Greetings, everyone! I have to admit that I’ve missed you. Now that I have returned from my sabbatical, it’s time once again for me to get into gear and get busy with the Sedona Plein Air Festival. This is year eight for the Sedona Arts Center‘s event and year number two for me as the Marketing Director at the Center. But that’s not all… This month is a busy month for me, for I’ll be taking a trek to Hilton Head Island right after the Festival is over – but we can talk more about that in two weeks.
It’s that fantastic time of year again, when the colors change and the air is crisp and cooler and 30 artists converge on Sedona to express themselves in Red Rock Country. I’ll be extra social this year, posting updates on where our artists are painting during the next seven days and pictures of their works in progress. This year’s a little different with a Plein Air Gallery showing the artist’s work all week long, with newly added works every day! So not only do you get to see them work on the spot opening day, you can experience the landscape through their eyes every day!
Artists have been painting outdoors for centuries, but it was in the mid-19th century that painting en plein air became increasingly popular. This was credited in part to the invention of the French Box Easel and the introduction of paints in tubes, allowing artists to take their work outdoors with ease. Today, artists trek into the wild to capture the brilliance of the landscape as they see it with their own eyes. What better place to capture a moment in time than the beautiful red rocks of Sedona?
This year promises many free events starting with the Main Street Paint Out on Saturday, October 20 from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. This event always promises some excitement as crowds follow the artists as they work and then come down to the Center where they can buy those finished pieces at 4:30! The Main Street Paint out is immediately followed by the opening reception of the Plein Air Gallery where you can enjoy some wine and food provided by Sedona Arts Center’s Board of Directors as a special welcome to the artists.
The buck doesn’t stop there! All week long the artists can be found painting throughout the countryside. On Tuesday they’ll be painting in Jerome, where you can check in at the tent in Middlepark to see where particular artists are located. Wednesday evening’s Keynote speaker is Kathryn Stats, whose free presentation “It’s Only Paint!” takes place at 7 p.m. at the Center’s Theatre Studio. Thursday the artists will engage in a 2-hour “Centennial Quick Paint,” a timed event from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sedona Heritage Museum (735 Jordan Road in Uptown Sedona). There will be models in period costume, historic equipment and stunning landscapes for the artists to paint.
Last but not least – this year’s event ends with wine tasting from noon to 4 p.m., featuring wines from Alcantara, Grand Canyon Cellars and Javelina Leap wineries. Tickets for wine tasting include five pirs for $10. Cheese and crackers are provided by a sponsorship from New Frontiers. Then the artists will unveil their best works from the week-long event that will be auctioned off at 4 p.m. And don’t forget the awards! This year’s awards include Best of Show, the Poster Award and Artists’ Choice and People’s Choice awards to name a few. (Visit SedonaPleinAirFestival.com for more information)
So as you can see, I’m busier than even I can imagine at this time. I’ll keep you posted this coming week on the excitement of the Sedona Plein Air Festival and then in two weeks we’ll explore Hilton Head Island together at an artists’ field expedition!
Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.
About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.