Show Preview | En Plein Air Texas

San Angelo, TX
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, October 21-28

Erik Koeppel, Head of the River Ranch, oil.

Erik Koeppel, Head of the River Ranch, oil.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Whether it’s the action-filled stadium of the San Angelo Rodeo Fairgrounds or the peaceful rolling hills and roaming cattle of local ranches, there’s no shortage of inspiration for painters in the fifth annual En Plein Air Texas painting competition. This year the event hosts 34 artists from across the country for a week of painting and events. It all culminates in an expansive exhibition featuring about 275 paintings available for purchase at the Fort Concho Quartermaster & Commissary buildings. (Artworks shown here are from the 2017 show.)

The event celebrates a love of the natural landscape and honors the historic Texas Artists Camp established in nearby Christoval, TX, which helped bring the tradition of plein-air painting to the West. There are a variety of locations for the artists to paint throughout the week beginning on Saturday, October 20. Patrons are invited to observe artists as they paint in places such as the International Waterlily Collection and the small town of Paint Rock, which is home to ancient Native American pictographs. “Each year we’re on new ranches,” says Barbara Rallo, coordinator of the event. “We have an almost unlimited supply of historic ranches, and it’s fabulous for the public to get to see them as well.”

One major event for painters is the 65th annual San Angelo Roping Fiesta. Artists roam the fairgrounds and set up their easels in the stands to depict the vibrant and action-packed atmosphere of the rodeo. “There are horses, livestock shows, and cowboys preparing for their turn—it’s all great fodder for painting,” Rallo says.

Throughout the week, artists bring their finished pieces to the Fresh Paint Gallery at the organization’s headquarters located near the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, where the exhibition is held. Rallo says this allows visitors to see artworks and have the chance to purchase them prior to the opening of the exhibition on Saturday, October 27. Renowned plein-air artist Kenn Backhaus is judge of awards this year.

“Plein-air painting is so much about the culture of the place artists are painting,” Rallo says. “Our culture is the Old West—the roping, the cowboys, the ranches, the scarcity of water—there’s something special about every place.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
325.656.2500
www.enpleinairtexas.com

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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