More and more plein air painters are stepping up their efforts to conserve the land they so love to paint. If you haven’t yet, please meet the members of SLOPE. 

SLOPE (San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment) is a group of professional painters working along the Central California coast who are devoted to drawing attention to the land and wildlife of their area through their artwork, with an eye toward preservation of wild spaces. “It’s a juried group, and the quality is high,” says Laurel Sherrie, a member of the group. 

Sherrie and four other SLOPE members formed a gallery in San Luis Obispo named Gallery at the Network. Now through May 31, the principals at Gallery at the Network are featured in the show “The Landscape Connection: Luxuriant, Luminous, and Local.” As with most artistic endeavors for SLOPE members, the goal is to raise awareness about the beauty of endangered land in the San Luis Obispo area. Their work is bearing fruit. 

“We helped preserve 900 acres of property on the sloping hills just inland from Highway 1 that was about to be developed,” says Sherrie. “The developers ran into difficulties with permits, and after a few years, they were willing to work with the San Luis Obispo Conservancy. Thanks to massive community involvement, money was raised to preserve a huge area, which is now called Pismo Preserves. They took us up in trucks last May. We had one day, and we painted all day, then put the pieces on display in downtown San Luis Obispo. Ours was a small part of what was accomplished, but we helped.”

Sherrie is joined in “The Landscape Connection” by another plein air painter, Peggy Turk, as well as batik artist Julie Dunn, watercolorist Rosanne Seitz, and pastelist/oil painter Dotty Hawthorne.

For more information, visit SLOPE’s website.


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