Artists enjoy Belle Fourche Arts Plein Aire event

Pictured from left are Marsha Knofp, Delores Ekberg, Nicole Gagner, Gina Gibson, Dawn Newland, Kathy Thompson, and Rebecca Newton during the annual Belle Fourche Arts Council Plein Aire event. Courtesy photo

BELLE FOURCHE — Artists spent the first weekend of fall painting mostly Butte County landscapes at the annual Belle Fourche Arts Council Plein Aire event, Sept. 21-24. Marsha Knofp, Delores Ekberg, Nicole Gagner, Dawn Newland, Kathy Thompson, and Rebecca Newton participated, and Gagner’s painting, “Eighth Avenue Bakery” won the Best in Show award; Newton’s “Colors of Upper Redwater” won the Honorable Mention award. Center of the Nation Business Association (CONBA) sponsored the awards. Gagner also won the Historical Representation award, sponsored by Relic Diggers, for her painting, “Dakota Mills.” The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Belle Laundry and Dry Cleaners and Lueders, was a tie this year between “Newland’s Helter Skelter,” and Newton’s “The Resting Place.”

Each year, the participating artists create their painting entirely on site in an around Belle Fourche, and they present them, often still wet, for display, judging and sale. The judge for the event was art professor Gina Gibson from Black Hills State University. Gibson made overall comments on the paintings to the crowd at the awards reception. She was impressed with the quality of the paintings and with the variety of techniques. “This was hard, very hard,” she said of judging.

Registration, an artists’ reception, and the Art Show and awards were held at the Tri-State Museum and Visitors’ Center at the Center of the Nation. Artists and Arts Council members met for a meet and greet at Grap’s Friday night.

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