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Shorewood to host art festival 'en plein air'

Shorewood artist and Plein Air Shorewood Committee member Jenny Steinman Heyden practices the art of painting outside.

Shorewood artist and Plein Air Shorewood Committee member Jenny Steinman Heyden practices the art of painting outside.

Aug. 14, 2013

Shorewood — Artists from all over the Midwest will soon flock to Shorewood's first annual art fair in the open air.

From Thursday, Sep. 19 to Saturday, Sep. 21, 50 professional artists will take to the streets and open spaces throughout Shorewood in the village's first Plein Air Painting Event.

French for "in the open air," en plein air is an art style popularized by French impressionist painters like Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir in the late 1800s. Plein air events around the world put artists outside to paint their take on the spaces people see everyday. The Plein Air Shorewood site invites the artists to "come and experience all Shorewood has to offer — Lake Michigan and Atwater Beach, the Milwaukee River and parks, a business district, historic homes, and create artwork of the environs."

"Shorewood is an art-friendly community," Public Art and Plein Air Shorewood committee member Don Berg said during a board update Monday. "The Plein Air event seemed to fit that in the best way."

Plein Air Shorewood kicks off Sep. 19 with an introduction to the artists, accompanied with beer, brats, and music from 6-9 p.m. at Hubbard Park. A display of music, art, and fashion will take place at Kensington Square from 6-9 p.m. Sep. 20. The last day, Sep. 21, will culminate in a party from 6-10 p.m., during which the approximately 150 pieces of art produced during the event will be put up for silent auction.

Judging the paintings will be celebrated Shorewood artists David Lenz and Jim Maki, Diane Buck of Shorewood, who "wrote the book" on outdoor sculpture in Milwaukee, and acclaimed Chicago painter Nancie King Mertz.

At the board meeting Monday, Public Art Committee member and trustee Jeff Hanewall lauded the Plein Air committee for their work in bringing the event to Shorewood.

"They're probably working 24 hours a day," said Hanewall. "It's an incredible amount of work, but this is going to be fantastic."

IF YOU GO

WHAT: First annual Shorewood Plein Air Art Event

WHEN: Sep. 19-21

WHERE: Various open spaces throughout Shorewood

MORE INFO: pleinairshorewood.com

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