Seventy-eight artists from the Augusta Plein Air Art Festival came to paint in and around New Melle on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The event was hosted at the new Quarry Wine Garden on Hwy. Z.
The $500 Purchase Award was sponsored by Peoples Savings Bank. The New Melle Chamber of Commerce provided the artists with pictures of potential places to paint in the community and a map to those locations, a $5 lunch coupon, and a ticket for a complimentary glass of wine from Peoples Savings Bank along with a souvenir wine glass from the chamber.
Throughout the day, artists set up their easels and painted local landscapes, buildings and other items of interest. The day culminated with a reception, art sale, and awards presentation at the Quarry Wine Garden.
D.K. Palecek of Wisconsin won the $500 purchase award for her painting of “The Blue Barn”. Honorable Mention awards were presented to Zak Barnes ‘New Melle Crick’, Ken Francis ‘Shapes of New Melle’, and Spencer Meagher ‘Corvette and Pear Blossoms’.
Artist Michele Wells, a St. Louis-based artist and gallery owner, and frequent award-winner in the 16-year history of the Augusta Plein Air Art Festival, was the event judge.
Don Meyer, in presenting the purchase award, complimented the artists, thanked them for coming, and invited them to come back again next year. Meyer also thanked Kathy Kessler, event chair for the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce Plein Air Festival, for putting on an outstanding 10-day event for the artists, and for inviting New Melle to be part of it.
Kessler thanked Peoples Savings Bank for supporting the event, the New Melle Chamber of Commerce, the Quarry Wine Garden, and the community at large for their hospitality, plus everyone who purchased works of art at the event. (Twenty-three paintings were sold at the reception!)
The Augusta Plein Air Art Festival has earned a reputation for being one of the best Plein Air art events in the Midwest. The New Melle Chamber of Commerce appreciates the opportunity to be part of it and commends the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce for their success.
Special thanks are extended to the chamber members who volunteered their time to help, to the management and staff at the Quarry Wine Garden, to the New Melle VFW members for putting up flags along the streets and loaning the use of small flags to help direct artists to various locations, to the people from the community who invited artists to their properties, to Roger Karrenbrock and Rick Massey for displaying their antique tractors, and to Catala Facial Retreat & Boutique for donating snacks for the artists, and to anyone else who supported the event in any way.