BY PROFESSOR AMY MACLENNAN
The McKendree University Gallery of Art hosted a “plein air” painting event on Aug. 2-3 in Lebanon, Ill. Twenty-five artists traveled to Lebanon from around the greater St. Louis metropolitan region and from as far away as Indianapolis, Ind. Fifty-three paintings, which were created during the event, are on exhibit in the gallery from Aug. 14-Sept. 27. Gallery visitors were encouraged to vote for their favorite paintings in the show. Peoples’ Choice awards for first, second and third place were announced at the reception last Thursday, Aug. 21.
“En plein air,” a term meaning “in the open air,” was popularized by painters of the French Barbizon and Impressionist schools in the mid to late 19thcentury. These artists found it increasingly important to work in a natural setting and paint what they saw. In the 21st century, painting “en plein air” takes on the aspect of a public art project: engendering curiosity from the general population, dispelling misconceptions about the artistic process and fostering pride of place.
The local newspaper, Lebanon Advertiser, published a feature article in their Aug. 6 edition.
All photos courtesy of Susan Meister and the Lebanon Advertiser.