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Your weekend: In plein sight

Submitted by on 1, July 9, 2009 – 2:00 pmNo Comment
Plein air artist Mary Lou Correia

Plein air artist Mary Lou Correia

Monday marks the start of Frank Bette Center for the Arts’ fourth annual, weeklong Plein Air Paintout. This year, they’ll have 40 artists from Alameda and beyond setting up easels all over the Island.

The event, which is the arts center’s biggest fundraiser of the year, culminates with an outdoor art exhibit and sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 18 at Alameda Towne Centre.

Plein air, French for “in the open air,” has a long and prestigious history in California and was one of the art forms practiced by the art center’s namesake, Frank Bette’s Debra Owen says.

“The (center’s) mission is about engaging the community in the arts,” Owen says. “Plein Air, done outdoors, is highly visible because, naturally, it’s in your park, your neighborhood, on your beach … right in your front yard!”

The week’s events include portrait painting at Cardinal Point at Mariner Square on Wednesday, July 15 and a “quick draw” challenge from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 16, and that will cover the length of Park Street. Those paintings will be on exhibit and for sale at the Alameda Marketplace at Park and Buena Vista from noon to 5 p.m. on the 16th (and if you drop by between noon and one, you can say hi and have lunch with the artists, too).

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, the Alameda Fire Department’s 1920 Seagrave Pumper will be parked in front of an 1890 Queen Anne Victorian at 1615 San Jose Avenue.

The arts center will have a “Where are the artists now?” tracking map for folks who want to see the work in progress, and there will be an awards ceremony from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, July 17 in the center court of Towne Centre (right by the frog pond) that will include a juried award and people’s choice award.

Other painting locations include the Alameda Farmer’s Market, Alameda Naval Air Museum, Hangar One Distillery and Rock Wall Wine Company.

For more information or to get on the “Paint Me!” map or volunteer to sit for a portrait, call Frank Bette at 523-6957 or e-mail debra@frankbettecenter.org.

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