Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Plein Air Show Paints Borrego


Last updated 3/10/2024 at 10:37am

BAI Gallery Director and the invitational's show curator Kay Levie, recognizes the 14 Plein Air Artists at the awards reception on March 8.

The Plein Air collection this year is masterful, spectacular, almost every artwork is exquisite. Three hundred and fifty enthusiastic art lovers attended the March 8 reception and prize giving. Sales had already started prior to the event as the final paintings were being delivered by the artists and where hung on the gallery walls. There was a wonderful atmosphere of fraternity between the artist's themselves and the Borrego Art Institute's staff hard at work coordinating the event.

Fourteen award winning artist's were invited to paint our beautiful Borrego landscape starting March 4 through March 8. Congratulations, to Kay Levie, the ardent show curator and juror Rick Delanty who selected the six prize winners.

Delanty expressed that over the week of his deliberations he found it challenging to make his final selections because of the overall excellence of the artwork. Delanty even took time to visit some of the locations that the artist's had chosen to paint to see personally the landscape dynamic.

Delanty, himself an artist, in his final selections chose artworks that showcased uniqueness, delft techniques, unusual color, a range of light values often demure, choices made with an artist's eye. Whereas, there were winners, every painting in this collection was important artistically.

First Place winner Mark Kerckhoff, "Arroyo Paulo Verde," is a study in simplicity, composition and sophisticated development of light.

Second Place winner, Geoff Allen, "Peas & Carrots," is an exceptional watercolor with all the elements of light on water and composition in play. Geoff says that Plein Air painting helps me focus intensely on my work while promoting a sense of mystery and spontaneity.

Natalie Richards, Award of Excellence, for her pastel "Borrego in the Nude Wash," a dreamy pastel work.

Ryan Jensen, clearly a collectors favorite as several of his works sold before the reception, won Honorable Mention for his spectacular, "Grace With the Morning Light," a powerful oil painting showcasing Jensen's accomplished brush work that creates a rhythm that drives the light value in the artwork.

Beauty abounds throughout the collection. There is never a shortage of awe and inspiration to be found outdoors. Light play in compositions the subtle tones of a cloudy day, daybreak, sundown, the thin sunset colored line on the mountains. Clearly there is a profound relationship between the artist's and the landscape, a oneness that happens when they are painting outside. Deepening a connection to nature serves the spirit which invariable serves artistic output.

If we spent our lives solely noticing passages in natural light and shadow as the hours pass we would constantly discover something new. Nature transcends our tendencies to label and classify, to reduce and limit. Of all the epic works that we can experience, nature is the most absolute and enduring.

A show to spend time viewing. An exceptional collection and inspiring art experience.

Gallery Hours

March 10 – April 14

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closed Monday & Tuesday