Clayton J. Beck III, the juror of awards, found some time to paint en plein air during the AIS show’s paint-out in the Denver area.

A flock of painters working in the impressionist mode — the American Impressionist Society — recently convened for its annual show in Denver, and the event looked alluring, with a beautifully installed show at Abend Gallery, a bracing paint-out in the Denver environs, and an opening that gathered friends and distributed $55,000 in prizes. 

AIS President Debra Joy Groesser (left) is honored; Show Chair Becky Joy and VP Cheryl St. John confer the honor.


“One participating artist told me it felt like he was at ‘art camp,’ and he loved every minute of it,” says Debra Joy Groesser, president of the AIS. “We had so many members in attendance, including many who didn’t have work in the exhibition. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet each other, network, and make new friends … absolutely an awesome time.”

 This piece by Mark Boedges won Best of Show.


This was the 15th year for the AIS National Juried Exhibition. Clayton J. Beck III served as juror of awards, and the AIS Master member also offered a demonstration.

Mark Boedges won Best of Show honors. Second Place went to Matt Linz, and Third was won by Lori Putnam.

Dan Schultz won the PleinAir Magazine Award of Excellence for this painting.


The PleinAir Magazine Award of Excellence was awarded to Dan Schultz. The Fine Art Connoisseur Award of Excellence went to Julie Petro.

The William Schultz Award in Oils went to Xiaogang Zhu. The Dickinson Signature Member Award was won by Diane Lyon. The President’s Choice Award was given to Christine Debrosky. The Chesapeake Fine Art Studio Award of Distinction was won by Fran Ellisor. The Fredericksburg Artist’s School Award of Distinction went to Valerie Craig. The Blue Ridge Oils Award of Distinction was awarded to Trey Finney. The Blick Art Materials/Utrecht Award of Distinction went to Dave Santillanes. The Southwest Art Magazine Master Award of Excellence was earned by Carolyn Anderson, and the American Art Collector Master Award of Excellence was won by C.W. Mundy. The Southwest Art Magazine Award of Excellence went to Ron Rencher, while the American Art Collector Award of Excellence was won by John Michael Carter. The Savoir-Faire/Sennelier Award of Distinction was given to Chad Smith.

Julie Petro earned the Fine Art Connoisseur Award of Excellence for this piece.


Roy Boswell, Gina Brown, Val Carson, Raj Chaudhuri, Lawrence Churski, Greg LaRock, Jeanette LeGrue, Ned Mueller, Gail Rein, and Elizabeth Robbins won Honorable Mention awards. 

From left, Clayton J. Beck III, Debra Joy Groesser, Becky Joy, and Cheryl St. John


“One thing we all talked about was the number of artists who were juried into the show for the first time, and the very high caliber of the work,” comments Groesser. “Abend Gallery did a tremendous job in hosting us, and we had so many compliments on the way they hung the show, with the paintings grouped by subject matter … very effective and beautiful.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here