Open Season - Art in the Open artists rewarded
Croatia-based American artist Marc Dalessio was the winner of an Art in the Open charity quick draw which drew a large group of professional and amateur painters to the Main Street in a fundraising event for Wexford Marinewatch.
Marc whose sought-after paintings sell for more than €2,000 each, created a busy streetscape which the artist adjudicator Tom King of Castlebridge selected as the best picture.
Rather than selling the painting on street, as many participants do, the winning artist donated it to Art in the Open to auction for Marinewatch and it subsequently raised €550 which was a bargain for the purchaser given Dalessia's reputation.
The charity quick draw raised more than €1,500 for the suicide prevention organisation with entrants being asked to pay €5 admission fee and also to donate 10% of the proceeds of paintings sold on the day. Artists lined the Main Street from the top of Anne Street to the corner of King Street which was this year's designated area and many shops held their own mini-competitions, awarding prizes and vouchers to the artists who created what they considered to be the best paintings of their premises.
Meanwhile, more than 800 people attended the Art in the Open exhibition held in the Old Library building in Wellington Place where 212 paintings created during Wexford's international Plein Air festival were on show, with price tags ranging from €75 to €3,000.
The winner of the Mayoral Award, sponsored by Wexford County Council and presented by Mayor Frank Staples, was presented to Valerie Syms Martin for her 'Line Dancing' painting of a clothes line; John McManus won the MFA silver award for 'Fishermen's Houses Passage East; Roger Dellac won the T.Morris silver award for 'Early Birds, The Yard'; Claudia Aracelli won the Volvo silver award for 'Beached in Ballyhack'; Grahame Booth won the Daler Rowney bronze award for 'Post Office Passage East'; Marc Dalessio won the Winsor & Newtown bronze award for 'Boats at Passage East'; Lena Rivo won the Wexford Storage bronze award for 'The Quays, Wexford'; Natalia Dik won the Greenacres bronze award for 'Quiet Harbour'; Karen Scannell won the Spectrum bronze award for 'Bank of the Nore' and Antti Rautiola won the Kelly's Resort Hotel bronze award for 'The Farmyard, Ballymore'. The artists' choice prize for 2015 went to Dee Crowe for a painting of The Hook.
The 10th Art in the Open festival will take place from July 30 to August 7 with a number of artists having already signed up for the event.