Plein Air event showcases Alpine County |

Plein Air event showcases Alpine County

by Joyce DeVore

Shannon Litz

The third annual Markleeville Plein Air event is June 25 through 29.

Twenty of the most talented artists in our area are going to set up easels out-of-doors, or “plein air,” and the public is invited to watch the artists overcome the challenges of temperature changes, wind, wildlife, and continually changing light conditions to capture the beauty of Alpine County on canvass.

The artists will begin early on Tuesday, as the morning and evening hours offer prime light conditions. Come to Markleeville Art and Soul at 14841 Highway 89, next to the Markleeville Post Office. Event coordinator Evelyn Yonker and/or gallery owner Laura Barr will be on hand to direct people to various locations where the artists will be painting.

Hope Valley, Woodfords Canyon, the East Fork of the Carson River, and Markleeville Falls near Grover Hot Springs are some of the premiere locations. We are fortunate to have such scenic locations that are easily accessible: the artists and the public viewers may only have to take a few steps from the roadside for majestic views.

Painters will continue working Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in locations of their choice.

On Wednesday, there will be a lunch for the artists in Hope Valley.

At noon on Thursday, a portrait painting demonstration will be held in Markleeville. Plan to pick up a lunch at one of our local restaurants and watch artist Debbie Gualco skillfully create a portrait from a live model.

On Saturday, beginning very early, all artists will be painting in the town of Markleeville. At noon on Saturday, the gallery will have a reception. Paintings created during the event will be framed and hung in the gallery for viewing and for sale.

While there are plein air events in other parts of the country that have huge followings, it is unusual for a small town like Markleeville to host such an event. Credit belongs to organizer Evelyn Yonker, who is also going to participate as an artist in this year’s event.

All of the artists in this year’s event are outstanding talents. The list of participating artists includes:

Thaleia Georgiades, an award-winner at the prestigious Carmel Art Festival, certificated art teacher, and avid outdoorsman;

Bonita Paulis, a member of the Pastel Society and local favorite;

Ida Glazier, an Alpine County resident who has won many awards for her landscapes and equine paintings;

Erik Holland, an art teacher in Reno who loves to paint buildings as well as landscapes;

Emma Auriemma-McKay, an architectural designer, who combines design expertise with her artistic talents;

Greg Drinkwine, a signature member of the Student Art League of New York, and a master framer;

Marti Walker and Debbie Gualco, both participatants in the Winters Plein Air Event, will also be painting.

Other returning artists include Cheryl LeClair Soommer, Jane Welles, and Richard Shokouh.

This year there will be several new artists at the event. Susan Levitsky, Carolyn Jean Thompson, and Judith Perry will be painting in pastels. Dana Wayne Phillips, Monika Piper Johnson, June Forman, Carol Grigus, Nancy Clarke, and Evelyn Yonker will be painting in oil.

For additional information, contact Markleeville Art and Soul at (530) 694-2787 or visit the website, where you will find a complete schedule of activities and more information about each artist. To contact Evelyn Yonker call her home studio (530) 694-2750 or email

Joyce DeVore is a Markleeville resident.