Twenty-two nationally acclaimed artists will gather on Florida's Forgotten Coast to participate in the 8th annual Florida's Forgotten Coast Plein Air Invitational, America's Great Paint-Out, May 2-12, 2013. Painters will set up their easels and pull out their brushes to document the landscape and culture of this last vestige of authentic "Old Florida" – the coastal stretch of scenic North Florida between Mexico Beach and Alligator Point.
The Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art will feature an exhibit of Plein Air work that highlights our local seafood heritage. The exhibit will be open each day from 12-5pm during the 10 day event.
"Plein Air", a French word, simply translated means "open air". The roots of plein air painting are found in 19th-century Europe. An Englishman, John Constable, believed that artists should forget "formulas" and trust their own vision in finding truth in nature.
About the same time in France, in a small village called Barbizon, a group of artists focused their attention on a subject matter that had never been done before: everyday life and the natural world surrounding it. These realists laid the ground work for the next development: Impressionism. Plein air forever changed how artists see the world.
A true plein air painting is done on location, capturing the atmosphere of the moment. The majority of the painting must be completed on site with little to no work to be done in the studio. Most artists agree this is the true test of skill as it requires complete confidence in placement of color and brushwork in a short amount of time. For example, a sunset may only last 30-40 minutes. That would be all the time the artist has to capture the scene.
The event includes 5 exhibits across the coast, daily artist demonstrations, 2 workshops, art sales and a series of public receptions. Art enthusiasts can visit the exhibits and attend the many free special events that occur throughout the 10 day event. "Many artists from across the region gather and paint alongside the event's invited artists; it is amazing to see the art being created" stated Joe Taylor, President of the Forgoten Coast Cultural Coalition. The “Wetroom”, which alternates each year between the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art in Historic Apalachicola and downtown Port St. Joe on Reid Avenue , is always stocked with fresh paintings that the artists deliver daily throughout the event.
"America's Great Paint-Out" is coordinated by the Forgotten Coast Cultural Coalition, a non-profit organization established to produce regional multi-community cultural events that improve the quality of life for the coastal area. The communities of Mexico Beach, WindMark Beach, Port St. Joe, Cape San Blas, Indian Pass, Apalachicola, Eastpoint, St. George Island, Carrabelle, SummerCamp and Alligator Point have joined forces to produce the most impressive art event seen along the coast. Support from both the Gulf and Franklin County Tourist Development Councils as well as Visit Florida has gained the event a national following.
A selection of America's finest plein air artists are scheduled to participate in this year's event, please look over our artist list to see the diverse talent.
Recognizes organization’s contribution to preservation and restoration
TALLAHASSEE – Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced Historic Apalachicola Main Street as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for February 2013. The selection for this award is based on the Apalachicola program’s involvement and active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.
"I am proud to recognize Historic Apalachicola as a Main Street program of the month for the organization's commitment to historic preservation and economic development," said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. "Apalachicola's success in the Main Street Program demonstrates how communities can generate great economic opportunities by promoting heritage tourism."
Apalachicola is a small city located on northeast Florida’s gulf coast with a population of approximately 2,200. Recognized when President James Monroe appointed the first port collector in 1822, Apalachicola has long been a center for commerce, creativity and independent thinkers. The city was incorporated in 1831 and has evolved from a port city to a lumber town to a seafood center and now a heritage tourism destination.
Originally known as a trading post called Cottonton, Apalachicola was once the third busiest port in the Gulf of Mexico. The port brought wealth and a diverse population, building the foundation for a great city. The original blueprints for Apalachicola were modeled after Philadelphia and the resemblance is still there today. In 1831, the town received its current name in tribute to the Apalachicola Tribe. In the early 20th century, the sponge trade was a major industry in the town. Apalachicola, to this day, is deeply invested in Apalachicola Bay. A variety of seafood workers, including oyster harvesters and shrimpers, still reside in Apalachicola.
Apalachicola is a unique Florida town that has a feel of "Old Florida," as a small coastal community. Although a rural area, its history has influenced Apalachicola’s rich culture. Being exposed to many world influences has shaped Apalachicola. Remnants of its colorful and diverse past remain very visible today through its many historic homes and buildings. There are more than 900 historic homes, buildings and sites in the city's historic district.
Since its designation as a Main Street community in August 2011, Apalachicola has had 78 construction and rehabilitation projects totaling $1,433,340. Nine businesses have opened, creating 21 new jobs in the downtown area. Volunteers have donated 965 hours of their time to meetings and events.
To learn more about Historic Apalachicola Main Street, contact Paulette Moss at 855.272.5224.
About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program of the Bureau of Historic Preservation, managed by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. The bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating and preserving Florida’s historical resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy for achieving these goals in Florida’s historic retail districts. Since 1985, the bureau has offered manager training, consultant team visits, design and other technical assistance, as well as the benefit of experience gained by other Florida Main Street programs.