The weather was perfect, the crowds were thick, and the paintings were — well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. This may have been the best Door County Plein Air Festival ever — and I missed it! Not to worry if you did too, because the hot-off-the-press results are right here.
Presented by the Peninsula School of Art, the Door County Plein Air Festival, in an idyllic setting on the shores of Lake Michigan, has established national renown. The 2017 edition of the celebration, which just wrapped up on Sunday, July 29, witnessed 35 talented painters from across the country compete for a range of coveted prizes before thousands of regional attendees. In this celebration of outdoor painting, “the festival’s painters bring a fresh eye to the changing lights and colors, and a variety of styles that draw from the rich traditions of plein air painting,” the event website asserts.
Official participants in the festival this year included Gil Adams, Olena Babak, Mitch Baird, Suzie Baker, Beth Bathe, Carl Bretzke, M. Shawn Cornell, Aimee Erickson, Andy Evansen, Bill Farnsworth, Nyle Fordon, Debra Groesser, Stephanie Hartshorn, Neal Hughes, Jane Hunt, Eric Jacobsen, Barbara Jaenicke, Ken Karlic, Shelby Keefe, Mat Barber Kennedy, Tory Kilgore, Allen Kriegshauser, Andre Lucero, Liz Maltman, Kyle Martin, Jeffrey Marrill, Tom Nachreiner, Kathie Odom, John Poon, Henryk Ptasiewicz, Brian Sindler, Steve Stauffer, R. Gregory Summers, Bill Suys, Nancy Tankersley, Kathie Wheeler, and Vladislav Yeliseyev.
A familiar name took home Best of Show honors this year: president of the Plein Air Painters of America Andy Evansen for his painting “The Charter”. Jane Hunt won First Place for “Sunset on Q”, Mitch Baird Second Place for “Summer at Gills Rock”, and Tom Nachreiner Third Place for “Dead End Road”. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Olena Babak and Shelby Keefe. Neal Hughes was this year’s winner of the Artists’ Choice Award.
This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.