Category Archives: 2017 artists

Alison Menke

Working predominately in oil, Menke is a conceptual impressionist. Her subjects depict natural light while emphasizing the rich colors landscapes have to offer.  Born in Venezuela in 1987 and raised in Maryland, where she now resides, Menke was inspired by the art of her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, American Impressionist Georgia Leigh Caldwell. In 2010 she graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Art and Art History. Over the past three years she has focused her creative stream into plein air painting, entering Plein Air competitions and festivals along the eastern seaboard and winning many awards. Her successes have garnered attention from PleinAir magazine, newspapers and Mid-Atlantic galleries.

Mike McSorley

At the age of eight, McSorley was taking photos with an old camera.  His epiphany came in high school: creating art was what he was destined to do. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Fine Art, and supplemented this education with classes and workshops from local and national artists. His work has been shown in regional and national shows, a handful of solo shows and has won several awards. In the spring of 2015 he was awarded a fellowship to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Since the fall of 2015, McSorley has lived in Washington, D.C.

Patty Voje

Voge grew up on a small farm in Minnesota where she had the good fortune to spend her youth surrounded by rolling hills, woodlands and farm animals. Now a city dweller, she spends weekends driving through the countryside to search for the open land of her youth—scenes that are getting harder to catch a glimpse of, which may be why they figure prominently in her art. She paints in the alla prima style—a painterly approach: large brushes loaded with paint that is sloppily yet thoughtfully laid down. She still resides in Minnesota, splitting her painting time between plein air and studio work. She has exhibited throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Kirk Larsen

Known mostly for plein air, nocturnes and nauticals, Larsen has been honored with 138 awards, including many won at Plein Air events. “When painting,” he says “I feel that all is right with the world. Those who have my art on the walls say it has the same effect.” He enjoys the camaraderie, competition and creativity of Plein Air events and the art they inspire. He was featured in the Mystic Seaport exhibition Modern Masterpiece – 30 Years of the Museum Purchase Award, and is a member of

OPA-signature, ASMA, AIS, CAC, SCNY and MAPAPA.

Jill Stefani Wagner

Whatever she paints, Wagner’s primary focus is always “the light” and how it affects the scene she is trying to capture. A devoted plein air artist, painting yearly in Italy and in Plein Air festivals around the US, Wagner was recently named a Master Pastelist by the Pastel Society of America; her work is seen frequently in Pastel Journal. Fine Art Connoisseur magazine has highlighted her pastels and in 2016, her pastel painting appeared on the cover of PleinAir magazine. In 2016 and 2017 she was on the faculty of the Plein Air Convention. Wagner is a life-long Michigander with a BFA from The University of Michigan School of Art.

Russell Jewell

Jewell is a nationally recognized plein air painter. A signature member of the National Watercolor Society and The Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Jewell has overseen works of art produced for corporations such as Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Greenville Hospital System and Greenville’s KROC Community Center. He holds a Doctorate in Art Education from the University of Georgia, was a Fulbright Memorial Scholar to Japan and received a United States Patent for his Jewell-Box Viewfinder. Jewell’s work has been purchased through four separate museum purchase awards. He has received several awards in recent Plein Air competitions in Maryland, including Best Quick Draw with Mountain Maryland in 2016.

Russell Jewell’s work
can be viewed at:

Bruno Baran

Baran is an accomplished educator and artist residing in Perry Hall, Maryland. A cum laude graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, he began his art instruction in the Baltimore County Public School system in 1976.  An instructor and former Chairman of Fine Arts at John Carroll High School, Baran’s true love is producing oil paintings. He has participated in numerous exhibitions and competitions; his pieces are owned by celebrities and dignitaries throughout the United States and abroad, displayed by numerous businesses, featured in local galleries, including Crystal Moll Gallery, and published in 100 Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic by Gary Pendleton.

Christopher Leeper

Leeper is a realist painter working in all mediums. His award-winning work has been shown in solo and juried exhibitions throughout the country. He has illustrated four children’s books and wrote and illustrated the book Realism in Watermedia (North Light). His work has also been featured in The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor Magic, PleinAir magazine, Ohio magazine and Splash 14 (North Light). A popular instructor, he teaches numerous workshops each year. He is a member of the adjunct faculty in the Department of Art at Youngstown State University, a member of the Oil Painters of America, Ohio Plein Air Society and past president of the Ohio Watercolor Society.

J. Stacy Rogers

Rogers has been painting in the Lambertville, New Jersey/New Hope, Pennsylvania area since 2000. He established a fifty-member Plein Air painting group in the historic, art-centric location along the Delaware River. A veteran of many local, regional and national solo and group art exhibitions with award-winning paintings including landscapes, the figure and portraits, Rogers relocated to Lewes, Delaware in 2015. He is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, the Portrait Society of America and the Oil Painters of America.