Show Preview | Telluride Plein Air

Telluride, CO
Sheridan Opera House, June 29-July 5

Mat Barber Kennedy, Alta, watercolor, 10 x 30.

Mat Barber Kennedy, Alta, watercolor, 10 x 30.

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

Tucked away in a box canyon and surrounded by the towering San Juan Mountains, the historic mining town of Telluride, CO, is a small community with loads of character, from its old mining relics, ornate Victorian homes, and clapboard storefronts to its lush evergreens, blossoming meadows, and alpine waterfalls. What plein-air artist wouldn’t want to paint the Rocky Mountain village? For 15 years, the Sheridan Arts Foundation has had no trouble finding talented painters to do just that at its annual juried event, Telluride Plein Air. The weeklong paint-out kicks off this month on Friday, June 29, when 23 top plein-air artists from around the country set out to portray the town’s scenic sights. Completed works are then rounded up for a three-day art show and sale beginning on Tuesday, July 3, in the Sheridan Opera House courtyard and Elks Park.

“It’s one of the most beautiful weeks in Telluride because it’s right before our monsoon season, and the flowers are blooming,” says marketing director Kathrine Warren. “We give the artists a list of suggested spots within a 30-mile radius, which gives them so many options. Many of these are iconic scenes that let you know it’s Telluride.”

Participants include six top-selling artists from last year’s event: Suzie Baker, David Dallison, Christine Lashley, Mat Barber Kennedy, Wayne McKenzie, and Bill Meuser. But there are also plenty of new faces this year, notes Warren, including Jason Bowen, David Diaz, and
Jie Wei Zhou.

Event-related activities include a wine-fest patron reception at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 1, followed by a two-hour Quick Draw along Colorado Avenue at 11 a.m. On Monday at 5 p.m., each artist showcases their favorite piece at the opera house’s SHOW Bar, and at 6:30 p.m., the Artists’ Choice award winner is announced. On Wednesday morning, the art sale takes an hour-long pause as the public gathers along Main Street for the town’s Fourth of July parade, a festive tradition complete with costumes, horses, and fireworks.

Throughout the week, each artist creates as many as 20 works, amounting to more than 250 oil, pastel, and watercolor paintings for sale. (Artworks shown here were created last year.) Proceeds from art sales benefit community programming and restoration of the Sheridan Opera House, the town’s centuries-old theater. —Kim Agricola

contact information
970.728.6363
www.telluridepleinair.com

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

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