Artists spend half-day painting the town in competition

EUGENE, Ore. -- Paint brushes in hand, competitors in the Plein Air Paint Out spent the day capturing a Eugene cityscape on canvas for cash and prizes.

Wednesday's event was a collaboration between Create Eugene, and the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts (or DIVA), allowing artists from all over to show off their talent.

DIVA president Miriam Jordan said that artists in the Plein Air Paint Out got a map of locations spread across the city to choose from.

"We have so many talented artists in Lane County and they need to be acknowledged as well as rewarded," Jordan said.

Competitor Patti McNutt, who chose to paint in the downtown park blocks, said she agrees with Jordan's take on the competition.

"Recognition is good if you're trying to get in a show. If you're an honorable mention in something like this, that's really nice," said McNutt.

Artists had until 3 p.m. to finish their piece before putting it on display in Kesey Square.

Judges then decide who gets to take home prizes, including a $2,000 for first place.

Art from the competition will be displayed at DIVA through the end of the month and a reception will be held at their location at 5 p.m. Friday.

Both Create Eugene and DIVA said they plan to host similar competitions in the future.