SAF presents Telluride Plein Air

SAF presents Telluride Plein Air

Eugene Boudin was one of the more adventurous 19th-century painters, known primary for his beach scenes and seascapes of northern France, and luminous skies. When Boudin taught his young student, Claude Monet, the importance of painting a scene directly from nature in the light, in the air, just as it was, painting en plein air was born. In the stroke of Monet’s brush, the dark palette of Realism (and the Barbizon School) gave way to the brighter highlights of painting directly from nature.

Impression, sunrise, By Claude Monet, the painting that named a genre that became the foundation for modern art.

Impression, sunrise, By Claude Monet, the painting that named a genre that became the foundation for modern art.

Monet went on to introduce friends such as Renoir, Sisley, Bazille, Manet, Degas Bonnard to the core idea of the discipline and new genre: record only what is visible at given distances under specific lighting conditions. In December 1873, outdoor painting sessions and heated café discussions among young artists of the day culminated in the Societe Anonyme des Artists. The group’s first show, April 15, 1874, included an image by Monet of dawn over a foggy harbor. The work was entitled “Impression: Sunrise.” A critic wrote a satirical review, including of the Monet, which popularized the term “Impressionism,” now synonymous with plein air painting.

In 1886, a popular French art dealer mounted the first professional show of Impressionist images at the American Art Association’s galleries and America’s love affair with fine European works of art began. In a heartbeat, American artists began to adopt plein air techniques. Today in the U.S. alone, there are more than 500 registered Plein Air painters. Twenty-six of them are in town from Sunday, June 29 – Saturday, July 5 for the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s 11th annual Telluride Plein Air, recording their visual and emotional responses to our mountains and meadows, historic buildings and street scenes.

guy painting

The fruits of their labors – images of flower-filled meadows, purple mountain majesties, colorful town scenes –  go on display Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5, at the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s exhibition and sale.

Plein Air artists were selected through a juried process, their work (along with a biography) vetted by a panel of artists, gallery owners and educators. The only exceptions were the top five sellers from the class of 2013 –Michele Byrne, Douglas Morgan, Wayne McKenzie, Carol Swinney and Kirsten Anderson – who were automatically invited back. Nancy MacDonald, our 2013 Artist Choice Winner, was also invited back as the SAF’s special guest artist.

plein air #1

The Sheridan Arts Foundation created this event a decade ago to benefit community programming and restoration at the historic Sheridan Opera House in Telluride. The Sheridan Opera House has provided quality entertainment to Telluride for more than a century. All artwork profits will be split with 40 percent benefiting the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s community program and 60 percent retained by the artists.

Crowds at the sale (2013)

Crowds at the sale (2013)

The list of 2014 Telluride Plein Air artists includes:

Kirsten Anderson, CA

Suzie Baker, TX

Joli Beal, CA

Jane Chapin, FL

Derek Davis, MN

Larry DeGraff, MO

Danny Griego, CA

Sandra Hildreth, NY

Deborah Lazar, VT

Wyatt LeGrand, IN

Sergio Lopez, CA

Nancy MacDonald, CA

Will Maller, CA

Mick McAndrews, PA

Bonnie McGee, CO

Wayne McKenzie, CO

Douglas Morgan, CA

Rita Pacheco, CA

Davis Perkins, CA

Juan Pena, CA

Tim Peterson, SD

Lawrence Rudolech, IN

Linda Sherman, AZ

Susiehyer, CO

Nori Thorne, AZ

Stephen Wysocki, WI

woman painting


June 28, 2014 – 4-7 p.m.
Wine Festival Paint Out: The Sheridan Arts Foundation will collaborate with the Telluride Wine Festival during its Grand Tasting in the Mountain Village. A number of artists will arrive early to capture the essence of the Wine Festival on canvas, with all paintings available for sale afterward.

June 29 – July 3, 2014 – all day

Plein Air Artists at Work, various locations in and around Telluride: Visitors and locals alike will have the unique opportunity to observe 28 of the nation’s top plein air artists as they paint on location in the Telluride, Colorado, preparing for the two day art sale later in the week. 

June 30, July 1-2- 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Wet Room Open in Sheridan Opera House Gallery Room

New this year! Artists will hang newly completed pieces for viewing and sale in the days leading up to the main sale.  This is a perfect way for people who won’t be in town for the Fourth of July holiday to purchase artwork in advance, or for others to get a preview of what will be available at the sale.

Thursday, July 3, 2014 

Plein Air Quick Draw & Sale, Telluride’s Colorado Avenue – 10 a.m.-12 p.m.— free and open to the public!
This 120-minute painting competition, along Telluride’s main street, provides the public an opportunity to view artists in action and purchase paintings at a special price.  The Quick Draw competition is open only to the Telluride Plein Air artists. This competition will be judged in Elks Park at 12:15 p.m. with the public sale and live auction to follow. Three local art connoisseurs will award a judged favorite. The winners will receive a cash award.

Artist Choice Preview and Sale – Sheridan Opera House: Stop by the Sheridan Opera House theater to preview or purchase each artist’s favorite piece created throughout the week in Telluride.  All paintings will be up for sale.

5-6 p.m. VIP Artist Choice Preview and Wine Tasting: Annual supporters of the Sheridan Opera House will be invited for a wine and cheese party to preview the crème de la crème of the Telluride Plein Air.

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Artists will present statements of why they chose their painting.

6-8 p.m.: Artist Choice Preview & Wine Tastingfree and open to the public!

7 p.m.: Artist Choice Award Presentation with Artist presentation and explanation of work

Friday & Saturday, July 4 & July 5

Plein Air Art Sale – Sheridan Opera House Courtyard /Elks ParkThis event is free and open to the public!  

Plein Air posters, notecards and small prints will be available for sale.

July 4 – 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. & July 5 – 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (pause from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. for the Fourth of July  parade)

Join us in the Sheridan Opera House courtyard and Elks Park for a sale of pieces created during the week-long celebration. Please note that artists are limited to hanging eight paintings at one time, so new paintings will continually be displayed as others sell — especially on the second day of the sale! Please note: if there is inclement weather, the sale will be moved inside the Sheridan Opera House theater. 

Returning this year: Bring the kids by for face painting by Sara D., arts and crafts and a mini jumpy castle in Elks Park 2-4 p.m. on July 4 and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on July 5!

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