Shorewood hosts its second Plein Air Festival through Saturday, Sept. 20. The event features more than 60 artists painting outdoors and throughout the village.
"There are four days of integrated activities that celebrate this act of interpreting the space and energy of Shorewood," says Jenny Steinman Heyden, festival coordinator. "The paintings are then made available by the artists who will sell them at a really fun party on Saturday night at the library. It really is a celebration designed by and for the community."
Plein Air Shorewood attracts professional artists and painters from throughout the Midwest, many of whom are national award winners. The artists compete for more than $7,000 in cash prizes for best of show, first, second and third place and people’s choice.
The judges include nationally recognized painters and Shorewood residents David Lenz, James Maki and author / art historian Diane Buck.
On Thursday, Sept. 18 until 6 p.m., there will live chalk artists creating sidewalk masterpieces in front of 14 local businesses.
Other events tied into the festival include a breakfast on Friday, Sept. 19 from 7 to 9 a.m. at Atwater Bluff honoring the Plensa sculpture. It is the fourth anniversary of the installation that was anonymously donation to the village. The breakfast is free and open to the public.
"The event gives attendees the opportunity to explore urbanism at its best, walking throughout the village seeing beauty and then seeing the beauty in paintings," says Patricia Algiers, festival co-chair.
Also on Friday, there will be a Kensington Square Block Party, 4500 N. Oakland Ave., from 6 to 10 p.m. featuring a performance by the School Of Rock, shopping and a slideshow of artwork painted during the festival.
On Saturday, Sept. 20 from 8 a.m. to noon there’s a "quick paint" session at Atwater Park Bluff for kids and their caregivers led by plein air artists. RSVPs are required to attend this. Go here for more information.
From noon to 10 .am. on Saturday there will be a "sneak peek" of the finished paintings at the Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N. Murray Ave.
The festival ends with a free gala reception at the library on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. where the 200 paintings created during the event will be auctioned. At 6 p.m., awards will be announced.
Throughout the festival, there will be an ongoing all-ages Instagram competition. Any photos uploaded to Instagram with the #pleinairshorewood hashtag before Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. will be considered. The winner will be announced at 6:30 p.m. at the block party and will receive a $100 gift certificate at a TBA location.
"Plein air" is a French expression that means "in the open air" and describes painting outdoors in natural light.
"This event turns spectators into participants as it calls on those watching paintings being created to notice what is around them and see common things in a fresh way," says Melissa Marschka, co-chair of the festival. "And to have this experience alongside your children is especially exciting."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.