Save the Date
Friday, September 25, 2020
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
The 3rd Annual Central City Plein Air Festival welcomes painters to Central City, Colorado to capture the town’s breathtaking mountain views, fall foliage, and historic architecture. Up to 25 artists from around the country will gather in the historic mountain town for three days of painting, a Quick Draw Competition and Easel Sale, and special artist social gatherings . The festival culminates in a Public Exhibition and Awards Reception on September 27, 2020 in an outdoor venue.
Entirely free to the public, visitors are invited to observe the artists, ask questions and experience Central City in autumn from an artist’s perspective.
Social distancing guidelines will be followed and masks are required in public spaces.
Awards Reception, Exhibition and Sale
September 27 | 3 pm | Teller House Parking Lot
Be the first to view and purchase works painted throughout the festival and mingle with the artists. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres with music from Central City Opera touring artists end the weekend on a high note! Tickets are $50.
Meet the Artists
Walda Juhl views the world through a lens of value and color. Her perspective is an abstract realism that portrays the world of motion and warmth and stillness and coolness with watercolor methods on paper. For Walda Juhl there is no better day than to be out of doors, freely creating a new painting.
Virginia Unseld’s passion is painting en plein air in oils and pastels. Since moving to Colorado from Pittsburgh in 1978, she has been recording her interpretations of the western landscape. The constantly changing sunlight provides a challenge to quickly capture shadows and colors. Virginia also feels the need to document the beauty of empty places which are quickly disappearing. Her work is about joyous mark-making as much as it is about the subject. Virginia Unseld’s philosophy is that it is not what you paint but how you paint it that is important.
Each of Spencer Meagher paintings is an attempt to express something unique about the subject before him. His goal is to open the viewer’s eyes to how he sees and experiences the world. Spencer wants to help the viewer see common links between shapes within not only the subject itself, but everything around it. To him, this is achieved most effectively by careful observation and execution of value.
“If you draw, the world becomes more beautiful.” -J.O. Plaven. Rebecca Gorrell’s goal when she paint is to reveal the beauty in the simplest things - the shadows caressing the contours of a building, the lovely desolation of a wide-open landscape or the mystery of a lit window at night. Rebecca Gorrell loves what she does, and she loves sharing it with others.
Sandy Marvin is a Colorado artist working primarily in soft pastel. Real-world subject matter is her starting point, be it as complex as a landscape or as simple as a single piece of fruit. She uses composition, color and technique to communicate the meaning and emotions that attract her to the subject, to create a memorable visual experience for the viewer. Some of Sandy’s more recent work is abstract, based on patterns and shapes in the environment or in the work on her easel.
Richie Vios believes that the mark of a good artist is the ability to capture the different facets of life in a painting’s mode, ambiance, etc. In a sense, not only illustrating or recording what is seen, but expressing what the artist feels. As a plein-air artist, watercolor is Richie Vios’ perfect medium of choice. If you paint with no fear and a smile on your face, you can paint a masterpiece every time!
Betsy Johnson Welty
Betsy Johnson Welty is attracted to graphic patterns of light and shadow in the natural world. Color is another visual element she explores when she paints. Betsy uses enhanced or more subdued color palettes to evoke strong mood and emotion, while striving to portray an impression of the feeling she wants the viewer to experience.
Donna McGee’s works are inspired by the essence of nature, energy and change. To her, painting en plein air is a way of gathering information both perceptual and emotional. Donna’s pieces represent her experience with the subject at a particular time and place, and therefore are completely regardless of the finish of the image.
For over 30 years, David Pyle has carried a paint box while traveling, looking to create images that tell stories. He began his career with a degree in painting and drawing. From there, David went on to study organic chemistry, while also showing paintings in local Colorado galleries. The intersection between art and science opened an array of exhilarating opportunities in the arts, eventually allowing him to serve as North American Marketing Director for Winsor + Newton and Liquitex, two of the leading brands in artists products. In 2006, David became the publisher for The Artist’s Magazine in Cincinnati, followed by American Artist Magazine in New York in 2008, still while continuing to paint. Now, David Pyle is doing what he loves most as an active plein-air painter.
