TEQUESTA, Fla. (March 17, 2015) Palm Beach County has long been treasured by visitors for its natural beauty and on March 12 - 15 more than 50 professional plein air artists traveled from Alaska, Virginia, Wisconsin and other parts of the United States to capture that beauty for all time during the Lighthouse ArtCenter’s Second Annual Plein Air Festival. The artists painted 207 stunning scenes at Jupiter’s Harbourside Place and Riverbend Park, as well as Palm Beach’s Society of the Four Arts. The paintings are on exhibition and available for purchase through March 28 at the Lighthouse ArtCenter Museum Gallery. Admission to the ArtCenter is free during the exhibition run.
The Plein Air Festival had more than 600 attendees to its four-day event, with throngs of additional onlookers at each location, enjoying the creation of each piece. Collectors were able to purchase the new paintings each evening during ArtCenter receptions, with 51 artworks sold to date ranging in prices from $350 to $2,500 each.
“It is incredible to see our area through the eyes of these talented, visiting artists,” says Lighthouse ArtCenter Executive Director Katie Deits. “We sometimes take for granted what we see every day until we look at the stunning beauty of our natural areas and landscapes captured in these remarkable paintings. This is a great opportunity to collect fine art that shows off our community.”
“There has been an explosion of interest in plein air painting,” said Plein Air Festival Chairman Ted Matz. “The response to our Festival has been so gratifying and we look forward to next year.”
Jupiter’s mayor, Karen Golonka, welcomed the guests and artists during the opening closing ceremonies, in which more than $10,000 worth of cash and prizes were awarded to the winning artists.
Sunday’s “Quick Draw Painting Competition” at Dubois Park in Jupiter, featured a $1,000 first prize with 68 artists registering for the event.
Winners of the Plein Air Festival include the Grand Prize winner of $5,000 for “The Mighty Banyan” by Jason Sacran from Magazine, AK. Other winners included Neal Hughes from Moorestown, NJ (First Place), Shelby Keefe of Milwaukee, WI (Second Place), Ken DeWaard from Viroqua, WI (Third Place). “Quick Draw” winners were Carl Bretzke from Minneapolis, MN (First Place), Joseph W. Palmerio of Sarasota, FL (Second Place), and Marilyn Muller from Jupiter, FL (Third Place). The judges for the Plein Air Festival were Marisa Pascucci (Curator, Boca Museum of Art), Morgan Samuel Price (artist) and Glenn Tomlinson (William Randolph Hearst Curator of Education at the Boca Museum of Art.)
Sponsors from the Second Annual Plein Air Festival included Kit Seidel, Wilmington Trust, Jenny and Larry Schorr, John and Melinda Geberth, Plein Air Magazine, Harbourside Place, Rosemary & Co. Brushes, David Randell Photographics, Guerilla Painter and The Jupiter Courier.
Chairs for the Second Annual Plein Air Festival were Ted Matz, Ralph Papa and Pat DeAloia.
Committee members working tirelessly to raise money for prizes and assisting with each location of the event included: Barb Fonner, Nancy Goldman, Terri Horrow, Barbara Kirsch, Jane O’Neill, Eyde Rollins, Kit Seidel, Manon Sander and Jenny Schorr. For information about the Plein Air Festival Exhibition, call (561) 746-3101.
ABOUT PLEIN AIR
En plein air is a French expression which means "in the open air," and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. The mid-19th century saw working in natural light become particularly important to the impressionists, which only increased with the introduction of paint in tubes, giving additional portability to the artists.