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Plein air festival comes to Hastings

Hastings based artist Andy Evansen is hosting a plein air festival in Hastings on Oct. 1. The event, which was created to help raise funds for the Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council (HPAAC), will bring 15 of Minnesota’s top outdoor painters to Hastings.

“It’s a who’s who of Minnesota outdoor painters,” Evansen said.

Evansen, who will be one of the artists people can watch on Oct. 1, said the plein air event was a way to bring high-end, local artwork to the gala as well as give collectors a chance to meet artists in person.

“We’re always looking for ways to change up the gala,” he said.

The artists will meet in the morning at Evansen’s downtown Hastings studio before heading out to a number of scenic destinations in Hastings and Prescott, Wisconsin, to paint local scenes. The public is invited to watch the artists as they work.

Evansen said he’ll provide artists with a list of locations, but they are free to explore the area and paint whatever scenes they choose. Some spots where the public is likely to spot the artists at work include the Rotary Pavilion in Levee Park, Vermillion Falls, along Vermillion Street, near City Hall, the CP Rail train depot in downtown. Artists seeking a more rural setting may be directed south of Hastings on Highway 61 towards Miesville, he said.

Artists will have most of the day to paint, and Evansen said he expects many of the artists will have time to produce more than one scene. Pieces will be returned to Evansen’s studio by 4 p.m. and will be labeled and hung for display there. By about 5 p.m., he said, the studio will be opened to the public for a reception. At the reception, visitors will get to see all the finished artwork and also meet the artists. Refreshments will be available.

All the artwork created on Oct. 1 is set to be sold at the HPAAC gala auction on Nov. 4, although those attending the reception on Oct. 1 will get the only chance to purchase the paintings ahead of the gala. The works will be on display in Evansen’s studio until the gala. Proceeds from the artwork will be split between HPAAC and the artists who created them. Opening bid prices will be set by each artist.