Every fall Kerrville welcomes open-air painters from around the country to participate in Kerr Arts & Cultural Center’s “Plein Air Wet Paint Show & Sale”.
Beginning on a Wednesday, the first three days of this four day event the painters cruise around the Hill Country looking for where they want to set up their easels and begin painting. Some simply find a secluded nook by the Guadalupe River, or set up alongside a country road; others have permission to go onto private property and paint subjects like old barns, weathered fences, curious horses and goats, and rusting old pickups. Each painter soon accumulates a crowd of fans who bring picnic lunches and, from a respectful distance, watch the paintings evolve.
The afternoon of the third day – Friday – the painters all pack up their kits and head to downtown Kerrville for the popular and exciting “Quick Draw” painting contest. In this event painters have 90 minutes to choose a downtown location, get set up, and complete a painting while being cheered on by their followers. This year, as in years past, the organization “Wine Share” set up tables in the middle of the streets groaning with food and wine, creating a downtown Block Party that swirls around the “Quick Draw” painters.
Then promptly at the 90 minute mark the painters wrap up and bring their paintings to the front steps of KACC where they are judged and awards are bestowed. The winner of the Quick Draw 2014 competition was Jimmy Longacre of Dripping Springs for his work entitled “Earl Garrett’s Gold”.
Saturday sunrise sees the painters back at their Hill Country outdoor venues, putting the finishing touches on the paintings they have been working on all week. By Saturday afternoon everyone is gathered at KACC and the paintings – some still literally dripping – are hung in the huge main gallery. At 6 PM the doors are opened to the public and the formal reception and opening of the month-long “Wet Paint Show & Sale” begins, with more wine and food and with a buzz in the gallery that has to be experienced to be believed.
Over 100 art lovers from around the state were on hand for this year’s opening reception, and the awards were greeted with rolling applause.
2014 Best of Show went to the 2013 Best of Show winner Julie Davis of Austin for her oil “Better Days”.
Second Place went to Jim Longacre for “Hill Country Pride”.
Third Place was awarded to Laura Daniel for “Fall Pasture”.
A number of new award categories were created this year in recognition of the diversity of images of the Hill Country captured by the artists.
“Best Sky” went to Tom Hussey for “View From Turtle Creek”.
“Best River” went to Debob Jacob for “Guadalupe River”.
The opening reception saw a generous number of these works sprout the coveted “Red Dot” which means that they are on the way to some lucky art lover’s home, and over the course of the rest of October other Red Dots will appear as visitors admire the work of these unique and talented artists.
As the reception wound down both artists and patrons said their goodbyes, with many promises of “See you next year!” Whether or not you were able to come to this year’s event the artists and members of KACC sincerely hope that we too will “See you next year” – or sooner!