Conexión San Ángelo/ Staff report

SAN ANGELO – Local artist JoNell Richardson is among 34 award-winning artists selected out of a field of applicants from 29 states and two countries coming to San Angelo this Oct. 20–27.  The artists will compete for more than $30,000 in cash and merchandise awards in the 5th annual EnPleinAirTEXAS (EPAT). ‘En plein air’ is the French term for painting outdoors. Donald Demers of Eliot, Maine, a Signature Member of Plein Air Painters of America, and highly respected for his marine and landscape paintings, is this year’s juror.

Hosted by the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, EPAT is regarded by artists across the country as one of the premier plein air events in the world. Past years’ artists have taken home four of the seven annual $15,000 Grand Prize awards at the PleinAir Salon, and most of the selected EPAT artists have major wins at top art competitions in the country. The stellar lineup of artists and high sales of the week’s art support SAMFA’s education activities offered free to over 33,000 school children in its 18 county service area.

The artists spend the week painting around San Angelo on selected historic private ranches and on the final weekend they will paint at the world champion Calf-Roping Fiesta. The public may interact with the artists during the week, while they paint at special community events, and during free talks and demonstrations in area schools and downtown venues.

The 2018 Artists include returning Invited Artists:

Erik Koeppel, New Hampshire

 – 2017 Elta Joyce Murphey Grand Prize Winner and Artists’ Choice Award Winner

Patrick Saunders, Missouri 

– 2017 Third Place Award Winner

Also selected as 2018 Competition Artists are:

Lon Brauer, Indiana

John Caggiano, Massachusetts

Hiu Lai Chong, Maryland

Randall Cogburn, Rosharon, Texas

M. Shawn Cornell, Missouri

Charles Dickenson, Florida

Fran Ellisor, Conroe, Texas

Diane Frossard, Tyler, Texas

Nyle Gordon, Missouri

Carole Gray-Weihman, California

Joseph Gyurcsak, New Jersey

Qiang Huang, Cedar Park, Texas 

Kathleen Hudson, Kentucky

Neal Hughes, New Jersey

Charlie Hunter, Vermont

Thomas Jefferson Kitts, Oregon

Troy Kilgore, Indiana

Christine Lashley, Virginia 

Christopher Leeper, Ohio

Susan Lynn, Kansas

Chuck Marshall, Ohio

Kathie Odom, Tennessee

Crista Pisano, New York

JoNell Richardson, San Angelo, Texas

Devin Michael Roberts, Missouri

Jason Sacran, Arkansas

Lauren Sansaricq, New Hampshire

Mark Shasha, Massachusetts

Richard Sneary, Missouri

William Suys, Wisconson

Tara Will, Maryland

Yong Hong Zhong, Oregon

In the 1920s, the distinctive emerald green Concho river south of San Angelo attracted artists and nationally recognized faculty from 22 states to paint ‘en plein air’ at the Texas Artist Camp, which became one of the leading institutions of its kind in the Southwest. EnPleinAirTEXAS rekindles that original spirit and its notoriety puts San Angelo on the national map as a vibrant arts community, showcasing the natural beauty and historic culture of our area in paintings.

All paintings produced during the week-long event are exhibited and for sale Oct. 26-28 at historic Fort Concho. At the awards party that Friday evening, more than $30,000 in cash and prizes will be presented by Awards Judge, Kenn Backhaus of New Hope, Pennsylvania, past president and a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America.

For more information on all events of the 2018 EnPleinAirTEXAS, see the website at

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