Estes Valley Plein Air Events

Estes Valley Plein Air “Family Paint Out”-August 17 Art Center 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

The Art “Center of Estes Park will host a “Family Paint Out as part of our 2nd Annual Estes Valley Plein Air on August 17 from 10 a.m.-12 noon. Cathy Goodale will conduct this event to be held at the Art Center. Formerly known as “Kid’s Paint Out,” the entire family is now invited to participate and experience the art of “plein air” painting. This event is sponsored by Ron and Ann Wilcocks of Earthwood Galleries. Supplies will be provided. For further information and/or to sign up, contact the Art Center at 970-586-5882 or

Albert Bierstadt Presentation-August 22 Estes Park Museum 7-9 p.m.

The Art Center of Estes Park in collaboration with the Estes Park Museum will sponsor a presentation on Albert Bierstadt: Plein Air Studies as Direct Observation” by Diane Watson on August 22 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the museum. What started out as a camp fire program at Hermit Park, where Diane works during the summer has now grown into a major book writing project.

While people are generally familiar with Bierstadt’s magnum opus, they are likely are not familiar with the hundreds of studies the artist made en plein air during his stay in Estes Park, “In the course of working at the Hermit Park Open Space,” Watson states, “I have come to recognize a possible viewpoint for the big painting as the current Kruger Rock Trail. This likelihood is supported by the fact that the Earl of Dunraven’s property reached into the current Hermit Park, and would have been desirable to the artist as a high viewpoint with additional extensive views of the Front Range peaks, Lumpy Ridge and the Mummy Range. The artist painted small studies on location in various areas of what is now Rocky Mountain National Park as well as throughout the Estes Valley. Many of these studies are still in existence, telling a far different story than the grandiose large studio painting.

Diane was born in New Hampshire, growing up on a family dairy farm with ample opportunity for outdoor adventures. Close observation of the land, rocks, water, trees and animals both wild and domesticated have led to a lifetime of drawing and painting these subjects. Watson attended Boston University’s College of Fine Arts where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts. Further studies in the New Hampshire University system and six months of art history study, drawing and printing travel throughout Europe provided additional invaluable experience through firsthand observation. Diane came to Colorado in 1979 and attended life drawing classes at the Art Students League, and completed her Master’s Degree in Visual Arts at the University of Denver, studying egg tempera with Deborah Howard.

The public is invited to attend this presentation which will include an opportunity of a question and answer period. For further information contact the Art Center at 970-586-5882.

Quick Draw and Auction-August 24 Riverside Plaza 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Come observe artists at work as they complete a piece of art in 90 minutes. Participate in an auction of these works and leave with a freshly painted original work of art. Artist will be painting between 8:30 to 10:00. After being on display and judged, an auction will be held beginning at 10:30. Local artist Jim Biggers will judge the entries and three awards will be given out. This activity will be held at Riverside Plaza.

Gala Opening and Awards Ceremony – August 24 Art Center 5-8 p.m.

The Art Center will reveal the works of our guest artists with the Gala Opening and Awards Ceremony on August 24 from 5-8 p.m. The Awards Ceremony will begin at 6:30 with over $13,000 in cash awards and gift certificates to be given out. Judges for this event are Stephanie Hartshorn and Greig Steiner. Refreshments and special wine with our Estes Valley Plein Air label developed by Snowy Peaks Winery will be provided. Entertainment will presented by Great Blue. The public is invited to enjoy this event and have an opportunity to vote for their favorite painting. The exhibit is on display through September 27. The Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Art Center of Estes Park is a nonprofit organization which provides a facility to support the work of local and regional artists, striving to promote exhibition, education, and excellence in the visual arts. Proceeds benefit the artist and contribute to the Art Center’s education and community outreach. The Art Center is located at 517 Big Thompson Avenue, in Middle Stanley Village, below Safeway and above Subway. For more information, please call the Art Center at 970-586-5882 or visit our website at

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