Sunday 22 September 2019

Another successful ‘Art in the Open’ proves a big draw

Maria Pepper

Husband and wife artists Anastasia Dukhanina and Antonin Passemard kept it in the family by winning two major awards at Wexford's 12th annual Art in the Open festival which ended on Monday after nine days of outdoor painting trips, masterclasses and exhibitions.

Anastasia, a native of Russia living in France won the overall Mayoral Gold Prize with her painting called 'A Pint' capturing the inside of Mackens pub in the Bullring.

French-born Antonin, a previous prizewinner in the festival, won the Maryland Federation of Art (Annapolis) Silver Award for his nocturne painting of Wexford Bridge.

The pair were among more than 220 artists from South Korea, Iceland, Norway, Malta, Melbourne, Singapore, the US, the UK, Europe and Ireland who came to County Wexford for the art festival and also visited locations in Kilkenny and Waterford during their stay.

Paint-outs took place in Tintern Abbey, Wells House, Ballymore Demesne, Wexford town, Dunmore East and Graiguenamanagh.

The winners were formally presented with their awards at the official opening of a two-day festival exhibition in Green Acres Gallery in Selskar on Sunday afternoon which was performed by Joann Vaughan, Executive Director of Maryland Federation of Art and the Mayor of Wexford, Cllr. George Lawlor.

Almost 700 people attended the exhibition on its first day, including Art in the Open patrons who had first pick of the hundreds of art works on sale during a preview event with prices ranging from €120 to €1800.

The patron scheme, whereby people pay a €50 membership fee and receive the amount off the price of a painting if they choose to buy, was a huge success this year, according to event co-ordinator Alma Hynes.

Silver prizes were won by the following artists: Dubliner Steven Browning (sponsored by Bolands Hyundai); Antonin Passemard (sponsored by Maryland Federation of Art) and Peggi Kroll Roberts, USA (Plein Air Magazine)

Bronze awards were presented to the following winners: Valerie Craig from the USA (sponsored by Kelly's Hotel); Roger Dellar, UK (sponsored by Clayton Whites Hotel; Ned Mueller, USA (sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association); Jeff Monaghan, Belfast (Windsor and Newtown); Emily Faludy, UK (Spectrum Art and Framing); Bill Rogers USA (Talbot Hotel).

A special award was introduced in memory of Wexford gallery owner and supporter of Art in the Open, Denis Collins, who died recently, and this was won by the Gorey-based artist Kate Kos.

A charity Quick Draw at South Main Street in Wexford,in aid of 'It's Good to Talk' counselling service, proved to be a big attraction, with over 90 participating artists who painted street scenes and shop fronts. Some retailers put up prizes for the best painting of their own premises.

Many people bought paintings 'off-easel' on the street, with the artists providing 20% of the proceeds to the charity which also benefited from the sale of exhibition catalogues in Green Acres.

Artist Bruno Baran from Maryland donated a painting 'Safe Harbour, Rosslare' to be raffled in aid of 'It's Good to Talk'.

New Ross Standard