The Okanagan Rail Trail was given some more colour recently.
More than 70 artists from all ages and abilities showed up to take part in a day of painting ‘en plein air’, meaning ‘in the open air,’ June 12 along the lakeshore on the Okanagan Rail Trail between Coldstream and Oyama. The Arts Council of North Okanagan (ACNO) and Opus Art Supplies gave artists a chance to show off their skills while using nature and outdoor senses to enhance their ablities instead of being blocked in by four walls and a roof.
To end the day, 37 of the artists showed their work to a set of judges in a friendly competition. After deciding on categories, they announced that Lake Country’s Ann Willsie took first place in the experienced category while Vernon’s Bev Gordon was the runner-up. Julia Veenstra earned the people’s choice award.
The other categories were: best emerging artist and best youth artist. A prize package from the ACNO and Opus were given to each winner.
“We have been overwhelmed and encouraged by the positive reviews coming in from artists, onlookers and tourists, all of whom want this to be an annual event,” said Sheri Kunzli, ACNO marketing coordinator. “Plans are already in the works for a fall event.”