Marjorie Hicks, “Balancing Act,” oil on linen, 24 x 24 inches

South of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, the 1,400-acre Radnor Lake State Park features nearly eight miles of hiking trails and hundreds of species of plants and wildlife. Established in 2004, the Friends of Radnor Lake and the Chestnut Group have mounted an annual plein air exhibition to benefit the park’s conservation.

More than 250 plein air paintings will feature during this year’s exhibition and sale presented by the Friends of Radnor Lake (FORL) and the Chestnut Group of Nashville, Tennessee. “From the park’s diverse native wildlife, including birds of prey found in the Barbara J. Mapp Aviary Education Center, to the lake, woods, and ridgetop views as they shifted through seasons, moonrises, and the solar eclipse in August, the exhibition epitomizes Radnor Lake’s remarkable beauty and why it is so cherished,” says Melinda Baker of the Nashville Tennessean.

“The visitors and greater community love Radnor and love this art show,” add Gretchen Pritchett, operations manager of Friends of Radnor Lake. “It is a great way to support the park and to take home a beautiful piece of art that reminds you of it daily.” A portion of the proceeds from the sale of artworks will go to FORL to help the organization continue to protect, preserve, and promote the natural integrity of the state park. Organizers estimate the funds could exceed $30,000.

An artist at work at Radnor Lake
An artist at work at Radnor Lake

Continuing, Baker writes, “Kim Barrick founded The Chestnut Group in 2001. It now has more than 200 members, ranging from beginner to internationally recognized artists. Its name, an homage to the nearly extinct American Chestnut tree that used to dominate the southeast, speaks to the organization’s mission of helping conservation groups keep threatened lands from disappearing. They have maintained a relationship with Radnor Lake for over 10 years and painted all over Middle Tennessee to help raise funds for nonprofit organizations, including the Tennessee Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Land Trust for Tennessee (LTT), Warner Parks, the Cumberland River Compact, Bell’s Bend, Belle Meade Plantation and the Hermitage.”

“The show, the artwork, and collaboration are an example of what Nashville does best; we come together to make living here full, rich, and rewarding,” Barrick said. “It is a lovely example of how giving your time, talent, and financial support multiplies itself. We always leave with more than we gave.”

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This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.

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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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