The winners at Red Fern 2017

Although the inaugural Plein Air Red Fern event in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, was relatively small, it undoubtedly had a large impact on the local arts community, featuring cook-outs, exhibitions, sales, demonstrations, and loads of fun.

You can count on Plein Air Red Fern to grow in 2018 as reports from the inaugural event just weeks ago suggest it was a resounding success. Located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a dozen artists from Missouri, Arkansas, Lawton, and Oklahoma City, along with area artists, spent three days capturing the local charm, beauty, and culture of Northeast Oklahoma. Hosted and sponsored by the Arts Council of Tahlequah, the region is steeped in Native American tradition and culture, evidenced by the incredible Cherokee Heritage Center, which hosted an artist’s and exhibition collector’s reception.

Attendees and artists watch John Lasater at work

One of the highlights from the event was a demonstration by award-winning artist John Lasater, who painted a portrait of local celebrity TV host Jennifer Loran of O Si Yo: Voice of the Cherokees. Overall, artists produced about 40 paintings that were judged by Lasater and Bruce Carter. Artist Julie Hayes will go down as Red Fern’s first Best of Show winner while Jerry Sutton took home the Mayor’s Award. Who did the people favor? It was Amy Vance taking home the People’s Choice. Julie Hayes was also the Second Place winner followed by Diana Robinson in Third Place for canvas supports. In the paper support category, Burneta Venosdel took First and Second Place while Jerald Peterson won Third.

Best in Show winner Julie Hayes was “impressed with all the beautiful scenery” she suggested. “I enjoyed meeting the artists who came and learning about the history of the area. I really liked Sequoyah City Park and the Murrell Home.”

Plein Air Red Fern was from June 15 through June 17. To learn more, visit here.

This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir Magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.


  1. A Joy to find out your groups exist. And I thought I was the only plein aire painter left! Isolation is a tribulation. Cheers!


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