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Dan Guida Award new this year

The late Dan Guida created the Red Wing Arts Plein Air in Red Wing. The 2018 event is the 11th annual and will include an award named for him. Chad Achen / Contributor

An award honoring the late Dan Guida will be presented for the first time this year at Red Wing Arts' 11th annual Plein Air competition.

Guida, longtime director of the arts group, launched the outdoor painting festival 11 years ago. He died in January 2017.

Guida family members will select the winner based on "the painter/painting which best demonstrates the plein air technique in displaying the scenery of the Red Wing area," according to his daughter, Emily Guida Foos.

"Plein Air holds a very special place in my heart," said Foos, who is executive director of Red Wing Arts. "It is one of those things that will always connect me to my dad. ... You could see the joy and pride in his eyes when he talked and planned this event."

She and daughter Gabby, 12, came to Red Wing for at least six of the festivals, Foos said. "Many of the artists are repeat participants and have become part of the Red Wing Arts family."

Her daughter built a cherished relationship with one of those artists, Foos added. "Gabby would seek him out in town and sit next to him and his dog, watching him paint and attempting her own plein air art."

This year for the first time there will be a special plein air painting contest for children the morning of June 16.

"Plein Air is an event filled with energy, emotion and awesome talent. The Guida family has committed to yearly supporting the festival to ensure its continued success," Foos said.

A total of $1,400 in cash awards will be presented at the end of the week. In addition to first-, second- and third-place honors, there will be a $300 award from the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota for "Best Sense of Place."

For the Kids Paint Out there will be three small cash awards based on participating age groups.