Minneapolis painter Carl Bretzke won the $15,000 Grand Prize in the 2015-2016 PleinAir Salon last week at the Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE), in Tucson, Arizona. He earned the prize with his 12”-x-16” oil painting “December Sunset Near Farmers Market.”
Bretzke’s painting won First Place in the June-July 2015 contest in the PleinAir Salon, making it eligible for the Grand Prize.

Carl Bretzke accepts the Grand Prize from Eric Rhoads, publisher of PleinAir magazine

Second Place, worth $3,000, was won by Valerie Craig for her 11”-x-14” oil painting “Whitewashed.” Jim Wodark won Third Place with his oil “Zion Clouds.”

“Whitewashed,” by Valerie Craig, oil, 11 x 14 in. Second Place

Jim Wodark said that he’s entered the Salon competition in the past and hadn’t won any awards, and this time he felt honored to receive Third Place because he realizes there were many, many impressive entries.

“Zion Clouds,” by Jim Wodark, oil, 40 x 40 in. Third Place

“The Awakening Dawn,” by Brent Cotton, oil, 32 x 40 in. Honorable Mention

Honorable Mentions went to Brent Cotton, for “The Awakening Dawn”; Marilyn Wear, for “High Sierra Sparkle”; and Scott Anthony, for “North Coast Beach.”

“High Sierra Sparkle,” by Mary Wear, watercolor, 12 x 20 in. Honorable Mention

The PleinAir Salon consists of six bi-monthly contests, with the First, Second, and Third Place winners of each contest, and the category winners, automatically entered into the annual competition. First prize in the annual competition is $15,000 cash and the publication of the winning image on the cover of PleinAir magazine, along with a feature story. Second Place earns an artist $3,000 and an article in the digital edition of PleinAir magazine. Third Place yields $1,500 in cash. Three additional finalists win $500. Aside from First, Second and Third Place overall, categories include Best Oil, Best Pastel, Best Watercolor, Best Acrylic, Best Plein Air, Best Building, Best Figure in the Landscape, Best Floral, Best Landscape, Best Outdoor Still Life, Best Nocturne, Best Water, and Best Artist Under 30.

“North Coast Beach,” by Scott Anthony, acrylic, 12 x 16 in. Honorable Mention

The winner of each bi-monthly contest is featured in this e-newsletter and profiled on OutdoorPainter.com. In April 2017, the $21,000 in prizes will be awarded to the annual winners at the 2017 Plein Air Convention & Expo in San Diego. Enter before May 31 to qualify for the April-May contest and a chance for the big money next year.


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