News Release 13-062
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Virginia Painter: (360) 902-8562
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388
Art show features state park scenes painted by Washington artists
Oct. 18, 2013 –
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and Plein Air Washington Artists invite the public to view and enjoy an art show featuring beautiful landscapes painted during the 2013 season in state parks.
The exhibit, “A Centennial Salute to Washington State Parks,” runs through December 31, at the American Art Company, 1126 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma. The exhibit opened Thursday and will be celebrated with an opening reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 19 in the gallery.
Plein Air Washington Artists is a group of painters who enjoy painting outdoors to capture the beauty and diversity of the state. Early in 2013, the group approached Washington State Parks with an idea to commemorate and help celebrate State Parks’ Centennial 2013. Washington State Parks, one of the oldest state park systems in the nation, turned 100 on March 19, 2013, and Commission, staff, friends and foundations and many partners created and coordinated a variety of events and activities for visitors in parks all over the state throughout the year. “Plein Air” translates to “Fresh Air” in French and is a term outdoor landscape painters have traditionally used to describe their approach.
Janice Kirstein, a Seattle artist who took the lead on the painters’ Centennial campaign, said the idea began when members of the group realized that what they felt most proud of was an outdoor painting project in conjunction with a preservation trust effort. A camper as well as a painter, she had only recently painted outdoors in some state parks and thought others would like to share the experience.
The artists set up their easels in more than 65 state parks through the spring and summer, and the artist organization doubled in membership to about 160 painters. Kirstein said the growth was due, in part, to their State Parks painting campaign in support of the Centennial. She said about 100 paintings are featured in the exhibit.
Artist Emiliya Lane, also from Seattle, said she strives to represent the beauty of nature in her artwork and that it can be difficult to find good outdoor locations for the activity. State parks turned out to be great painting destinations because they were safe and offered basic amenities nearby, along with the spectacular landscapes.
Kirstein said on a person-to-person level, lots of meaningful connections were made.
“When you’re out there painting, you realize how much we have to be grateful for with our state park system and how important it is to conserve that,” she said. “I was amazed that this was supported by so many artists, who got excited and joined us. While we were out there, visitors were coming up and talking with us and watching and having a different kind of experience with their park. Painting is a great way to connect with people and with places and to help people realize the affinity they have with nature and how that makes our lives richer.”
“We’re very grateful to the artists for joining in the Centennial celebration in this unique and creative way,” said Don Hoch, State Parks director. “These folks spent lots of weekends out there capturing some of the splendor of the park system in the artwork that’s on display. We hope people will take out time to go to the gallery and check out the work.”
Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WAStatePks, www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks and www.foursquare.com/WAStatePks. Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. Washington State Parks turned 100 years old on March 19, 2013, and will celebrate with events in parks all over the state, all year long. For more information, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events/.
Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.