Art: Soda Jerk America

The year's top money event for U.S. artists ($15,250 in prizes) was uncorked in Manhattan this week by the art-conscious Pepsi-Cola Co. It proved to be more rewarding to the artists than to the onlookers.

Called a "Portrait of America," its 20 prizewinners painted languid river and country scenes, flower vases, Negroes at play. Only one of them even hinted that the U.S. had been at war.

Probably the most interesting of the lot was Morning Conference (see cut), which won 38-year-old Gregorio Prestopino a $1,500 third prize. Its three construction workers, talking things over on a snowy day, had faces that might...