Painters descend on Crested Butte, Colorado, in June and July not to compete, but to paint. The invited artists join juried painters and instructors in working for one month toward a sale of their plein air pieces. Others attend the “Open Class” portion to learn from the top-notch talent. 

Participating artists at the Crested Butte Plein Air Invitational this year included Ray Roberts, Kathryn Stats, Bryan Mark Taylor, Gay Faulkenberry, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, Dave Santillanes, Stacey Peterson, Ralph Oberg, Jill Carver, Carolyn Lord, Eric Merrell, Shelby Keefe, Jim Wodark, Chad Smith, Larry DeGraff, Don Sahli, Cheryl St. John, Lori Putnam, and Susiehyer, among others. The Invitational ran from June 10 through July 13, with a show of the work hanging the last days of the event at Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery in Crested Butte, Colorado.

“Gothic Lupines,” by Cheryl St. John, 2014, oil on linen, 12 x 12 in.

“Reaching,” by Stacey Peterson, oil, 16 x 8 in.

“Painting the Town,” by Larry DeGraff, oil, 9 x 12 in.

St. John said the views of the area have long drawn her to Crested Butte, but the caliber of painters she worked beside was an additional draw. “I have to say I’m totally exhausted from the 12 days I was there — eight days of painting and three days of show — but in a very good way,” says St. John. “I sold a lot of work with the help of Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery, and I’m very grateful for that!”


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