First Friday taps local landscapes

“Our county was just represented so respectfully by these painters in beautiful, sensitive works,” said David Gordon, executive director for the Arts Council of Kern, which organized the first-ever festival.

The artists, including Bakersfield native Keith Wicks and Bryan Mark Taylor, who have previously exhibited in town, spread out through the county Wednesday to Friday.

“We had some really great weather for painting — clouds, cooler temperatures, little bit of rain to clean out the air. They had a lot of diversity. Even the haze worked for their painting.”

On Saturday, the gallery hosted a gala to honor the artists and award the works, judged by Gordon Fuglie, who served at many galleries in the state before helping found the Central California Museum of Art, a collaborative of institutions in the region.

Josh Clare received first place for “The Crown,” Anton Pavlenko was runner-up with “Still Runnin,'” Wicks’ “Guthrie’s Alley Cat” took third, and

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