Lighthouse ArtCenter Honors 10 Years of Plein Air Art

Fresh air and fine art come standard at the Lighthouse ArtCenter’s Plein Air Festival, which returns in its tenth year March 5-11

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Tequesta Glow, Mark Shasha
Tequesta Glow, Mark Shasha

Celebrating a decade of showcasing the talents of the country’s best plein air painters, the Lighthouse ArtCenter’s Tenth Annual Plein Air Festival returns March 5-11. This year, 35 award-winning artists will compete for more than $15,000 in cash and prizes through the practice of painting en plein air, or “in the open air. 

The festival will feature free events and artist demonstrations, workshops, and plenty of freshly painted artwork, which will be displayed and available for purchase throughout the week at Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery in Tequesta. A list of the participating artists, a full schedule of events and demonstrations, and workshop details are available here. 

Regarded as the premier Plein Air Festival in the southeastern United States, the artists and judge were carefully selected. Artist Kenn Backhaus has been selected to judge the juried work. Backhaus is an award-winning artist who has devoted almost 40 years to his passion for painting and the love of the outdoors. His works have won numerous awards, including Best of Show, Collector’s Choice, Master’s Award of Excellence, and Artist’s Choice Awards.

Artist painting at House of Refuge in Stuart. Photo by Jordan Weber
Artist painting at House of Refuge in Stuart. Photo by Jordan Weber

The festivities begin March 5 with a “Paint Out Competition” at Harbourside Place in Jupiter. This fast-paced event is open to professional and amateur artists who will compete for more than $2,000 in cash and prizes. The public is welcome to watch as artists begin painting at the sound of an air horn, with two hours to complete their work.  

From March 6-9, 35 award-winning artists will set out to paint in picturesque places throughout Palm Beach County and Martin County, capturing the beauty before them on canvas. Free artist demonstrations are open to the public at Flagler Park in Stuart, Juno Beach Pier, Grassy Waters Preserve in West Palm Beach, and DuBois Park in Jupiter. All of the paintings created can be viewed and will be available for purchase at the Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery throughout the week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A schedule is available here.

The “Collectors’ Party & Sale” takes over the Lighthouse ArtCenter March 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. Guests can purchase works created during this year’s festival, while mixing and mingling with the artists and other art lovers over hors d’oeuvres. The festival ends March 11 at Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery with the lively “Battle of the Brushes” painting competition, an awards ceremony, and new 8″ x 8″ works available for sale.   

2022 Battle of the Brushes. Photo by Jordan Weber
2022 Battle of the Brushes. Photo by Jordan Weber

Five artists will offer in-person workshops for all levels starting at $130. Backhaus will offer a three-day “Composition and Brushwork” workshop March 14-16, for intermediate, advanced, and professional artists. Natalia Andreeva’s “Chasing the Light in Plein Air” takes place on March 4. The one-day workshop includes on-site painting and demonstration focusing on composition, accuracy, fast color mixing, landscape perspective, and pictorial distance. Plein Air with Krystal Brown takes place on February 27-28 and focuses on conveying vision and impression through focused, intentional learning. Color Theory in Plein Air with Stephen Wysocki is a one-day workshop on March 1 focusing on the basics of color theory effects and their use of them in plein air painting. Lon Brauer’s “Shapes, Values, and Color” workshop, March 2-3, teaches the value of a limited palette of colors to unify and construct more compelling compositions. Advance registration is required here. 

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