Our jury panel of artists and art experts select artists who have demonstrated work fitting to participate in the Professional Artist category for the Plein Air painting and quick draw competition.

Peter Bowe

Saline, Michigan

Peter spent his youth as a deckhand, carpenter, and factory worker which left him with a deep appreciation of land, structure and sky.  He is a gardener and an amateur naturalist and, as a professional picture framer has spent the last 40 years looking at pictures.

John Copley

Ypsilanti, Michigan

John Copley was born and raised in Ann Arbor Michigan, attended Ann Arbor Public schools and the University of Michigan school of Art and Design 1965 – 1969 where he earned a BFA. He apprenticed as a scenic artist during summer breaks learning to paint dye backdrops for theatrical productions 1964 – 1968. In 1972, with partner Zeke Mallory, opened a graphic arts studio named Crow Quill Graphics, creating logos, signs, illustrations and related graphic work until 1984. He also worked with the Housing Design Group of the U of M designing and painting murals for several locations throughout campus. In 1984 he resumed working as a scenic artist designing and painting backdrops and displays for 17 years. He retired in 2001 and is now a studio painter and a member of the Chelsea Painters. His work can be viewed at johnacopley.com.

Gina Ward

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Gina has worked as an Integrated Marketing Manager for Fine Connoisseur and Plein Air Magazine since 2012.  She works with museums, galleries, schools, events and artists in the Central U.S.  She has worked in print and digital media for many years as a publisher of newspapers and magazines. Currently she owns a quarterly, seasonal Edible magazine that covers the local food movement in Northeastern Wisconsin and is a pastelist.  If you ask her what she likes most about her job she will tell you that every day is art school and she loves helping artists achieve their goals.