Show Preview | Yellowstone Plein Air Invitational

Yellowstone National Park, WY
Various locations, September 26-30

Shirl Ireland, Life Springs Eternal, Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, oil, 24 x 31.

Shirl Ireland, Life Springs Eternal, Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, oil, 24 x 31.

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.

As many as 4 million visitors flock to Yellowstone National Park each year. Many come to enjoy the park’s lush meadows, pine forests, hot springs, and back-country trails. Many also come to witness a few of Old Faithful’s famous eruptions and to view the bison, elk, and bighorn sheep that roam the park in droves. With so much to celebrate, share, and preserve across this 2.2 million-acre wilderness area, Yellowstone National Park has teamed up with Yellowstone Forever—its official nonprofit partner—to present the first annual Yellowstone Plein Air Invitational. On Wednesday, September 26, 14 nationally recognized artists gather to paint throughout the park for four days. Their fresh works are then displayed in an exhibition and sale at the Old Faithful Lodge’s Recreation Hall on Sunday, September 30, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The event is a nod to the many artists who have depicted Yellowstone’s unique grandeur over the past few centuries, including 19th-century greats like Thomas Moran. “Art and artists have played a pivotal role in the history of Yellowstone and its establishment as the world’s first national park,” says Heather White, president and CEO of Yellowstone Forever. “[Our] first annual invitational celebrates that legacy and carries on a great tradition of creative expression in this wonderland.”

Helping to keep Yellowstone’s tradition alive are artists such as Suzie Baker, Kathryn Mapes Turner, Jim McVicker, Rachel Pettit, Grant Redden, and Aaron Schuerr. Over the course of the four-day paint-out, visitors are encouraged to interact with the artists as they capture the park’s autumn colors, light, and beauty. (Artworks shown here are representative of works in the show.) Several painting demonstrations are scheduled at landmarks throughout the park, including Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley, and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. On Saturday, September 29, at 9 a.m., all the artists gather at Madison Junction, where they race to complete a painting in two hours. Visitors can pick up a map of specific paint-out locations at any of the park’s 11 stores.

Each artist contributes three of their fresh plein-air paintings to the art show and sale, along with two studio pieces showcasing the Yellowstone ecosystem. Proceeds from art sales support educational initiatives and priority projects in the park. “Yellowstone is a national treasure,” says White. “We hope this event will inspire artists and visitors from around the country to appreciate and care for this magnificent place.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
406.848.2400
www.yellowstone.org/plein-air

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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