Dig Baton Rouge

Art in the Open

By: Tara Bennett

There is something special in the air this weekend — the scent of paint, otherwise known as “plein air.”

The term refers to the French expressionist style of painting outdoors and the FW Gallery in Baton Rouge has invited local artists as it will host a Plein Air Festival on Sunday, Oct. 19. The idea originated from talks between FW Gallery Director Rozlan Fransen and local artist Nanci Charpentier who is a plein air painter and had the idea for the gallery to do a plein air festival.

“This is such a great idea,” said FW Gallery Director Rozlan Fransen. “I wanted to do something fun and interesting for my group show. I always do a group show every year and this way I can do an interactive group show.”

The group shows at the FW Gallery generally have a theme that pulls everyone together, and the theme for this show will be utilizing the plein air painting technique. Plein air translates to “open air” and is traditionally used in reference to painting outdoors.

“Typically they paint landscapes,” said Fransen. “They’re kind of a traditional style when it comes to plein air paintings, but I know some of the artists that have signed up are very abstract painters. It’ll be really interesting to see the whole range that comes in.”

The day kicks off on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as around 30 artists will create new artwork around the gallery and paint the outside scenery, such as the fruit trees located by a nearby dentist office. A Wet Wall reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. that night at the FW Gallery where the community will be able to view the freshly painted canvases.

“All of the work will probably still be wet,” said Fransen. “This is spontaneous and differs from a traditional idea of an opening reception.”

While this is not a juried show, prizes will be awarded for the public’s favorite piece. The People’s Choice winner will receive a prize and a spot in the gallery during the upcoming year.

For more information or to register, contact Franzen at 225-769-0582. The work will hang through November 10 and can be viewed Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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