Patty Voje grew up in the country where she spent her youth surrounded by rolling hills, farm animals and woods. Patty, now a city dweller, spends her weekends driving through the countryside to search for the little farms from her youth. She takes any opportunity she can to immerse herself in nature painting alla prima style. Patty Voje was most recently awarded 1st Place at the 2018 Boulder Plein Air Competition, and received the Excellence in Content & Form Award at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair’s Fine Art Juried Exhibit.
JR Monks paints the West: his home and heritage. The medium of oils and watercolor allow JR to capture the infinite beauty of nature, and the brush is his vehicle to best express the emotional connection he has for the subject matter.
Andy White is a recent military retiree and empty-nester. This stage of life has given him more time to devote to his art career. Andy has sought instruction, attended multiple workshops, set up a studio, developed a website and participated in plein air events. Andy White’s hope is that his viewers will enjoy the way his brushwork portrays the west!
As a child, Nancy received prizes for her innate talent. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Art from Cleveland Institute of Art. After receiving her degree, she headed west to paint outside in the amazing landscape. She creates most paintings outside in plein air, or in her studio when the weather is poor. Nancy has participated in invitational national parks plein air events and open plein air events. She coordinates weekly painting events for Plein Air Artists of Colorado and holds bi-monthly art classes to help in suicide preventions. Nancy Lewis teaches classes and workshops, and her art can be viewed at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade, Colorado.
Mark Akins has won several Best in Show, 1st Place, 2nd Place, People Choice, Award of Merit, Patron Purchase, multiple Quick Draw and Honorable Mention awards. Mark’s paintings are in numerous public and private collections. For example, three of his major studio paintings were recently purchased by Colorado Mesa University for the new Health Science Building, and three of his pieces are permanent installations at the Littleton Adventist Hospital. Mark has attended several juried events throughout Texas, Washington, New Mexico and Colorado.
Lorrie Beck’s art is inspired by the beauty of nature and all its components, sometimes man made. As she continues to interpret the world around her, she tries to find her own perspective to tell a story. Her goal in each new piece is to not only render the subject accurately, but also to give it a breath of life. Lorrie Beck represent the story in line, value, contrast and color. Her media choices include oils, pastels or pencils.
As a plein air painter, Laura Martinez-Bianco is drawn to the light, color and shapes of a landscape. In each painting she challenges herself to capture not only the physical elements of the terrain, but the light, atmosphere and feeling it provides. When her audience recognizes the landscape she’s painted, and feels its atmosphere and space, her challenge is complete.
A now retired high school art teacher in Colorado, Karen Spotts finds time to devote to her love of pastels and Colorado history, sights and scenery. She loves to travel, and much of her inspiration comes from the places she’s been. Karen’s favorite pieces were created while Plein air painting in Colorado.
With guidance from her mentor, Karen Cooper began plein air painting seven years ago while living in Russia. Since returning to live in the US in December 2017, Karen has focused on increasing her plein air capabilities. Oil is her medium of choice and she prefers a slightly larger canvas than the average plein air painter. Karen uses a limited color palette, striving for the strong image. What drives Karen Cooper forward, is that the painting must be a thing of substance and solidity and interest and beauty.
David Collins is a Denver-area based artist whose interests include landscape, still-life, and figure painting. His primary concerns are with capturing accurate form and mood with exciting color. Traditionally trained at the New York Academy of Art, David is committed to furthering the cause of romantic realism in art through traditional means. He most enjoys the arts of landscape and figure painting in oils. Studying the colors of nature outdoors, and in the studio with models, provides him with endless inspiration. David Collins has painted around the U.S. and Europe, most recently in Ireland.
124 Eureka St
Central City, CO 80427
Free to the public
The City of Central
The Central City Business Improvement District
Additional Support Provided By:
Denver Parks & Recreation
The Gilpin County Arts Association
Karen and Andrew Ritz