Plein Air Festival
Carolyn Lindsey, 1st Place Wild Rivers and Artist Choice Award, “River Below”

The Wild Rivers Plein Air Festival, which was held July 16–21, is a six-day painting extravaganza providing the 80 participating artists not only the opportunity to paint extreme canyons and rivers but also mountains, meadows, and small historical villages. This all occurs in a 20-mile radius of Questa, New Mexico. The painters also participated in numerous workshops, demonstrations, and social activities. The final display and sale included over 230 works of art in a two-day show at the Rail Haus Theater in Red River, NM.

Plein Air Festival
Ken Requard, 1st Experimental, “Grose on the Gorge”

More from the organizers:

This festival is making a name for itself by showcasing exquisitely done traditional plein air style and by opening its doors to a wider interpretation of what plein air is. By choosing two diverse judges, the show combines traditional with experimental. One of Utah’s finest painters, Brad Holt, is an award-winning traditional plein air painter. Our second judge is local plein air colorist Leigh Gusterson. Leigh is a professional painter and gallery owner. Together, these two had to merge their ideas of what plein air means and pick their winners in a completely blind judging process. What they chose is the best of both worlds: the technical and emotional qualities of the traditional plein air artist and the playfulness and expressive qualities of the colorist.

Plein Air Festival
Stacy Erickson, 1st Architecture, “Reclamation Fortress”

The 2019 Wild Rivers Plein Air Festival included five categories: Architecture, Experimental, Landscape, Wild Rivers Recreation Area, and an artist Quick Draw. Other awards included People’s Choice, Artist Choice, Artistic Excellence, and Emerging Artist. Over $10,000 in cash and prizes was given out to the award winners.


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