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En Plein Air!

PleinAirLogoMonet did it… Manet did it… Even Homer and Renoir did it. And now, nationally acclaimed painters will do it in the 44-acre Olmsted Linear Park next spring.

Plein air painting, from the French “open air,” refers to drawing or painting outdoors in the midst of nature, free from the studio. Landscapes filled with light often are identified with plein air but artists may also depict people, buildings, and streets.

Between April 23 and 26, 2015, the Inaugural Olmsted Plein Air Invitational will welcome about 30 world class plein air painters to Druid Hills. The event will benefit the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance (OLPA).

“Our neighborhood residents will be able to observe the painters set up their easels and paint our lovely Olmsted Linear Park, producing timeless keepsakes for Druid Hills families to pass down through the coming years,” said Andy Hall, who conceived the idea in 2012. He and Lillian Ansley are co-chairs of the event. Both are longtime residents of Druid Hills.

The Olmsted Invitational will be exclusive, featuring a jury panel that includes at least three master painters as well as a few internationally recognized “Guest of Show” artists who will paint but not compete.

The plein air artists will get to work in all six segments of the Linear Park on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings at 8 and paint until 5pm. On Wednesday evening, they will be welcomed by patrons and hosts at a private dinner. There will be ticketed events on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. After the awards ceremony on Saturday, collectors will have the first opportunity to purchase the paintings, followed by the public on Sunday. More events will be announced during the coming months, including collaborations with local schools.

James Richards, an Atlanta resident and one of America's great plein air painters, painted recently in the Olmsted Linear Park.

James Richards, an Atlanta resident and one of America’s great plein air painters, painted recently in the Olmsted Linear Park.

Right now, about 100 volunteers are needed to help with transportation and logistics. The group also seeks Druid Hills residents who are interested in hosting an artist in their homes. Corporate sponsors and patrons who sign up before August 31, 2014, will receive special benefits. For more information and to get involved, please visit or contact

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