Plein Air Invitational 

12th Annual Plein Air Invitational

March 4-April 2, 2018 

In Borrego Springs, March means art – and lots of it. The 12th Annual Plein Air Invitational brings another outstanding exhibition of Plein Air paintings focusing on the unique beauty and environmental significance of the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Borrego Valley. These paintings eloquently testify to the ageless beauty that has been preserved in this special corner of California. The exhibition is a rich diversity of Plein Air paintings by a select group of 15 Plein Air artists working in oils, watercolor or pastels, all producing work for the show during the week of March 4-9. The artists bring their own unique interpretation of the landscape and express it in the medium of their choice, communicating their intense feelings about the scenes they view. 

Curator for the 2018 Invitational, Shannon O'Dunn of O'Dunn Fine Arts, is no stranger to the Borrego Art Institute. As an artist and a gallery owner in La Mesa, California for seven years, Shannon attended many of BAI's Plein AIr openings. In 2016 she accepted the honor of judging that year's Invitational. This past March, Shannon assisted BAI's longtime Plein Air curator Barbara Nickerson and then stepped into the curator position, pulling together the 15 outstanding artists for the 2018 show:

Cindy Carrillo, Arizona; Robert Goldman, Arizona; Thomas Kitts, Oregon; Margaret Larlham, California; Greg LaRock, California; Susan Lynn, Kansas; Patty McGeeney, California; Cynthia Rosen, Vermont; Stock Schlueter, California; Aaron Schuerr, Montana; Cheryl St. John, Colorado; Paul Strahm, California; Barbara Tapp, California; Toni Williams, California; James Wodark, California. 

The 2018 Juror, Richard Lindenberg of Novato, California, a longtime and highly acclaimed artist with a passion for painting en plein air, is currently a marketing manager for Plein Air Magazine. 

The Invitational starts March 4th with six days of painting. The work is judged early on Saturday morning the 10th of March. That evening the awards are presented at a gala reception. Work will hang in the gallery until April 2, 2018. 

11th Annual Plein Air Invitational

March 5-26, 2017 

 Jurored by noted California Plein Air artist Gil Dellinger

the 11th Annual Plein Air Invitational artists were as follows:

Martin Arriola, Judith Doxey, Mark Fehlman, Joe Forkan, Danny Griego, Susan Elwart Hall, Rose Irelan, Thomas Jefferson Kitts, Michelle Valberg Kondos, Susan Lynn, Phil Starke, Barbara Tapp, Mary Ann Warner, Andy Williams, Jim Wodark.

The 11th Annual Borrego Springs Plein Air Invitational Winners:

(Work was judged on the body of work rather than individual paintings)

1st Place: Thomas Jefferson Kitts

2nd Place: Phil Starke

3rd Place: Susan Elwart Hall

Honorable Mentions: Danny Griego, Susan Lynn, Barbara Tapp

People's Choice: Andy Williams

The following paintings are part of each winner's body of work:

Water of Life II, oil by Thomas Jefferson Kitts

Morning, Coyote Canyon, oil by Phil Starke

60 Second Commercial, oil by Susan Elwart Hall

Coyote Canyon Twilight, watercolor by Susan Lynn


Lazy S Curve, oil by Danny Griego


Natural Sculpture, watercolor by Barbara Tapp


Desert Sands Airstream, oil by Andy Williams                            

The 10th Annual Borrego Springs Plein Air Invitational Winners:

1st Place: "Borrego Colors"   oil by Jim Wodark 

2nd Place: "On a Dark Desert Highway"   oil by Danny Griego

3rd Place: "Making the Bend"   oil by Thomas Kitts

Honorable Mention: "Morning Wash"   oil by Paul Kratter

Honorable Mention: "Air Plein"   oil by Rita Pacheco

The 10th Annual Borrego Springs Plein Air Invitational featured these artists:

Juror: Shannon O’Dunn, La Mesa, California

John Berry, Millville, Utah

Rich Brimer, Carmel, California

Patricia Rose Ford, Loma Linda, California

Danny Griego, San Diego, California

Karen Hedges, Laguna Beach, California

Thomas Jefferson Kitts, Portland, Oregon

Michelle Valberg Kondos, Borrego Springs, California

Paul Kratter, Moraga, California

Patty McGeeney, Del Mar, California

Rita Pacheco, Carlsbad, California

Karen Petrovich, Meadview, Arizona

Pauline Roche, Del Mar, California

Stock Schlueter, Eureka, California

Jim Wodark, Orange, California



Borrego Art Institute

665 Palm Canyon Drive

P.O. Box 2383

Borrego Springs, CA  92004


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