Arts Education Visual Arts

Support Art in Schools at QuickDraw WNC June 11 in Waynesville

Jo Ridge Kelley. Photo by John Highsmith

QuickDraw’s 20th Annual Live Art Demonstration and Auction benefit for art education takes place Saturday, June 11, from 4:30–8:30 p.m. at Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville. The event features a 60-minute quickdraw, in which plein air painters race the clock to complete a work in one hour, followed by an auction of the works and dinner.

“Art is everywhere, and QuickDraw has funded scholarships for art, art education, automotive design, graphic design, animation, architecture, interior design and art therapy,” says event volunteer Sandra Hayes.

Quickdraw artists are fast and focused due to their experience working outdoors and adapting to changing light and weather. Artists thoughtfully honor classical art execution and design tenets while they incorporate materials and textures at a fast pace, to capture the essence of their subject. The resulting work is fresh and energetic, almost an exercise in reductionism. Moments of contrast, more than impressionistic appearance, give a plein air work its energy and verve.

Joyce Schlapkohl. Photo by John Highsmith

“I find it very difficult to produce a large painting in an hour; however, a large canvas delivers so much expression, color and texture, that I can’t resist,” says oil painter and former art teacher Jo Ridge Kelley.

In its twentieth year as a live event, QuickDraw attracts curious newcomers, repeat locals and visitors, and the artists’ followers. Guests come to make friends, build community, meet commissionable artists and keep art education present in public schools. Artists participate to stretch their comfort zones and honor their own teachers, while gaining new collectors and connecting with fellow creators.

“It’s scary and hard to paint in front of people, almost traumatic,” says impressionistic oil painter and QuickDraw veteran Jenny Buckner. “But I keep doing it because I like what QuickDraw does.”

While the quickdraw presents plein air painters racing the clock, fine craft artists will also demonstrate at a slower pace. Two dozen juried artists will create as guests stroll and watch. Mediums include oil, acrylic, colored pencil, clay, mixed media, metal, collage and sculpture. Demo artists bring a finished piece for the auction.

Though the QuickDraw event takes place indoors, the space is open and airy, with vaulted ceilings and large windows. The auction and dinner take place in an outdoor pavilion.

Proceeds buy art supplies for Haywood County public classrooms and fund college scholarships for students.

Laurel Ridge Country Club is located at 49 Cupp Lane, Waynesville. Tickets are $95 and include auction and dinner, and pay for a teacher’s meal at the event. Learn more at

Leave a Comment