Outdoor Painters of Minnesota IMG_0374
Photo credit: Allison Eklund

Outdoor Painters of Minnesota announces 2022 awards in the 19th Annual Plein Air Grand Marais competition and festival of outdoor painting.

From the organizers of the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota:

There was something in the air this year during Plein Air Grand Marais. Maybe it was the whiff of wildfire smoke from Canada contributing to kaleidoscopic sunsets and sunrises. More likely, it was the camaraderie that spread inspiration through the nearly 100 painters in Grand Marais for this year’s event, which takes place every year starting the first Friday after Labor Day. Daily mini-workshops, artist socials, and paint-outs kept painters busy during Competition Week, which culminated with an Open Class reception, Quick Paint and hootenanny, and final Competition Class reception. The Competition Exhibit was displayed at Johnson Heritage Post (JHP) Art Gallery in Grand Marais.

Outdoor Painters of Minnesota
Photo credit: Allison Eklund

Plein Air Grand Marais is unique in its emphasis on artists’ education and camaraderie. The event features daily paint-outs, social events, and mini-workshops taught by professional painters in the Competition Class. Plein Air Grand Marais proudly welcomes painters with a wide range of experience, from those who are new to plein air to dedicated amateur and professional painters. The event also celebrates artists in the Arrowhead region with a North Shore Invitational class of the Competition.

This year, painters were allowed to begin August 15 to allow them time to paint in remote locations in Cook County or set aside time during Competition Week to attend mini-workshops. The result was an exhilarating range of painting locations and subject matter, from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to the Superior Hiking Trail, Lake Superior, and scenes from downtown Grand Marais. A range of painting mediums was represented, from oil and pastel to watermedia including gouache, acrylic, and watercolor.

2022 awards for Plein Air Grand Marais

Juror: Krystal Brown, Kingwood, Texas

Open Class Reception:
Best in Show: Jeff Steiner, $200 + Two $50 gift certificates from Joy & Co. + PleinAir Magazine subscription + Invitation to Competition Class in 2022 Plein Air Grand Marais
Three top awards for Paintings of Exceptional Merit (POEMs):
Lisa Burns, $100 + Wet Paint art materials
Joseph Cowan, $100 + Wet Paint art materials
Janet Moore, $100 + Wet Paint art materials
Three Honorable Mentions:
Margie Helstrom
Kim Jore
Susan Seaborn

Best in Show: Jeff Steiner
Best in Show: Jeff Steiner

Quick Paint:
First Place: Richard Abraham, $300 + PleinAir Magazine subscription
Three POEMs:
Carl Bretzke, $200
Adam Swanson, $200
James Turner, $200

Quick Paint First Place: Richard Abraham
Quick Paint First Place: Richard Abraham

Competition Class Reception:
Grand Prize for Best Body of Work: Brock Larson, $1,000 + Invitation to mount solo exhibit at JHP Art Gallery + OutdoorPainter.com Featured Artwork Advertising Award from Streamline Publishing valued at $825
Five Top POEM Awards:
David R. Becker, Nocturne: “Bucks vs Holiday,” $500
Hannah Heyer, “The After-Party,” $500
Jo Nelson, “Early Evening on Artists Point,” $500
Mark Larson, “Two Boat Cottage,” $500
Erin Renier, “The Wink,” $500

Grand Prize for Best Body of Work: Brock Larson
Grand Prize for Best Body of Work: Brock Larson

Best Sense of Place: Carl Bretzke, “Quiet Harbor at Dusk,” $250
Beauty of Watermedia: David Smith, “Calm Waters,” $250
Beauty of Oil: Bob Upton, “Cascade Overlook,” $250
Beauty of Pastel: Laura Martinez-Bianco, “Woodland Sanctuary,” $250
Best Historic Site: Hannah Heyer, “Night Shift,” $250, (Selected by Cook County Historical Society)
Honorable Mentions – Ribbons were awarded for 5 honorable mentions:
Richard Abraham, “Jane’s View”
Nelia Harper, “Cascade of Light”
Jimmy Navarro, “Neil’s Tree”
David Peacock, “Morning Sky Over Harbor”
Stephen Wysocki, “From Afar”

Outdoor Painters of Minnesota
Photo credit: Mark Sawinski


Plein Air Grand Marais is a joint enterprise of Outdoor Painters of Minnesota, which organizes the event, and JHP Art Gallery operated by the Cook County Historical Society, which mounts the Competition Exhibit. Sponsors include Visit Cook County, a tourism bureau in Grand Marais; Wet Paint, a locally owned art materials and framing store in Saint Paul; Joy & Co., a gift shop offering fine art supplies in Grand Marais; logo, banner and print designs by Kim Gordon and Open Cupboard Designs; and featured advertising and magazine subscription awards from Streamline Publishing, the publisher of PleinAir Magazine.

2023 Plein Air Grand Marais is scheduled for September 8-15, 2023. The deadline for Competition and Invitational applicants to register is May 1. Interested artists and collectors should visit OPM’s website for the event here and subscribe to the PAGM newsletter.

Visit EricRhoads.com to find out all the amazing opportunities for artists through Streamline Publishing, including:
– Online art conferences such as Plein Air Live
– New video workshops for artists
– Incredible art retreats
– Educational and fun art conventions, and much more.

Learn More

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