Park City Nursery and Gallery MAR’s Plein Air Paint Out back by popular demand
More than 40 landscape artists are set to gather at Park City Nursery for the second annual Plein Air Paint Out on Saturday, June 15.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is a partnership between the nursery and Gallery MAR, which are still recruiting artists to participate.
Painters interested in joining can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their names and phone numbers.
“There is no jury process in selecting the artists,” said Gallery MAR owner Maren Millin. “We just want them to register with the gallery. That way we can get an idea of who is going to be there, and we can reach out to them if we need to.”
The Paint Out will start at 3 p.m. and artists will be free to set up anywhere to capture different scenes and aspects of the nearly eight-acre nursery, Mullin said.
Attendees can talk with the artists about their techniques and processes, she said.
“The whole idea is to draw attention to the nursery during this beautiful time of year,” she said. “The only thing we do reserve the right to is moving the artists if they are interfering with part of the nursery’s operations.”
Some of the artists surprised nursery owner Sophy Kohler with their setups last year.
“While we had artists set in the flowers and by the stream, there were painters who painted scenes that included one of my work trucks,” Kohler said.
The artistic results astounded Kohler.
“At the time I didn’t realize that there would end up being more than a dozen paintings of different areas of my nursery,” she said. “I ended up buying two of them, and I wish I could have bought them all.”
The Paint Out is also a competition. A jury will pore over the finished paintings at 5:30 p.m.
The prize for the first place winner is $500. Second place garners $350, and two honorable mentions will receive $100 each, Mullin said.
“Last year Sophy and I juried, and it was really challenging to do,” she said. “So we decided to get a more objective group of people who don’t know the artists and aren’t connected to the nursery to do the judging.”
Mullin recruited her friend, Lee Parker, to gather the judges.
“Lee, who has an incredibly varied background, put together a jury of local art experts who will decide which artist is getting the prize money,” she said.
The finished paintings will be displayed in the nursery’s boutique until 6:30 p.m.
All paintings are available for sale, and guests who wish to purchase artwork should inquire directly with each artist.
“We decided last year that the artists could sell their work directly to anyone they wanted to,” Mullin said. “The gallery and nursery are not involved, and we aren’t taking any commission. So that makes it easy for the artists to connect with the buyers.”
Mullin originally conceived of the Plein Air Paint Out.
“So many of these plein air events and competitions involve entry fees, and there are a lot of rules for the artists and guests to follow,” she said. “So we just wanted to do something that easy to organize, but also rewarding for the artists and art lovers.”
Kohler enjoyed meeting artists who hailed from all around Utah during last year’s event.
“I thought we would have only be more local painters from Summit County, but what I found is there is a whole culture of plein air painters. We even had some drive up from southern Utah to participate.”
Acoustic guitarist and singer Nicole Paradiso will perform while wandering through the nursery, and guests can enjoy light appetizers and drinks.
Kohler said the Paint Out feels like a “love fest.”
“It’s nice to see people appreciate this old property and the plants and flowers,” she said. “The nursery is at its fullest bloom at this time, and it means a lot to me to have these artists and art lovers come to experience and enjoy the nursery in this creative experience.”
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