The Virginia Highlands Festival in partnership with the Abingdon Arts Depot and the William King Museum of Art announces their third annual plein air paint-out and pop-up gallery to provide an opportunity for local artists to show their work, highlight all that downtown Abingdon has to offer, and build support for the Festival’s annual art prizes.
“Abingdon is synonymous with art, rich with both high quality artists and informed collectors,” said Christine Berg, chair of this year’s event. “Paint the Town brings art to our sidewalks, our parks, even our front porches.”
Becky Caldwell, Festival Executive Director, calls the event a “love letter” to the town of Abingdon. “Abingdon gifts us with a beautiful town, people, and life to capture. In return the artists gift us with their perspective and capture a moment in time with an emotional poignancy you can only get from the hand of an artist.”
Betsy White, WKMA Executive Director, says, “William King Museum of Art is delighted to partner once again with the Virginia Highlands Festival on this project. It brings together artists and art lovers in our community in a unique way and celebrates the architectural history and natural beauty of Abingdon.”
Susan Yates, Director of the Arts Depot, said “The Arts Depot and its member artists are excited to participate in the ‘Paint the Town’ plein air event. What a fun way to celebrate our creative community and talented artists.”
New this year is a plein air painting workshop taught by artist Kyle Buckland, a $500 cash first prize (as judged by Buckland), and an extended partnership with WKMA to show the top 3 works created that day later in the summer during the Festival. Funds raised at this year’s event help support the Festival’s Juried Fine Art, Youth Art, and Photography prizes.
Timeline of events on Saturday, May 19th:
10 AM – 3 PM Artists’ Paint-out: Historic architecture, quaint shops, and abundant natural beauty provide the backdrop for your imagination. Artists in all forms of media are welcome, and pre-registration is required. Registration is $20 per artist, available at https://vahighlandsfestival.networkforgood.com/events/5050-paint-the-town-2018 or call 276-623-5266.
3 – 4:30 PM Kyle Buckland plein air demo: Everyone is invited to join artist Kyle Buckland for a free plein air painting lecture/demonstration in front of the William King Museum of Art. The painting he creates will be raffled off at the pop-up gallery just two hours later.
5 – 7 PM Pop-up Gallery and Cocktail Party: Friends, fans, and collectors are invited to attend this free reception to honor our artists and see what they created earlier in the day. Collectors may choose to purchase artwork for sale by registered artists, with some of the proceeds going to fund the Festival’s many summer art prizes. Additionally, Kyle Buckland’s painting created that day will be raffled ($5 per ticket) to one lucky winner. 50% of all art sales and raffle ticket sales will help fund the Festival’s art prizes this summer. The other 50% goes directly to the artists to support their work.
Guests at the party will be entertained by Asheville band, One Leg Up, as they perform a vibrant mixture of upbeat Gypsy Jazz, Latin, Swing and original jazz compositions.
Paint the Town is sponsored, in part, by Laurel Springs Studio, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Town of Abingdon, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. The 70th annual Virginia Highlands Festival takes place July 27-August 5. The Juried Fine Art competition and gallery will be housed at the Arts Depot. The Youth Art and Photography competitions and galleries will be at the William King Museum of Art.