MEEKER I Pat Sheeran-Daggett has been a resident and professional Meeker artist for 22 years. For some time, she gently encouraged the Meeker Chamber of Commerce to sponsor one or more art events to bring more art appreciation, artists and maybe even more visitors to Meeker.
Five years ago, the chamber initiated the Meeker Plein Air Art competition and show to be an annual celebration of open air painting. The French “Plein Air” means painting conducted “in the open air,” and completing a painting relatively quickly on location. Part of the allure is visiting the White River Valley, showing the ability to capture the scenic beauty and local culture, and potentially win some of the prize money and sell their work.
“Plein Air Meeker 2016” involved 15 artists. Meeker artists were Maym Cunningham, Pat Sheeran-Daggett and Aubrey Walsh. Craig provided three artists: Catherine Bakos-Snowden, Jane Hume and Terri Robertson. Palisade provided three: Gail Austin, Nancy Lewis, and Kathryn McBride. Maggie Cook came from Grand Junction, Gary Gore from Palmer Lake, Evie Huhta from Montrose and Cedar Keshet came from Paonia. Texas was represented by two contestants, Aaron Cloninger from Austin and Linda Dellandre from Montgomery.
The artists had barely more than two weeks, June 15-30, called the “Paint-Out,” to produce their work. Some submitted only one piece. The most prodigious artists were Bakos-Snowden and Sheeran-Daggett, each with six pieces. A total of 50 works were submitted and displayed in the resulting show at the Meeker Public Library during Range Call weekend.
The final events kicked off Friday evening with the chamber’s Artist and Patron Night Award Ceremony and Patron Art Sale. Patrons and sponsors were allowed to purchase any piece they wished that evening if they met the artist’s price.
The judge’s choice winners were announced Friday. They were Huhta, Best of Show ($1,000) with her watercolor of the Meeker Drug block; Dellandre, Second Place ($500) with her Overlook of the White River; and Lewis, Third Place ($300), with her On the Other Side. Dellandre with Colorado Rocks and Sheeran-Daggett with Catching a Little Shade both received honorable mention and $150.
The art was on display at the library Saturday, Sunday and Monday with the public having the opportunity to place silent auction bids and to vote for the People’s Choice. The auction cutoff and announcement of the People’s Choice was at 3 p.m. Monday. The People’s Choice award and $300 was awarded to Sheeran-Daggett with her View of the Valley from Meeker’s Ute Park, looking across the David Smith Ranch and up Flag Creek.
There were 12 buyers who bought 15 works: locals Diana Jones, Marcia Levy, Kathleen and Reed Kelley, Karl and Mona Maser, Michele Morgan, Sparky Pappas and Pat Walsh, plus Karen Ashton of Salt Lake City, David Coles of Washington, D.C., and Kendra Rhodes of Santa Barbara, Calif.
Jones owns Meeker Drug. She bought Best of Show artist Evie Huhta’s print of Meeker Drug.
The Plein Air 2016 art judge was George Callison of Grand Junction.