On Friday, July 13th, the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters (RMPAP) “Plein Air for the Park” Gala Opening Reception and Sale takes place at Grand Teton National Park’s (GTNP) Craig Thomas Discovery Center (CTDVC) 7:00 – 9:00 pm, with presentations of artist awards at 7:45 pm. New works painted in the Park over the preceding two weeks will be exhibited; award-winning paintings will become part of GTNP’s permanent collection. Forty percent of the proceeds from the sale of works at the show will benefit Grand Teton National Park through the Grand Teton Association (GTA), the Park’s supporter and provider of Park-related educational, interpretive and scientific materials and programs.
Dozens of artists from around North America are taking part in the first-of-its-kind event. Jackson Hole artists Jennifer Hoffman, Erin O’Connor, Kathryn Mapes Turner and Lee Riddell will all have works on display. RMPAP president Steve Datz notes that this entire show will be created during the 12 days prior to the opening.
“That’s about 130 paintings that didn’t exist on July 1,” he says. “That’s no small thing. In a way, you can look at that body of work as a “snapshot” of GTNP during that time. It’s a cross section of all the various aspects of light, weather, landscape, and activity, whether wild or human, in the Park during that 10 day slice of time. I expect it will be quite a diverse and impressive exhibition, and I am hopeful that it will be as surprising as it is delightful.”
A Quick Draw takes place on Thursday, July 12th, at CTDVC, 4-6:00 pm–beneath a Tetons late afternoon summer sky. Free and open to the public, the Quick Draw will feature 32 of the event artists completing a painting, start-to-finish, in two hours. Paintings may be purchased at the Quick Draw, for fixed, full retail prices. Quick Draw works may also be included in the exhibition and sale taking place at CTDVC July 13th – 15th.
Hoffman notes that as long as there’s even been an idea for it, artists have been intimately involved in the creation and preservation of National Parks.
“I am honored to take part in this rich history and to be able to share my passion for art and nature in a way that will benefit a place that I love,” she says. “I think it will be a special experience for park visitors to see artists creating works on location from start to finish – it’s the kind of thing that becomes a lifetime memory.”
“My people, my tribe!” exclaimes O’Connor. ” This is a collection of the most talented artists I know, with both styles and humors running the gammut. Imagine the challenge: paint your own immersion in the Jackson Hole landscape, no matter the weather or circumstances, in a matter of days. Imagine the kind of people who can pull that off. They are dedicated, determined souls with astonishing skills and a willingness to let Mother Nature run them ragged. I’ve participated in the RMPAP national events for 10 years, and I’ve yet to decide which is best – the amazing artwork that is created in these wild places, or the wild laughter and comradery of the artists creating.”
Riddell views RMPAP’s event as a celebration of the place she’s called home for over 35 years. Always excited to see how artists interpret the Park and its surroundings, Riddell takes pleasure in understanding what moves artists and how their feelings are put into their paintings; she looks forward to meeting RMPAP’s artists and taking part in her first Quick Draw.
“I am honored to be one of the ‘invited guest artists’ this summer, and am looking forward to painting with Jen, Kath, Erin and Greg, as well as friends who are RMPAP members not living in Jackson,” Riddell says. “And, it will be fun to meet members I do not know yet. I learn so much from other painters!”