Plein Air Moab 2018 Judges

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Alan Petersen,

Curator of Fine Arts at the Museum of Northern Arizona, worked on the South Rim of Grand Canyon for three years before moving to Flagstaff to attend NAU in 1980. He also worked as a river guide on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon for eight years. Alan has curated exhibitions of work by such notable artists as Gunnar Widforss, Joella Jean Mahoney, Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton, Merrill Mahaffey, Bruce Aiken and Ed Mell, among many others.

Alan is currently working on a book on Gunnar Widforss’ life and art, and a catalogue raisonné of Widforss’ paintings. Currently, he has more than 1,200 paintings listed in the catalogue and has published a number of articles on the artist. He recently returned from Sweden where he met with members of Widforss’ family and photographed paintings by the artist in their collections. Alan is also working on a comprehensive monograph on painter Merrill Mahaffey.

Alan teaches art history, painting, and courses pertaining to the Colorado Plateau region at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff where he has taught since 1992. His own paintings have their source in the light, space and landforms of the Colorado Plateau, and explore the formal relationships between color and pictorial space.


Susan Gallacher,

is a fifth generation Utahan where she grew up inspired by the expansive beautiful landscape surrounding her. Countless family day trips to observe her ancestors pioneer homesteads gave Susan a lifetime passion for painting these powerfully magical scenes directly from nature along with the seemingly endless varying landscape. 

   In 1982 Susan established an art academy in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City, Utah, where she has a private studio, gallery and large teaching studio. Her commitment to help inspiring artists fulfill their dreams has kept her continuously teaching and holding two life drawing sessions a week ever since. Several other major artists including her mentor University of Utah professor Paul Davis, teach workshops for her Kings Cottage Art Academy both in Salt Lake and in Spring City, Utah, where Susan also lives part time in this small rural historic town.

   She has been written about in several major books including A Century of Sanctuary, Painters of Utah’s Canyons and Deserts, Artists of Utah, The Best of Flower Painting, Utah Painting and Sculpture and Strokes of Genius. She has been written about in several magazines including articles with photographs, The Western Art Collector, October   2010 issue, Utah Homes and Gardens, 2004 Modern Issue, Utah Preservation volume Six, and articles in several online magazines including 15 Bytes, Provo Word, Outdoor Painter, etc.  Images of her paintings have been published in several calendars by various organizations including First National Bank 2008 and Community Nursing Service 2009. Her artwork has been purchased for several Museums, Banks, Cities, County and State collections along with many private collectors.