To celebrate the National Park Centennial, the National Park Service and St. Johns Cultural Council teamed up to coordinate Find Your Park Plein Air, which was a nine-day event where artists created art “in the open air” at the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monument. At the end of the nine-day event, participating artists submitted up to two pieces of artwork created during Find Your Park Plein Air to be part of a juried show at the Lightner Museum, which is the America’s Parks exhibition. A total of 56 works were submitted, and 18 works were selected to be part of the upcoming exhibition. Of the 18 works, five were selected to receive awards. The recognized artists include:
- Lyn Asselta of St. Augustine – Best of Show ($1,000)
- Gail Beveridge of Jacksonville – Best of Media: Painting ($500)
- William Lurcott of Flagler Beach – Best of Media: Pastel ($500)
- Roger Bansemer of St. Augustine – Honorable Mention ($250)
- Claire Kendrick of St. Augustine – Honorable Mention ($250)
- Artists selected to be part of the juried show include: Ray Brilli of Palm Coast; Martha Ferguson of St. Augustine; Valarie Forrester of St. Augustine; Linda Holmes of St. Augustine; Karlene McConnell of Ormond Beach; Denis Pellerin of St. Augustine; Randy Pitts of Jacksonville; Elbert Shubert of Jacksonville; Teri Tompkins of St. Augustine; and Leah Wiedemer of Deland. Nelda Damiano, associate curator of the Cummer Museum, served as the juror. All 18 works selected to be part of the juried show will be on display as part of the America’s Parks exhibition from June 10 to Aug. 31, 2016, at the Lightner Museum. The America’s Parks exhibition is a traveling display of 50 original artworks of parks in North America. The Find Your Park Plein Air artwork will complement the works of the America’s Parks exhibition. Find Your Park Plein Air was made possible through a grant from the Crisp-Ellert Fund of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. The St. Johns Tourist Development Council and St. Johns Cultural Council’s ArtReaches Program provided support for the event. The project would not have been possible without the cooperation of the National Park Service at the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas. Tickets for the opening reception of the America’s Parks exhibition are available through the St. Johns Cultural Council and https://celebrating100years.eventbrite.com. The event will feature “food bites” based on National Parks from many of the St. Johns County independently owned and operated restaurants, including Collage, The Black Molly Grill, The Reef, Culinary Outfitters, La Pentola and many more.