Douglas Wiltraut-StowawayDouglas Wiltraut, a Banana Factory resident artist and Whitehall Township resident, has been awarded First Place in the prestigious Butler Institute of American Art 80th National Midyear Exhibition for his egg tempera painting, “Stowaway.”

The Butler Institute’s National Midyear Show is one of the longest running juried shows in America. Awards were selected from more than 700 entries by John Vanco, the Director and Chief Curator of the Erie Art Museum. “Stowaway,” which depicts a time-worn suitcase and dome-top steamer trunk that tell the story of a traveler through peeling and tattered decals, is on display through Aug. 28 at the Butler Museum in Youngstown, Ohio.

Wiltraut, one of the nation’s foremost painters in egg tempera and dry brush watercolor, graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in painting in 1973. He is President of the National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic Inc. and the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Knickerbocker Artists Gold and Silver Medals of Honor and the 1998 Arts Ovation Award from the City of Allentown.

Examples of his work can be seen in 10 books including “How to Discover Your Personal Painting Style” by David P. Richards and “The Artist’s Illustrated Encyclopedia” by Phil Metzger, as well as at his studio at the Banana Factory. In a recent exhibition, “American Realism: Past and Present” at the Cavalier Galleries in New York City, Wiltraut’s work appeared alongside iconic artists such as Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth.

The Banana Factory is the home to ArtsQuest’s visual arts education programs and includes 30 studio artists, three galleries and the Lehigh Valley’s only hot glass studio. Studio artists are featured in an annual group exhibit, on the arts center’s featured artist wall and at 11 free First Friday events where hundreds of visitors from the community and beyond come to meet the artists and see their work.

For more information on Wiltraut and the Banana Factory, visit