Paint Out Norfolk 2020 – Covid Update

PAINT OUT NORFOLK 2020 July 16th to July 23rd 2020

[30 June 2020]

Our daily locations are near finalised and online here. There will be broad options so artists can space out and find the best spot even across 10 mile coastal stretches or large inland areas. No painting on a pavement and people not being able to pass by with 1m+ distancing.

We may open up the exhibition daily throughout the event for an hour a day or so.

[29 June 2020]

We are finalising our Private View & short Exhibition venue (Thu 23rd 3-9pm) – which will be in Trowse/Whitlingham, Norfolk, NR14 8TR and also online.

Camping is available over the road from the Exhibition and hub site, otherwise hotels from £39/night with private bathroom or AirBnB from £19 or a private room via Couchsurfing (least advised in the current circumstances). Also, check out Visit Norfolk’s latest guidance to Respect, Protect, Enjoy after 4 July.

Our contactless logging system is in place now you’ll be able to access it (password protected for participating artists to avoid spam) on your phone, tablet, laptop etc and we’ll have some spare phones/tablets to access it too or to do it for you.

Keep up to date with Government rules (ever-changing) here – some of these are open to interpretation but with safety paramount. E.g. we are not meeting as 6 relatives or friends or having a 30-person rave/party, we are working artists. However, we will cap people in the Exhibition at 30 or fewer at a time and subject to 1m+ distancing with masks. We will be arranging and directing most of our daily instructions to paint etc via a private Facebook event group and messenger thread. If we have to gather before setting off and we have over 30 people on any given day we will split the group and stagger the starts and returns.

[25 June 2020]

We are scouting the locations over the coming days and in response to the Covid situation feel it best to avoid built-up/popular areas and, as a result, will probably save King’s Lynn for 2021. Instead, we may double up on coastal and inland or broads locations, possibly painting at 3-4 coastal spots on the North and East coasts. We will also allow additional flexibility to choose your own location that feels safest to you.

If you still want to Enter Paint Out 2020 – click here. Check out the daily, accommodation, and travel options & latest locations here.

[19 June 2020]

The latest situation is that we are going ahead. 40+ artists are still in at present (just 5% have had to drop out due to health or travel issues) and people have been entering the event again this month with a new degree of confidence). We are now in the practical stages of making Paint Out Norfolk 2020 during Covid health and safety measures a reality. Unless there is a second wave, we are painting!

Most locations (King’s Lynn, Cromer, Norwich etc) should stay the same, but we are exploring the best and safest possibilities for other venues including a historic house walled garden or estate.

We aim to have contactless logging, social distancing (expected to be 1m+ by then), signage, hands-free sanitizer etc. Masks will be recommended when we are closer together but optional when out painting.

We are finalising the hub and open-air exhibition space (with a simultaneous online presence) in the next couple of days. We will be based south side of Norwich, probably 1 mile or so from the station.

There will be camping options at the hub and exhibition site with a cafe, and AirBnB (locally from around £30/night), hotels, which will be opening up 4 July onwards.

We understand that things are running late and will be changing rapidly now, but we are experienced with 15 events under our belt over 7 years and will adjust to make this another Paint Out to remember.

We’ll be sending out camping options, accommodation links, maps and logistics in due course. Please respond to the web form [link to follow] with your interest in camping options, artist buddying and/or carpooling/social bubbling.

[4 May 2020]
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.