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Bingham Arts invites artists to 2022 Plein Air Paint Out

Arts & Entertainment

BLACKFOOT — Open outside spaces of Bingham County are receiving the artistic treatment this week as painters from across the region gather for the Bingham Arts 2022 Plein Air Paint Out.

Plein Air takes place from June 8 to 11 and combines aspects of competition, an exhibition and a festival into one four-day event. The event is open to both professional and non-professional artists of all skill levels. Participants are simply required to paint, draw or sketch an outdoor scene in Bingham County.

The resulting artwork will be exhibited in the Candy Bar Art Gallery in Blackfoot. The artists’ creations will also be judged, with cash prizes of up to $250 up for grabs.

“It is a competition, although a lot of artists will be doing it just to paint because it’s a lot of fun,” Bingham Arts spokesman Daniel Borup told “But it’s fun to win things, too.”

“Plein Air” is a French term that means “in the open air” and being outside in the elements is a key component of the Plein Air experience. Being outside opens up countless options for artists to draw creative inspiration from.

“Sometimes, people will go and do street scenes,” Borup said. “But there’s a whole lot of landscape in Bingham County so generally we get more landscapes than street scenes. But there will be some cityscapes, as well.”

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Tim Goodworth. Courtesy Daniel Borup.

Being outside brings with it a number of challenges artists don’t have to contend with when they paint indoors. The weather will also impact the artwork.

“It’s extremely hard and challenging to paint as you’re in all the elements,” said Borup. “The light is constantly changing and it can be a really hard thing to do. But being outdoors enjoying the scenery, the weather and trying to capture the beauty in front of you and put it on a canvas, there’s something really rewarding about that.”

Changing light and weather conditions can force an artist to think on their feet and adjust to keep their projects on track.

“I’ve painted on windy days where I really wasn’t going to be able to do much out in the weather so I was able to prop the back of my car open and have a little shelter sitting in my trunk,” Borup said. “I’ve driven out in the desert to paint and when I got there, I realized I didn’t bring any sunscreen so that day I got burned really bad. There are always little challenges and you hope for the best of weather but it’s rare that you get an absolutely perfect day. But that’s part of the fun, dealing with changing weather.”

Artists who like a challenge and want to participate in Bingham Arts’ Plein Air Paint Out 2022 can register at the Bingham Arts website. The event runs from Wednesday, June 8 through Saturday, June 11. There is a $35 registration fee.

There will also be a Plein Air demo given by local artist Ken Spencer on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. Admission is $35.

More details on the 2022 Plein Air Paint Out, including a schedule and the contest rules, are available on the Bingham Arts website.

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Nick Blight. Courtesy Daniel Borup.

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