Plein Air –
in Sonoma, and then offered the opportunity for local art lovers to purchase these paintings.
Proceeds from the sales were split between artists and the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, with 40% going directly to support arts education and creativity development for Sonoma Valley children and youth. Since 2002, the foundation has donated over $1.7 million dollars to Sonoma Valley Unified School District schools and community art partners for arts education programs both inside the classroom and at community locations.
An important part of the fundraising effort is the annual gala dinner, which features the “best of the best” paintings. Each artist brings what they deem to be their best painting of the week to be judged by their peers. The annual Artists’ Choice winner is revealed, and the paintings are sold in a silent auction.
This year’s 20th anniversary gala, set for Friday, Sept. 9, comes full circle and returns to the site of the first Sonoma Plein Air Gala in 2002, under the Sonoma sky at the beautiful Vadasz vineyard. At press time, a limited number of tickets were still available on the organization’s website, sonomapleinair.com.
The public is invited to watch the artists paint and to purchase paintings at two free events during the plein air week of Sept. 5-10. On Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., Sonoma Plein Air will hold a “Quick Draw” event during the Farmer’s Market on the Sonoma Plaza. Attendees can watch artists paint “on the clock,” and then acquire a favorite painting on the spot! Finished paintings will be displayed on the southeast quadrant of the plaza, near West Napa Street and 1st Street West, at 6:30 p.m., and will be for sale until 7:00 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the outdoor art show and sale takes place on the Sonoma Plaza, along with artists’ demonstrations, live music, and free, fun art activities for children. Each of the participating artists’ paintings from the week will be on display and available for purchase.
The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation is the primary nonprofit supporting arts education and creativity in Sonoma Valley public schools, as well as hands-on youth programs at Art Escape, the Sonoma Community Center, the Arts Guild of Sonoma, and the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. More information about the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation and festival is available at sonomapleinair.com.