The 15th Annual Art of the Portrait Conference opened its doors in Georgia at 4:00 PM, Thursday afternoon, but attendees began to line up for their registration packets well before that. It's not that the registrants needed to worry about a delay in getting their tickets, badges, and schedules if they were to have shown up later; in fact, the Portrait Society has, in all its experience, made the process of signing-in a quick and painless process. No, it's the the anticipation - the excitement over the weekend to come - which drew the crowd early.
What better way then to serve that excitement than by offering attendees, not just one up-and-close painting demonstration by a top representational artist, but a ballroom full of simultaneous portrait demos by more than a dozen of today's most-skilled painters?
The Face-Off, in which 15 faculty members show their alla-prima painting skills at once, is one of the favorite regular events held at the conference. Working three artists to a model, the demonstrators are given two-and-a-half hours (including breaks) to capture the likeness of their professional sitters, while the audience watches from just a few feet away. Viewers can pick a favorite artist to watch, or circle the room, taking-in everyone's progress over the course of the night.
This year's participants were Michelle Dunaway, Jeffrey Hein, Quang Ho, David Kassan, Ann Manry Kenyon, Bart Lindstrom, Sherrie McGraw, Thomas Nash, Evert Ploeg, Lynn Sanguedolce, William Schneider, Daniel Sprick, Joseph Todorovitch, Aaron Westerberg, and Dawn Whitelaw.
After the evening ends, the Face-Off studies are put on display, and conference-goers are tasked with challenge of choosing one artist, based on their painting, to do a two-hour demonstration on the main stage on Saturday morning. When the voting ended at 4:00 PM on Friday, artist Jeffrey Hein was the artist chosen - but it was we the attendees who were the winners.
Join Hein on Saturday at 10:00 AM for his demonstration during which he will paint fellow-artist Katherine Stone. Both Hein and Stone are finalists in this year's Portrait Competition.
|(l-r) Evert Ploeg, Ann Manry Kenyon, and Daniel Sprick|
|(l-r) Dawn Whitelaw, Thomas Nash, and William Schneider|
|Joseph Todorovitch (foreground) and Bart Lindstrom|
|(l-r) Bart Lindstrom and Joseph Todorovitch|