55 Artists Selected for 6th Annual Plein Air-Easton! Competititon

Fifty five artists have been selected to compete in the 6th Annual Plein Air–Easton! competition, to be held July 19-25. Those listed (see below) will be joined by three additional winners from the Mid Shore Plein Air Competition, to be held in May.

A record number of artists from across the country and around the world—234 in all—entered this year. Entries came from 34 states, Canada, Bermuda, Germany, and Australia. 107 artists applied to the competition for the first time and almost all of the artists from last year’s competition reapplied.

Competition artists were selected by jurist M. Stephen Doherty, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing, and Workshop magazines. Doherty graduated summa cum laude from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He has written dozens of magazine articles and several art books. Doherty is an active outdoor painter who travels around the United States and Europe. He serves on the advisory boards of several arts organizations, including the New York Academy of Art, The Florence Academy, and the Portrait Society of America. He has been a judge in various national and international competitions. “I really had to make very hard choices about who was going to make it in this year,” Doherty said. “Obviously, your event is attracting outstanding plein air painters.”

The awards judge will be Jean Stern, a recognized authority on California Impressionism who has extensive experience as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher. Mr. Stern co-authored California: This Golden Land of Promise I, a highly acclaimed history of California, illustrated with hundreds of important historical paintings. Stern has been the executive director of the Irvine Museum in Irvine CA since its inception in 1993.

More than $11,000 in prizes will be awarded during Plein Air–Easton! During this weeklong artfest, scores of painters descend on Easton and Talbot County, bringing with them an up- close and personal look at the excitement and spontaneity that surrounds art created en plein air (French for “in the open air”).

Competing against some of the nation’s best plein air painters will be several artists from the Midshore region. They are David Grafton, Stephen J. Griffin, Karen Mathis, and Nancy Tankersley, all from Easton.

Local artists will have the chance to showcase their work and vie for a spot in the national competition via the 6th Annual Mid Shore Choose Three Plein Air–Easton! Competition. Any artist residing in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s or Talbot County may enter. The competition paint out begins May 11, 2010 when artists’ canvases will be stamped at the Chesapeake Heritage Gallery, 3 N. Harrison St., from 10am-5pm. The entry fee is $15 per artist. Two finished and framed (but unsigned) works must be returned to the same location on June 2 from 10am-5pm. Paintings and drawings must depict outdoor scenes from anywhere on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. An exhibit will be displayed at Chesapeake Heritage Gallery from June 4 to July 30. A panel of three qualified judges will convene on June 3, followed by an awards presentation during Easton’s First Friday Gallery Walk on June 4 from 5-8pm. The top three winners will automatically qualify to be entered into the Plein Air–Easton! national competition. During the exhibit’s run, visitors may vote for the People’s Choice Award, which will be presented July 29 at 5pm. For prospectus and information, visit www.pleinaireaston.com or contact Rose Doster at 410.364.5637 or Madeline Eli at 410.763.7677.

Local artists may also enter the “Local Color” Plein Air Exhibit, which will be exhibited at the Tidewater Inn July 23-25 during Plein Air–Easton! The exhibit is open to any artist (except those who have been juried into the Plein Air–Easton! competition) residing on the Delmarva Peninsula (Maryland, Delaware, or Virginia) and any member of the Working Artists Forum, hosts of “Local Color.” The show will feature artists’ best work of original studio finished paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, or pastel. All paintings must have been completed in the last three years. Entry fee is $25 per artist; deadline to enter is May 8, 2010. Cash prizes will be awarded for First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Best in Show. For prospectus and information, visit www.pleinaireaston.com or contact Marianne Hollis at mwhollis@goeaston.net or Nancy Thomas at 410.820.1133.

Plein Air–Easton! is the work of the Avalon Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide diversified arts and educational programs that improve the quality of life in the Mid-Shore region. The Academy Art Museum provides an accredited museum venue for the competition exhibit. The event is supported by various corporate, media, and community sponsors, including the Talbot County Arts Council. Donations from Friends of Plein Air–Easton! support the event while promoting conservation and tourism through the arts and a distinct sense of place. Strong community support and sponsorships have helped make Plein Air–Easton! one of Easton’s largest events and the premier plein air festival in the country.

Competition prospectuses, artists’ bios, galleries, itineraries, educational components, registration for ticketed events, and more are available at www.pleinaireaston.com. For further information, email info@pleinaireaston.com or phone 410.822.7297.

The following artists will compete in the 6th Annual Plein Air–Easton! national competition:
Local artists (4):
David Grafton (Easton), Stephen J. Griffin (Easton), Karen Mathis (Easton), Nancy Tankersley (Easton)

Artists from Maryland (10):
Tim Bell 2006 Grand Prize Winner (Edgewater), Gavin Brooks 2005 Grand Prize Winner (Owings Mills), Lisa Egeli (Churchton), Raymond Ewing (Swan Point), Geraldine McKeown (Elkton), Sam Robinson (Owings Mills), John Brandon Sills (Phoenix), Carol Lee Thompson (Phoenix), Stewart White 2009 Grand Prize Winner (Baltimore), Will Williams (Towson)

Artists from Mid-Atlantic Region (8):
Robert J. Barber 2007 Grand Prize Winner (State College PA), Michael Budden (Chesterfield NJ), Valerie Craig (St. Davids PA), David Csont (Pittsburgh PA), Ellen A. Gavin (Millville NJ), Rae O’Shea (Kendall Park NJ), Elise N. Phillips (Elverson PA), Jason Tako (Dover PA)

Artists from other states (33):
Scott Lloyd Anderson (Minneapolis MN), Paul Bachem (Locust Valley NY), Anne Blair Brown (Nashville TN), Roger Dale Brown, OPA (Franklin TN), John S. Caggiano (Rockport MA), Jill Carver (Austin TX), Lawrence J. Churski (Akron OH), James Coe (Hannacroix NY), Gene Costanza (Eugene OR), Dee Beard Dean (Davidson NC), Ken DeWaard (Viroqua WI by way of Chicago IL), Charles Dickinson (St. Augustine FL), Lynn Dunbar (Louisville KY), Tracey Frugoli (East Peoria IL), Elaine Hahn (Holiday FL), Carolyn Hesse Low (San Diego CA), Debra Huse (Costa Mesa CA), Russell Jewell (Easley SC), Shelby Keefe (Milwaukee WI), Greg LaRock 2008 Grand Prize Winner (Newport Beach CA), Jeanette Le Grue (Tomales CA), Tom Lynch (Naperville IL), Nancy King Mertz (Chicago IL), Leonard Mizerek (Westport CT), Larry Moore (Winter Park FL), Ned Allen Mueller (Renton WA), Chris Newlund (Columbus IN), Richard Oversmith (Asheville NC), Camille Przewodek (Petaluma CA), Robin Roberts (Ashland OH), Robert Gantt Steele (Larkspur CA), Jane McGraw Teubner (East Northport NY), Bob Upton (St. Paul MN)