Show Preview | Telluride Plein Air

Telluride, CO
Various locations, June 29-July 5

Rita Pacheco, Colorado Avenue, oil, 12 x 9.

Rita Pacheco, Colorado Avenue, oil, 12 x 9.

This story was featured in the July 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

As one of Colorado’s most iconic towns, Telluride is steeped in history and surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains, presenting a perfect backdrop for a plein-air festival. This year the 12th annual Telluride Plein Air show begins June 29 and runs until July 5, bringing together 32 nationally acclaimed artists. Presented by the Sheridan Arts Foundation, the festival invites artists from all over the country to explore breathtaking locations and capture the town’s distinctive beauty.

Artists have four days to create works on site, producing around 20 works each, which are later shown at the Art Exhibition and Sale held July 3-5 in the park across from the historic Sheridan Opera House. “You’ll see everything from scenic Telluride mountains to alley scenes to wildflowers,” says Kathrine Warren, public relations and marketing director of the Sheridan Arts Foundation. “Because of Telluride’s historic charm, we see a really nice mix of subject matter.” Visitors can also expect some patriotic scenes, as downtown is full of American flags for the Fourth of July weekend.

The show boasts a mix of new and returning artists, with last year’s top sellers invited back, including Rita Pacheco, Nancy MacDonald, Douglas Morgan, Wayne McKenzie, and Kirsten Anderson. Also invited back is last year’s Artists’ Choice award winner, Susiehyer, who is this year’s poster artist and special guest artist. “Susiehyer was so deserving of the Artists’ Choice last year, and we’re very happy to have her back,” Warren says. “Wayne McKenzie was a ski patroller here in town who had a passion for painting. He started coming to our event, and he’s now one of our top-selling artists.”

Patrons also have a chance to watch artists create during the Quick Draw & Sale, happening downtown on Thursday, July 2, at 10 a.m. Most of the 32 artists participate in the event; they have two hours to create new works, and then all of the pieces are sold in an auction directly after completion. Portions of the proceeds from the auction and exhibit help the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s mission of supporting community programming. “Telluride is beautiful, and the plein-air event produces wonderful paintings,” Warren says. “We have a lot of people get really excited that they’re able to see and interact with the artists around town.” —Joe Kovack

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Featured in the July 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art July 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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