A brief report of the Annual Elora Plein Air Festival (Ontario, May ‘23) from event judge Valerie Kent

Mecca for Plein Air
By Valerie Kent

Canada loves its plein air events.

The Elora Plein Air Festival website informs us, “Artists are invited to capture the charm and warmth of our region, discover heritage buildings and historic villages, (such as Fergus) dramatic gorges, lazy rivers and hidden streams, rolling hillsides and picturesque farms.”

Creativity is all around, everywhere. You can feel it in the atmosphere, touch it on the sculptures, in the parklands, and on its great rocks, taste it at the many charming restaurants, pubs, and cafes, and see it at the breathtaking natural gorge and in the quaint, perfect small town and hear it at the many music events.

The town was primed for the Elora Plein Air Festival 2023. Seventy artists brought their love of painting to this magical and beautiful venue. The support was there, ready for them. Generous local sponsors offered great prizes, and the enthusiastic volunteer committee took care of everything that was required for a successful festival: a great venue, a really fine show and sale with a fabulous turnout, and a roster of events for artists and visitors.

This year the Elora Plein Air Festival presented the Grand Prize to Astra Nams for “Fields,” a work that is “pure energy, lyrical in brushstrokes of courageous color.” Cam Forester took home Second Prize for “The Mill” painted with the confidence of a seasoned artist and Vanaja Cotroneo’s dramatic painting “Water Under the Bridge” was selected as Third Prize.

The Elora Plein Air Festival was a resounding success.

Elora Plein Air Painting Festival, Ontario Canada
Greg Hargarten painting en plein air during the 2023 Elora Plein Air Festival; Photo credit: Rick Cleland
Elora Plein Air Painting Festival Ontario Canada - Local artist & prize winner
Photo credit: Rick Cleland
Steve Duprey painting on location during the art festival; Photo credit: Rick Cleland
Steve Duprey painting on location during the art festival; Photo credit: Rick Cleland

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