Two chances to celebrate painting ‘en plein air’

By Kathleen d’Angelo

Practitioners and aficionados of painting en plein air will be drawn to Iowa County this and next month by Mineral Point’s fifth annual Paint the Point and Taliesin Plein Air in Spring Green.

5th Annual Paint the Point, Aug. 8-11

Building on the success of previous editions of Paint the Point plein air painting competitions, outdoor painters will set up their palettes and canvases Aug. 8-11 throughout the historic mining town of Mineral Point. All 45 available openings were filled nearly two months in advance of the event, according to organizer Arts Mineral Point, Inc., demonstrating its popularity among professional artists from seven states.

Artists compete for over $5,000 in cash prizes in three separate competitions during the four-day event. Paintings will be displayed and sold 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 11 at the historic Masonic Lodge, 304 High St., in Mineral Point.
In the Main Event category, artists paint from Aug. 8 through the afternoon of Aug. 10. They will capture landscapes and farms as well as scenes of the historic town. On Friday afternoon, a jury of art professionals judge two paintings submitted by each artist.
The Nocturne Event begins at dusk Aug. 8 with participating artists painting into the night and submitting their completed paintings the next morning. Visitors are encouraged to visit Mineral Point to watch artists paint by moonlight.

The Quick Paint Event begins at 8 a.m. Aug. 11. Artists have only two hours, from start to finish, to create a painting of the downtown historic district. Visitors are encouraged to watch artists work. Completed paintings are judged and will be available for sale at 1 p.m. in a tent adjacent to the Masonic Lodge.

“Over 150 paintings will be available from the three events,” said Ried Knapp, Arts Mineral Point Board president. “Experienced as well as new collectors will have wonderful opportunities to acquire original art that depicts the enchanting Driftless region and historic Mineral Point.” For more information, see www.artsmp.org/paint-the-point.

Taliesin Plein Air, Sept. 16-22

Next month, Taliesin Preservation hosts Taliesin Plein Air, a celebration of beauty under the umbrella of Frank Lloyd Wright’s design, bringing together 29 regional artists from the Midwest including Wisconsin and Iowa.

Building upon prior Taliesin plein air events and workshops over the past decade, Taliesin Preservation’s week-long painting event on the 800-acre Taliesin estate will afford artists the freedom to paint any outdoor subject or setting within the boundaries established on the private estate, culminating with a Buyers’ Reception and Quick Paint Off-the-Easel for artists to showcase a selection of paintings for purchase. Income generated from the week-long event will directly support the artistic, cultural and educational programs that breathe life into the buildings.

By Georgene Pomplun

Plein air painting is a popular and interpretive approach to learning from nature – also at the root of influence for Frank Lloyd Wright. Fused with the iconic architecture at Taliesin are patchworks of organic farmland, restored prairies, intimate waterways, stunning oak trees, orchards, gardens, vineyards and collections.

At 6-9 p.m. Sept. 21, the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center will be transformed into an art gallery overlooking the Wisconsin River. Art lovers and collectors will meet and mingle with the Taliesin Plein Air artists, and enjoy the first opportunity to purchase paintings created by each artist. All artwork is for sale and ready to go home that evening. The evening includes hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a cash bar and an Artists’ Choice Award.

The following morning a two-hour Quick Paint Celebration kicks off at 9 a.m. This free event for all ages invites art enthusiasts to watch the featured artists paint on the Taliesin estate, followed by an Off-the-Easel Sale beginning at noon and a People’s Choice Award, where the public will vote on their favorite painting. Food and beverage will be available for purchase.

For more information, see www.taliesinpreservation.org.