Queen City Plein Air Festival: April 17-22
Twenty-eight professional plein air (French for “in open air”) painters representing Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and North and South Carolina will be painting in Staunton and Augusta County for five days, after which their work will be featured in a Fresh Paint Show and Sale in the BSSS Gallery at 22 W Beverley Street in Staunton.
Invited artists will paint historic downtown Staunton; area farms including Polyface, MeadowCroft and Gaie Lea Farms; the Frontier Culture Museum; the newly renovated Blackburn Inn; a selection of private homes; and the Middlebrook gardens featured on the Staunton/Augusta Garden Club’s “Historic Garden Week Tour”.
The community is encouraged to participate in several events during the Festival:
- Tuesday, April 17–The public is invited to attend a free Artist Lecture by BSSS instructor, local professional artist Elizabeth Geiger: “Exploring Different On-Site Painting Approaches: Five Artists Who Inspire Me to Paint,” at the BSSS Gallery (22 W Beverley St) from 7-8 pm (no registration required; first come/first served basis).
- Thursday, April 19–Two Artist Demonstrations, by visiting professional artists Maria Reardon and Beth Bathe, from 2-4 pm at the newly renovated Blackburn Inn (maximum of 20 participants, registration required—call office). That evening there is another free, public Artist Lecture by professional plein air artist Bruno Baran: “Italian Plein Air Painters: The Macchiaioli,” at the BSSS Gallery (22 W Beverley St) from 7-8 pm (no registration required; first come/first served basis).
- Friday, April 20 is a community-centered day with the Paint Staunton Quick Draw Art Competition at Sunspots Pavilion from 9:30 am-12:30 pm. The public is invited to compete for awards totaling $1,000 in Professional, Amateur and 16 And Under categories. Fresh Paint Show and Sale of the paintings from 2-3 pm. Also drop off new art supplies at Sunspots Pavilion from 9 am-4 pm for BSSS’s Art Supply Drive to benefit the Valley Mission.
- Saturday, April 21, in partnership with the Staunton/Augusta Garden Tour, QCPA painters will paint the Staunton area homes and gardens featured on the open-to-the-public Historic Garden Week Tour. QCPA Festival culminates in an evening gallery sale. Those who attend the Preview Party from 5:30-6 pm will be the first ones to enter the BSSS Gallery prior to the general opening. Guests can enjoy a glass of Prosecco while viewing the freshly painted scenes Staunton and Augusta County (an entry fee of $20; waived for event sponsors). This is followed by a free and open-to-the-public Fresh Paint Show and Sale from 6-8:30 pm.
- Sunday, April 22–Fresh Paint Show and Sale continues from 10 am-12 pm. Additionally, register for a one-day workshop by event juror Nancy Tankersley.
For registration information or for general information about any of the Festival’s events, please visit www.bssschool.org or call the School’s office at 540-886-8636.