Friday and Saturday: 9am – 8pm
Sunday: 10am – 3pm
En plein air is a French expression meaning “in the open air,” and refers to the act of painting outdoors with the artist’s subject in full view. Plein air artists capture the spirit and essence of a landscape or subject by incorporating natural light, color and movement into their works.
The 2016 Red Brick Plein Air Festival consists of 5 days of painting time for the artists followed by many different types of events where the public can meet the artists and view the entire portfolios of work inspired by Aspen.
Artists participating in the Plein Air Festival have been selected through an application process reviewed by a jury of experienced plein air artists. All of our participating artists reside within the state of Colorado, with nearly half of the artists located in the Roaring Fork Valley.
The 2017 Red Brick Plein Air Festival in Aspen is scheduled for August 6 – 13th. Please join us for one of these public events or look for our painters creating around town during the week!
Sunday, August 6th
Artists will paint at various locations beginning August 6th. If you would like to catch a glimpse of them, we suggest walking the pedestrian malls of downtown Aspen, visiting the Maroon Bells, or taking a trek up Independence Pass, which are some favorite painting spots for our visiting artists.
Thursday, August 10th
Community Reception at The Limelight Hotel, 5 – 7pm
This event is free and open to the public. Enjoy complimentary libations and snacks from the Limelight kitchen while you peruse the artists’ creations from the week as we kickoff the full exhibition and sale. The Audience will also vote on their favorite artists while fellow plein air festival participants do the same, and we will award two cash prizes to the respective winners of those votes during the reception!
Friday, August 11th
Quick Draw on the Pedestrian Mall, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
A quick draw, or paint out as it is sometimes called, is a popular plein air festival event, where artists are required to start – and finish! – and entire painting within the allotted time frame. We’ve seen quick draws that are only an hour long, but in this case we’re giving our artists two hours to paint a masterpiece. A group of judges will select the most successful work, and we will award a cash prize right there on the spot! All quick draw paintings will be on on display at the Sister Cities Plaza area of the Mill Street mall (in the vicinity of the public restrooms) during judging, and paintings will also be available for sale at the conclusion of judging, if you are interested in purchasing.
Friday, August 11th – Sunday August 13th
Exhibition and Sale at the Limelight Hotel
The artists are asked to paint at least six paintings during their stay in Aspen. All works displayed at the Sale and Exhibition must be painted in Aspen during the Festival dates, so this is a great opportunity to take home a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of Aspen! Each artists will have an exhibit space where their Aspen plein air works will be shown as a collection, and the works are available for purchase for you take home (or have shipped) that day. Commissioned work is also available. A portion of each sale will benefit the Red Brick and our local arts education and outreach programs.