En Plein Air

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En plein air, or plein air painting, is a phrase borrowed from the French equivalent meaning "open (in full) air." It is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors, also called peinture sur le motif ("painting of the object(s) or what the eye actually sees"), where a painter reproduces the actual visual conditions seen at the time of the painting. This method contrasts with studio painting or academic rules; those might create a predetermined look. En plein air can also be used to describe other activities where a person partakes in an outdoor environment.

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Over the past few weeks, a group of Harrison Center artists including Kyle Ragsdale, Josh Rush, Justin Vining, Nathan Foxton, Caleb Stoltzfus, Quincy Owens and Alicia Zanoni have been venturing out into various places around the city and in state parks. Nathan and Alicia can most often be found at the corner of 38th and Illinois (newly renamed Maple Crossing and one of the Great Places 2020 neighborhoods). Others have been spotted on Monument Circle and at Highland Park on city's near eastside. Josh, Justin and Nathan have even tried their hand at nocturne painting, sometimes working into the wee hours of the morning. Just this weekend Quincy was painting in the courtyard of the Harrison Center. It didn't take long for other artists to join in. Kyle and Justin ventured the farthest to Shades State Park.  The community that is within the Harrison Center for the Arts is expanding outside of the walls and is a beauty to watch. You can see some of these plein air works at the Summer Landscape group show opening July 1st.

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