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Look for artists painting ‘en plein air’ downtown on Fridays

Plein Air Carolina will be painting en plein air (French for “in the open air”) in the downtown Salisbury area each Friday in September, from 9 a.m. to  noon.

The Salisbury-based painting group has been painting out together in the Rowan County area since 2005. Sponsored by Waterworks Visual Arts Center, the group is made up of amateur and professional artists.

Member Rachel Lee, who has planned this month’s sessions, said Plein Air Carolina artists will paint “the historical architecture, the hidden benches and lovely vine-covered walls, ornate lamp posts and metal work, grand old trees and sculptures displayed in Salisbury’s downtown area.”

Lee said the artists’ goal is to record in paint the areas of Salisbury that people rush past each day, often without even seeing them. The group also hopes to allow the public to witness the process of painting “en plein air.” She said the group hopes people who watch the artists will develop a greater understanding of plein air and will look at Salisbury in a different way.

She encouraged people to ask the artists about their work and watch them in action. “We’re not afraid for people to watch us paint,” Lee said.

The group has 30-40 members, Lee said, and paint outs usually draw 15 to 20.

Rowan Puiblic Library on West Fisher Street will display art from September’s painting endeavor in an exhibit entitled “Downtown Salisbury — en plein air,” during the month of October.

“The Rowan Library, Plein Air Carolina and the city of Salisbury recognize that reading, art and a sense of place are fundamental to us all,” Lee said.

The paint outs and the Library exhibit are free and open to the public. Here is the schedule of where the artists will be when:

• This Friday – Rowan Public Library and surrounding area of Church, West Fisher and Jackson streets.

• Sept. 11 – Rowan Museum Gardens and surrounding area at North Main and Council streets.

• Sept. 18 – Bell Tower, Angel Statue and surrounding area at Church, West Innes and Jackson streets.

• Sept. 25 – Salisbury Depot, Waterworks and F&M Charleston garden in the area of Depot, East Liberty, and Lee streets.

• Oct. 1 –  Library exhibit opens

• Oct. 3 – Kick off exhibit paint out – 9am to noon, Rowan Public Library, West Fisher Street.

• Nov.  6 – Downtown Salisbury en plein air exhibit closes.





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