Plein Air for the Park 2014 Exhibition Succeeds in Raising Beneficial Dollars

Plein Air_Quick Draw_7
Artist Kathy Wipfler paints a buck-rail fence in the Menor's Ferry Historic Distict during quick draw.

Photo by Jackie Skaggs, public affairs officer

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News Release Date: July 23, 2014

Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

For the third consecutive year, Grand Teton National Park served as host site for the Plein Air for the Park fine art exhibition and sale. Jointly organized and co-hosted by the Grand Teton Association (GTA) and Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters (RMPAP), the 2014 exhibition enticed 41 professional artists to spend two weeks in Grand Teton painting in the open-air to capture the spectacular Teton scenery and wildlife. Art sales for this year's event totaled $67,000. Nearly $27,000 (40% of the sales) will go to help fund GTA's educational, interpretive, and research programs in support of the park.

"We are thrilled that the 2014 Plein Air for the Park show turned out even better than last year," said Jan Lynch, GTA executive director. "The quality of work just gets better every year, and we are excited that the event has grown with such sucess for the third year in a row." 

In summing up the 3rd annual Plein Air for the Park event, Superintendent David Vela said, "Many painters created superb works of art during the past two weeks, and visitors were able to watch painters apply their artistic skills to capture the beauty of Grand Teton National Park on a blank canvas. Through our great partnership with the Grand Teton Association and Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, park visitors got a unique opportunity to understand the synergy between fine art and the breathtaking Teton scenery, and to glimpse the undeniable power and inspiration of the amazing Teton landscape through the eyes of an artist."

Plein Air for the Park, 2014 included several features such as: demonstration/educational sessions, a gala reception, and a quick draw event. The first formal session kicked off July 12 with a three-hour "Artists in the Environment" painting demonstration near Cottonwood Creek. A second group painting demonstration took place on July 17 at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center grounds adjacent to the National Elk Refuge. A gala reception on Wednesday evening, July 16, helped showcase the art work and allow time for art aficionados to chat with RMPAP artists while enjoying music and refreshments at the Craig Thomas Discovery &Visitor Center. Superintendent Vela, GTA Director Lynch, and RMPAP President Stephen C. Datz welcomed a standing-room-only crowd to the artist's reception. A quick draw at historic Menor's Ferry along the Snake River served as the event finalé on Saturday morning, July 19. All pieces created during the two-hour quick draw were available for immediate purchase.

The awards judge for the 2014 Plein Air for the Park exhibition and sale was Adam Duncan Harris, PhD, who serves as the curator at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Greg McHuron, a longtime RMPAP member who passed away shortly after the 2012 Plein Air for the Park, was again honored with a memorial wall that featured three of his plein air paintings. The Greg McHuron Memorial Award was established in 2013 to recognize a piece of work that best represented McHuron's ideals and most reflected the elements of plein air art that he felt were principally important.

Awards presented for the 2014 Plein Air for the Park include:

  • Best of Show —Marc Hanson for "Mormon Row"
  • Best Body of Work —Eric Jacobsen
  • Award of Excellence —Jennifer L. Hoffman for "Refracting"
  • Award of Excellence —Cydney Springer for "Highwater"
  • Award of Excellence —Wes Newton for "Grand Afternoon"
  • Greg McHuron Memorial Award —Phil Starke for "Sunset Near String Lake"
  • Juror's Choice Award Jake Gaedtke for "Cottonwood Nocturne"
  • Grand Teton National Park Superintendent's Award —Bill Sawczuk "Geraldine's Cabin"
  • Honorable Mentions —
    Stephen C. Datz for "Denouement"
    Kathryn Mapes Turner for "The Magic Hour"
    Keith Bond for "Aspen Meadow"

The Grand Teton National Park Superintendent's Award becomes part of the park's permanent collection.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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