For the second year, Cheekwood will invite established Nashville painters to use our spring blooms as inspiration in the annual En Plein Air exhibition. The exhibition not only emphasizes the potency of local, Nashville artists but explores a variety of inventive ways in which enraptured artists record their moments in nature. The painters will be painting during Art al Fresco in May and the works go on display beginning June 4.
Painting en plein air, meaning “in the open air”, was a core practice for artists in Europe in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century. In America, beginning with the Hudson River School, to the American impressionists, painting in the outdoors became an integral part of art education. Intrepid painters—developing the ability to quickly capture effects of light—made sometimes arduous journeys to study landscapes at magnificent sites. In this spirit of traditional plein air painting, Cheekwood invites distinguished Nashville artists to gather across the grounds as a public display of painterly talent and nature appreciation, creating original work for a juried exhibition entitled En Plein Air. Drawing on the reopening of Cheekwood’s fifty-five acres, this exhibition of work made outdoors across the estate explores the variety of inventive ways in which enraptured artists record their moments in nature.
En Plein Air is organized by Campbell Mobley, Curator of Paintings and Works on Paper, Cheekwood.