With over a month into lockdown and the world in free-fall, thanks to Covid-19, the thought of Paint Out Norfolk taking place at the end of July, or indeed any cultural event, may at the moment seem remote, laughable or even potentially irresponsible.
Or maybe not?
This is to inform all those that have signed up to this year’s event, or those still considering the possibility of taking part, that no hard decisions about whether to go ahead or not will be made until mid-June at the earliest. Our fingers and paintbrushes remain crossed!
Our week-long event had included partnering with The Kings Lynn Festival, which has sadly had to close its doors this year. Our Exhibition host for 2020, the ubiquitous and much loved Norwich Department store, Jarrolds, has had to curtail the celebration of their incredible 250 years in business and close for the time being.
Out of these upsets, though, new opportunities have arisen. We are currently looking into partnering with a North Norfolk Art Prize organisation, an East Anglian-based auctioneer and have adjusted our ambitions for this year’s event, in the hope that it can still go ahead in some form, to cope with social distancing measures and other vital health and safety considerations which we will outline to those taking part.
Paint Out is a flexible and adaptable organization, capable of finding new and creative ways to achieve its primary aim – to provide a platform for plein air painters to excel under the pressures of newly set challenges; to celebrate and disseminate the results of those challenges by giving artists the accolade from top art world luminaries, as well as trying to sell work to as wide an audience as is possible in the short exhibition window.
It aims to act as a forum for the exchange of new ideas within outdoor art practice and to embrace those new developments, whether it be working in new media or taking on new subjects previously considered off-limits; to collaborate with other like-minded organisations, particularly through these difficult time; and most importantly to act as a conduit for artists to form life-enhancing, lifelong, creative friendships.
Particularly during Covid-19 we are interested in the challenges faced by artists to keep painting outside or from within. Has it sent you back to the studio or do you have a garden to paint in or from? Has it changed your subject matter? What are the lockdown pros and cons, what do you miss most about a plein air paint out? Please fill in our plein air painting ‘lockdown’ survey – it’s peppered with inspiring art quotes too and quite fun.
We really hope that you will keep tuned in to the website, social media and our mailings and prepare for some exciting new initiatives to ride us out of lockdown and with luck out into the sunshine of Paint Out Norfolk 2020.
Do keep in touch via our Facebook community page and share your plein air #ArtistSupportPledge paintings there and tag @PaintOut on Instagram similarly if you want extra help signposting your plein air works and any other artist campaigns that still centre the world of plein air art practice. In the meantime keep well and keep safe.