Plein Air–Easton! Call for Volunteers

The 5th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival is seeking volunteers to help with this exciting event, to be held July 20-26, 2009. Art lovers and fun lovers welcome! Persons of all ages, abilities, and talents are needed before, during, and after the week of the festival. In just four years, this event has become the East Coast’s premier plein air festival and one of Easton’s main attractions. A large part of this success has been strong support from the community and a cadre of dedicated volunteers. Come join us for Plein Air–Easton! 2009, which promises to celebrate its fifth anniversary in style.

Volunteer orientation and training will be held July 16 at 6pm and July 18 at 10:30am at the Academy Art Museum. All volunteers will be treated to a “Meet the Artists” BBQ dinner at the Waterview Grille at Easton Club. Interested persons should contact Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Tong in advance at 410.822.8878 or 410.822.7297.

For more information about Plein Air–Easton! visit www.pleinaireaston.com, email info@pleinaireaston.com, or phone the Plein Air–Easton! Hotline at 410.822.7297.

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Plein Air–Easton! Announces Judges for 2009 Competition

The entry jurist and awards judge have been named for the 5th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival, which takes place July 20-26, 2009. Deadline for entries in the national competition, which draws artists from across the country, is March 6, 2009. Competition artists will be announced March 27, 2009.

The jurist is Jean Stern, a recognized authority on California Impressionism. Mr. Stern has extensive experience as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher. He has been the executive director of the Irvine Museum in Irvine, California since its inception in January, 1993, and has produced a number of traveling exhibitions of plein air and impressionists artwork. He further established a national presence for the museum in the field of California Impressionism through a noteworthy international series of books, exhibitions, articles, video documentaries, and national and international lectures and exhibitions.

Stern is the author of numerous books and articles on California Impressionism, including monographs on important artists such Franz A. Bischoff, Alson S. Clark, Sam Hyde Harris, and Elsie Palmer Payne. Stern has contributed to several books on California art and written essays for numerous books and museum catalogs. Stern and Joan Irvine Smith co-authored California: This Golden Land of Promise (Chapman University Press and the Irvine Museum, 2001), a highly acclaimed history of California, illustrated with hundreds of important historical paintings.

In the another book, Native Grandeur: Preserving California’s Vanishing Landscapes, Stern writes, “When America emerged on the world stage in the mid-nineteenth century, it was with an art tradition that reflected what was paramount to American society: its people and its land. The desire for realistic portrayal of forms has continually been a forceful characteristic of American art.”

During Plein Air–Easton!, Stern brings his expertise about American art to the East Coast. Al Bond, Executive Director of the Avalon Foundation, says, “To have an authority of this caliber as jurist is further evidence that we have established Plein Air–Easton! as a major event in the country.”

Returning in 2009, after serving as the jurist in 2008, is awards judge Brian Stewart (www.stew-art.com ). Stewart is a member of the Classical Realism Society, Oil Painters of America, and California Art Club. He is a Signature Member of Plein-Air Painters of America, an organization he calls “the grand daddy of all plein air groups.”

Stewart received his early training at The Art Center in Los Angeles and later at Atlier LeSuer in Minneapolis, where he learned the classic, academic fundamentals as they were taught in Paris a century ago. He enjoys sharing and passing on these fundamentals through teaching workshops.

Stewart has received many awards for his plein air work, most recently an Art Renewal Center (ARC) International Salon award. A visual raconteur, he’s known and collected for paintings he describes as, “funk, junk and antiquity.” Some of his many fascinating subjects include life and landscapes along the banks of the Mississippi, naive architecture (built purely for function), and trailer parks. His work has been featured in Fine Art Connoisseur, Southwest Art, and The Artist’s Magazine, among others.

A native Californian, Stewart now makes his home in Minnesota, where he can be found playing the banjo when not painting. In the late 1980s, Stewart left a successful career in advertising to become a painter. He says he’s never looked back. “The journey has given me a lifetime of experiences, travels and memories,” he says.

Plein Air–Easton! is presented by Easton Main Street in partnership with the Avalon Foundation and hosted by the Academy Art Museum, which provides an accredited museum venue for the competition exhibit. The Avalon Foundation maintains communications with artists and the general public. Donations from Friends of Plein Air–Easton! support the event while promoting conservation and tourism through the arts and a strong sense of place. For more information, judge’s bios, galleries, itineraries, and artists’ prospectus, visit www.pleinaireaston.com or call 410-822-7297.

