Jane Bell Meyer orchestrated 100 artists posting three videos a day for three days, chronicling their plein air work. It was the second year for the event, dubbed Where in the World Is… 
It’s a monumental effort, with lots of technical issues, and Meyer executed it last week with just three other people working behind the scenes. In the process, the online community was treated to candid video of artists such as Lorenzo Chavez, Susan Blackwood, Brian Blood, Marc Hanson, Kim Lordier, Hai Ou Hou, Linda Glover Gooch, Stephanie Birdsall, Stacey Peterson, Charlie Hunter, and others painting on location. They filmed about 30 seconds at the beginning, middle, and end of one painting each day, June 10-12. Meyer and her associates put the videos online almost immediately.

“Day 2,” by Lorenzo Chavez, 2015, oil, 10 x 12 in.

The scene Chavez depicted in “Day 2”
Even with the inevitable technical issues that come with having 100 artists trying to shoot and upload their own videos, her crew got all the footage online within days. “One night we didn’t go to bed,” says Meyer. “To get it all up there was quite a feat. We had 100 artists working on this project, and that is humbling and amazing.”
About half of the participating artists are in the stable of one of Meyer’s three galleries — Illume Gallery of Fine Art, in Salt Lake City; Authentique Gallery, in Saint George, Utah; and the Mission Gallery, also in St. George. The other artists applied and were accepted into the event. Meyer says more inquired about participation but were turned away. “Many have been asking to be part of the show next year,” says Meyer. “We will put a call out for artists, and next year we’ll have five anonymous judges who will pick them using a point system. I will probably need to keep it at 100 artists because of the technical situation, but we are getting more inquiries from international artists interested in the event. I want to help them.” She says she plans on accepting submissions in August and September for the jurying of next year’s event.

“Country Barn,” by Eric Bowman, 2015, oil on linen, 9 x 12 in.

The scene Bowman depicted in “Country Barn”

The project has created a buzz online, but Meyer says it also results in sales for several months. The website features the finished paintings and the videos for nearly a year. All of the finished pieces will be on view at Illume Gallery of Fine Art from July 2 through July 6. At that point, sold pieces will be shipped to their new owners and the show will slowly break apart as paintings are bought or until July 31. Meyer says more than 10 percent are already sold, which is on pace with last year’s sales. All 300 pieces will be hung on one large wall at the gallery during that intense first week.

Elizabeth Pollie greeted viewers in her video one morning during Where in the World Is…

“Day 3–Still,” by Elizabeth Pollie, 2015, oil.
The videos by the artists captured plein air painting in all its guts and glory. There were videos shot in the rain, patience and exasperation as light conditions suddenly changed, and at least one painter saw her entire setup get thrown into Two Medicine River by a rogue gust of wind, most of the way through her painting process one day. “I’m not sure I can salvage this, but I will give it a try,” the artist, Linda Tippetts, says in the video. “I had to go in and rescue painting, palette, easel, tripod. We’ll see if I can make this work. I’ll have to let the sun dry those drops off.” Salvage it she did, well enough for her to hang a $1,900 price tag on the piece.

The 11-x-14″ oil painting Linda Tippetts was painting when her easel fell in the water

Tippetts’ painting after it went for a dip

Soaked shoes and pants after Tippetts went into Two Medicine River to retrieve her setup

Dave Santillanes was evidently overcome by the rain and the general struggle we all face in plein air painting, so he fashioned a beard out of mud and sticks and pretended he had been working on the piece long enough to grow extensive facial hair. That’s a serious painter who nevertheless has serious fun.

Dave Santillanes worked on one piece in the rain for so long that a mud-and-stick beard “grew” on him.
The crunch time is busy and the event is long in the making, but Meyer is ebullient about the results. “The moment that the first videos went up was the most exciting moment,” she says. “It’s a whole year of preparation. We changed the website to make it go better this year — all the information on the artists and the prices were put in before it started. And then I feel such excitement for an artist when there’s a sale. I’m thrilled for them.”


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