By Dianne Sudbrock
Over 70 artists from the Augusta Plein Air Art Festival participated in two events in/near New Melle on Monday, April 26, 2021.
The first event was an early morning paint out at the home of Carla and Phil Brakensiek on Paul Road, west of Hwy. T (Marthasville address.) Just over 40 artists enjoyed the beautiful sunny day painting garden and wooded areas, open fields, and neighboring farm scenes.
The $500 purchase award, sponsored by Catala Facial Retreat and Boutique in New Melle, was won by Marty Coulter – “Catala Spring.” Winning Honorable Mentions were Kim Kwaz McKerracher for “Be Still” and Chris Willey for “Spring Marthasville Field.”
Following the Catala Paint Out, the artists painted in and around New Melle from noon to 5:30 p.m. Over 70 artists registered for that event which was hosted at the 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-off 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 in and around town. Eighteen people invited artists to paint at their private properties, providing a wealth of creative opportunities for the artists. The day culminated with a reception, art sale, and awards presentation at the Quarry Wine Garden.
The $500 1st Place Purchase Award, sponsored by Peoples Savings Bank, was won by Vicki White for “Dan’s Pond” painted at the home of Dan and Becky Main on Birch Tree Lane. Receiving Honorable Mentions were Spencer Meagher for “Sun Stripes”, a building painted at Ron and Kim Oberlag’s home on Hwy. DD, and Troy Tatlock for “Dan’s Country Meats” painted on Mill Street in New Melle.
Kyle Shell, speaking on behalf of the New Melle Chamber of Commerce, complimented the artists, thanked them for coming, and thanked everyone from the community who support the artists in their endeavors. “It’s so neat to have the opportunity to purchase original artwork showcasing our local community.” Shell also thanked the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce Plein Air committee for putting on an outstanding 10-day event for the artists, and for inviting New Melle to be part of it.
The Augusta Plein Air committee appreciates Catala Facial Retreat and Boutique, Peoples Savings Bank, the New Melle Chamber of Commerce, the Quarry Wine Garden, and the community at large for their hospitality and support. At the end of the day, over 17 paintings were purchased, valued at over $5000.
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, and to anyone else who supported the event in any way.
The Augusta Plein Air Art Festival has earned a reputation for being one of the best Plein Air art events in the Midwest. The 10-day event culminated with a final sale on Saturday, May 1st in the Augusta Town Square. A portion of the proceeds from the event supports scholarships for students who live in the Augusta Fire Protection District.
Photos and results from all 10 days of the event, as well as information for next year as it becomes available, can be found at www.augustapleinair.com and on the Augusta Plein Air Facebook page.