Plein Air Art comes to a close Saturday

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Approximately 15 artists from Rio Blanco County, other parts of Northwest Colorado and the Front Range will be in and out of the Meeker area the next three days for the completion of the Plein Air Meeker 2013 Art Competition and Exhibit.
The event officially began Monday Aug. 12, when artists started to arrive for the 11 days of painting time, and activities will culminate Saturday.
The artists have until Friday to disburse to locations within 50 miles of Meeker in any direction to draw inspiring local scenery. That art work from those sessions will be judged for awards.
The event is being held in conjunction with Meekerpalooza, a two-day event showcasing arts and culture that is sponsored Friday and Saturday by the Meeker Arts and Cultural Council.
“The Meeker Chamber of Commerce is proud to be hosting this event,” said Beth Willey, the event coordinator for the chamber. “We had a good turnout last year, and it should be even better this year. This event is great for the arts and culture in the area.”
“Plein Air” is a French expression which means “in the open air.” It is used to describe the act of painting natural scenery outdoors. Working in nature’s light to complete a painting at its original location has inspired many artists.
This year’s annual art competition and exhibit is the second of its kind in Meeker, and cash awards will include up to $1,000 for best of show.
Other than the artists being free to wander within 50 miles of Meeker for their on-site paintings, other activities include the artists’ reception and the chance to purchase tickets to the patron social on Friday. That evening will be a public meet-and-greet, and the silent auction of the artists’ works will begin.
On Saturday will be a quick-draw competition, artist demonstrations, award presentations and the end of the silent auction.
The public is invited to attend the Plein Air Meeker 2013 art exhibit and silent auction on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Upstairs Gallery, 592 Main St. No. 11.
This free event will feature the original art works generated by the artists during the the last two weeks. This is an excellent opportunity to peruse exceptional art and build a Meeker inspired art collection. It is being held in conjunction with the artist meet and greet.
Visitors and area residents are also urged by the chamber to become a Purchase Patron. Purchase Patrons agree to spend at least $250 on artwork submitted by the Plein Air 2013 artists.
With this, Purchase Patrons get the opportunity to attend a special champagne social, the chance to preview and purchase the artwork prior to the opening of the exhibit to the public; have a purchase patron ribbon placed on the artwork purchased and to receive recognition in the event program.
“Residents and visitors are encouraged to build an impressive collection of art inspired by the town of Meeker and surrounding areas for your business or residence,” a promotional poster states. “This is a great opportunity to purchase a one-of-a-kind painting of Meeker or its outstanding surroundings.”
For more information on joining Plein Air Meeker 2013, visit the Meeker Chamber of Commerce at 710 Market St. in Meeker, call 970-878-5510, or check out the event page at