Wendy Brayton, “Morning Commute,” oil, 24 x 24 inches (First Place)

The third annual Capitola Plein Air competition recently wrapped up in sunny California where 40 talented artists went head-to-head for over $2000 in awards. The winners were. . .

As Bob Bahr reported last year, when Santa Cruz, California, lost its plein air event, the local community simply wouldn’t accept it, especially Jenny Shelton. Now in its third year of operation, the event is going strong, accepting 40 artists in 2017 for the November 1-5 gathering.

Barbara Tapp, “The Spirit of Capitola,” watercolor, 7 x 7 inches (Second Place)

This year’s event was judged by Laurie Kersey, who awarded Wendy Brayton’s “Morning Commute” the First Place prize, which earned the artist $1,500. Barbara Tapp took the $800 Second Place award for her watercolor “The Spirit of Capitola.” The Artists’ Choice award, which came with $350, was taken by Heather Ihn Martin and her gouache painting “Peeking Thru the Sandbar.” The People’s Choice was artist Cleo Vilett for “The Venetian,” earning the artist $250.

Heather Ihn Martin, “Peeking Thru the Sandbar,” gouache, 9 x 12 inches (Artists’ Choice)

There were several artists distinguished for Honorable Mention, which included Rich Brimer’s “Little Tikes Rose Garden”; Sergio Lopez’s “Jacks Place”; Suzi Marquess Long’s “Surf Jetty”; Anette Power’s “Arriving in Style”; Heather Ihn Martin’s “Peeking Thru the Sandbar”; Paul Rickard’s “Eucalyptus Row New Brighton”; Randall Stauss’ “The Yellow House”; Nancy Takaichi’s “Crimson and Grey”; Barbara Tapp’s “Morning Fishing at Capitola Beach”; and Cleo Vilett’s “Big Red”.

Cleo Vilett, “The Venetian,” oil, 12 x 12 inches (People’s Choice)

The community also sponsored awards, including the Capitola Soquel Chamber of Commerce award, taken by Franklin Lei; the Capitola Village and Wharf Business Improvement Association award, given to Charles Prentiss; Local Santa Cruz award taken by Julia Munger Seelos; Scott Hamill took the Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors award; and Suzi Marquess Long taking the Times Publishing Group award.

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