Column: Fun with plein air painting


Excuse me.  Pardon me.  I’m sorry.  Oops, my fault.  Oh, please forgive me. My bad. I can’t believe I didn’t see you. I’ll get something to clean that up with………..Seems like every time I turned around in the Carmel Arts and Design District two weekends ago, I was bumping in to another artist. They were everywhere and they all had paint in their hand.  For me, it was a little messy, but for everyone else it appeared like another great weekend in Carmel.  It was a great weekend showcasing a brand new opportunity to enjoy a unique experience right in our own backyard.

This year might be considered the year of inaugural events as Carmel On Canvas was the newest attraction to enhance the Carmel Events Scene.  Carmel On Canvas plein air painting connected the public with artists from the area in an outdoor, interactive setting. The opportunity to watch painters paint, ask questions and even give an opinion on what actually appeared on the canvas was a huge success.

Starting an event like this from scratch is no small task and the people who made it come together need to be thanked. Jerry Points from the Eye On Art Gallery was the primary motivator and instigator behind the project. But working in support of him were several key individuals.

Rai Peterson, who is a Professor of English at Ball State University. worked on the committee and according to Carmel spokeswoman Nancy Heck, “She is a great supporter of the Arts and Design District and we appreciated her organizational skills.”  Karla Kirby showed up and put her skills to use, working with the various groups who needed to be directed.

Ellen Brethauer is a retired schoolteacher.  Her friendly personality and take charge attitude helped her to excel at compiling data.  She was the key person to put together the results of the painting contest within minutes of the final judging.

Connie Slater is a retired Art Teacher who agreed to help out on the first-time event.  She organized the actual art activities and gathered all of the supplies needed.  She was fantastic with the kids and other volunteers.

Polly Points was the key troubleshooter and willing to help out wherever needed.  Jillian Albrecht worked with Stephanie Marshall with the pre-event organization duties and setup.  Wendy Franklin handled the children’s activities on Saturday.

Many thanks to this group of volunteers and we should encourage them to get started planning for next year.

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