Art in the Pines: The Fourth Annual Prescott Plein Air Festival Takes Place August 24–27

Prescott’s annual Plein Air Festival will feature 11 Arizona artists painting in the open air around Prescott, creating art in the area’s forests and lakes, and downtown, surrounded by the beauty of the historic architecture. Six of this year’s participants are returning from last year’s event, and five are joining it for the first time. Returning artists include Betty Carr, Cindy Carrillo, Cathy Krieger, Gretchen Lopez, Dorothy Ray, and Dawn Sutherland. Artists new to the festival this year include Carol Benally, Priya Drews, Lydia Gatzow, Terry Gay, and Beth Okurowski.

Carol Benally

An accomplished painter, Clarkdale artist Carol Benally translates her deep love for the Southwest onto canvas. “There are times when I see the beauty of the land and I must stop and begin painting on location to remember that scene and color,” she said. Carol’s work is on display in Flagstaff’s West of the Moon Gallery.

Priya Drews

Flagstaff painter Priya Drews loves the many challenges of painting in plein air. She said she loves to be “in the moment, to mix the paint, throw the paint on the panel, hear the birds sing, breathe in the fresh smell of the sunlit pine trees and feel the gentle breeze.”

Lydia Gatzow

Plein air colorist and contemporary landscape oil painter Lydia Gatzow is “inspired by the breath-taking beauty of nature.” A graduate of the Pratt Institute of Art & Design, the young Sedona artist has exhibited her work in juried group shows across the United States and in London.

Terry Gay

An outdoor adventurer and plein air watercolor painter, Tucson artist Terry Gay loves the thrill of working in watercolor. “There is no backing up if it goes wrong,” she said. “I think it is a lot like a cat, doing what it wants, when it wants, and sometimes it comes around and charms you in surprising ways.”

Beth Okurowski

Prescott artist Beth Okurowski is a plein air and studio painter who is attracted to the “looseness” of the outdoor genre and is “continually inspired by the challenges presented by nature.” She said the “amazing thing about painting is captured in a quote by Ann Harris, who says that art is . . . ‘the transformation of dirt on a surface into a world of light, weight, space and movement.’”

Joining the women are five talented men, plein air artists Tom Conner, Russell Johnson, Ken Ottinger, Eric Slayton and Johnny Tanner.

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