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The 19th annual Telluride Plein Air, held on June 28-July 4 of this year, was a huge success raising essential funds for the Sheridan Arts Foundation, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that owns and operates the historic Sheridan Opera House. Now considered a tradition, rain peppered the artists throughout the week, but didn’t slow down our purchasers! 

On Thursday, June 30, the majority of our 22 artists participated in the Quick Draw Competition up and down Main Street and adjoining blocks. The night ended with a rollicking SHOW Bar patio performance from Durango band Desert Child. Judges Allison Cannella of Slate Gray Gallery, independent artist Molly Daniel, and former Telluride Gallery of Fine Art Gallery Manager Baerbel Hacke selected Christine Lashley’s “Mist Light” as first place winner and Alison Leigh Menke’s “Alley Grow- Telluride” as second place winner. Virginia artist Lashley took home $800 for first prize and Puerto Rico artist Menke took home $250. 

We kicked off the Artist Choice Cocktail and Preview Party on Friday, July 1, with a private VIP hour where previous painting purchasers 0f the last three years were given early access to the artists’ favorite paintings of the week. The party opened up to the public at 5 p.m. Marc Anderson of Wisconsin, attending the festival for the third year in a row, took home First Place Artist Choice with Falling for the Falls; Anderson received $2,000 cash from the Sheridan Arts Foundation and a half page ad valued at $2,400 in Plein Air Magazine courtesy of event sponsor Plein Air Magazine. The artists awarded second place to Antwan Ramar’s Peaks and Valleys (still available in our After Sale), a Florida artist attending Telluride Plein Air for the first time; Ramar received $750 cash from the Sheridan Arts Foundation and Month Long Featured Artist Award valued at $1,000 on Plein Air Magazine’s Nine-time participating artist and previous First Place Artist Choice winner Suzie Baker won third place with Sanctuary; Baker took home $250 from the Sheridan Arts Foundation and a year-long subscription to Plein Air Magazine. Each artist’s Artist Choice submission can be viewed in the 2022 Artist Choice gallery HERE. In addition to the successful cocktail party and preview, we paid tribute to consistent top seller and participating artist for 11 years, Douglas P. Morgan, who sadly passed away last August. Partygoers were able to view some of Morgan’s paintings owned by patrons and the Sheridan Arts Foundation, as well as read his impressive artist’s bio. 

The art exhibition and sale took place over Saturday, July 2 through Monday, July 4 with thousands of people walking through the displays to view the stunning collections of artwork and take home their own piece of Telluride. Every artist sold at least one painting between the sale and our After Sale, where we display an available painting from each artist in our SHOW Bar throughout the year as well as list available paintings online HERE. Forty percent of sales benefit the Sheridan Arts Foundation while the remaining 60% goes directly to the artists. To involve our younger generations of artists, we hosted a kid’s art table throughout the sale where children are invited to express their own creativity with available paper and paint across from the sales table. For the second year, we also hosted a kid’s plein air competition. Young artists were given canvases and invited to produce their own plein air painting with winners taking home art supplies as top prizes. 

The Artist Choice winner (Marc Anderson) and top five sellers of the festival are invited to return the following year. The top sellers, in no particular order, for 2022 are Suzie Baker, Christine Lashley, Mat Barber Kennedy, Alison Leigh Menke and David Dallison. The juried application process for the landmark 20th annual Telluride Plein Air opens up in October of this year. 

A presentation of the Sheridan Arts Foundation.