Gregory Kondos teaching a workshop in 2010

One of the feature stories in the March 2013 issue of PleinAir is a profile of Gregory Kondos, a California artist who will celebrate his 90th birthday in 2013 and who will be the subject of a museum retrospective. Two years ago, Kondos met with a group of 170 grade school students and took the time to look at the paintings they’d created after being introduced to one of his plein air masterpieces.

 “I am delighted to see you’ll be featuring Gregory Kondos in the March 2013 issue of PleinAir magazine,” wrote Martha Esch in a recent e-mail. “In March of 2010, I introduced students at an elementary school in Clarksburg, CA, to his work by having them paint from a reproduction of his masterpiece River Cruise.

“River Cruise,” by Gregory Kondos

“Somewhat later, I was invited by my friend Alan Osborne to take all the students to the Art Foundry in Sacramento, where they were able to visit the studios on the upper level of the building. Mr. Kondos welcomed all 170 children into his studio and looked at their paintings which were inspired by his masterpiece. It was a thrilling experience for everyone, and Mr. Kondos said he felt like Santa Claus! The children were so excited to meet him and show him their paintings, and he autographed the backs of some of their pieces. That was definitely the high point of my art teaching career!”

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Here’s a video Martha Esch put together from her photographs:


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