Landscape painters, portrait artists and lovers of the arts will converge on Alpine, Texas for En Plein Air: The Art of Painting Outdoors. This slate of free arts events is presented by the Big Bend Arts Council in association with the Texas Portrait Society.

The weekend is centered on a series of “paint outs”, opportunities for painters to gather at picturesque outdoor locations and practice plein air (open air) painting. Paint-out locations are set for Alpine, the nearby town of Fort Davis, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, and Big Bend National Park. The paint outs are free for painters and observers alike, and the public is welcome to visit and watch as each canvas come to life.

The outdoor painting sessions take full advantage of the Big Bend region’s temperate summer weather. The high elevation and low humidity of Alpine and the surrounding area, combined with a late summer rainy season, make for average ­August temperatures well below those in other parts of the state.

Kicking off the festivities on Friday, August 30 will be a Portrait Painting “Face-Off” at the Museum of the Big Bend. Members of the Texas Portrait Society will assemble to create a portrait of the same model in one sitting. This is a rare opportunity to view a range of talented artists each take their own individual approach to the same subject.

Paint outs at a dozen or more locations are planned for all day Saturday, August 31 and Sunday morning, September 1, followed by a sidewalk art exhibit and sale at the Alpine Public Library where the artworks created over the weekend can be enjoyed and purchased.

The event concludes with an Artists’ Reception on Sunday evening at two neighboring galleries in downtown Alpine, Catchlight Art Gallery and the Big Bend Arts Council’s Gallery on the Square.

Information about the event can be found at

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