Adirondack Plein Air festival Aug. 21-24

SARANAC LAKE – Plein Air is coming in less than three weeks and 60 artists are already registered to participate.

From Aug. 21-24, the sixth annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival, organized by Saranac Lake ArtWorks, will arrive in the area. Organizers are expecting about 75 artists to attend from all over the Northeast.

Artists will “Paint the Town” on Thursday, Aug 21. All participating artists are asked to create and donate a 5-inch-by-7-inch painting done in the village of Saranac Lake.

Any business or home owner who would like to see their place painted should contact Sandy Hildreth at 518- 891-1388. Provide the name and address and ArtWorks will provide a list of requested painting subjects to the artists. There’s no guarantee they will choose to paint them and there is no obligation on the homeowner or business’ part to purchase the paintings.

The donated paintings will be set up as a silent auction in the Adirondack Artists’ Guild Gallery, 52 Main St., by 5 p.m. Aug. 21 and will be on display until 3 p.m. Aug 24.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks uses the silent auction as a fundraiser and a way to give back to the community. This year, the artists will work with the Saranac Lake Central School District to offer a college scholarship for an art student as well as some money for art supplies to the art teachers.

Aug. 21 is also the Third Thursday Art Walk, so from 5 to 7:30 p.m., there will be lots of artist demos, displays and live music throughout downtown in addition to the plein air painters.

All the plein air events are free and the public is encouraged to attend. Watch the artists paint, ask questions, suggest painting spots.

There are several pre-event activities going on as well: The Wild Center is offering free admission from Aug. 17 to 20 to any artists who wish to paint on the property and a plein air painting workshop is being offered from Aug. 19-20 at the Paul Smith’s College VIC, taught by Tennessee artist Gayle Levee -?there are still a few spots open.

There will be a hike at the VIC with the artists on Aug 22. The painters are all invited to the Paul Smith’s College VIC to spend the day exploring and painting the trails, ponds, marshes, bogs, brooks, butterfly house, wildflowers and mountain views. In the VIC Gallery, space there is currently an invitational show of plein air paintings previously completed on the VIC property. A reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 22 and the public is welcome.

Aug. 23 is “Paint the Adirondacks!” day. Plein air artists will be free to choose whatever locations they wish to paint, which makes it harder for the public to find them. But there are maps available with recommended locations like the Saranac River along state Route 3, the view of Whiteface from the Harrietstown Cemetery area, Lower Saranac, Lake Colby, Lake Flower, Church and Osgood Pond views, the farm fields in Gabriels, the Au Sable River between Lake Placid and Wilmington, and the Adirondack Loj Road view outside of Lake Placid are a few of the favorite spots. Again, for anyone who has a view they’d like to have painted, get in touch with Saranac Lake ArtWorks.

The culminating event is the Show & Sale on Aug. 24 in the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake.

Gayle Levee is the juror of awards and she will select the prize winners the morning of Aug. 24. Awards will be presented at 1 p.m.

Plein air painting, while an art form that has been done for a long time, is having somewhat of a rebirth of interest.

For more information, visit To request a view or location painted, contact Sandy Hildreth at 518-891-1388 or by email at