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Ruston hosts plein air painting competition

May 3, 2018

 

MIA HESTER

Staff Reporter | msh061@latech.edu

 

Julie Crews, first place winner of the painting competition, creating a Ruston landscape. – Photo by Jenna Carrier

 

Local artists showcased their talents and showed appreciation for Ruston landmarks in the city’s first-ever plein air painting competition.

 

The competition was held April 21 in the Cultural District, and the 25 participants were given less than one day to paint a landscape of Ruston.

 

The contest was open to all artists 18 or older who work in pastel, oil, acrylic and watercolor painting.

 

The event was a collaborative effort between local artists Kacey Richard and Liz Zanca.

 

Richard, a freelance artist, lived in Wyoming, where competitions like these are very popular. During her time there, she developed an interest in plein air painting.

 

“I observed plein air competitions and went to a few of the competitions there,” she said. “I thought it would be a really good thing to add to Louisiana because it is not very popular in the south.”

 

Once the idea was formed, Jessica Slaughter, executive director of the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, brought Richard and Zanca together.

 

“We had a coffee date and the idea was just brought up,” Zanca, a landscape artist, said. “We put together a proposal and presented it to a few sponsors, including the Ruston Cultural Board.”

 

The Ruston Cultural Board provides opportunities and funds projects for local artists and contributed the prize money for the contest winners. Other sponsors of the competition included Remax Results Realty and Fine Line Supply Co., who sponsored the people’s choice award.

 

Zanca, who also competed in the event and was one of the people’s choice award recipients, said she felt prepared because she had painted Ruston a few times before.

 

“Painting in one day is very fast paced but if you go in with a plan, it ends up being exactly what you wanted,” she said. “I still would love to add more detail to my painting.”

 

The other people’s choice winners were Marge Collier and Amanda Roe. The first and second place winners were Julie Crews and Emory Nolan.

 

Ricky Sikes, a graduate student at Louisiana Tech, served as juror of the event. Sikes, who is also very active in the Monroe and Ruston art community, said his favorite part of the event was getting to see and be inspired by other local artists’ work.

 

Sikes said he thinks having the opportunity to judge other artists’ work was a positive experience.

 

“I feel like I have something to contribute,” he said. “For me, it is a contribution because I have been doing art for a long time.”

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