Plans are gearing up for Plein Air: Mt. Lebanon, a Neighborhood Celebration of the Arts, October 2 through 7. The event, presented by the Mt. Lebanon Partnership, will bring more than two dozen artists from around the country to set up easels and paint our town. It is modeled after the successful festival now in its eighth year in Easton, Maryland, where artists sold $300,000 worth of paintings in three days last year.
En Plein Air, French for “in the open air,” is an art movement that started in Europe in the early 19th century when portable easels and paint in tubes made it easy to paint outside. Organized by Partnership member and Plein Air artist David Csont, Standish Boulevard, with the help of the commercial districts office, the festival will begin with the artists touring Mt. Lebanon for inspiration, then spending the next three days painting whatever captures their eye.
Friday morning, nationally known jurist Ron Donoughe will judge their work, and at 7 that night, the public may attend the opening gala in the municipal building, where cash prizes sponsored by local businesses will be awarded to the winning artists. The gala will cost $100 to $150 and will include music, food and wine, plus a $100 voucher toward a painting. Artwork will likely cost from $400 to $1,500, with the artist getting 60 percent and the Partnership retaining 40 percent to use for future Mt. Lebanon events.
Saturday will be the Mt. Lebanon Paint-Out with artist demonstrations, kids’ activities and a concert. Local gallery owners could extend the event by carrying paintings not sold by Sunday. To top it off, the weekend also includes the Mt. Lebanon Sunrise Rotary’s annual Art in the Park sale in the Academy Avenue parking lot. www.pleinaireaston.com and www.pbs.org/programs/plein-air.