Art festival to end with Sunday sale
By Jenn Watt
Sept. 1, 2016
Painting outdoors – en plein air – is a challenging pursuit, but it shouldn’t hinder beginner artists, says Gary Blundell.
That’s why as co-ordinator of the Highlands East Plein Air Arts Festival running Sept. 8 to 11, he has worked to create an event that will foster learning rather than intimidate newbies.
Offering a special low price ($50) for registered students and recruiting arts instructors to take part in the festival are two of the methods Blundell, a plein air artist himself, has employed to make the festival more accessible.
“We don’t want people to feel that because they haven’t done much painting or drawing before that they’re going to be competing with people who are much more experienced than them,” he says. He is hoping for a spirit of camaraderie and openness.
That includes members of the public. Blundell is encouraging residents, tourists and cottagers to support the artists and learn more about what they do by attending the exhibition and sale on the final day of the festival: Sunday, Sept. 11.
“You meet the artists – all the artists are there. They’re all hanging out with their work,” says Blundell.
The sale is at Lloyd Watson Community Centre in Wilberforce from noon to 4 p.m. and there you can see what the artists have been up to. Many pieces will feature local scenes and architecture, created just days before. The price range is usually varied and affordable. Prices are set by the artists with a portion of the sales going back to the festival for coming years.
“The event doesn’t just focus on nature, but also the more interesting buildings in the area like the old churches, the old pulp burner that’s up near Elephant Lake,” Blundell says.
Most artists in the past have made back their $100 attendance fee during the art sale.