On Sunday, September 24, the Ohio Plein Air Society (OPAS) will mark its 20th Annual Competition, a significant milestone in the organization’s history. The event will unfold on the scenic grounds of the Mansfield Art Center, located at 700 Marion Ave. in Mansfield. The competition will showcase paintings of Richland County, each crafted over a three-day period in the tradition of “Plein Air,” which means “in the open air.”

The event will commence at 10:00 AM and run until 2:00 PM, offering the public a unique opportunity to witness the artistic talents of local and regional artists. The culmination of the event will be the judging of the artwork by a professional artist. For more details, you can reach out to Mary Ann Clady, the 2023 Ohio Plein Air Competition Chair, at 419-512-0594.

Painting in its Purest Form

The Ohio Plein Air Society, established in August 2002, has been a pioneering force in the resurgence of the plein air movement in the United States. With members hailing from nearly every county in Ohio and its surrounding states, OPAS has set a high standard for plein air painting. According to the society’s guidelines, a plein air painting must be 95% completed outdoors, on location, and from direct observation. The use of photography is strictly prohibited, and the painting must authentically represent the location it depicts.

The Canvas Of Richland County

Richland County serves as the painting area for the competition, offering a diverse range of subjects for artists. Known as a tourist and recreational hub for north-central Ohio, the county boasts state parks, unique villages, and historic sites like the Kingwood Center, Malabar Farm, and the Carousel District. The Mansfield Art Center will not only host the competition but also serve as the venue for stamping, the Saturday Evening Social, and the Sunday morning juried exhibit. Additionally, the center will be the location for the Wet Paint Sale and the traditional 2-hour Quick Draw event.

What is Plein Air? A Brief Exploration

The term “Plein Air” originates from the French phrase “en plein air,” which translates to “in the open air.” It refers to the act of painting outdoors, capturing landscapes and natural light in real-time. This form of art challenges artists to interpret and capture the essence of a scene before conditions change, offering a raw and immediate experience that is both exhilarating and demanding.

The 20th Annual Ohio Plein Air Society Competition promises to be a celebration of artistic skill, natural beauty, and community spirit. Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply someone who appreciates the great outdoors, this event offers something for everyone.

For those interested in learning more about the Ohio Plein Air Society or participating in future events, visit their official website.

Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay