Avery Arts council hosts 'Plein Air' contest in June

Article Published: May. 27, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Pack your paint brushes!

The Avery County Arts Council's taking you on a field trip.

In honor of the Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th anniversary, the Avery Arts Council and the Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery are teaming up for a new event: The Parkway Plein Air Competition.

Plein Air artists paint outside, in all conditions, working to capture an ever-changing light. It's an exciting way to paint, ACA executive director LouAnn Morehouse said.

"It sort of has an immediacy to it," she said.

Between June 24 and noon June 26, artists will be challenged to paint on-location at the Parkway, and onlu on-location at the Parkway.

"The only real parameter is that people paint outside, so they need to be folks comfortable painting out of doors," she said.

And the Parkway gives artists lots of landscape options.

"We have actually given a range of locations, between the Linn Cove Viaduct and the Linville Falls," she said.

All mediums are encouraged, though Morehouse admits some will work better outside than others. She can't wait to see what the artists come up with.

The contest isn't just about the artists, however. It's also about the public.

Patrons of both arts and nature are encouraged to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop to observe artists as they work.

After registering and having their canvasses stamped, artists will set up to paint along the Parkway, and while landscapes are expected, don't be discouraged from other genres.
"We don't limit the style," she said, and that includes abstract.

The Parkway, after all, inspires artists in different ways.

The contest culminates in a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. that's open to the public.

Open to professional and amateur artists, the contest costs $25 to enter (17 and under can register for free), and completed works must be turned in by noon on Saturday.

For more information, call the Avery Arts Council at (828) 898-4292 or visit http://www.averycountyartscouncil.org.

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