The 8th annual Sheridan Arts Foundation's Telluride Plein Air is a robust weekend of fine art and music, culminating over the Fourth of July weekend.
The action begins July 1 along Colorado Avenue with a Quick Draw and Sale, 5:30 – 7 p.m.: 30 artists paint for 90 minutes in this judged competition. On July 2nd the historic Sheridan Opera House hosts the Plein Air gala and silent auction, 5 – 8:30 p.m.: artists display and auction a favorite piece. (Free entry, free appetizers, and cash bar). The same evening Plein Air presents Jason D. Williams in concert. Show time for this family concert of rockabilly, blues and Americana sounds is 8 p.m.
The sale of works by Telluride Plein Air artists continues throughout the weekend, July 3 and July 4, interrupted only by the Fourth of July parade, 11 – noon. View and purchase paintings of the Telluride region: 40% of sales proceeds go to support the Sheridan Arts Foundation.
"En plein air." The French expression means "in the open air" and refers back to a time when a group of painters including Monet, Manet, Renoir, Bonnard and Degas defied the traditions of the official and officious Salon in Paris and moved their studios en plein air to facilitate direct observation of nature. The renegade artists mounted their first exhibition in April 1874. The show included an image by Monet of dawn over a foggy harbor. Its title:" Impression: Sunrise." A critic who wrote a satirical review, riffing on Monet's title, popularizing the term "Impressionism."
America's love affair with Impression began when a popular French dealer mounted the first professional show of Impressionist images at the American Art Association's galleries in New York in 1896. And it is a love that never died.
The first Telluride Plein Air took place over Fourth of July weekend 2004. Since that summer, for eight summers running, they have come to Telluride in force, 30 strong this year, a select group of American Impressionists visiting the Telluride region to record their responses to our mountains and meadows, highways and byways, historic buildings, street scenes, and people.
Watch Clint's Viebrock's video for his impressions of Telluride Plein Air.