David Gilsvik was the big winner in Grand Marais, with three awards

The North Shore of Lake Superior was painted by 70 artists recently, and their abundant output made it hard to choose winners.

“Pincushion View,” by Carl Bretzke. First Place

To give an idea of how busy things were, when organizers closed voting on the People’s Choice award at the opening reception of the 11th Annual Plein Air Grand Marais competition, in Grand Marais, Minnesota, the tallying took so long that representatives had to placate the packed house by telling Sven & Ole jokes, according to Kjersti Vick, events and communications coordinator at the Grand Marais Art Colony.

Bretzke with his award-winning painting

The event was held September 6 through 13, and Ken DeWaard served as juror. First Place was awarded to Carl Bretzke for his piece “Pincushion View.” Second Place went to David Gilsvik for his oil painting “Setting Sail.” Lee Englund’s “Sugarloaf Cove” won Third Place. Derek Davis and Bob Upon earned Honorable Mention awards.

The dazzling view one Plein Air Grand Marais painter perused

The final two contenders for the coveted Red Suspenders square off

The Quick Paint competition was won by Richard Abraham. The event awarded a prize for a night painting; it went to Carl Bretzke for his oil “Tavern Backside.” The People’s Choice award was won by David Gilsvik. That win was Gilsvik’s third for the same painting — “Setting Sail” also won the event’s Red Suspender Invitational competition. In this contest, artists square off against each other one-on-one in a bracket competition, with the winner earning a coveted pair of red suspenders. Neil Sherman was second in the event, just missing out on the snazzy braces.


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