Penticton En Plein Air


The Penticton Art Gallery is pleased to present a unique opportunity to see artists at work out in our community. This two part exhibition starts on Saturday, May 9 with seventeen artists painting En Plein Air at five unique and spectacular locations in and around Penticton. This is an opportunity for the public to see the magic of art come together and to talk with the participating artists as they create a number of works on location over the course of the day. AS free, self-guided tour brochure which includes a map of the five locations along with biographies of each of the participating artists will be available at the Penticton Art Gallery and at various other galleries around town the week prior to the event.

The second part will be an exhibition of all the works created during the plein air day in the Toni Onley Gallery. These works will then be offered as part of the Penticton Art Gallery's annual art auction, Starry, Starry Night, to be held at the gallery on Saturday, July 4. In the event you can't attend, advance bids on these or any of the amazing lots offered can be left at the front desk in advance of the gala.

En Plein Air is a French expression which means "in the open air" and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Artists have long painted outdoors but in the mid-19th century working in natural light become particularly important to the painters of the Barbizon school and the Impressionists. The introduction of paints being sold in tubes and the "Box Easel", with its telescopic legs and built-in paint box and palette made painting in oils truly portable. The ability for an artist to take their studio out into the wilderness opened up infinite possibilities and allowed artists to truly capture the spirit and mood of the landscape. While those began to take firm root in Europe, here in Canada painters like Paul Kane and the early C.P.R. painters began to take advantage of this new found freedom and the idea of painting en plein air were the member of the Canadian Group of Seven and Tom Thomson who traveled out of the city in search of the natural d=beauty of the landscape creating iconic paintings which helped galvanize a sense of national identity. We are pleased to offer this event as an introduction to painting en plein air and hope that it will bring greater understanding and appreciation of this tradition and in a small way strip away some of the mysteries behind the creation of art. 

The participating artists in our first Penticton En Plein Art are: Conor Charlesworth, Rod Charlesworth, Glenn Clark, Peter Corbet, Laurel Cormack, Bruce Crawford, Ken Gillespie, Jim Glenn, Robert Jenkins, Robyn Lake, Angie MacIntosh, Carol McQuaid, Ingrid Mann Willis, Dave Nicholas, Loraine Stephanson, George Traicheff and Nel Witteman. I would like the thank Glenn Clark for organizing the event and the venues for providing the space for the artists to paint. I would also like to thank all of the participating artists for their time, creativity and support of this inaugural event. It is our hope that this will become an annual event and will grow each year to include more artists and venues and highlight the amazing richness and diversity of our creative community.