Aspen Plein Air Festival returns with 21 artists | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Plein Air Festival returns with 21 artists

The view from artists Lindsay Ternes' easel this week during the Plein Air Festival.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: Plein Air Festival

When: Through Sunday, Aug. 16

Where: In and around Aspen

More info: www.aspenart.org

What: Quick Draw Competition

When: Friday, Aug. 14, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Mill Street pedestrian mall

How much: Free

What: Plein Air Exhibition and Sale

When: Friday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 15, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Limelight Hotel

How much: Admission is free, art is not

Easels and artists have been a frequent outdoor site this week, as the sixth annual Plein Air Festival is underway in Aspen.

Artists arrived Sunday and have been working their canvases in the open air (which is the definition of Plein Air) ever since across the Aspen area, capturing street scenes on the pedestrian malls downtown, painting mountainscapes at Maroon Lake and depicting the natural wonders of Independence Pass. One group spent a day taking in rural scenes at the Moore ranch on McLain Flats Road.

In all, there are 21 artists here this year — the most in the outdoor painting festival’s local history, and more than half of them this year are from the Roaring Fork Valley. They’re all expected to complete at least six original works during the festival.

This year the festival is being hosted by the Red Brick Center for the Arts, which has taken the reins from the Telluride Sheridan Arts Foundation and the Wheeler Opera House, with sales benefiting the local nonprofit’s education programs. The Red Brick was involved for the first time last year, in a limited capacity. When the Wheeler signaled it would bow out last year and the Sheridan opted to take a hiatus from the Aspen event, Red Brick executive director Angie Callen said the nonprofit decided to take the festival on.

“We thought it was something we could do, that it would be a great fundraiser for us, and we felt like if we didn’t jump on the opportunity someone else would,” Callen said.

The Red Brick tweaked the event to fit its mission to support local artists. Most notably, the nonprofit limited the Plein Air field to Colorado artists — in past years it drew from national applicants — and landed a diverse group from every corner of the Centennial State. Among the field is Durango’s Peter Campbell, who has taught plein air painting for two decades and has drawn international attention for his work, but never partaken in a festival.

The Red Brick also brought 14 local artists on board.

“We wanted to make it a celebration of local plein air artists,” she said.

The Red Brick also moved the event from event-glutted early July to mid-August, in the hopes of capturing more attention. Callen said the Red Brick board wants to make it a fixture on Aspen’s midsummer arts event calendar and a Red Brick staple.

“We’re committed to this festival,” she said.

After a week of exploration and artistry, the festival’s culminating events began last night with a community reception at the Red Brick, previewing one work by each Plein Air artist (they got to pick their favorite) and an audience and artist vote on their favorite among them for a cash prize.

The annual “Quick Draw” competition, on Mill Street pedestrian mall, scheduled for Friday morning, challenges artists to start and finish a new work in a two-hour time frame. Those paintings will be on-sale immediately after the competition.

The main event, the exhibition and sale, runs through Sunday at the Limelight Hotel. Callen said she expected price points to run from around $300 to $1,800, skewing slightly lower than years past.

“It’s a wider range that hopefully makes it more approachable for people to start collecting plein air works,” Callen said.

atravers@aspentimes.com


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

Aspen Plein Air Festival returns with 21 artists

The view from artists Lindsay Ternes' easel this week during the Plein Air Festival.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: Plein Air Festival

When: Through Sunday, Aug. 16

Where: In and around Aspen

More info: www.aspenart.org

What: Quick Draw Competition

When: Friday, Aug. 14, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Mill Street pedestrian mall

How much: Free

What: Plein Air Exhibition and Sale

When: Friday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 15, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Limelight Hotel

How much: Admission is free, art is not

Easels and artists have been a frequent outdoor site this week, as the sixth annual Plein Air Festival is underway in Aspen.

Artists arrived Sunday and have been working their canvases in the open air (which is the definition of Plein Air) ever since across the Aspen area, capturing street scenes on the pedestrian malls downtown, painting mountainscapes at Maroon Lake and depicting the natural wonders of Independence Pass. One group spent a day taking in rural scenes at the Moore ranch on McLain Flats Road.

In all, there are 21 artists here this year — the most in the outdoor painting festival’s local history, and more than half of them this year are from the Roaring Fork Valley. They’re all expected to complete at least six original works during the festival.

This year the festival is being hosted by the Red Brick Center for the Arts, which has taken the reins from the Telluride Sheridan Arts Foundation and the Wheeler Opera House, with sales benefiting the local nonprofit’s education programs. The Red Brick was involved for the first time last year, in a limited capacity. When the Wheeler signaled it would bow out last year and the Sheridan opted to take a hiatus from the Aspen event, Red Brick executive director Angie Callen said the nonprofit decided to take the festival on.

“We thought it was something we could do, that it would be a great fundraiser for us, and we felt like if we didn’t jump on the opportunity someone else would,” Callen said.

The Red Brick tweaked the event to fit its mission to support local artists. Most notably, the nonprofit limited the Plein Air field to Colorado artists — in past years it drew from national applicants — and landed a diverse group from every corner of the Centennial State. Among the field is Durango’s Peter Campbell, who has taught plein air painting for two decades and has drawn international attention for his work, but never partaken in a festival.

The Red Brick also brought 14 local artists on board.

“We wanted to make it a celebration of local plein air artists,” she said.

The Red Brick also moved the event from event-glutted early July to mid-August, in the hopes of capturing more attention. Callen said the Red Brick board wants to make it a fixture on Aspen’s midsummer arts event calendar and a Red Brick staple.

“We’re committed to this festival,” she said.

After a week of exploration and artistry, the festival’s culminating events began last night with a community reception at the Red Brick, previewing one work by each Plein Air artist (they got to pick their favorite) and an audience and artist vote on their favorite among them for a cash prize.

The annual “Quick Draw” competition, on Mill Street pedestrian mall, scheduled for Friday morning, challenges artists to start and finish a new work in a two-hour time frame. Those paintings will be on-sale immediately after the competition.

The main event, the exhibition and sale, runs through Sunday at the Limelight Hotel. Callen said she expected price points to run from around $300 to $1,800, skewing slightly lower than years past.

“It’s a wider range that hopefully makes it more approachable for people to start collecting plein air works,” Callen said.

atravers@aspentimes.com


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.