Several weeks ago, during the Adirondack Plein Air Festival, Aug 15-18, several things occurred which were wonderful to witness. First of all the event was very successful: 75 artists from all over the northeast registered; over 200 plein air paintings were on display in the Town Hall in Saranac Lake on the final day of the event and half the artists sold at least 1 painting; 55 little donated 5×7 paintings were auctioned off; over $4000 in awards were given out, including a “People’s Choice” prize of $100.
A lot of people came out to watch the artists at work at the various venues over the course of the event, and I know some were children accompanying their parents. It was a nice opportunity for them to witness “real” artists out creating original works of art. When the silent auction of 55 5×7 “Paint the Town” paintings were on display, I saw some parents actually letting their children bid on their favorite pieces! What a wonderful way to instill in children the concept of “collecting art”. The idea that it is worthwhile to purchase unique, one-of-a-kind items for personal enjoyment. The auction was the perfect place to do this because the art was “kid-sized” and the minimum bid was only $40. The parents, of course, probably had to pay for them, but it was a nice experience to provide to their children.
Voting for the “People’s Choice” award, during the Show & Sale, was another instance where I enjoyed seeing parents encouraging their children to vote. Together, they walked around, ballot in hand, and discussed what they liked about various paintings, then made their choices and dropped their ballots in the box.
In addition to children participating as viewers, we also had one 12 year old who participated as an artist. Samantha Pahucki, Pine Island, NY, painted alongside her mother, Chrissy. Samantha created and donated a 5×7 painting for the silent auction, which was sold, and she displayed the other paintings she produced as part of the event during the Show & Sale. During the awards ceremony, she was presented with a plein air merchandise prize as the “2013 Youth Award”. Bravo Samantha!
The “Best in Show” Award was given to George Van Hook, of Cambridge, NY and the “People’s Choice” Prize went to Patricia Bellerose, of Lanoraie, Quebec. In total, 14 artists were given prizes for their paintings. The real winners, however, were the kids and young adults who got to experience the Adirondack Plein Air Festival, see art in the making, and perhaps bring an original work of art home with them, wet paint and all.
The 2014 Adirondack Plein Air Festival will be Aug 21-24, 2014. Information about the event and the winners of the 2013 event can be found on the Saranac Lake ArtWorks web site.