|(from l-r) John Ennis, Michelle Dunaway, Tony Pro|
On Thursday evening, May 24th, the 14th Annual Art of the Portrait Conference opened its doors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to portrait and figurative artists from all over the world. Though this year's gathering began with the sad realization that the familiar figure of Gordon Wetmore would not be here to welcome attendees, the camaraderie among the Portrait Society of America's members – fostered by the late Chairman's vision for the organization – soon won out, and in the moments before the first event, old friendships were renewed and new acquaintances were made. It was time for the City of Brotherly Love to bring together these artists in their passion for representational paintings and sculpture.
The first event was the perennial favorite, the Face-Off, in which fifteen members of the faculty painted side-by-side, to offer the audience a glimpse into the alla prima process of painting a portrait. Arranged in the main ballroom, three artists to a model, the demonstrators worked from 5:00 PM until around 7:30 PM, taking only occasional breaks. For the event, the professional models were garbed in Revolutionary Period costumes, and all the participants felt that they had been privileged with a unique and interesting subject, and no matter how much they enjoyed their time spent painting, they wished they could have just one more session.
The Face-Off Painters:
Lea Colie Wight
|(l-r) Casey Baugh, Ryan Brown, Bart Lindstrom|
|Lea Wight (foreground)|