First Brush of Spring, Plein Air Indiana
2018 First Brush of Spring Quick-Draw winners: Front row - Lon Brauer, Spencer Meagher, John Kelty, Donna Shortt, Kyle Ragsdale, and Jerry Smith; Back row - Roy Boswell, Douglas David, David Seward, Corrine Hull, and Avon Waters

By Bill Wissel

The 20th Annual First Brush of Spring (FBOS) was just completed in the little town of New Harmony, Indiana. The event is a joint event sponsored by the Indiana Plein Air Painter Association (IPAPA) and the Hoosier Salon Gallery in New Harmony. More than 130 artists descended on New Harmony, competing for over $20,000 in prizes and purchase awards.
There are three separate and distinct events that take place during the four-day event: A gallery show opening, a Quick-draw competition, and a paint-out competition.

The gallery show opening (at the New Harmony Hoosier Salon Gallery) is titled “Field to Finish.” Field studies stamped at the 2017 FBOS are submitted alongside a studio version completed during the year. Kathleen Newman, who was the judge for all three FBOS events, awarded prizes to five artists: Charlene Brown, Mary Ann Davis, David Seward, Carol Strock-Wasson, and Mark VanderVinne.

On Thursday evening of FBOS, 59 artists competed in a 75-minute quick-draw. Twelve artists had their work recognized and many more were deserving. The top six awards went to Lon Brauer, Spencer Meagher, John Kelty, Donna Shortt, Kyle Ragsdale, and Jerry Smith.

The final event was the paint-out competition, where a total of 23 works were recognized. Best of Show was awarded to Larry Rudolech for “Plum Pudding.” David Seward won First Place for “Griffin Granary,” Kathy Blankenheim was awarded Second Place for “High Water,” and Third Place went to Jed Dorsey for “Garden of Life.”

A very special dinner was held one evening at the Ri to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of this event. The wife of the Indiana State Governor, Janet Holcomb, gave a short speech on the benefits of the arts in Indiana. IPAPA announced that the Best of Show Award would be named in honor of George and Peggy Rapp, who were the driving force behind the event’s establishment 20 years ago. A plaque with their images engraved on it was revealed with spaces to show all of the names of the artists awarded this special honor.


Enter your best work in the Plein Air Salon Art Competition to win cash and publicity!

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