De Smet’s plein air goes virtual

“Painting on the Prairie” Facebook photo

The 12th annual Harvey Dunn Plein Air “Painting on the Prairie” that is typically held in and around De Smet will take on a much larger area and different look as the event goes virtual on Aug. 7-9 this year. 

All artists, beginner to experienced, are invited to paint outdoors at safe, convenient locations and post images of themselves and their paintings on the Facebook event page. 

There will be online adult and children’s workshops and demonstrations as well as opportunities throughout the three days to chat online. Awards of $200 will be given to the Artists’ Choice and People’s Choice winners and artists will have the opportunity to upload photos of their event paintings to photo galleries to make their paintings available online for purchase.

There is no charge to participate. Registration is required to receive the links to Zoom sessions and art classes. They are available by going to the Harvey Dunn Society Facebook page to access the form that may be filled out online.

“The paint out is a gathering that regional artists look forward to each year, both for the pleasure of painting outdoors in beautiful South Dakota and also for the connections we make with fellow artists,” explains Sioux Falls artist and event organizer Stephen Randall. “We’re hoping to foster those same connections virtually and share artists’ real-time plein air painting through Zoom chats, online video demonstrations and photo posts.”

The Plein Air event begins at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7, with a Zoom chat and welcoming remarks. 

Artists can begin painting at this time. It includes time for the artists to connect online all day.

Friday’s activities continue with the children’s workshop taking place from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; followed at 3 to 4:30 p.m. with a Plein Air painting video and Zoom chat with guest artist Steve Randall, Sioux Falls. A virtual social hour takes place from 5 to 6 p.m..

Saturday events include a Zoom chat from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a Jessie Rasche oil painting video and zoom chat from 10:30 a.m. to noon. James Pollock’s watercolor painting class and Zoom chat is held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and a social hour from 5 to 6 p.m. The deadline for artists to send paintings to Brookings Arts Council for publication is Saturday at 5 p.m.

The public is invited to vote for their favorite work from 9 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9. Sunday includes Zoom chats from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. and awards and closing remarks given beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The Plein Air ‘Painting on the Prairie is sponsored and co-hosted by the Harvey Dunn Society, South Dakota Art Museum and the Brookings Arts Council. Artists & People Choice Awards are sponsored by American Bank and Trust and De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance Company.

For a schedule of events and more information, go to the Harvey Dunn Society Facebook page or the Facebook event page “Painting on the Prairie – a virtual Harvey Dunn Paint Out” page; or contact Dianne Larson, [email protected], 605-203-0896, or Steve Randall, [email protected], 605-521-7109.


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