The 2013 Vallone Award went to Palmer mega-collector Dr. D. Lynn Dickens. Dickens authored the Foreward in Palmer’s books Deliverance and More than Words (2003) and Seven (2005).  Her renowned ASAP Allergy Clinic served as John Palmer Art’s Corporate Sponsor for both 2012 and 2013.  Dickens has a plethora of artwork from Escapist Artists and she was an inaugural member of John Ross Palmer’s First Class Club.

Dr. D. Lynn Dickens receives the 2013 Vallone Award at the 2013 Evening of Escapism. Dickens is featured with John Ross Palmer and Lia Vallone. The gallery was honored to have Vallone present the award to Dickens.

The 2014 Vallone Award was given to big-time Palmer collector Karen Bean.  Bean was a member of Palmer’s exclusive First Class Club and commissioned him for large masterpieces of almer mega-collector Dr. D. Lynn Dickens. Dickens author

The Ryan Award

On October 15, 2011 at the John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio”s black-tie Evening of Escapism, at the conclusion of the presentation for the 2011 Vallone Award, Artist John Ross Palmer took the mircophone to announce a new and special award.  His emotion-filled speech listed the long-time sports, leadership and professional accolades of the award winner.  He concluded by reading a personal message of congratulations from Mrs. Lucy Garvin (Immediate Past President of the United States Tennis Association), an individual that the award winner has known since his childhood days of playing competitive junior tennis in South Carolina.  John then presented the new award, “The Ryan Award,” to his husband Ryan Lindsay.  He thanked Ryan for his never-ending commitment to the business and the tremendous sacrifice he had endured to leave his lucrative law practice to aid in the furtherance of Palmer”s art career.

Ryan Lindsay and John Ross Palmer

The 2012 Ryan Award was presented to Mr. David Eduardo Flores Perez of 2osos Productions and his life partner, Mr. Aaron Coleman.  David, a noteworthy documentary filmmaker, uses state-of-the-art instruments combined with his masterful talent to document the life story and career of Houston Artist and Escapism Founder John Ross Palmer.  David is more than a prized filmmaker, he is a pure artist in his ability to make a documentary feature come to life with multi-layered dialogue and visual effects.  David and his 2osos Production Company have produced all films chronicling the graduates of Palmer”s Escapist Mentorship Program (2009, 2010 and 2011) as well as his last two internaional art series: Dublin 2011 and Jerusalem 2012.  Mr. Coleman often supports David in filmmaking as the wise, humorous and poignant Interviewer.  Together they are the consummate professionals and David”s skill in filmmaking is only ecilpsed by their mutual strengh in kindness and character.  David E.F.P. states, “Aaron and I have been long-time admirers of the vision and work of John Ross Palmer and the business acument of his partner, Ryan Lindsay.  Being awarded the prestigious Ryan Award, represents everything we admire in him.”  John and Ryan are most foturnate to know David and Aaron as artist contemporaries, friends, neighbors…and, it doesn”t hurt that Aaron makes the best rum cake in the world!  Please witness David”s filmmaking by viewing all of the documentaries uploaded to the John Palmer Art YouTube Channel.

Ryan Lindsay, David E.F.P., Artist John Ross Palmer and Aaron Coleman
Photo Credit to Mr. Paul Ladd

The 2013 Ryan Award will be presented on the evening of Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio”s sixth annual Evening of Escapism.  The award will go to the individual, couple or organization and has honored, sacrificed, given service or friendship to aid the business of John Palmer Art in 2013.

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