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Plein Air Competition

The art community has been making a rise in Ogden. Events like Arts in the Park let community members experience something they wouldn’t normally get to see. So far, June has held many events, including the Plein Air Competition.

The Eccles Community Art Center hosted the Plein Air Competition on Thursday June 11 from 5-7 p.m. at the Gallery at the Station in the Union Station in Ogden.

“We have hosted this party for them [The Ogden Arts Festival] for three years now. We are ready to have 93 entries this year,” Debra Mullerd, Assistant Director of the Eccles Community Art Center, said.

The Plein Air Competition is a specific type of art competition featuring both professional and amateur artists. Plein Air is a French phrase used to describe painting out in nature and receiving inspiration directly from the landscape. All art pieces at the reception were created in Ogden between 12-36th street, exhibiting landscapes from the peak of Mt. Ogden all the way to west Ogden and anywhere in between.

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The Plein Air Competition brings the Ogden art community together at Union Station on Thursday, June 11. (Emily Crooks/ The Signpost)

In order to enter the competition, artists must bring in blank canvases to be stamped June 1 and can then submit up to three painted canvases by June 10.

As with most competitions, the Plein Air has awards in the professional and amateur divisions. There is also a poster winner every year. This year’s poster winner was J. Calhoun. In the professional division, the first place reward was $1,500, and the winner was David Dibble. The second place winner, George Handrahan, won $750 while the third place winner, Jordan Wright, received $400.

George Handrahan used oil paints to complete his prize-winning mountain landscape. “Ben Lomond appeals to me. I like to paint mountains. They have an interesting structure to them,” George Handrahan, second place professional winner of the Plein Air Competition, said. Handrahan has been a competitor in the Plein Air competition twice and a judge for the competition once.

Respectively, the amateur prize money was $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third. The amateur winners were first place Ellie Wilson, second place Steven Shurtleff and third place Marc Desobeau.

All work entered in the competition is exhibited and offered for sale in a silent auction. Artists set a minimum that they are willing to sell their pieces for and art enthusiasts can bid on the pieces throughout the reception. Paintings will also have a “Buy Now” price for those wishing to forego the bidding process and waiting period.

The Plein Air Competition is just one of many events that encompasses The Ogden Arts Festival. The festival was held on June 12 and 13 in the Ogden Amphitheater.

“There’s something for everyone at the festival. Everyone uses their five senses, so there’s stuff to taste, smell, see, hear and touch,” Tracy Ehrig, Artist Coordinator of the Ogden Arts Festival, said. The festival hosted a variety of local music artists, kid’s activity booths and 45 artists, 19 of whom were out-of-state artists.

If you missed the festival this year, don’t worry, they will be back next year. However, the current producers are retiring and passing the responsibility of the festival to Amir Jackson, founder and director of Nurture the Creative Mind.

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