Many of the top names in plein air painting show up on the winners’ list of the American Impressionist Society’s national juried exhibition each year. This year was no exception.

Howard Friedland certainly enjoyed himself in Kirkland, Washington, recently, where the exhibition hung at the Howard Mandville Gallery. Friedland’s 24” x 36” studio piece “Favorite Spot,” based on an 11” x 16” plein air study, won both Second Place and Artists’ Choice — honors worth more than $11,000. Adam Clague took the top prize with the figure painting “Knitter’s Gift,” and James Richards won Third Place with “Garden of Delight.”

Ned Mueller accepts Master status with the AIS from President Debra Joy Groesser

The full list of winners chosen by judge Calvin Liang is here, but some names from the plein air world jump out from the roll. Lori Putnam won the PleinAir Magazine Award of Excellence for “Getting an Early Start.” Dawn Whitelaw won the Fine Art Connoisseur Award of Excellence with “The Grandeur Lingers.” Nancy Tankersley won the Dickinson Signature Member Award for “Lobster Shack Morning,” and Frank Eber won the Award of Excellence for Watermedia with “Quiet Crossing.” 

“Getting an Early Start,” by Lori Putnam. Winner of PleinAir Magazine Award of Excellence

At the reception, Ned Mueller and Dawn Whitelaw were named to AIS Master status.

“Every year, we say that the quality of the work juried in to the AIS National Juried Exhibition is the best ever, and this year is no exception,” says Debra Joy Groesser, president of the AIS. “Pat Howard and Luanne Erickson at Howard/Mandville Gallery have done such a beautiful job of hanging and hosting the show. AIS Master and Judge of Awards Calvin Liang had the very difficult job of choosing the award winners this year. Thanks to our generous sponsors, including PleinAir magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur, we were able to award a record $65,000 in cash and merchandise. A new award this year was funded by AIS Co-Founder Pauline Ney in memory of AIS Co-Founder Marjorie Bradley, who passed away earlier this year.

“The Grandeur Lingers,” by Dawn Whitelaw. Winner of Fine Art Connoisseur Award of Excellence

“Webster’s dictionary defines impressionism as ‘a style of painting that uses spots of color to show the effects of different kinds of light, and that attempts to capture the feeling of a scene rather than specific details.’ This is usually the goal of plein air painting as well … to capture the feeling and effects of light and atmosphere in a scene. There is a wide range of work in our exhibition that falls under the umbrella of impressionism. Many are plein air paintings, as is the case nearly every year.”


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