The ninth edition of the Red Wing Arts Association’s Plein Air Festival concluded recently in Minnesota, with Mike Rada serving as judge. Who won?
Jim Turner won Best of Show for his painting “Barge Traffic.” Second Place went to Lisa Stauffer for “A Certain Symmetry.” Laura Frykman won Third with “Lazy Rush River.” Ivan Zassavitski won Best Downtown Painting with “Mr. Darrell Johnson.” Don Mondloch was chosen as the People’s Choice winner in the Quick Draw for his piece “The Nellie Bly.” Judge’s Awards were given to Lynn Brown, Andy Evansen, Hannah Heyer, Joni Jurek, Tom McGregor, D.K. Palecek, and Dan Weimer.
“The painting ‘Barge Traffic’ was done early in the morning down at the docks where the barges are being loaded,” says Turner. “I obtained permission to paint in the area and was rewarded with a beautiful, backlit view of the barges being loaded with grain by overhead gantries, with yellow-clad workers positioning the loading tubes and operating the equipment; a striking and beautiful scene.”

“The Nellie Bly,” by Dan Mondloch, 2015, watercolor and gouache, 8 x 10 in. People’s Choice/First Place in the Quick Draw competition

Almost 40 artists were juried into the event. “Red Wing is a working port on the Mississippi River; there are marinas, boathouses, a Saturday morning farmer’s market, freight trains and Amtrak with an historic depot all within the painting territory,” says Lisa Stauffer. “Painting subjects abound and the pressure is on. One day of the festival we are asked to paint in the historic downtown area of Red Wing. The architecture of the house in “A Certain Symmetry” caught my attention; the details along the windows and up under the eaves added personality to the square symmetry of the building. Then, the light and shadow of the afternoon sun set off the home’s facade with warm and cool color/value variations — it was all I could hope for in a painting challenge.”

“A Certain Symmetry,” by Lisa Stauffer, 2015, pastel, 12 x 12 in. Second Place
Quick Draw winner Dan Mondloch says, “My first time in a quick paint competition was really exciting. The timing bell, the pressure of performing, and the gathering afterwards — it was fun. Ordinarily I strive for something more simplified, but the energy of the day and the scene in front of me had other plans, and I was happy to oblige.”


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