Plein Air Art event begins as artists arrive in area

MEEKER I 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 during the next two weeks for the Plein Air Meeker 2013 Art Competition and Exhibit.
The event officially began Monday as the artists have from Aug. 12-23 to disburse to locations within 50 miles of Meeker in any direction to draw inspiring local scenery. That art works 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 Aug. 23-24 by the Meeker Arts and Cultural Commission.
“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 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 through Aug. 23, other activities include the artists’ reception and time to purchase tickets to the patron social Aug. 23. That evening will be a public meet-and-greet and the silent auction of the artists’ works will begin.
On Aug. 24 there will be a quick-draw competition, artist demonstrations, award presentations and the end of the silent auction.
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 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 Street in Meeker, call 970-878-5510, or check out the event page at www.MeekerChamber.com.