Farm to Table Plein Air: Bringing Art to the Table is a relative newcomer to the plein air event line-up in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This event is produced by LandArt Events and the Brandywine Conservancy with the support of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts.
In the long-standing tradition of Brandywine Valley artists, such as George Weymouth and the Wyeths, this project was a cooperative endeavor between area artists, local farmers markets, and the Brandywine Conservancy to bring awareness through art of the natural resources and sustainable agriculture in the region.
This plein air event is entering its third year. During the first two years this was a small local event; however, with the award of a Project Stream Grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, it has grown. The grant helped with the creation of a website, advertising, procuring a Juror of Selection (Nancy Campbell, executive director, Wayne Art Center) and a Judge of Awards (Ron Donoughe).
During the last year, over 50 artists have been painting in three categories — invited, juried and open — at 14 different properties that have Brandywine Conservation easements. Participating invited and juried artists are Al Richards, Deena S. Ball, Barbara Berry, Beth Bathe, Denise Vitollo, Dennis Young, Elaine Lisle, Jacalyn Beam, Jeanne Bruneau, Julie Riker, Lida Stifel, Lisa BurgerLentz, Lynn Mehta, Megan Lawlor, Michele Byrne, Mick McAndrews, Monique Sarkessian, Radhika Srinivas, Ray Nixon, Stewart White, Susan Stefanski, Susan Styer, and Valerie Craig.
On September 29, Farm to Table Plein Air held their culminating event, Palette to Palate, which highlighted the properties, the food produced on them, and over 200 pieces of artwork painted by the Farm to Table artists. A portion of the proceeds from the project will go to support the continued efforts of the Brandywine Conservancy.
Ron Donoughe came from Pittsburgh to judge the show and help hand out the awards (listed below).
Jacalyn Beam’s comments show the enthusiasm for this unique plein air event: “It truly was one of my FAVORITES because of the way it was run. No pressure, lots of opportunities to paint, inclusive of all artists, etc. Thanks for organizing!”
When Valerie Craig received her invitation to be an invited artist for the 2018–19 Farm to Table Plein Air, this is how she replied: “I’m thrilled!! Thank you!!! Farm to Table was a highlight of my past year!”
The PleinAir Magazine Subscription Award is given to Mick McAndrews for the watercolor “The Laurels Covered Bridge.”
The Fine Art Connoisseur Subscription Award is given to Lisa BurgerLentz for the painting “Truck with Canoes.”
The Cheap Joe’s Award is given to Deena Ball for the painting “Fisher’s Hill.“
The Princeton Brush Award is given to Michele Byrne for the painting “A Goat Named Ghost.”
The Brandywine Conservancy prize for excellence is given to Lida Stifel for the painting “Billy Goats Gruff and Chicken Little.”
The Rosemary and Company Brush Award is given to Monique Sarkessian for the painting “Where Your Glory Dwells.”
The Blick Art Materials Award is given to Jeanne Bruneau for the painting “Poston Homestead.”
The Blick Art Materials Award is given to Radhika Srinivas for the watercolor “The Barn at Honker Hill.”
The Holbein Artist Award is given to Denise Vitollo for the painting “Laundry Day.”
The Second Guerilla Painter Award is given to Elaine Lisle for the painting “Morning Light/ Outbuildings.”
The Daniel Smith Award for Works on Paper is awarded to Ray Nixon for the painting “Farm House.”
The Williamsburg Oils Award is given to Stewart White for the painting “Barn Building.”
The First Guerilla Painter Award is given to Julie Riker for the painting “The Old Swimming Hole.”
The Artwork Archive Lifetime Membership is awarded to Beth Bathe for the painting “Last Gasp of Winter.”
Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine and the Brandywine Conservancy present the Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine Best in Show Award to Valerie Craig for the painting “Fenton Farm.”
Plein Air Magazine and the Brandywine Conservancy present the PleinAir Magazine Best in Show Award to Jacalyn Beam for the painting “March Thaw.”
At the end of the event artists were already asking for painting dates for next year. Invited artists will start painting this month, and the site www.landartevents.com will be open for applications by the first of December.