April 28, 2013
Art Enthusiasts Flock to the Forgotten Coast for Plein Air Event
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.
Posted by Joe Taylor - 04/28/13, 10:49 AM
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