The Dunes Arts Foundation (DAF) and the Dunes Summer Theater will host the plein air painting competition and exhibit, The First Brush of Fall. The three-day event is partnered with Indiana Plein Air Painters Association (IPAPA) and will take place on September 21, 22, 23.
As many as fifty plein air painters from all over the State, region, and Chicago area will converge on the Michigan City region; they will paint for three days – Friday, Saturday, and the morning of Sunday and will submit one artwork for adjudication. Public is invited to view the artworks at 2-4pm on Sunday, September 23 at Dunes Summer Theatre, 288 Shady Oak Drive in Michiana Shores.
All artworks will be for sale on Sunday. There are over $5,000 in prize monies from such donors as Horizon Bank, NIPSCO, Blue Chip Casino, Sullair, and Friendship Gardens. Painters from Duneland Painters Association and Plein Air Painters of Chicago have expressed interest in participating. “Plein Air” is from the French phrase, “in the open air” or painting direct from nature.
“This is a tremendously exciting event for us and for the region,” says Jeffrey Baumgartner, artistic director of the Dunes Arts Foundation and a professional oil painter himself. “I came here to Michigan City three years ago to paint full-time after over thirty years in Chicago as a professional theater artist. But very quickly was hired to help run the Dunes Summer Theatre, founded in 1951, and we have been looking for opportunities to continue the rich tradition of multi-discipline arts programming on our campus in Michiana Shores, just miles from the historic downtown.”
The Dunes Arts Foundation and its theater is nestled on a nineteen-acre wooded lot which boasts a newly renovated theater facility with 240 seats, including new heating and air conditioning; an historic Clay Cabin; and eight rustic “sleeping cabins” surrounding the theater building. The cabins are Sears Roebuck Camping Cabin Kits, dating to the late 1930’s. They were renovated in 2017, each has its own air conditioning. A limited number of cabins will be available for out-of-town painters needing accommodations. A fire pit for the cabins was donated and built by a local Eagle Scout earlier this Summer. Please inquire with the theater administration for cabin availability.
Registration for the three-day event is $40 and can be placed online at DunesArtsFoundation.org or by calling 219-879-7509. The itinerary calls for painting all day on Friday & Saturday. A ninety-minute Quick Paint will be held on Saturday morning 10:30-12pm in the historic Arts District downtown (no extra participation fee). There are prize monies for this event as well.