Sonoma’s Plein Air Festival in town

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Monday, Sept. 5 to Saturday, Sept. 10

Plein Air Artists paint around Sonoma and beyond

Each of our nationally renowned Plein Air Artists paint 8-12 paintings during Plein Air week out and about in Sonoma, San Francisco and Marin.

Art is on display and for sale at Adastra Winery throughout the week.

Tuesday, Sept. 6

Quick Draw demonstration and sale at Farmers’ Market from 5 to 7 p.m. Free admission.

Friday, Sept. 9

Gala dinner and auction at Sonoma Mission Inn

Saturday, Sept. 10

Art show and sale on the Plaza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Music throughout the day, children’s art classes, artists demonstrations, musical performances.

The complete schedule of events can be found at sonomapleinair.com.

The Sonoma Plein Air Art Festival is back and ready to take painting to the outdoors and shed some sun on the issue of insufficient funding for kids’ art programs in schools.

The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation is a board of volunteer community leaders who raise money to support Sonoma students’ art education. Since 2002, SPAF has been putting on the Sonoma Plein Art Festival where numerous artists leave their studios to spend a week outdoors painting art. The artists’ art is also for sale throughout the festival, giving back 40 percent of their profits to SPAF.

Since its beginning, SPAF has raised more than $1 million for art programs and projects in Sonoma is the primary nonprofit to support art education in public schools.

According to Linda Rosso, an artist and first-year volunteer on the SPAF board, local artist Keith Wicks had a daughter in school and he realized that art education in the Sonoma Valley public schools was not really happening due to budget cuts. So he wanted to find a way to raise money to help support art in public schools. He got some of his artist friends together and decided to put on the first festival. He got connected and co-founded the festival with Judy Vadasz, who was able to bring in a lot of patrons and people to buy the artwork.

This year there will be 36 artists including first-time participants and long-time favorite local artists, including Dennis Ziemienski of Glen Ellen, Dick Cole of Sonoma, Sergio Lopez of Santa Rosa and Festival founder, Keith Wicks of Sonoma.

Lopez is back for his third year and is really excited for the festival.

“Sonoma Plein Air Festival is a lot of fun. Many of my artist friends participate in this event. I like seeing how they interpret my home county. The event itself is great because it pulls in a lot of the best collectors in the area, not least of which is John Lasseter of Pixar,” Lopez said. “It’s also nice that, in these days of increasing budget cuts to the arts, they are still able to provide so much yearly funding to the arts programs for the local schools.”

The festival starts Monday morning when the artists show up at Adastra Wines. “They bring canvas with them, or whatever they’re gonna paint on, and all of those get stamped on the back. So that’s the proof that whatever is created was created this week, so that they’re not bringing in art made before,” Rosso said.

Artists will spend the week painting not just in Sonoma, but also Napa, Marin and San Francisco. Places like Chateau St. Jean Winery, Flatbed Farms and homes in Glen Ellen have privately invited any artists who want to paint there, to come.

Part of this year’s festival will be at Adastra on 5 E. Napa St. where they will be displaying some of the artist’s’ studio painting for sale in the tasting room. This portion will take place from Sept. 5 to 9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you want to see the artists paint live and outdoors, they will be at the Sonoma Plaza Farmers Market today Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. for the Quick Draw event. Each artist will be given 90 minutes to do a piece and then those pieces will be sold on the spot. Any pieces not sold, will be on sale at Adastra the rest of the week.

Monday, Sept. 5 to Saturday, Sept. 10

Plein Air Artists paint around Sonoma and beyond

Each of our nationally renowned Plein Air Artists paint 8-12 paintings during Plein Air week out and about in Sonoma, San Francisco and Marin.

Art is on display and for sale at Adastra Winery throughout the week.

Tuesday, Sept. 6

Quick Draw demonstration and sale at Farmers’ Market from 5 to 7 p.m. Free admission.

Friday, Sept. 9

Gala dinner and auction at Sonoma Mission Inn

Saturday, Sept. 10

Art show and sale on the Plaza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Music throughout the day, children’s art classes, artists demonstrations, musical performances.

The complete schedule of events can be found at sonomapleinair.com.

Tickets are also on sale for the Gala Dinner and Art Auction at Sonoma Mission Inn on Friday, Sept. 9, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The Plein Air artists will be there and will auction off their favorite painting they created that week. The night will include wine, cocktails and a three-course meal, with all ticket proceeds going to SPAF.

The festival will end on Saturday, Sept. 10, with an art show and sale in the Sonoma Plaza. After a week of painting, each artists can have anywhere from 12 to 18 paintings that will be on sale at the Plaza. Starting from 10 a.m., there will be artists’ demonstrations, live music and free art activities for all ages. Admission is free and the event will go until 4 p.m.

“Any painting that is sold, 40 percent of the purchase price is a donation to the foundation, and it’s a tax deduction for the buyer, too. No one is taking a cut, everything is 40 percent to the foundation and 60 percent to their artists,” Rosso said.

“I love participating in Plein Air events because of the opportunity to show and interact with all the artists and public. It’s so much fun to both explore new areas to paint, and visiting some of my old favorite stomping grounds. This is one of the best events, so that it happens to be right in my backyard is even better,” Lopez said.

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