Show Preview | Estes Valley Plein Air

Estes Park, CO
Art Center of Estes Park, August 18-September 30

Jim Rehak, Rocky Mountain Sky, oil.

Jim Rehak, Rocky Mountain Sky, oil.

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

For 15 years, the quaint mountain town of Estes Park, CO, hosted an annual plein-air event. Artists from across the country came to paint the tree-lined cliffs, the crisp lakes, and the charm of the town’s history and culture. But after the host gallery shut its doors last year, the event’s fate came into question. Soon, it found a new home. “The board of directors for the Art Center of Estes Park didn’t want to see it go away,” says Lars Sage, coordinator for the event. “The plein-air community here has been so successful that we wanted to continue the tradition.”

After a yearlong hiatus, Estes Valley Plein Air returns this month with renewed vigor. Artists begin painting on Saturday, August 18, and continue through the end of the month. Then, on Saturday, September 1, the fruits of their labors are displayed in an exhibition with a gala reception that evening from 5 to 8 p.m. (Artworks shown here are representative of works in the show.)

Of the many entries received by jurors, 36 artists were selected to participate. While many work in oils, others use watercolors and pastels to provide unique interpretations of the area. Artists paint within a 50-mile radius that includes Rocky Mountain National Park and parts of surrounding towns. “We want them to broaden their horizons outside of the park so we have a wide variety of views from the area,” Sage says.

Throughout the weeks of painting, artists participate in various group events including a Quick Draw at Riverside Plaza and the Paint Our Town event, both designed to promote the tradition of plein-air painting. Artists are asked to complete a miniature work as well. “It gives us another level of insight into the artist’s specific style and process,” he says.

Sage, who has worked with the event for many years, looks forward to putting his past experiences to good use. “The community and the town are giving us so much support,” he says. “We’re looking forward to everyone coming together to make a successful comeback.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
www.artcenterofestes.com

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

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