Olmsted Plein Air -
Best of Show: "Watch Your Step" by Neal Hughes, 20x24 in., Oil on Linen Canvas

Thirty top-tier outdoor painters from across the United States gathered in Atlanta to celebrate art while painting the town.

From the organizers:

Beginning on April 13, artists were able to paint anywhere in Georgia. Many came directly to Atlanta while others went to the Golden Isles – St. Simon’s, Jekyll, the small shrimper’s port of Darien, and Savannah. Some began their Olmsted experience in the mountains of North Georgia.

By the following Tuesday all were in Atlanta for a welcome reception at the exhibition gallery where most events occurred. During the week artists scattered across the city and surrounding area to capture life scenes. “It was an amazing week,” said Phil Cuthbertson, Director of the show. “We were able to see our city through the eyes of Master artists. The paintings were truly inspiring.”

"Skipper's Delight" by Charles Newman, 24x24 in., Oil on Linen Panel
Second Place: “Skipper’s Delight” by Charles Newman, 24×24 in., Oil on Linen Panel

The Olmsted Plein Air Invitational engages three judges to select top paintings. The judges included Skot Foreman (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico) gallery owner and artist, Larry Moore (Charleston, SC) Olmsted alumni and artist, and Chris Robinson (Athens, GA) director of the Studies Abroad Program-Cortona, Italy for the Lamar Dodd College of Art at the University of Georgia. As always, it was a challenge to choose 11 awards out of 60 competition entries.

Best of Show was awarded to Neal Hughes for his painting “Watch Your Step” (shown at top) which captured a lone fisherman on a rustic dock in the coastal town of Valona.

Other awards presented include:

  • Charles Newman – “Skipper’s Delight” (Second Place)
  • Natalia Andreeva – “Verdant Haven” (Third Place)
  • Susan D. Waters – “Monolith” (Spirit of Atlanta)
  • Krystal Brown – “Where the Heart Is” (Best Light in the Landscape)
  • Crista Pisano – “Marina at St. Simon’s” (Best Nocturne)
  • Richie Vios – “Blessed Atlanta” (Best Architecture)
  • Seth Tummins – “15 Minutes and a River” (Founder’s Award)
  • Charles Newman – “Koast Forza” (Judges Merit Award – Skot Foreman)
  • Olena Babak – “Chattahoochee River Azaleas” (Judges Merit Award – Larry Moore.
  • Vlad Milan Duchev – “Symphony of Light” (Judges Merit Award – Chris Robinson)
  • Fred Jackson – “Meadow Edge” (Artists Choice – Petite Plein Air)
Olmsted Plein Air - Third Place: "Verdant Haven" by Natalia Andreeva, 8x16 in., Oil on Linen Panel
Third Place: “Verdant Haven” by Natalia Andreeva, 8×16 in., Oil on Linen Panel
Spirit of Atlanta award: "Monolith" by Susan D. Waters, 24x18 in., Oil on Cotton Canvas
Spirit of Atlanta award: “Monolith” by Susan D. Waters, 24×18 in., Oil on Cotton Canvas
Olmsted Plein Air - Best Light in the Landscape award: "Where the Heart Is" by Krystal Brown, 16x20 in., Oil on Aluminum Panel
Best Light in the Landscape award: “Where the Heart Is” by Krystal Brown, 16×20 in., Oil on Aluminum Panel
Best Architecture award: "Blessed Atlanta" by Richie Vios, 16x22 in., Watercolor on Watercolor Paper
Best Architecture award: “Blessed Atlanta” by Richie Vios, 16×22 in., Watercolor on Watercolor Paper

To close out the week, more than 50 artists participated in the annual PaintQuick on Sunday morning, the ever-popular judges panel discussion, and a closing toast to the show.

While many paintings sold during the week, many remain available in the online gallery until May 17. The 11th Annual Olmsted Plein Air Invitational takes place April 19-27, 2025.

Learn more at www.olmstedpleinair.com.

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