The weather was perfect for U City in Bloom’s Plein Air Competition and Reception on Sunday, September 18. Thirty artists checked at Centennial Commons early that morning then fanned out across the designated locations, set up their easels, and got down to business. Many found the fountain in Heman Park, just steps away from where they checked in, appealing, while others enjoyed the butterflies and flowers filling the nearby Bird Habitat Garden. Several were drawn to the iconic lions in front of City Hall and the “Fish on a Bicycle” sculpture in Lewis Park. One enterprising person planted herself in the roundabout to paint the view of the Loop down Delmar from that perspective. The finished creations were judged by Michael Lucas, Anne Murphy, and Elinor Ruder at 4 PM. Guests arrived at 6 PM to view the artwork, enjoy food and drink, and bid on an appealing array of items in a silent auction. At least four of the day’s artworks went home with attendees.
First place winner, Allen Kriegshauser, second place winner, Mary Dee Schmidt, and third place winner, Margaret von Kaenel, will exhibit the work created at the competition along with other examples of their creativity in The Gallery of the University City Public Library. Xu Zhen, who cleverly depicted the artists working at the Bird Garden and City Hall, won both Honorable Mention and the People’s Choice award. Two of her works will also be at the library, along with Jo Seltzer’s plein air painting which was used on the invitation to the event, and a few examples of the work of Shawn Cornell and Billyo O’Donnell, plein air masters whose advice and contributions helped us make the event a success. The show will be on display during normal library hours from October 2 – 28, with a reception for the artists in The Gallery on Friday evening, October 21, from 6 – PM.
U City in Bloom is grateful to the committee members who organized the Plein Air event, our Board members, the artists who participated and those who advised us, our judges, and the guests who attended the reception that evening. Special thanks go to our wonderful sponsors: Stone & Alter Real Estate Company, The Gatesworth, Garden Heights Nursery, Blick Art Materials U City, Commerce Bank, Crow Takacs Law Firm, Jeri Devereaux, Droege Tree Care, Fitz’s Root Beer, Hydro Dynamics, Parallel Properties, Reinhold Electric, Inc., Urban Chestnut Brewing, Frontier Wealth Advisors, Winco Windows, Bavarian Enterprises, Helen & Dennis Fuller, Melting Pot Restaurant, Matt’s Auto Service, Patrick & Heather Wall, Jack Breier.