DOVER — The Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic are trekking through the First State to paint the Delaware History Trail. Starting today, the group will hold its first exhibition at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover.
The exhibition runs through July 31 with a free opening reception tonight from 5 to 8 at the museum at 820 N. DuPont Highway. Music by harpist Mike Nielsen and light refreshments will be provided.
The exhibit will represent more than 30 painting locations, with each location painted by multiple artists from all counties in Delaware.
The paintings are for sale and will be replaced with additional art until the end of the show.
The Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic started more than two years ago with four artists who wanted to paint outdoors (plein air, as it is called by artists) in safe, secure, public locations, and now the group has grown to more than 40 artists, more artists join each week.
Using social media to gain interest with an open Facebook group page, they found many artists and friends of artists who wanted to join in. Social media gave them visibility and a way to post upcoming painting sessions to members, among artists, other arts organizations and the public.
On the Facebook group, the artists show off their snapshots of partially completed and finished works, and artists in action painting local scenes.
This open group also includes artists outside of social media who receive regular email invitations as belonging to Facebook is not necessary. The love of painting outdoors, many times in historic venues, landscapes and unique areas of the region resonates in all of the artists. Not all artists paint at each session.
It depends on the location of the session and the travel needed by the individual artist.
At least a dozen or more artists participate in each painting session.
The Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic exhibited a portion of the group’s finished pieces at “A Day in the Life of John Dickinson Plantation” in the fall of 2012. This year, they focused on March as Arts in Education Month by organizing “Kids Plein Air Painting,” also at the John Dickinson Plantation.
This year’s weekly painting sessions have already begun.
Using the Delaware History Trail & Passport, the 2013 focus provides group painting sessions at trail sites throughout the state. This theme will be used for the 2014 group exhibition. In 2013, the group has painted trail sites in the towns of New Castle, Dover, Odessa and Lewes.