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Plein Air–Easton! Artists Prospectus Released, Dates Announced

Now is the time to gear up for the 5th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival, to be held July 20-26, 2009. The Competition Prospectus, which describes the process for artist entries, gives information about the entry jurist and awards judge, and outlines the competition guidelines, will be released December 1, 2008.

America has caught plein air fever, as this spontaneous and exciting art form­where artists leave their studios to paint “in the moment” amidst the great outdoors­experiences a robust revival that has spurred a new art movement. Plein air events and artist groups have emerged from coast to coast. Plein Air–Easton! has quickly established itself as the East Coast’s premier plein air festival. Many are calling it the top event in the country.

Artists, art collectors, art and nature enthusiasts, students, tourists, local businesses, and spectators alike have discovered that this event truly lives up to its slogan of offering “Art for Everyone.” Plein Air–Easton! has become one of Easton’s largest events. Over each of the event’s previous four years, Plein Air–Easton! has it attracted crowds and posted increasingly impressive figures for art sales.

Important Dates
December 1, 2008: 2009 Competition Prospectus released to artists and general public
March 6, 2009: Submissions deadline for entry in national competition
March 27, 2009: Announcements of Competition Artists
July 20-26, 2009: Competition & Arts Festival

Plein Air–Easton! is presented by Easton Main Street in partnership with the Avalon Foundation and hosted by the Academy Art Museum, which provides an accredited museum venue for the competition exhibit. The rapid success of Plein Air–Easton! has largely occurred because of the talents and dedication of festival organizers and community volunteers who have worked tirelessly to establish the event. The Avalon Foundation will continue to maintain communications with artists and the general public. Donations from Friends of Plein Air–Easton! support the event while promoting conservation and tourism through the arts and a strong sense of place.

Mark your calendars now for the 5th Annual Plein Air–Easton! July 20-26, 2009. For more information, call 410-822-7297 or visit www.pleinaireaston.com.

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Plein Air–Easton! Photography Contest Winners to Be Announced September 5

The 2nd Annual Plein Air–Easton! Photography Contest received almost 100 entries and all of them will be on display during the month of September at the Talbot County Visual Arts Center. The exhibit will open September 5th with an awards ceremony at 6pm during the First Friday Gallery Walk.

All contest images depict aspects of this year’s Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival held in July. The festival drew dozens of artists and crowds of art enthusiasts from across the country and around the region. The Photography Contest followed suit, attracting professional, amateur, and student photographers from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and one entry from Mississippi.

The 2008 Plein Air–Easton! Photography Contest judges were James L. Amos (jameslamos.com) and Steve Buchanan (buchananphotography.com). Amos had a 26 year career with National Geographic. He was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association in 1969 and 1970 and received many awards from the White House News Photographers Association. Buchanan is a well known regional photographer, whose work appears in many publications, including Chesapeake Life, Maryland Life, and Urbanite, among others. Both Amos and Buchanan will attend the awards ceremony.

Cash prizes will be awarded and entries will be displayed in a touring exhibit, which will continue through 2009, including a final showing at the Academy Art Museum during the 2009 Plein Air–Easton! Competition Exhibition.

The contest is coordinated by Paragon Light ( www.paragonlight.com) and supported by the Talbot County Arts Council. For more information about the photography contest, visit www.pleinaireaston.com, email dorbin@paragonlight.com or call 410.820.7738.
For more information about the 2008 Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival, visit www.pleinaireaston.com, e-mail info@pleinaireaston.com, or call 410.822.7297.

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Plein Air–Easton! Adds New Award for Best Depiction of “Vanishing Landscape”

Plein Air–Easton! has added a new award to this year’s national competition and sale, which takes place July 21-27. The artist who paints the best depiction of a “Vanishing Landscape” will receive a $2,000 cash award, sponsored by the Bay Hundred Foundation.

Plein air painters venture from the comfort and structure of a studio to work “in the moment” as they spontaneously capture and celebrate the world around us. These adventurous artists will tell you that they depict not only the sights of a setting, but also the smells, sounds, spirit, and historical record of scenes that often are rapidly vanishing from the American landscape.

It’s more than the painter’s light that is transitory; it’s the landscape itself. While agriculture remains the Eastern Shore’s top industry, the region is rapidly losing its rural character and small town charm as growth and development alter the landscape. The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy estimates that approximately 200,000 acres of Eastern Shore land will be developed in the next two decades.

As plein air artists increasingly find themselves working in the shadow of the bulldozer, they often look at their work through a political lens. Art becomes more than something beautiful or profound to hang on the wall; it is a historical record and a convincing way to strengthen a sense of place and promote preservation of vanishing landscapes.

