Artist Steve Stauffer working on his award winning plein air painting, Last Stop, in Heber City. (photo courtesy of Alan Fuchs)

Just over 100 world-class outdoor painters participated in Utah’s premier plein air festival between June 24 and July 4 amidst the spectacular Herber Valley. With nearly 600 paintings completed, will you recognize these names that rose to the top?

Lakes, mountains, valleys, rivers, streams, rural farms, and historic homes; all of this and much more was available for the creative gaze of 107 of the country’s top plein air painters during the 12th Annual Wasatch Plein Air Paradise event — Utah’s premier art competition and exhibition held between June 24 and July 4.

Artist Kimball Warren found a bit of shade. (photo courtesy Alan Fuchs)
Newcomer Michelle Nixon enjoying the rewards of her efforts (photo courtesy Alan Fuchs)
Getting ready for awards at Midway Town Hall (photo courtesy Alan Fuchs)

The event is hosted by the Midway Art Association, and the spectacular views within the Heber Valley leave no questions surrounding the popularity and growth of the festival. “Because Midway Art Association’s Wasatch Plein Air Paradise event is so popular, it gets bigger every year, drawing a growing number of top professional artists and savvy art collectors,” organizers suggest. “The festival features a main ‘plein air’ competition as well as local ‘paint outs’ and a 90-minute ‘quick draw & auction,’ which is a favorite of attendees as they watch amazing artists complete a masterwork in minutes!”

Artist Bonnie Griffith wrapping up her plein air piece (photo courtesy Alan Fuchs)
The competition is intense – Jim Balluff adds some final touches. . .(photo courtesy Alan Fuchs)

Five judges were tasked with determining winners in 2017: Ed Fraughton, Carrol Merrill, Sue Jarvis, Nicole Knight, and Cejay Helt. Continuing, the MAA’s press release added “Notable artists who won top awards in the Professional division were: Robert Duncan, Rob Adamson, and Steve Stauffer, with Tanja Watts in the Amateur division. Newcomer Michelle Nixon won top awards in both the Heber City and Midway Paint Outs, and earned attention and competitive bidding during the auction as buyers vied for her Quick Draw entry.”

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This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.

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