Inaugural Plein Air Litchfield Painting Festival Set for Oct. 5

Plein Air Litchfield consulting artist Jim Laurino's painting York River View.
“York River View” by Litchfield artist Jim Laurino, who provided consulting assistance for the entities sponsoring the first Plein Air Litchfield painting festival on Oct. 5.

The Town of Litchfield’s Economic Development Commission, the Litchfield Historical Society, and the local arts nonprofit Art Tripping have joined forces to sponsor and present the inaugural Plein Air Litchfield, a one-day painting festival on Oct. 5 featuring some of the finest landscape artists in the Northeast.

Plein air painting, or en plein air in France where the practice originated in the 19th century, is the act of painting outdoors in the landscape, rather than in the studio. Plein air festivals that draw top landscape artists have become very popular around the country.

Twelve distinguished artists are confirmed as participants thus far in Plein Air Litchfield. The first event is invitation-only and will not have an entry fee.

Jennifer Terzian of Jennifer Terzian Gallery and Craig Connelly of Alofft Gallery, both in Litchfield center, have agreed to serve as judges for Plein Air Litchfield and will be joined on the judging panel by Michael Bucci, an Art & Design lecturer at Central Connecticut State University.

The judges will hand out first, second, and third place awards, as well a People’s Choice Award and a series of themed awards, including Best Wild Spaces and best Farmscape awards. All awards will come with monetary prizes, and Golden Artist Colors is sponsoring swag bags for participating artists.

Judging will take place in Milton Hall in the Milton section of Litchfield, where the artworks will be displayed and available for sale to guests who purchase tickets to a reception. (Details to follow.)

Award-winning Litchfield plein air landscape painter Jim Laurino, represented locally by Gregory James Gallery in New Milford, has been instrumental in assisting the planning process for Plein Air Litchfield.

Meanwhile, plein air painter Zufar Bikbov is helping to ensure the long-term success of Plein Air Litchfield by arranging an internship for an event organizer at Plein Air Easton to facilitate research about the best practices of successful festivals.

The goal of Plein Air Litchfield is to introduce the painting festival concept to Litchfield and prepare the community for future annual festivals.

“We intend for Plein Air Litchfield to grow and expand into a multi-day festival with activities, competitions and talks, receptions and strong sales, attracting the best plein air artists around the country and beyond,” the outreach letter to invited artists explained.  

Stay tuned for further details as they are finalized. Questions or communications about Plein Air Litchfield may be emailed to [email protected].

Below: A photograph of a Thomas Adkins work in progress in Essex, CT from the artist’s Facebook page. The artist is participating in Plein Air Litchfield.

A photograph of Plein Air Litchfield participating artist Thomas Adkins of Southbury painting en plein air in Essex, CT, from the artist's Facebook page.