This year’s Plein Air–Easton! competition artists will receive a list of approximately seven locations identified as landscapes that will change or disappear within the next year or so. Paintings created at these places will be eligible to for the Vanishing Landscapes award. The 57 artists who will compete in the main competition come from across the country and are some of the top plein air painters in America. Each artist must enter two competition paintings into the main competition, plus as paintings sell artists may replace them with other works. Thus, paintings depicting vanishing landscapes will be seen not only among the competition paintings, but throughout the weekend.
Works for sale in this category will be exhibited and sold at the Academy Art Museum at the Collectors Preview Party on Friday, July 25 (sold out) and during the free public exhibition on Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27. These paintings are sure to be in demand for their documentary, cultural and sentimental value.

Learn more about the role of art in conservation at a free lecture titled “Thomas Moran to Plein Air Easton!: American Landscape Artists and the Environmental Movement” by Ross Merrill. Merrill is a noted plein air artist, scholar, and Chief of Conservation at the National Gallery of Art. Merrill will discuss Thomas Moran and the creation of Yellowstone National Park, the first U.S. National Park. Moran’s photographic career spanned more than 60 years. He is best known for his panoramic views of the American West and is celebrated as the premier painter of Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Merrill will also discuss the relationships between the Nature Conservancy and Washington Society of Landscape Painters, and between the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association and Echo Hill Outdoor School in Kent County. The talk takes place at the Avalon Theatre on Thursday, July 24 at 8pm.

For more information about Plein Air–Easton!, full itinerary, maps and more, visit www.pleinaireaston.com, email info@pleinaireaston.com or phone 410.822.7297.

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Plein Air–Easton! Sells Out Collectors Preview Party and Winners Paint Out & Brunch

If you haven’t already purchased your ticket to the Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival Collectors Preview Party on July 25 at the Academy Art Museum, or the Winners Paint-Out & Brunch at Rich Neck Manor on July 27, you’ll have to wait until next year. For the second year in a row, the preview party and Sunday brunch have sold out prior to the start of the festival, which runs July 21-27.

The Collectors Preview Party offers the first view and purchase opportunity of the competition paintings, as well as entrance to the awards ceremony and the chance to talk to the competition artists. The price of the ticket may be applied in full to the purchase of a painting at the Academy Museum all weekend or at Sunday’s Winners Paint-Out and Brunch.

“We’re thrilled that collectors are seeing the value of this event,” says event founder Nancy Tankersley, who is also an artist and gallery owner. Tankersley is a 2008 Plein Air–Easton! competition artist, owner of South Street Art Gallery in Easton, and co owner of The Annex Gallery in St. Michaels. “It’s a win-win situation for the avid art lover or emerging collector.”

The Winners Paint-Out and Brunch is a unique event that brings back the romantic tradition of 19th century plein air paint outs. Rich Neck Manor, a stunning 436 acre waterfront estate located outside of the village of Claiborne on Tilghman Creek, immortalizes an irreplaceable landscape and provides the perfect setting for Plein Air-Easton’s final paint-out. This unforgettable event provides guests with a lavish brunch in a tented dining area and an opportunity to take an intimate look at the artistic process. Patrons can tour the beautiful property to watch the winning artists from the national competition and the Quick Draw Competition paint, talk with other competition artists and enjoy live music while waiting for the exciting outdoor exhibit and live auction.

“Plein Air–Easton! has really come of age,” says Al Bond of Easton Main Street, which produces the event along with the Avalon Foundation. “Selling out these events demonstrates how much this event has captured the imagination of the community.”

Those who missed out on tickets will want to be sure to attend a new signature event for experienced, emerging and new collectors on Saturday, July 26 at the Academy Art Museum at 7pm. “From the Artist’s Palette to Your Collection” takes an inside look at art collecting with F. Lennox Campello. Campello, a respected artist and witty art critic with a flair for engaging his audiences with humor, will give a short history of art and discuss the knack of art collecting. Cocktails and light fair will be served and attendees can mingle and view the competition galleries. Seating is limited but Campello’s wit and wisdom can be heard throughout the Academy.

Throughout the festival weekend, there will be opportunities to view and purchase plenty of great plein air art at galleries and exhibits. Winning paintings will remain on display at the Academy Art Museum from 9am to 9pm on Saturday, July 26 (Awards Gallery closed for private reception from 4-7pm) and Sunday, July 27 from 10am-4pm. Weekend admission to the Academy Art Museum is free and open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. Although sales are predicted to be brisk, artists will continually replace sold paintings with new ones (winning paintings will remain on display all weekend). Be sure to visit the exhibit several times to see the evolving exhibit. Paintings will also be sold at the Quick Draw exhibit and sale, which takes place Saturday, July 26 from 12-2pm.

