The John Ross Palmer First Class Club (“F.C.C.”) was created in the Summer of 2010 before the artist’s trip to Berlin, Germany. This elite group of art collectors, limited to only ten member individuals or couples each year, support Palmer by generously underwriting his annual study-abroad adventure. In return for being a member of this privileged group, participants receive an original piece of artwork that Palmer creates specifically for them on his trip, preview privileges of his international art series, a pricing incentive if they choose to acquire a piece of artwork from the limited series prior to the public unveiling, personal correspondence from the artist during his travels, name acknowledgment in the Catalogue and documentary film that documents the series, Members Only Cocktail Parties, a personal chat via Skype or FaceTime with the artist from his art studio abroad, and, a unique twist or gift connected to each destination. As long as an F.C.C. member consecutively remains a part of this exclusive group, their annual membership ‘dues' will not increase and their benefits will remain the same–no matter how exponentially the value of John Ross Palmer’s original artwork increases.
Once the group of ten F.C.C. members is filled with ten member individuals or couples, John Ross Palmer Art provides each member of the exclusive group with Certified Documents confirming membership. Along with their Certification of Membership, they receive a list of the formal rules, regulations and privileges associated with being a First Class Club participant. As described above, then the real fun begins after sending Palmer off during a fun and friendly cocktail party at his Houston art gallery.
After Palmer leaves Houston, the group follows along with his international journey via Facebook and Instagram plus Member’s Only emails and text messages from Palmer. Upon Palmer’s return to Houston, Texas, a random drawing takes place at his art gallery where the artist selects the order in which the F.C.C. members will preview his latest international art series. Members of the F.C.C. are not required to purchase a piece of the international art series and then it is entirely optional if they would like to remain a member of the First Class Club in the following year.
The 2020 First Class Club
- Dr. J.P. Anderson & Alfredo Tijerina X*
- Ramsay Ellis & Jeannie Groves I
- Debra & Steve Gilbreath I
- Richard & Joan Jennings XI
- Judy Lindsay XI
- Daniel McFadden V
- Julio Montano XI
- Kristin & Houston Netherland I
- Rosa & Bob Pollard II
- Ellen Yarrell VI
*The Roman Numeral indicates the number of years a member has participated in the First Class Club.
(No Essay Contest and no documentary accompaniment)
Dublin, Ireland (Click to watch the documentary film.)
Essay Contest Prompt: Pick a city out of Dublin, Zurich, and Rome.
Essay Contest Winners: Scott & Yvette Hill on Dublin.
Essay Contest Judge: Frank Billingsley, Chief Meteorologist with KPRC Houston.
Jerusalem, Israel (Click to watch the documentary film.)
Essay Contest Prompt: Describe a type of location to inspire an art series.
Essay Contest Winner: Dr. Susan Catlett on a place of worship.
Essay Contest Judge: Ainsley Earhardt of Fox & Friends.
Unique Twist: Palmer delivered a Prayer Card for each F.C.C. Member to the destination of their choosing in Jerusalem.
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Click to watch the documentary film.)
Essay Contest Prompt: Describe an emotion to inspire an art series.
Essay Contest Winner: Julio Montano on surprise.
Essay Contest Judge: Professor Aaron Kozbelt of Brooklyn College.
Unique Gift: Surprise!
Nice, France (Click to watch the documentary film.)
Essay Contest Prompt: Describe a mode of transportation to inspire an art series.
Essay Contest Winner: Judy Lindsay on the automobile.
Essay Contest Judge: Molly Butterworth, Executive Director of the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, MO.
Unique Twist: A directive to the artist on which piece of famous artwork at the Louvre would inspire the paper piece of artwork he created for the individual F.C.C. Member.
Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago (Click to watch the documentary film.)
Essay Contest Prompt: Describe a type of activity to inspire an art series.
Essay Contest Winner: Richard & Joan Jennings on volunteering.
Essay Contest Judge: Bishop Gene Robinson.
Unique Gift: A personalized nail inserted into the Habitat Home plus the delivery of an inspiring note to the family receiving the home.
Havana, Cuba (Click to watch the documentary film.)
Essay Contest Prompt: Describe the interplay between art and politics.
Essay Contest Winner: Judy Lindsay.
Essay Contest Judge: Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards.
Unique Gift: Etched champagne flutes and two Cuban cigars.
Auckland, New Zealand (Click to watch the documentary film.)
Essay Contest Prompt: Describe the one personality trait of John Ross Palmer that has most contributed to his success.
Essay Contest Winner: Richard & Joan Jennings on Palmer’s ability to make you feel special.
Essay Contest Judge: Jim Obergefell
Unique Gift: Something created by the native Maori people.
Bogota, Colombia (Click to watch the documentary film.)
Essay Contest Prompt: Describe something special that John Ross Palmer has done for you; or, describe an occasion, event or situation when John Ross Palmer was truly showing his “A game.”
Essay Contest Winner: Richard & Joan Jennings on Palmer’s interaction with Richard’s father before his passing.
Essay Contest Judge: Steve Milner, PhD, LCSW
Special Gift: Colombian Coffee