Plein Air Award Winners Announced

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The third annual Plein Air Painters’ U.S. Open, held by the Coupeville Arts Center, drew in 97 artists who set up easels around the island Sept. 3 to 7.

Plein Air included beginners and highly-ranked artists, even those from British Columbia, Oregon and Idaho, said Lisa Bernhardt, assistant director for the Coupeville Arts Center.

Naturally enough, the subject of the works of art was Whidbey Island. Artists painted scenic areas such as the Coupeville Wharf and Deception Pass, and several sold their pieces at the Silent Auction Gala Sept. 6 at the Historic Crockett barn. About 130 patrons attended.

“It was great to see the camaraderie among artists, who went out together in groups, and to see the excitement of first time artists who were juried into the show,” Bernhardt said.

The public exhibition and sale was held Sunday, Sept. 7. Coupeville resident Mike Wise won best of show with his piece, “Ala Spit.” Best townscape went to Janis Kirstein with “Last Frame Ebey’s Bowl,” best seascape was Jim Lamb’s “Beach at Deception Pass,” best of Ebey’s Landing went to Donna Trent for “Harvesting at Ebey’s Prairie,” best farmscape was awarded to Oak Harbor resident Marty Rogers for “Flower Power” and the Cole Gallery award went to Hulan Fleming for “Penn Cove.”

“To be in a venue with 120 top-notch artworks was amazing,” Bernhardt said.

She said that well-known watercolor artist Gerald Brommer of Studio City, Calif. announced, “This was one of the most professionally displayed and run plein air events I have attended.”

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