About 35 artists found their way to Sonoma, California, for Sonoma Plein Air, an annual event that raises money for local arts education. The top prize is Artists’ Choice. Who did they choose?
Oregon artist Eric Jacobsen won the top award, chosen by his peers, for “Poplars.” The painters enjoyed a collegial atmosphere in California’s wine country as they attended an opening reception, a Quick Draw event held at a farmers’ market, and a gala event at week’s end, all geared toward getting paintings into collectors’ hands and boosting the fortunes of art education in the Sonoma area. Although rain moved through the area in midweek, on Saturday it was sunny for the Community Festival, which featured art exhibits and sales, music, art demonstrations (by painters Aimee Erickson, Kathleen Lanzoni, and John P. Lasater IV), and art classes for children.

“Poplars,” by Eric Jacobsen, 2015, oil, 16 x 24 in. Artists’ Choice winner

Debra Huse and her paintings

Dennis Ziemienski and his pieces

Kim VanDerHoek, PleinAir magazine’s Richard Lindenberg, and Debra Huse

The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, co-founded by artist Keith Wicks, launched the Sonoma Plein Air week 13 years ago to help fund art education for Sonoma Valley students. “Since 2002, more than $1 million has been raised for art education for Sonoma Valley youth,” says Dorinda Parker, one of the event’s organizers. “The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation was created — and is managed — by a volunteer board of community leaders to ensure that students in Sonoma have access to arts education. By so doing, SPAF helps the broader Sonoma community benefit.”


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