Plein Air — Artists Paint the Town again!

By Peg McRoy

Gallery on the Square’s sixth annual Plein Air—Artists Paint the Town Festival culminated on the evening of Sept. 21 when the People’s Choice Awards were announced at the Gallery. The cumulative award money for the People’s Choice Awards totaled $500.

The festival began on the morning of Sat. Aug. 12 when over 40 artists came to Danville from hometowns across central Indiana. These artists were given a blank canvas at the Gallery for their use in painting a Hendricks County scene outdoors on that day.

Plein Air is a French term that simply means “in the open air” and is the act of painting outdoors. These artists scrambled to various places around the county in search of their inspirational site. They then returned with a painting in hand to the Gallery for a late-afternoon judging session.

Judges Michael Arnold and Sue Gillock determined the winners in the categories of professional, non-professional, teen, and youth. Seventeen artists were awarded $2,500 in prize money.

Arnold is a graduate of Danville High School and Indiana University. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and retired as an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Design. He was listed among the Who’s Who in Interior Design in 1991.

Gillock is a graduate of Franklin College and the Herron School of Art Education. She also holds a Gifted and Talented endorsement from Purdue University. She retired after 40 years teaching in the classroom.

Brad Field’s watercolor of Twin Bridges won Tri Kappa’s special tribute award at the People’s Choice Awards on Sept. 21 and first-place at this year’s Plein Air event on Aug. 12. (Photo by Susan Reece)

The second phase of judging followed with voting by the public for the people’s choice awards. Any visitor to the Gallery on the Square could view 30 paintings within the gallery that were completed the day of the plein air event.  Voting for the People’s Choice Awards closed on Sept. 20.

The first-place winners for the plein air event on Aug. 12 include Brad Fields for professional and Pam Anter non-professional. The teen winner is Renea Walmoth and youth Malachi Catt.

The people’s choice first place winners are Lynne Dunnavant for professional and Pam Anter non-professional.  Kriston Titus was voted top teen and Malachi Catt first-place youth.

Also on the night the People’s Choice Awards were announced, Tri Kappa (a state philanthropic organization) presented a special tribute award to Brad Fields for his painting of Twin Bridges, a favorite Hendricks County location and painting site.

The special tribute award was given in honor of Gallery on the Square charter member and watercolorist Marti McCoy, who recently passed away. She was a 60-year member of Tri Kappa.

Gallery on the Square’s plein air event is sponsored in cooperation with the Danville Downtown Partnership. Award monies are given thanks to local business, organizational, and individual donations. To get more information on the Gallery’s plein air event go to indianaartgallery.com/plein-air-event.

Gallery on the Square is located on the east side of Danville’s historical square, 51 S. Washington St. The Gallery is a co-op art gallery featuring the works of 18-24 artists in various mediums. Art classes are also offered.

The People’s Choice four winners are clockwise: Kristin Titus for the teen category, Lynn Dunnavant for professional, Pam Anter for non-professional, and Malachi Catt youth. These awards were given at the Gallery on Sept. 21 (Photo by Susan Reece)