Two artists split first place at annual Spring City Plein Air Competition
By Robert Stevens
SPRING CITY—This year’s Spring City Plein Air Competition was the most successful ever, say event organizers.
The event drew 100 artists from Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California—as well as locals, art aficionados and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who chose his favorite painting from the entries.
Judged by celebrated Utah artist John Poon, this was the 12th Spring City Plein Air, and as always, artists took to the field, stream, valley or street to paint for prizes and recognition.
“We are continually amazed by the wealth of artistic talent in Sanpete County, Utah and the western United States, and are thankful that so many are willing to participate in our event and share their artistic vision.,” said Chris Anderson, director of Spring City Arts, the nonprofit organization that sponsors the event.
“We are grateful to the residents of our communities who are willing to put up with crowds over the Labor Day weekend, to give others the chance to view the beauties of this area and capture bits of it on canvas.”
The two first-place winners, Douglas Fryer of Spring City and Jane Anne Woodhead of American Fork, each received $1,500. Their paintings were purchased by Zions Bank.
“I’m still a little in shock but so grateful to the judge John Poon, Spring City Arts and Alison and Chris Anderson for hosting such an exciting event,” Woodhead said. “It was a tough, but fun week for me. I’m feeling especially grateful this morning for all those who have helped me on this art journey.”
Second place winners Ken Spencer of Blackfoot, Idaho, and Susan Gallacher of Spring City received $1,000 each.
Third place winner, Susette Gertsch of Midway, Wasatch County, received $500.
Kimball Geisler of Idaho, who competed despite being on crutches, won the People’s Choice Award.
Lt. Gov. Cox, who came out to see the event with his family, gave an award for his favorite painting, which was created by George Hanrahan of Layton.
Spring City Mayor Jack Monett gave his Mayor’s Choice award to Tom Howard of Salt Lake City.
Other award winners, including honorable mentions and merit awards, received $100 each.
Merit awards went to Hanrahan, Steve Stauffer from Murray, Don Miskin of Logan, Cassandria Parsons of Spring City and Joseph Alleman of Logan.
Honorable mentions included Hanrahan, Jeanne LaRae Lagano, Stauffer, Steve McGinty, Alleman, Parsons, Miskin, Geisler and Natalie Shupe.
In addition to the competition, local Spring City artists hosted tours of their studios for plein air competitors and visitors.