Summit Artspace will make it “plein” as day when it hosts the second urban outdoor landscape painting contest. On July 27-29, artists will plant their easels, pull out their paints and participate (some for the second time) in a plein air competition as they congregate at designated sites in downtown Akron to produce works of art in the “plein air” tradition — and, one imagines, to capture the light and the mood of place in the process.
Each day the output of the artists who participate will be turned in to Summit Artspace, a Knight Arts grantee, for consideration by recently announced event judge Charles Basham for inclusion in a show entitled “Streetscapes: Akron in Plein Air” that will be mounted for view at the Summit Artspace galleries beginning August 10 through September 15.
According to event officials, the whole idea is the brainchild of guest curator Brian Shellito, who was an illustrator for the “Akron Beacon Journal” newspaper. Shellito said that he “enjoyed viewing other plein air shows and competitions around Northeast Ohio,” but they tended to focus on “rural landscapes.” He added, “As an artist who likes to paint people and buildings, I felt it would be great fun to bring this approach to an urban setting in Akron.”
Judge for the event Charles Basham resides in nearby Medina County on a farm where he grew up. According to event coordinators, his oil and pastel paintings make use of saturated color and color temperatures to produce highly energetic and dramatic scenes. Works by him might serve as guides for potential contestants in this competition.
What’s cool about this idea of painting in public places is that the public is not only invited but is encouraged to come and watch the artists as they work over the course of the three days.
Updates about who’s painting where will be provided all weekend long beginning about 9 a.m. on Friday, July 27 and will continue throughout the weekend until the final pick up of artistic output on Sunday, July 29 at 6 p.m.
The winners — that is, best in show, and second and third place paintings, along with any honorable mention works that Basham may like to name — can be found along with others selected by guest curator Shellito in the Summit Artspace galleries beginning August 10 through September 15 under the new hours that the space will be open beginning with this event — Thursdays, 12-9 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, 12-5 p.m.
Streetscapes: Akron in Plein Air, various places in downtown Akron, followed by exhibit in Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St.; 330-387-8480; www.akronareaarts.org. Exhibit of selected paintings will be shown August 10-September 15. Admission is free.