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Coming up October 17–24 is one of the most exciting weeks of the year in Sedona. For one whole week the Sedona Arts Center will be hosting a fabulous celebration of Sedona’s beauty in all her glory as experienced through the eyes and paint brushes of 22 or the hippest, most talented painters in the entire country. Brace yourself for the 11th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival & Sedona Main Street Paint Out coming to you in just a few short days!

What is a Plein Air festival? I am glad you asked! It all begins with “En Plein Air”, a French term that translates to “in the open air.” Perhaps a better description of how that translates to this event is this: artists create paintings outdoors rather than in a studio. Yes, you read that right. The artists are outside painting and using the spectacular red rock scenery as their muse to boot! Between the fall scenery where Mother Nature is showing her big box of crayons and temperate climate of Sedona I can’t imagine a more perfect location for plein air painting.

Some of the incredible and talented artists from around the country participating this year include Joshua Been (Colorado), Shonto Begay (Arizona), Betty Carr (Arizona), Bill Cramer, John P. Lasater IV (Arkansas),Jason Sacran (Arkansas), and Loriann Signori (Washington DC) (California) (Arizona) for Landscapes and Michele Byrne (Pennsylvania),Libby Caldwell (Arizona), Robert Lemler (California),Gretchen Lopez (Arizona),Carl Ortman (Colorado), Randall Sexton (California),David Tanner (Virginia),Dawn Whitelaw (Tennessee) will be representing for Figurative Artists.

Here is just a brief description of the week’s festivities:

It all kicks off on Saturday, October 17! The Main Street Paint Out starts at 1pm and goes until 4pm and is FREE as are most of the events throughout the week! Here you can join artists up and down Main Street as they paint out in the open air in Uptown, Sedona. This is your first chance of the week to watch artists paint from start to finish during this ‘quick-draw’ type event. Then at 4:30, head over to the Sedona Arts Center to see which of the masterpieces you just watched come to life will win the Gamblin Oils and Guerilla Painter awards! Don’t’ fret, if you see a painting you love you’ll be able to buy it here and take it home. Because there will always be more paintings tomorrow!

From 5–7pm on the 17th be sure to join the crows at the official opening reception in the Plein Air Galleries. You will be able to take a closer look at works the artists brought with them and then come back all week long to see and purchase if you like these and all the new art that they’ll be adding throughout the week.

On Sunday, October 18 from 10 am–noon there will be a Contemporary Oil Materials Workshop with Scott Gellatly, Product Manager for Gamblin Artists Colors. A painter himself, Scott consults with painters worldwide on technical issues and is involved in developing and testing all of Gamblin oil colors and mediums. He is teaching this workshop for free but you must register!

From 7-8pm, on Sunday the 18th Carl Judson will be conducting Paint Outside the Box; Personal Style in Plein Air, which is another FREE workshop! If you are wondering who Carl Judson is, he is the man behind ‘Guerrilla Painter’ creator of unique pochade boxes, and plein air painting paraphernalia. He will be giving a digital presentation and talk on creating a personal style as well as how many artists have forged their style by also seeking new and interesting subject matter. Registration is a must for this as well!

Start Monday, October 19 off right by attending Casino Night in the Speakeasy Salon. The Big Cheese Guest Preview is from 4–5pm and Casino Night is from 5–8pm. Feel like seeing what a 1920’s speakeasy was like? Don’t miss this event then or you will be missing out! Get in the mood by coming in costume-think flapper fringe or gangster glad rags.
The cost is $100 and look at what you get for your bucks:

  • Early entry and exclusive preview from 4 to 5pm to rub elbows with Speakeasy Artists and Models. You will be the first to be able to buy original artwork created during the Plein Air Festival Speakeasy Salon.
  • A chance to win over 25 cool prizes in the Casino Raffle.
  • Casino Night gets rollin’ at 5pm with $500 in chip-vouchers to play casino games where you can win more chances for prizes.
  • Free wine and specialty “giggle water” cocktails made just for the Speakeasy and some “deluxe” canapés.

Tuesday, October 20, brings Paint Out at Jerome from 9am–1pm.
Each year for the last 10 years, our plein air artists paint throughout scenic Jerome and Gold King Mine with lunch sponsored by Jerome Chamber of Commerce and Jerome Art Walk. This year will make the eleventh year. You can find where your favorite artist is painting at the Sponsor Tent in the main parking area.

Wednesday, October 21, is not ordinary hump day. This Wednesday marks the Final Reception for Speakeasy Salon from 5pm–7pm. This event is free and open to the public and will feature awards for the Speakeasy Salon. Come here some great jazz music in the Theatre Studio. Sedona Arts Center, Fine Art Connoisseur and Ray Mar Art sponsor awards, with Ray Mar Art owner, Catherine Dietrich will be judging.

But the week isn’t quite over yet! Thursday, October 22, get ready for another Quick Draw from 10am–Noon. “Water in the Desert” Creekside Paint Out is another free event and artists will be able to paint anywhere along the creek near the resort. A final gathering of work will be available for sale and judged for awards from Gamblin and Guerrilla Painter. Pink Jeep will be shuttling the public from the Sedona Arts Center lower parking lot to the beautiful grounds of L’Auberge.

Thursday Evening at 7pm Randall Sexton will be giving a Keynote Address entitled “Painting in the Moment” at the Sedona Arts Center in their Theatre Studio. There will be a short reception following in Plein Air Galleries.

Get ready to get your awards on because Friday, October 23 is Awards Night! There will be a special award for art work on the theme of “Water in the Desert” Exclusive Patrons Preview 4–5pm and the Final Reception which is free and open to the public from 5pm–8pm.

Saturday, October 24 it all winds down with the Final Public Sale 10:00am–Noon
Don’t miss this last chance to buy original art!

You can’t get much more arty than the week of October 17-24 in Sedona! What a perfect way to spend an autumn week! For more information check out their website at:

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