The Fifth graders at Roanoke Elementary School are learning about Plein Air painting in anticipation of Renaissance in Roanoke, the art show in Roanoke on October 9th. Last Friday afternoon (September 10), they ventured along with their teachers to downtown Roanoke armed with paper, pencils and watercolors for their lesson in art. Some spread out all along the sidewalk painting pictures of the lightposts, American flags, buildings and benches while others retreated into the Joseph Decuis courtyard and painted the fountain, flowers and trees.
“En plein air” is French for “in the open air” or outdoors. Plein air painting is an artistic tradition of painting outdoors, making use of natural light and shadows with the enjoyment of nature, landscape and the great outdoors. The fourth grade and the third grade will also participate in learning about plein air painting in the weeks leading up to the event.
Renaissance in Roanoke is conducted by the Roanoke Arts Council, and as part of the event there will be a plein air art competition. For a plein air paint out, the artists have a regulated number of hours they are allowed to paint, and then return within that timeframe for judging. The artists who participate set up their easels around Roanoke and visitors to the event can watch their progress as the paintings develop during the day. Charles Shepard, Director of the Fort Wayne Art Museum, will be judging the plein air art from the artists participating on October 9th.
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