TEQUESTA (April 25, 2014) Nearly 30 juried artists traveled from New York, Virginia, Delaware and other parts of Florida to participate in the Lighthouse ArtCenter’s First Annual Plein Air Festival from March 20 – 23. The artists were invited to paint their impressions of our area’s beautiful seaside scenery at the Jupiter Yacht Club, Riverbend Park and Dubois Park. Each evening saw purchases of paintings by collectors at receptions in the ArtCenter’s museum.
Jupiter’s mayor, Karen Golonka, welcomed the artists on opening night and attended the closing ceremony, in which $10,000 worth of prizes were awarded. The prizes were raised by the Plein Air Festival Committee through sponsorships, donations and fundraising events.
A “Kids’ Paint Out” event kicked off the Festival at Loggerhead Marinelife Center where an ArtCamp scholarship awarding a week to the Lighthouse ArtCenter’s Summer Enrichment program was given to the contest winner.
“Plein Air painting has seen a worldwide resurgence in popularity,” said Ted Matz, Chair of the Plein Air Festival and the ArtCenter’s Chair of Painting and Drawing. “We offer classes and workshops in plein air painting, which have become very popular. I look forward to seeing the festival grow to attract talent from around the world.”
“The event was a huge success and I am still excited about it,” says Boca Raton artist Steve Nash. “Everyone involved was very welcoming and helpful. What I like most about the festival was people walking around at both painting venues engaging with artists. Some of these same people showed up at the evenings’ exhibitions to view the artwork they saw being created.”
Sponsors from the First Annual Plein Air Festival included Jane and Patrick O’Neill, Barbara Kirsch, Jenny and Larry Schorr, Dina Merrill, Ted Hartley, Sayre Santonelli, John McDonald Co., Jupiter Medical Center, Seacoast National Bank and Plein Air Magazine. Committee members working tirelessly to raise money for prizes and assisting with each location of the event included: Barbara Fonner, Ted Matz, Jean Chase, Jane O’Neill, Laurie Brower, Barbara Kirsch, Joanne Chanda, Maryellen De Franco, Manon Sander, Sayre Santorelli, Jennifer Schorr and Christine Templeton.
Hope Reis of West Palm Beach won the $5,000 grand prize for her art, “Afternoon Fountain,” which she painted at the Jupiter Yacht Club. First Place ($2,500) was awarded to Dennis Aufiery, Second Place ($1,500) to Marilyn Muller and Third Place ($500) to Stephen Left.
A “Quick Draw Paint Out” was held from 9 a.m. to noon, Sunday, March 23. The award winners were Alex Stankiewicz (Third Place), Diane Young (Second Place), and Karen Winslow (First Place), who was awarded $1,000. Honorable mentions included Chris Kling and Jane Sither.
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.