First Annual Paint St Louis Plein Air and Eplore the Arts Events

The First Annual Pain St Louis Plein Air is in the books! AND I survived!!
54 artists from around the midwest joined the inaugural event to paint some of St Louis's premier locations including the Missouri Botanical Gardens, St Louis County Parks,  Confluence State Park, the Kirkwood Market and Train Station and the historic village and antique carousel at Faust Park. Above are a few of the images that were produced. Below are candids of some of the artists. 

Most of the artists had not been to at least one of these nature oriented locations and have already indicated they will be back to paint and learn more. I am currently working on setting up an exhibit with a state museum for plein air work created in a year that would highight the art AND the information from state parks department and department of conservation to present an educational exhibit that will be availble for the first semester of 2019. Combining the arts and sciencs in nature is coming to the public in many different ways. 
Sponsors were incredibly generous and helpful.  Thank you to the Missouri Botanical Garden, OA Gallery, Dick Blick, Terry Ludwig Pastels, StLParent, HEC TV and of course Plein AIr Magazine. 
Well, and what can I say about my awesome volunteers, without whom the event would not have been possible? Anne LaMaitreBrenda LinkemanDavid GreavesDeanna NashElodee TuleyMarcy HartMarie DonatoMarita GainesNancy MoorRebecca ShafferZaida Phillips. Please let me know if I have neglected a name so I can add and thank you publicly!
Thank you to our judge, Billyo O'Donnell. Credibility is everything and you brought it in spades!
While it threatened rain and kept park attendance way down, arts organizations in the area came through anyway. Thank you to Master Naturalists, photographer Mariann Cherry,  artist Deanna Nash at the Academy painting table, St Louis Artist Guild, Contemporary Art Museum, Krueger Pottery, CKDC Dance and Storytellers. The conept of combining the arts and scientists was well received by the participants we had this year and, hopefully, next year will have a much larger attendance. 

We set the Explore the Arts festival up so that the families began with the Master Naturalists to take the photos and learn to use the iNaturalist app for identification and information about what was photographed. The iNaturalist app was developed by students at UC Berkeley, Stanford and ultimately the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic as a citizen science project to catalog flora around the world. From there a certified Professional Photographer of America helped the families process the image on their phones to express their vision photographically. The next station was the Academy's plein air painting station where the families used their processed photo to create a painting. Some included information about the habitat while the younger ones painted the image directly. From there, the Artist Guild provided a craft to make bugs that are appropriate to the habitat of the flower. The Contemporary Arts Museum progressed the images to using shapes extracked from the images to created new images while Krueger Pottery assisted in creating three dimensional art using the shapes and ideas from the previous stations. CKDC Dance company incorporated movement into nature while a storyteller created verbal art consistent with the natural history of the area.  For those who attended, we received feedback that the sequence worked well. 
While sales at the event were less than stellar, many of the paintings will be in an exhibit hosted by the Academy of Nature and Wildlife Arts at the OA Gallery in Kirkwood Missouri. If you are in the area, join us for the opening reception on June 15 from 6-8PM. Otherwise the work created at the event can be seen online