Few artists are natural entertainers, but about 100 of them went in front of the camera in places from Australia to Utah for a recent three-day online event organized by Illume Gallery of Fine Art titled “Where in the World Is…”
The event, which is put together by Illume owner Jane Bell Meyer, asks artists to make three short videos every day for three days — one at the beginning of a painting, one in the middle, and one showing the final piece and telling how it went. It’s all done en plein air, so viewers see artists working in blazing sun, pouring rain, morning, darkness, with animal friends — and in the case of Heather Burton, with infant in tow. This is the third time Meyer has put this together for artists.
Heather Burton had her infant daughter along for one painting session.
Jim McVicker’s painting from Day 3
“Where in the World Is…” featured artists in the stable of Meyer’s three galleries — Illume, in Salt Lake City; and Authentique and the Mission galleries, in St. George, Utah — but it also had a contingent of guest artists participating, including Charlie Hunter, Michael Albrechtsen, Debra Joy Groesser, Georgia Mansur, and Katie Dobson Cundiff. The videos were posted on the “Where in the World Is…” website and on YouTube, and the three paintings each artist completed were put on sale online. The sales figures won’t be calculated for quite a while, but last year’s numbers were strong. Besides, the painters clearly seemed to be having fun in the videos.
Jim McVicker working on location during the “Where in the World Is…” event
Patricia Bellerose’s piece from Day 2 of the event
“I have participated since the inaugural event and I look forward to it each year,” says Shanna Kunz. “I love watching the videos from all over the country, and I especially enjoy getting together with friends to get out and paint together.”
The view of the Rockies in Montana that Linda Tippetts painted before rain chased her home
“A Delta View,” by Marc Hanson, oil, 18 x 24 in.
“What I really love about the ‘Where in the World Is…’ plein air event is that it brings a plein air event to people who may not be able to go to a show that is located in one town,” says Heather Burton. “It also allows artists to paint in their own backyard, a place that most artists are passionate about. It’s being able to paint on our own timetable. Dave [Santillanes], my fiance, is an Illume Gallery artist, and having the opportunity to paint for the event together was great fun for us.”
Shanna Kunz being filmed on location for “Where in the World Is…”
“A Familiar View,” by Shanna Kunz, 2016, oil, 11 x 14 in.
Even artists who were extremely busy with art and life carved out time from June 8-10 to document three paintings. In fact, it may have been an antidote for things. “Since just arriving recently as a new resident in Mississippi, and having been buried by the overwhelming burden of unpacking and settling in, this year’s ‘Where in the World Is…’ event was a much needed respite from all of that, and my introduction into painting both my own backyard and the Mississippi Delta in all of its summer green and mood,” says Marc Hanson. “I’m going to love painting Mississippi!”