This week, we are joined by John Lasater, the 2014 Artist in Residence for the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, thanks to a generous Art and Nature grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation.  John is an active fine artist, travelling the country for outdoor painting (plein air) shows. He has won Best of Show honors in major shows including: Plein Air Southwest, Easels in Frederick, Plein Air Rockies and Plein Air on the White River.

Mark your calendars for the second “Illinois River Salon”, a rare and wonderful gift to our region made possible by the Illinois River Watershed Partnership and the Windgate Charitable Foundation. This is a show dedicated entirely to landscape art inspired by the beauty of the Illinois River Watershed region in NW Arkansas and NE Oklahoma, and featuring exceptional Midwestern and local artists who couldn’t pass up the chance at the $7,500 in prizes.


A few featured artists from the 2013 Illinois River Salon.

October 2nd, 4pm-9pm, will be the opening of the Salon at the Great Hall of Crystal Bridges during the Restoration of Our Rivers Annual Conference. The public is invited to this banquet and silent auction, and the cost is $100/person. Please register online to reserve your place.

The Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

October 3rd through November 15th the artwork will be displayed at the IRWP’s Watershed Learning Center in downtown Cave Springs, and you are welcome to view it during normal business hours, Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm. Or you might consider coming to the Salon’s final reception in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration at the Illinois River Watershed Sanctuary from 10am-4pm on Saturday, November 8th.

As the IRWP Artist in Residence, I will be conducting an outdoor painting workshop November 5-7. There have been three IRWP workshops in the past couple years, and each one has filled up quick. My method as an art instructor is best summed up by Renee G. of Missouri who has taken several workshops with me:

“John Lasater’s class provided me with the instruction I needed to improve as an artist. His teaching demonstrations gave insights into how to improve composition, technique and color harmony.   Students were given the opportunity to practice the skills he taught while he continually monitored and guided us through the painting process. It was a great learning experience.”

Participants from the Plein Air Workshop in October 2013 display their paintings.

Participants from the Plein Air Workshop in October 2013 display their paintings.

Contact Lauren Ray, IRWP’s Education Outreach Coordinator, at to reserve your spot in this free workshop.  As you can see, the fall is chock full of art, and we hope you take a chance to enjoy the Salon or try your hand at outdoor painting. See you then.

Recommended Posts:

And the Winners Are…

An Artist’s Love

Seeing the Beauty Around Us–The Illinois River Salon

Additional Links:

2014 Illinois River Salon Information

Restoration of Our Rivers Annual Conference 2014

Heart of America Artists