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Art on the Island Brings Plein Air Speed Painting to Eagle

Lex Nelson Jun 6, 2018 4:00 AM
Plein air painting—the art of painting landscapes and other subjects outdoors in the open air—is a tradition as old as painting itself. Still, it didn't have an Idaho bastion until Meg Glasgow, owner of the frame shop/gallery Finer Frames in Eagle, started the Eagle Plein Air Festival & Competition in 2015, bringing artists to Idaho from across the country to compete. This year, the festival is pioneering a new event, Art on the Island, that will challenge 70 painters to a 90-minute "quick draw" competition in Eagle Island State Park on Thursday, June 7, followed by an auction of their work.

"We held a similar event out at 3 Horse Ranch [Vineyards &] Winery last year, but it was a remote location and it was too small, and [the event] was really growing," said Glasgow. "We've loved the partnership with the state park, and the facility is beautiful and it's well-suited to an outdoor concert venue and painters, as well."

The quick draw will take place inside the park, which is located just off State Highway 44 in Eagle between two branches of the Boise River. The usual park fee of $5 per vehicle will be required alongside a $35 ticket to give guests access to the festivities. Over the course of the evening, a stage set up near the main parking area will host jazz musicians including headliners the Van Paepeghem Quartet, and each ticket purchase includes a commemorative wine glass, tastings from local wineries—Sawtooth Winery, Vine 46 Winery and Vizcaya Winery among them—and access to the artists ringing the stage.

Courtesy Eagle Plein Air Festival

"While the patrons are relaxing, listening to smooth jazz [and] tasting great Idaho wine, they're watching these painters complete a painting," said Glasgow. "As soon as the paintings are finished, the wet paintings will go into a live auction so concert-goers will have the opportunity to purchase the paintings that they just saw being created in front of their eyes."

In addition to food from Kanak Attack Katering and Woodstock Pizza, Meriwether Cider and Powderhaus Brewing Company will pour drinks in what Glasgow described as a "festival atmosphere." The action will run from 5-9:30 p.m., and a full schedule of events can be found online at eaglepleinair.com.