Artists from around the region will again descend on Danville, Indiana, for an annual event to paint the town.
The Fourth Annual Plein Air Paint Out sponsored by the Hendricks County Arts Council and Gallery on the Square encourages professional artists, aspiring artists or even those just getting started to join together for an art event unlike any other in the area on Aug. 14.
What is Plein Air Paint Out?
I considered a variety of ways to describe this unique event, which is also known as Artists' Paint the Town, but ultimately decided I would take some anecdotes from when the event made its debut in 2018 that I think tells the story best.
About 30 artists arrived in Danville despite pouring rain conditions on that August day back in 2018. They painted in their trucks, cars, inside merchant shops, the library and anywhere else they could find a dry spot to do their thing.
One lady, with a 2 year old, even sat in her van with her canvas on the steering wheel painting the swinging bridge at Ellis Park. Another artist was in front of the Kentucky Street fire station painting the fire trucks. The firemen even set up a canopy for her.
At the end of the day, at least 100 people attended the end-of-day reception to vote for the People's Choice Award, all while it was still raining.
Hopefully, this year's event will endure better weather conditions as the whole point is for artists to get out to different parts of town with their canvases and be seen by locals and visitors who may want to watch the process unfold as the artist provides their interpretation of a local landscape.
Divisions & Awards
The event is broken up into four divisions with each division winner receiving a cash prize. The divisions include professional, non-professional, teen (ages 13-17) and youth (ages 12 and under).
The two adult divisions will get cash prizes for the top three places plus some merit awards. The two younger divisions will just award first places finishers with cash in addition to some merit awards.
The event also will honor a People's Choice Award with a check for $200 and Michelangelo Award (Best of Show) with a check for $500.
Participants must register in advance and pay an entry fee to be eligible. They will then check-in at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex, 1900 E. Main St., Danville between 7:30 and 10 a.m. Aug. 14 to get their canvas stamped.
The artists then get to explore town finding a landscape that speaks to them. They have until 2:30 p.m. that same day to turn in their completed artwork.
The public can view all of the completed artwork at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex from 4-5 p.m., Aug. 14. Cash awards for all categories except People's Choice and the public sale of all the art will begin at 4:30 p.m.
All of the artwork will go on display immediately after the event through Sept. 20 at Gallery on the Square where anything that wasn't purchased during the event can be purchased.
Visitors to the gallery can also vote for the artwork they think should win the People's Choice Award. The winner will be announced at the Sept. 18 Summer Sounds on the Square event in Danville.