The Gateway International Painting Competition is a publication of Range Dog Publishing, Inc, a local Arizona publishing company owned and managed by Tim Ernster and Victoria Oldham.
The Gateway International Painting Competition is currently in its 5th year, having started under the name The Gateway To Sedona Painting Competition in July 2014. It later became The Sedona Art Prize, and continued afterward as The Gateway International Painting Competition. Many of the original Grand Prize winners are still members, regularly enter paintings and serve as judges; professional artists George Bodine and Jason Sacran were among the first painters to participate in the competition back in 2014 and have since won thousands in awards by their participation. While Victoria was in the midst of designing the first Painting Contest website in May 2014, her beloved husband of 39 years, professional sculptor Charles (Chuck) Oldham, was in his final week of life due to lung failure from a chronic illness. He had been recognized in the early 2000s as one of "Eight Titans of Bronze" by Arizona's Art Life Magazine, a state-wide popular art and gallery publication. Victoria and Charles Oldham's career in the giftware and collectible sculpture field led to the creation of hundreds of sculptures that sold in fine gift shops and galleries nation-wide for over 30+ years. You can see more about our sculpture at https://www.LearnSculpture.Org or at our YouTube channel with over 2 million views: https://www.youtube.com/c/learnsculpture
Victoria Oldham (Vicky) has been a professional artist her entire career. For over 30 years, she and her late husband, Chuck Oldham, were product designers for the fine giftware industry, including their own porcelain sculpture line and later bronze sculpture. Many top selling designs were created by the Oldham team, including best sellers for Franklin Mint, Lenox Collections, Danbury Mint, and others. Their own collection of studio-made limited edition porcelains was carried by fine jewelers such as Bailey Banks and Biddle (formerly of Zale Corporation) as well as by upscale boutiques and shops nationwide.
Prior to her years in giftware design, Victoria was a biological illustrator and exhibits designer at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, specifically assigned to malacology research, the study of mollusks and their shells (seashells).
In addition to product design for the giftware industry, Victoria worked as a technical manual designer/writer for a remote monitoring product line, and a graphic artist and website designer for several biotech companies (Althea Technologies, Chembridge, Agennix, and Acadia Pharmaceuticals). She also received recognition by the BioCommunications Association BioImages Awards for original illustrations created for her clients.
In 2002, Victoria conceived and developed GatewayToSedona.com. By 2004, the tourism portal, designed to showcase feature stories and articles with photos in "photo-essay style" was among the top 3 representing and promoting Sedona, Arizona.
Victoria received fine art and graphic design training at Temple University's Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, with supporting biology and science courses at Temple's downtown campus.
In addition to a lifelong career in art, Victoria enjoys composing lyrics and music to her original songs. She is also enrolled at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, to pursue completion of a degree, possibly in music, but definitely with art in mind (at the soon-to-be age of 65!).
Tim Ernster is Victoria's fiancee and partner in the PaintingContest.Org competition. He served as City Manager for Sedona, Arizona for 6 years up until his retirement in February 2015. Prior to serving as City Manager of Sedona, he was City Manager for Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City and Deputy City Manager for the City of Glendale, Arizona. As Deputy City Manager he was responsible for the Community Development Group, which includes: Planning; Engineering; Building Safety; and Transportation. Also, he has managed Finance, Information Systems, Budget, Human Resources, Marketing and Libraries. He has 39 years of experience in local government in five different cities in Arizona.
Tim was a member of the adjunct faculty of Arizona State University for over twenty years and also was a member of the faculty of Golden Gate University. He has conducted seminars and training on a wide variety of topics. Those topics include diversity, ethics, leadership, city management, municipal finance and municipal goal setting. He has been an instructor and developer of course materials for the Certified Public Manager Program (CPM) offered through Arizona State University, and has presented at the Municipal Clerks Institute and the Municipal Fire Institute.
Tim holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs from Arizona State University and a B.S. Degree from Northern Arizona University.