Ralph Love Plein Air winners announced, exhibited at The Merc

Winners of the Ralph Love Plein Air Invitational pose for a photo with Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards (front row, second from left). Courtesy photo

TEMECULA ─ The beautiful scenery of the Temecula Valley was offered as inspiration for artists participating in the 10th annual Ralph Love Plein Air Invitational. Local artists were invited by the Temecula Community Services Department to spend one week painting works of art inspired by local scenes. Ten participating artists submitted original artworks for a chance to win a prize in the 10th annual Plein Air Competition.

The anonymous, unsigned pieces were judged at the Temecula Valley Museum by Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards; Bonnie Martland who is an artist and a former art teacher with Temecula Unified School District; Fred and JoAnn Lamb of Fred Lamb Graphic Design and Tony Moromarco, who is an artist, instructor and owner of Bigfoot Graphics.

Scorecards were carefully tabulated, and the art was moved to the gallery at The Merc for the announcement of the winners at the First Friday’s artist reception, Nov. 4.

Barbara Nelson’s piece, “Front and Main,” won Best of Show, the City Purchase Award and $500. Jack Ragland won first place and $200 for his painting “Black Bird has Spoken.” Nelson also won second place and $100 for her piece “Over the Top,” and Ragland took third place and $50 for “Rose Haven Garden.”

“For the 10th year, the city of Temecula is very pleased to host this contest,” Edwards said. “As the city has grown and matured, so has our ability to showcase and celebrate our artists. Though there are only a few winners, the art that is produced each year shows the deep artistic talent that resides in this Valley. We are proud to offer this contest as a way to promote and celebrate that talent.”

The Plein Air Exhibition is on display at the gallery at The Merc until Dec. 31. During the display, members of the public can vote for their favorite piece to win the the “People’s Choice” award. First Fridays will resume in 2018 from January to November as the first friday in December is set aside for Santa’s Electric Light Parade in Old Town. The venue for “Art Off The Walls” is changing from The Truax Building to the conference center in City Hall and other locations to be announced.

Arts, culture and event happenings in Temecula can be found at www.TemeculaCA.gov or by calling (951) 694-6480.

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