Show Preview | Plein Air for the Park

Grand Teton National Park, WY
Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, July 18-22

Wes Newton, Jenny Lake Pines, oil, 11 x 14.

Wes Newton, Jenny Lake Pines, oil, 11 x 14.

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

Hidden within the towering mountains of Grand Teton National Park there are sprawling meadows, dense pine forests, and babbling streams that empty into serene lakes. The area offers plein-air painters endless idyllic scenery to inspire their work. This month, artists are painting here for a cause in the seventh annual Plein Air for the Park Show and Sale. The event is a unique partnership between the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters Association and the Grand Teton Association. Proceeds from the sale benefit education and conservation efforts within Grand Teton National Park. “As artists we have a sense of the beauty of the place that our interpretation is preserving, and we’re communicating to the public how important the land is in every way,” says Jake Gaedtke, RMPAP president. “It’s two different interpretations with the same goal in mind.”

Artists arrive on Monday, July 9, and paint throughout the week in various locations across the park. Visitors can watch artists paint when they gather for painting demonstrations. The first is held at the Jackson Lake Lodge on Monday, July 16, from 9 to 11 a.m. Then, on Tuesday, the artists paint in Jackson Town Square from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. “We’ve held back on doing more demonstrations this year because we find that when artists have to maintain a rigid painting schedule, it takes away from the spontaneity,” Gaedtke says. “Mainly we just let the artists paint as they wish so they can produce the best work for a strong show.” The show opens on Wednesday, July 18, with an artists’ reception from 7 to 9 p.m.

The event features some 40 artists, including RMPAP members as well as a handful of invited guest artists. While the majority of the artists concentrate on landscapes, there are several who also incorporate wildlife, still life, and figures. Participating artists include Kathy Anderson, Stephen C. Datz, Peggy Immel, Kathryn Mapes Turner, Susan McCullough, and Greg Scheibel. Landscape painter Josh Elliott is the judge of awards.

Jennifer L. Hoffman has painted in the event since its beginning. “I love being part of it because I live here,” she says. “It’s a great excuse for me to get up into the park and spend a lot of time painting the things I love.” Hoffman, a landscape artist who works in pastels, also enjoys the event because she can show people things they might miss as they visit the park. “New visitors get swept up in those grand views, so they might miss the little wildflower or the small stream trickling through the forest,” she says. “It’s special to be able to share all those levels of inspiration.”

Attendees can purchase works from the show, as well as other works on display in the Reserve Room. The show includes around three paintings from each artist; however, artists can have about
10 additional pieces available in this extra space. “Given how many days we have to paint, artists can be very prolific,” Gaedtke says. “When you’re in this kind of place, you don’t want to miss out on anything. I want to paint everything I can while I’m here.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
www.pleinairforthepark.org

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

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