Full and not so simple: Painting festival returns | Arts & Theater

The Arts Council of Kern’s first big project of the year is the 2022 Plein Air Painting Festival.

Starting on Tuesday, the multiday event will bring five artists to join two local ones for a number of activities and, of course, painting.

Elizabeth Spavento, the Arts Council’s new executive director, said she’s excited to bring back the event after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic.

The event is scaled back from previous years when more than a dozen artists would spread out over the county painting scenes of life and nature as it happened.

This year, five visiting artists — Ariah Boyle, Durre Waseem, Carol Tarzier, Ellen Howard and Mark Monsarrat — will join local painters Art Sherwyn and David Gordon in the event.

A smaller roster will allow the public a better chance to interact with the painters at events planned during the run of the festival.

Activities kick off Tuesday with a panel discussion at 5:30 pm held at Bird Dog Arts at the Outlets at Tejon, 5701 Outlets at Tejon Parkway, Suite 440, in Arvin.

Gordon, who also manages the art space, will moderate the discussion with Tarzier and Sherwyn.

“Artists don’t mind talking about their process,” Gordon joked about the discussion.

“I’m going to ask them what they get out of plein-air festivals and how it’s different than studio work. We’ll explore those things.”

Spavento said she hopes they discuss how social and environmental issues might come out in these landscape works.

On April 21, artists will head downtown for a paint out that starts at noon. They will have a few hours to set up and complete a plein-air work of a downtown scene.

Gordon, who will be out of town for a wedding, said he will be sorry to miss the event that will culminate in a reception for the works at the Bakersfield Art Association, 1607 19th St. (He will complete his downtown piece in advance for the display.)

“With plein-air, things change and you only have that time to get the feeling of that place,” Gordon said. “It’s kind of a breed.”

The artists’ streetscapes will be available for purchase, all priced below $1,000.

On April 23, three of the artists will hold workshops for those who want a hands-on experience with plein-air painting.

“Each are limited to 12 participants,” Spavento said. “We wanted to create an opportunity for other creative folks who have always been interested but haven’t engaged.”

Ariah Boyle will hold his workshop from 9 to 11 am, followed by Mark Monsarrat from noon to 2 pm and Durre Waseem from 3 to 5 pm All will take place outside Locale Farm to Table, 1727 18th St.

Cost is $75 per workshop and includes painting materials. Participants are also encouraged to dress for the weather, bring water and shade if desired and comfortable footwear (or a folding chair).

The festival all leads up to the Spring Soiree, which will be held from noon to 4 pm April 24 at the Gardens at Monji, 9401 Shellabarger Road.

This soiree will include passed appetizers, open bar, art sales and a silent auction of the artists’ works that will include the pieces created during the week. Awards will also be given out.

Cost to attend the evening is $80. Tickets are available for all events including the panel discussion and paint out reception, which are both free, are available via linktr.ee/artscouncilofkern. You can also use the link to sign up for the Arts Council of Kern’s newsletter.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.


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