Artist Vladislave Yeliseyev stands with his body of work from the 2017 Adirondack Plein Air Festival

The 9th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival recently wrapped up with a first-time participant taking home the grand prize valued at $2,200. Who joined this artist in victory, and what did they receive? There’s only one way to find out…

Beautiful Saranac Lake, New York, was the scenic setting for the 9th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival, which saw 50 artists juried from 90 applicants compete over five days painting the forests, lakes, mountains, and communities around the Adirondack mountains. Vermont artist Aline Ordman was this year’s judge, and she awarded a first-time participant top honors.

Whom did she choose? It was the incredible Vladislav Yeliseyev, who’s had himself a wonderful year of mopping up competition after competition. His paintings earned the artist a $1,000 cash prize, a Featured Artwork ad from PleinAir magazine, a night’s stay at the Hotel Saranac, a frame and panel from Ampersand Boards, and a set of Golden QR watercolors — a total value of $2,200. Ordman indicated she wanted it to go to Yeliseyev for his entire body of work on display.

Hundreds of paintings were created throughout the week-long event

Previous two-time winner George Van Hook, of Cambridge, New York was awarded the $500 Second Place prize, donated by AdkAction, along with additional merchandise including a set of Gamblin Oils and an Ampersand Bords frame and panel.

The following artists were all recognized with $250 awards donated by area organizations and businesses: Andre Lucero, VA, the Bookstore Plus Award; Patricia Bellerose, QB, the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Award; Alison Leigh Menke, MD, the Best of Lake Placid Award, from the Lake Placid Center for the Arts; Olena Babak, ME, the Best of the VIC Award, from Paul Smiths College; Tara Will, MD, the Community Bank Award.

In addition, a small group of artists was invited to paint historic Eagle Island Camp, on an island in Upper Saranac Lake, with part of the proceeds of sales going to the Friends of Eagle Island. Beth Bathe, PA, was recognized with a $100 prize for her painting “Welcome to Eagle Island.”

A work by Nickolay Mikushkin (center), Beth Bathe (right), and Janet Marie Yeales (left) at the Silent Auction

The $150 Artists Choice Award went to Tara Will, donated by the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery. She also won the Quick Draw competition, with a prize of $200, donated by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Geomatics Land Surveying. The NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery sponsored a “Nocturne Contest,” and the $100 prize went to Crista Pisano, NY. The final “People’s Choice” Award, $500 donated by AdkAction, and voted on by all the people attending the Preview Party and the Show & Sale, went to Tarryl Gabel, NY.

Artist Tara Will

In summary, the Adirondack Plein Air Festival set another record in terms of attendance and sales, with a nearly 25 percent increase from the prior year for a total of over $40,000 in sales. Fifty paintings were sold and $4,000 raised by the “Paint the Town” Silent Auction; part of those funds will be donated to the local school district art program. The 50 artists as well as many visitors and art collectors enjoyed spending a week in the Adirondacks. 2018 will be the 10th anniversary of the Adirondack Plein Air Festival; the dates will be August 13-18, with some special anniversary events to celebrate 10 years of painting in the Adirondacks.

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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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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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