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Groundwork laid for first Plein Air Festival

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More than 750 art enthusiasts from around the world attending the fourth annual Plein Air Convention in California next week will be enticed to bring their paintbrushes to Bermuda this autumn.

The inaugural Bermuda Plein Air Festival will take place from November 14 to 21 and a group of the festival's organisers will be in California to get artists excited about painting landscapes in Bermuda.

“The Plein Air Convention we're attending is known as the Woodstock of plein air painting, which explains just how passionate this group of artists is about painting outdoors,” said Margaret Potts, the joint chairwoman of the Bermuda effort. “We look forward to helping these exceptional artists fall in love with Bermuda and her undeniable visual beauty of magical colours.”

Plein air painting describes artists who paint outside in the open air. The activity is as old as painting itself, but has grown in prominence over the years. A Bermuda plein air group was established about 12 years ago, under the leadership of Chris Marson and Jonah Jones.

The group sought the help of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) to put on its inaugural visitor event called the Bermuda Plein Air Festival. Through the BTA's Tourism Experiences investment process, which seeks home-grown ideas that grow tourism, the Plein Air Festival was rewarded with financial support.

“We were impressed with the application from the Bermuda Plein Air group and felt this new event fit perfectly into our Arts & Culture season from November to March each year,” said Tashae Thompson, the leisure and cultural events manager for the BTA.

“We wish the group travelling to California much success because we certainly agree that the visiting artists who decide to make the trip to Bermuda in November will enjoy the visual wonder of our Island.”

The Bermuda team heading to California includes Ms Potts, Rhona Emmerson, the other joint chairwoman, Chris Marson and Marlene Jentzen. The Plein Air Convention in Monterey, California, takes place from Monday to April 17.

Bermuda Plein Air expects to attract visitors primarily from the United States and Canada who will mingle with the local painting fraternity. Festivalgoers will be offered spectacular island-wide locations in which to paint and an education on the rich history of world-famous artists who have made Bermuda their winter playground.

There will also be an opportunity for Bermuda residents to purchase works created during the festival.

In addition to the BTA, other sponsors include OLD Holland, Silver Brush, DNA Art Store and Frameworks. Sponsorship information is available online at www.bermudapleinair.com/sponsors.

Pat Phillip Fairn, the BTA's chief product and experiences officer, flanked by Bermuda Plein Air Festival joint chairwomen Rhona Emmerson, left, and Margaret Potts
Plein air painting

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Published April 08, 2015 at 2:03 pm (Updated April 08, 2015 at 2:03 pm)

Groundwork laid for first Plein Air Festival

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