Last updated: April 09. 2014 11:59PM - 285 Views
By - acrowe@civitasmedia.com

Kevin McNeely won first place for his painting “Gothic Church” in the 2013 En Plein Air art contest. File photo.
Kevin McNeely won first place for his painting “Gothic Church” in the 2013 En Plein Air art contest. File photo.
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FAIRBORN — With local artists preparing works for the Fairborn Art Association’s 2014 En Plein Air Exhibition competition, organizers hope to put to rest a controversy over last year’s winning piece.

A news story published Sunday, April 6, reported that the 2013 winning painting “Gothic Church,” painted by Kevin McKneeley, had gone missing following last year’s exhibition at the FAA gallery, located at 221 North Central Ave.

According to Plein Air Exhibition Coordinator Bob Coates, the painting was not lost, but has been at the City of Fairborn Parks & Recreation office, per the terms of a loan contract with the artist.

“Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding about how and when loaned paintings could be retrieved, but the artist has been notified and put into contact with Fairborn Parks and Recreation,” Coates said Tuesday.

At the close of the Plein Air Exhibition last July, Fairborn Parks and Recreation offered artists the opportunity to exhibit their work at the city offices only, and contracts were signed. The organizers of the Plein Air Exhibit helped facilitate this arrangement, but they were not involved in the agreements.

“I want to assure everyone that the Plein Air Exhibition Committee, on behalf of Fairborn Art Association and B-W Greenway Community Land trust, takes the safekeeping of artists’ work very seriously,” said Coates. “FAA provides a secure gallery space to showcase the paintings for the general public, and anyone who handles the paintings takes great care with them. The Plein Air Exhibition Committee guarantees the safe return of each work to the artist.”

The 5th Annual En Plein Air participants have until June 28 to complete their works at the Cemex Reserve. Entries will be accepted June 29 at the FAA gallery. The public is invited to view the artists’ work on Sundays throughout the month of July.

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