Skip to content

Three artists advance to art competition final

Susan Chretien, Kara Palmer, and Annamarie Douglas were selected as finalists

Three Lakes District artists will square off this Aug. 26 in the final of The Search for Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist.

Susan Chretien, Kara Palmer, and Annamarie Douglas were selected as finalists for the event at a timed plein air painting competition held in downtown Burns Lake on Aug. 12. Their renditions of Burns Lake’s urban landscape faced stiff competition from works produced that day by fellow competitors Gemma Elliott, Lynda Peebles, and Barb Durban-Wilson.

The three judges for the event had a difficult time selecting from the paintings produced that day.

Selecting three finalists was difficult,” noted one judge. “All six semi-finalists produced memorable pieces that captured the essence of Burns Lake on a beautiful mid-summer Saturday morning. But the three artists we chose have consistently produced amazing works throughout this competition, and their submission pieces were equally stunning.”

The three finalists come from diverse backgrounds. Chretien is a Southside resident who works in a variety of media. Palmer specializes in fantasy art, but she has proven throughout the competition that she can paint landscapes equally well.

The third finalist, Douglas, is a graphic designer and outdoor enthusiast who has been creating eye-catching advertisements for the Lakes District News and Houston Today for more than 25 years. She earned a spot in the semi-final with her wildcard entry, an acrylic rendering of a waterfront home on the east end of Gerow Island.

The three finalists will have a chance to paint a Burns Lake landmark this weekend. Located at 520 Highway 16 West in Burns Lake, the building now occupied by the Lakes District Museum was constructed in 1937 as the forest ranger’s residence. It is now a heritage building.

The Aug. 26 event will get underway at 10 a.m. Artists don’t have to be one of the three finalists to participate.

“We encourage people to paint along with the contestants,” said Michael Riis-Christianson, curator of the Lakes District Museum. “This competition is about having fun and celebrating the arts, so come out and exercise your creative instincts.”

The winner of this weekend’s plein air paint-off will be commissioned to create a work of art that represents or reflects on the Village of Burns Lake’s first century. It will earn them a prize worth $2,000.

Anyone wanting more information on The Search for Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist can contact the museum by telephone (250-692-7450) or email (