“Plein air” work has a long tradition in the art world, yet is popular among many contemporary artists too. Many of the well known Impressionists painted their subjects directly in an outdoor natural setting, without aid of a photograph or the comfort of a studio. If you forgot your French, dust off that old Larousse and look up plein. Although the word is used in many contexts, it roughly means “full.” The entire expression en plein air means “outdoors.”

Plein air work has evolved into friendly competitions where artists must complete a piece of art within a scheduled time frame. These events can run from one to several days, often with themed or smaller timed events nested within them. Many have a following of artists who travel to several each year.

In the upcoming KAA Plein Air Event, artists must work directly from their outdoor subject (not from a photograph), and complete at least one ready-to-hang piece of work between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Saturday, July 28, 2018. Artists may choose a location on the “developed” side of Thousand Hills State Park. Our event will allow any fine art medium that can be completed within the time frame! Artists must be at least 16 years old. Plein air art presents challenges, to be sure, but the constraints level the playing field for all participating artists! Our base will be Shelter #3 at Thousand Hills.

If you are an artist, and would like to get started in plein air events, try ours out! We will assist you in unloading and packing up your equipment, and your fee will include advertising, water and snacks throughout the day, a sack lunch, and light refreshments at the reception in the evening. In advance, we’ll provide a list of suggested equipment that will make your experience go more smoothly. But watch–you just might get hooked!

We welcome volunteers to help get artists checked in, help load/unload equipment, and tend to needs of the artists at their various locations at the park. If you’d like to sign up for a two- hour shift, let us know!

The public is welcome to enjoy watching and interacting with the artists as they work, and everyone is invited to see the finished pieces at the reception in the evening! The reception will be at Shelter #3 at Thousand Hills State Park, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. After the event, the art work will be displayed at KAA’s temporary location on South Baltimore.

For more information or a Call for Artists, you may contact…

Judy Neuweg, Director, KAA, (660)665-0500  or the Visual Arts Committee Members: Maureen McHale (660) 665-6920 or Janet Hawkins (660) 956-4139

For details, visit the Downloads page for printable documents about the Plein Air event.

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