Having participated in many Plein Air events, it's easy to see why the Door County Plein Air Festival organizers at the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, WI have become one of the top events in the nation. The highly dedicated women who facilitate this event seem to clearly see what makes it all work and the 2011 festival produced enormous results. At the time of this posting, sales increased by 44% over 2010 with 207 paintings sold in the first two days.
Another major component for the success of this event was the selection of hi-caliber talent. Although I work for Plein Air Magazine and am familiar with many of the nationally acclaimed plein air artists, there were many artists here that have not reached a national stage, yet were exceptional talents. Tom Nachreiner, Mat Barber Kennedy, Frank Gardner, Mark Boedges, Stuart Fullerton, Jim Hempel, Brian Sindler, John Stuart Pryce and William Suys were among those who I admired but had not known and they joined some of my favorites who have achieved a larger audience like Marc Hanson, Colin Page, Joshua Been, Jim Markle, Shelby Keefe, Debra Joy Groesser, Kim Casebeer, Mary Garrish and Ulrich Gleiter. Other artists who haven't been mentioned here also worked hard and deserve mention, but then I would just be listing everyone.
Door County is a gem. The beauty of this peninsula that juts out into the enormous Lake Michigan provides a wealth of painting subjects. We were thrilled to be part of this event and took away lasting memories. Here are some more photos of the area.