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Images courtesy of Highland Lakes Creative Arts (HLCA)

By Megan Ables

Highland Lakes Creative Arts (HLCA) presented Paint the Town in downtown Marble Falls, Texas, March 31–April 6, 2019. Thirty-five artists from around the country traveled to the Texas Hill Country to participate in the weeklong event.

Paint the Town started off with a Free Paint Day on Monday, followed by a day where the professional artists painted at Spicewood Vineyards.

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Student Art Day was celebrated on Thursday, when 57 high school art students from Marble Falls, Burnet, and Faith Academy visited the Lakeside Pavilion to learn techniques from professional artists. Artists Sara Hadley and Robert Wilkens performed oil painting demonstrations for the students. At the end of the 45-minute demonstration, the students were provided with art supplies to create their own pieces in either watercolor, acrylic, or pastels. Afterward, the students were broken into groups and matched up with competition artists who took their group to an outdoor setting where they could paint en plein air around downtown Marble Falls.

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On Friday, guests attended a ticketed VIP Auction, enjoying music, catered food, and local beverages. The exclusive event allowed guests to experience the first viewing of the judged artwork. The gallery displayed paintings from all artists who participated in Paint the Town. Five award winners were announced: Best of Show went to Debra Latham, first place went to Randall Cogburn, second to Krystal Brown, and third and Artists’ Choice went to Alison Menke.

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Best of Show: Debra Latham
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First Place: Randall Cogburn
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Second Place: Krystal Brown
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Third Place: Alison Menke
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Artists’ Choice: Alison Menke

Guests attending the VIP reception had the opportunity to bid on the awarded art and meet the artists who participated. A 16 by 20-inch custom piece painted by Debra Latham was auctioned off, where the winner could request a portrait or landscape painting. More auction items included a crafted cuff donated by Salem’s Jewelry, the HLCA Board’s favorite wines, and a large custom-made glass platter crafted by Kim Timmons.

A quick draw competition was held on Saturday morning, where artists were given 80 minutes to paint outdoors on designated streets in Marble Falls. Renowned plein air painter Eric Rhoads judged both the juried works and the quick draw competition. First place went to Debra Latham, second to Jinseng Song, third to Mary McIntosh, and fourth to Kathy Hammond. The first-place winner of the competition received an automatic entry and free registration for Paint the Town 2020.

Highland Lakes Creative Arts and the Phoenix Center expanded their partnership to include the promotion and operations of Family Art Day during Paint the Town 2019. On Saturday, stations were set up where artists and volunteers taught acrylic, pastel, and watercolor painting.

Highland Lakes Creative Arts’ purpose for Paint the Town is to give local art students the opportunity to experience both visual and performing arts. HLCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit initiative that fosters and promotes the creative and performing arts in the Texas Highland Lakes.

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