October 2, 2023
By Janet Erickson, SVI Media
• Registration and art sales gleaned nearly $17,000.
Forty-six visual artists gathered last week for the second annual Star Valley Plein Air art competition. Together, they produced 91 paintings of various landscapes and locations throughout Star Valley. Once completed, the paintings were judged and went up for sale at auction.
“The artists’ skill level for our first event [last year] was incredible, but somehow the level was brought up this year,” said participant and Star Valley Arts Council Executive Director Lxi Weber. “We had phenomenal artworks submitted!”
Of the 91 paintings submitted for judging, 31 have sold at auction, totaling $16,672 in art sales so far. Many pieces are still up for public sale. Money raised through the event goes to fund the mission and efforts of the Star Valley Arts Council.
Celebrity judges Clark Kelley Price and Karen Anderson established the pieces that earned Judges Awards. Ann Newby placed 1st with her piece, “Aspen Trails.” Second Place went to Blake Luther for his piece, “Lunch Time.” George Grant Redden, with his piece, “Sunlit Thunderhead” placed 3rd.
Weber explained that Purchase Awards are established by local sponsoring businesses that “commit a certain amount to this award before ever seeing the paintings. Hunter’s Furniture and Appliance committed $2000 and were able to choose their piece Friday morning before the [auction] bidding started. The piece they chose was then marked as sold, and therefore no one else could bid on it. Then Tim and Kellie chose their piece for Hale Financial for $1600, and Doug and Donna chose their piece for Western Skies for $1200. These prices are more than the painting is worth, so it’s a sale and a prize.”
The 1st Place Purchase Award winner was Carol Granger for her piece, “Salt River Reflections.” Second Place in Purchase Awards went to Lester Lee for his piece “Down Kennington Burton Lane I.” Teri McLaren’s piece, “Locking Horns” took 3rd Place in Purchase Awards.
Visitors to the gallery throughout the weekend were invited to vote on their favorite piece. Carol Lundeen emerged as winner of the Viewer’s Choice Award with her piece, “A Few Too Many Years.”
Weber is extremely pleased with the weekend’s success. “We are so grateful for a supportive community as we hosted our second annual Plein Air event and are excited for this event to grow each season.”
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