Plein Air–Easton! is presented by Easton Main Street in partnership with the Avalon Foundation and hosted by the Academy Art Museum. The event is sponsored by Friends of Plein Air–Easton!, Corporate Sponsors, and the Talbot County Arts Council. Host sponsors include Bay Hundred Foundation, Wye Financial & Trust and The Talbot Bank, TalbotTown, Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Colors, and Ellen Vatne in Memory of Timothy E. Dills.

For complete festival information and remaining ticket sales, visit www.pleinaireaston.com or call 410.822.7297.

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Plein Air–Easton! Photography Contest Exhibits At Academy Art Museum and 2008 Contest Details Announced

Selections from the 2007 Plein Air–Easton! Photography Contest will be exhibited in the Selections Gallery of the Academy Art Museum beginning on July 21st, the opening day of the 4th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival. The exhibit will run from July 21 through August 31, 2008.

Easton photographer Lin Layton, who won second place in the professional category last year, will also exhibit “”Plein Air Remembered,”” a collection of photographs taken at Plein Air–Easton! in 2005, 2006 and 2007 during July at Church Alley Gallery (32 S. Washington St.). Layton’s plein air photos will also be on display at House of Harrison, Murdoch’s Florist, Oxford Commercial and Coffee East.

Last year’s photography contest brought 88 entries from 28 photographers residing in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Each photographer was permitted to enter up to five photographs in Professional, Amateur or Student categories. Images were required to reflect aspects of the 2007 Plein Air–Easton! event.

The 2008 Plein Air–Easton! Photography Contest will follow the same format. The 4th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival takes place July 21-28, 2008. This weeklong artfest draws top plein air painters from across the United States Photographers will have a wealth of opportunities to capture intimate scenes of artists at work amidst Easton and Talbot County’s spectacular landscapes, marine settings, and village scenes. A total of 57 artists will compete in what has become the East Coast’s premier plein air festival and one of Easton’s main attractions. Paintings by the national competition artists will be exhibited in the downstairs galleries at the Academy Art Museum on July 26 and 27.

The 2008 Plein Air–Easton! Photography Contest judges will be James L. Amos (jameslamos.com) and Steve Buchanan (buchananphotography.com). Amos had a 26 year career with National Geographic. He was named “”Magazine Photographer of the Year”” by the National Press Photographers Association in 1969 and 1970 and received many awards from the White House News Photographers Association. Steve Buchanan is a well known regional photographer, whose work appears in many publications, including Chesapeake Life and Maryland Life, among others.

Again this year, cash prizes will be awarded and entries will be displayed in a touring exhibit, which will continue through 2009, including a final showing at the Academy Art Museum during the 2009 Plein Air–Easton! Competition exhibition.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, August 15, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. All entries must be mounted, framed, and ready for exhibition hanging. Entries should be delivered to Paragon Light, 401-B Brookletts Avenue in Easton. Winners will be announced September 5, 2008 at the Talbot County Visual Arts Center during First Friday Gallery Walk. Contest guidelines are available at www.pleinaireaston.com.

The contest is coordinated by Paragon Light ( www.paragonlight.com) and supported by the Talbot County Arts Council. For more information about the photography contest, visit www.pleinaireaston.com, email dorbin@paragonlight.com or call 410.820.7738.

For more information about the 2008 Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival, visit www.pleinaireaston.com, e mail info@pleinaireaston.com, or call 410.822.7297.

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Plein Air–Easton! Call for Volunteers

The 4th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival is seeking volunteers to help with this exciting event, to be held July 21-27, 2008. Art lovers and fun lovers welcome! Persons of all ages, abilities, and talents are needed before, during, and after the week of the festival. In just three years, this event has become the East Coast’s premier plein air festival and one of Easton’s main attractions. A large part of this success has been strong support from the community. Come join us for Plein Air–Easton! 2008, which promise to be bigger and better than ever.

 

Volunteer orientation and training will be held July 17th at 6pm and July 19 at 10am at the Academy Art Museum. Interested persons should contact Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Tong in advance at 410.822.8878. All volunteers will be treated to a “Meet the Artists” BBQ dinner at the Waterview Grille at Easton Club.

 

Host families are also needed to provide lodging and hospitality for visiting artists.

 

More information about Plein Air–Easton! can be found at www.pleinaireaston.com, by emailing info@pleinaireaston.com, or by phone at 410.822.7297.

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