“Rick Fields near Grafton, Utah,” watercolor on paper

In a great way, of course! News emanating from Rockville, Utah, last week is a wonderful example of how outdoor painting benefits not only painters, collectors, and enthusiasts, but an entire historical community.

Sixteen prominent plein air artists converged onto Rockville, Utah, recently for the city’s first-ever plein air invitational, which — by all accounts — was a resounding success. Located in the southwestern corner of the state, Rockville is the type of historic town perfect for painters looking to capture those canonical Western views.

Rockville Plein Air Invitational logo, by Michele Usibelli

In addition to being a great opportunity for artists to come together and paint, the event was a celebration of the town’s historic legacy and, in particular, the ongoing conservation and restoration of its most popular attraction: the Historic Parker through-truss bridge. Participating artists included Doug Braithwaite, Eileen Guernsey Brown, Royden Card, Bruce Gomez, Ken Harris, Brad Holt, Lisa Huber, Mary Jabens, Rick Kinateder, Roland Lee, Nancy Lewis, Bonnie McGee, Valerie Orlemann, Rachel Pettit, Stephen Stauffer, and Gregory Stocks.

Artist Bonnie McGee soaks in some rays at her picture-perfect painting location outside Rockville, Utah.

“Rockville has tree-lined streets, wonderful old pioneer buildings, and small-town Utah country charm,” says artist Rick Kinateder. “The delightful old one-lane bridge was from a grand era of western expansion. I am happy to support Rockville in their cause to save the historic bridge, as a remembrance from the past and a way to allow future generations a glimpse into that past.”

Artist Eileen Guernsey Brown stands next to her completed work in the field.

There were other exciting events planned in conjunction with the plein air invitational, including an engaging art historical lecture (titled “Art: The Bridge in Our History”) by Susan Bingham, co-founder of the Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts in Mt. Carmel, California. Via the event press release, “The reception was held in the charming historic schoolhouse, home of Larry McKown, and offered a true ‘Taste of the Town’ with many Springdale restaurants and businesses providing their best-selling appetizers, finger foods, and desserts.

“KSL’s own Debbie Dujanovic presided as the Mistress of Ceremonies at the wet paint sale. James Belson, host of the ‘Discovery Road Show,’ documented the event for an upcoming episode.” To learn more about the event, visit here.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent piece on the Rockville Bridge Plein Air Invitational! The painting at the top, entitled “Rick Fields” is by Rick Kinateder. Thank you for covering this important event and thanks as well to Anne Weiler-Brown for inviting us to submit it to your fine magazine.
    Jodi McGregor

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