SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — More than 25 artists from the Ohio Plein Air Society (OPAS) are participating in a Paint-out from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at several of the city’s familiar landmarks and locations, including Wittenberg University. With a promise of new original paintings of Springfield scenes, the event offers an opportunity for visitors to observe the creative process.
Following the Paint-out, a “Meet-the-Artists” exhibit will take place from 4-6 p.m. on Springfield’s downtown plaza, where OPAS artists will discuss the Springfield works completed during the day and will have additional artwork for sale. Both events are free and open to the public.
The event is sponsored by the Interface Creative Group, Center City Association, The Turner Foundation and Ohio Arts Council, and it will take place rain or shine. Members of OPAS will be in the city for a day of painting en plein air, French for “in the outdoors.”
Artists may choose to paint on Wittenberg’s campus between East and West Campus Drives or in Myers Hollow, while other Fountain Avenue locations include the Clark State Performing Arts Center, Clark County Public Library, the Heritage Center of Clark County, the Springfield Plaza area and the Springfield Museum of Art. In addition, artists may be found in locations along East High Street at Foos Manor, Richards, Raff & Dunbar Funeral Home, several private residences and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House.
Maps of the painting sites are available at Interface Creative Group, 2nd floor, Key Bank Building, 1 S. Fountain Ave.; Center City Association; the Heritage Center of Clark County; Springfield Museum of Art; Clark County Public Library, Joe’s U.S. 40 Grill; and The Westcott House.
OPAS has more than 160 members from 33 Ohio counties and from several other states. All share a common love of art and nature and come together for the activity of painting in the outdoors.
Wittenberg Associate Professor of Art and Department Chair Ed Charney has worked in the plein air manner for three decades, but this will be his first event with OPAS.
“The goals for such an event as I understand it is to gather as a community of interested people who favor the outdoor setting over studio work,” Charney said. “The events build an awareness of this style of art-making as a unique and difficult avenue of artistic endeavor.”
The membership of OPAS continues to grow and boasts of beginning plein air painters, experienced career artists, students and supporters of the arts who are interested in fostering the tradition and recognize the uniqueness of this challenging art form.
At least once a month, its members meet at predetermined locations around the state, where they are actively engaged in painting on site, outdoors. They paint in all seasons and in all kinds of weather. Though painting in many different styles, and working in a variety of media, they come together to paint and learn from nature and each other.
Organized by Linda Collins-Pauley of the Interface Creative Group as part of the Excursion 68 Cultural Corridor project, the event aims to expose the public to working artists as it attracts more arts-oriented tourists to southwest Ohio.
- Phyllis Eberts