Beginning with check-in on Monday, Aug. 15, nearly 70 artists will converge upon Saranac Lake for the eighth annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival. This popular event has grown every year in both quantity of artists and quality of the paintings produced. Upwards of 400 to 500 paintings will be on display in the Town Hall, on Main Street, for the Show and Sale on Saturday, Aug. 20, from noon to 5 p.m.
Sponsored by Saranac Lake ArtWorks and organized by artist Sandra Hildreth, the event provides opportunities for people to observe and meet artists at work, to see how they interpret the varied landscape of the Adirondacks and our communities, and to enjoy the final results of three and a half days of painting outdoors.
New this year is a Nocturne Contest, hosted by the NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery, 11 Woodruff St. A nocturne is a work of art that focuses on evening or night - so artists will be allowed to start painting at night on Monday, after they check-in. The first full day of painting is Tuesday, Aug 16, when all the artists will paint at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. On Wednesday they are free to choose their own locations, anywhere in the area. Some may paint the scenic views and others may paint in the village of Lake Placid since the Lake Placid Center for the Arts is offering a new prize in the event for the best Lake Placid painting. Thursday is the Paint the Town day in Saranac Lake. A silent auction of donated paintings will be set up at event headquarters, the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery, at 52 Main St. Proceeds from the auction are split between the artists and a fund that goes to help the art programs in the Saranac Lake Central School District. Friday the artists get to paint along the scenic Saranac Lake River at the Fish and Game Club on Bloomingdale Road.
After three and a half days of painting, the artists will frame up their wet paintings and deliver them to the Town Hall at 39 Main St. in Saranac Lake. A Special Preview Party is held Friday evening, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and food and beverages will be provided. Awards selected by John MacDonald, our accomplished Juror of Awards from Massachusetts, will be presented at 8 p.m.
Saturday morning, the exciting Quick Draw Competition will be held. Participating artists will have two hours, between 10 a.m. and noon, to complete a painting. Spectators are welcome to come to the downtown Saranac Lake area to watch. The winner will be announced outside the Town Hall at 12:15 p.m.
The Show and Sale opens at noon on Saturday and there is no admission fee. The public is invited to come enjoy all the new paintings created. It’s always interesting to see how one artist might find one particular location scenic and worthy of painting, while another passes it up for a different view. Subject matter will range from mountains and lakes to downtown street scenes, farmers markets, musicians, and old cars! More information about the Festival can be found at Event Headquarters, the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery, or online at the Saranac Lake ArtWorks website.