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Eagle Plein Air

Art, History, and Culture – Eagle Plein Air Festival

By Chelsea Chambers

Celebrating its sixth year, the Eagle Plein Air Festival is an event you don’t want to miss! A full week of incredible artists, wine tasting, and of course, the thrill of competition!

“I created the event as a way to bring artists & patrons together in an informal, fun setting to build appreciation for the art of painting ‘en plein air.’ Outdoor painting is much tougher to do than painting in a studio,” shared Meg Glasgow, owner of Finer Frames. “The conditions are constantly changing—light, clouds, shadows. It’s a style that was made famous by Claude Monet painting waterlilies in his garden. And I also wanted to highlight the natural beauty of our area – foothills, rivers, desert & forests – southwest Idaho offers many diverse landscapes to paint.” Which is exactly why the fantastic, week-long festival is hosted at various locations across the Valley. This year, participants can expect to stop by the Boise River, Eagle Island, Kathryn Albertson, and more!

The festival is typically hosted in June every year, but due to the pandemic and uncertainty surrounding the virus, the Plein Air Festival was moved to October (16th through the 24th). As with all things, we must adapt to our changing environment, much like the concept of ‘plein air painting’ embodies. Artists are actually looking forward to the new dates and the beauty of the autumn leaves to inspire their masterpieces.

“Outdoor painters are notorious social distancers, so we felt confident that the festival could continue safely, but with some changes. We’ve eliminated most in-person social events and moved other classes and workshops outdoors to allow for spacious distancing,” Meg explained.

The theme for this year is Eat. Sleep. Paint. Repeat and it’s safe to say that’s exactly what these artists will be doing (and most likely always do). They’ll also be introducing a new concept: local history, conversation, and preservation. The Festival is partnering with the Eagle Historical Society to present a lecture at Eagle Island State Park, commemorating and educating the public about the history of the Eagle Island Honor Farm, what it once was before it was a state park and recreation area.

Just to get you excited, check out what the Festival will be offering on just one day of the seven day event! Nocturnal painting, history, and an artist demonstration? We can’t wait!

Monday, October 19th 2020

Paint Out at Schick-Ostolasa Farmstead | Dawn to Dusk
This preserved Farmstead site covers 2 acres along Dry Creek, with seven historic farm buildings: the farmhouse, a detached kitchen and wellhouse (called the Red House), a root cellar, a wood shed, a saddle shed, a granary and a horse barn. This location is home to the Dry Creek Historical Society and members will have the museum open for tours this day. Restrooms will be open 9-4. Museum will be open 12-4

Daily Demo by Oleg Strekachev | 11:00am – 1:00pm | Finer Frames
Watch artist Oleg Strekachev demonstrate classical oil painting techniques.

Nocturnal Paint Out | Dusk to Dawn
This is an opportunity for artists to paint by the area moonlight and street lamp. Artists registered for the Plein Air Festival are eligible for this additional competition and prize money.

“The week-long festival ends with an awards ceremony, show, and sale of the Festival paintings. Saturday, October 24, on the lawn at Finer Frames. We’re inviting the community to purchase a painting, support the artists and celebrate these unique visions of Eagle!”

And a special shout out to this year’s sponsors: The Plein Air Painters of Idaho, Eagle Arts Commission, City of Eagle, and everyone else who has been involved in this great project! Thank you!

Read more details and get the full festival schedule on their website at eaglepleinair.com.