The unusual town of New Harmony, tucked in the southwest corner of Indiana near Evansville, recently attracted some of the brightest lights in plein air painting for the First Brush of Spring event. The all-star jury awarded prizes to more than 40 artists. 

Carolyn Anderson, Scott Christenson, C.W. Mundy, Quang Ho, and Laura Robb judged the entries for the event, with Thelma Frame winning Best in Show for her piece “New Harmony Gate.” 

Best of Show went to Thelma Frame for her painting “New Harmony Gate.”

First Place was won by Troy Kilgore for his “New Harmony Light,” Jeanne McLeish earned Second Place for “April Shadows,” and Roy Boswell took away Third Place for his piece “Cedars Above New Harmony.” The Oil Award of Merit went to Tom Woodson, the Pastel Award of Merit was won by Virginia Kramer, and Jim Cantrell won the Watercolor Award of Merit. 

Merit Awards with $250 cash prizes went to Spencer Meagher, Jeff Klinker, John Lasater, Thomas Buchs, Heinryk Ptanewicz, Wyatt LeGrand, Valtcho Tonov, and Gwen Gutwein. Quick Draw winners included Roy Boswell, Wyatt LeGrand, Mark VanderVinne, and David Seward. Student awards were given in both Under 12 and Age 12-18 categories, with Mercedes Wacken taking the top prize.

C.W. Mundy, Mark Daly, and Rick Wilson played some music as the informal group The Plein Airs. Photo: Carolyn Anderson 

“New Harmony has a great history, starting in the early 1800s with the establishment of a ‘utopian’ community,” comments Mundy. “Among the residents were philosophers, artists, economists, and intellectuals from all over the world. It is now becoming an art community with workshops and events like this. Our goal is to teach the proper balance of knowledge and creativity, which was the topic of our panel discussion, heard by a packed audience of artists and the community.”


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