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The Bridge Gallery celebrates 10th anniversary with “plein air” painting exhibit open house

By Staff | Jul 18, 2018

SHEPHERDSTOWN – The Bridge Gallery officially opened its 10th Anniversary exhibit with an open house Saturday and Sunday.

The summer exhibit features “plein air” paintings by artists Seth Hill, Walt Bartman and Tim Clayton.

“Plein air,” a French-termed art technique meaning outside or open air, was used by impressionist painters Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir to create paintings outdoors, capturing what they saw outside rather than painting a recreation of it inside their studios.

“‘Plein air’ artists paint outdoors — they are not studio painters, so their work is very fresh. I personally think ‘plein air’ art has a different energy, and feels a little more spontaneous,” said The Bridge Gallery Director Kathryn Burns.

Burns said she chose this anniversary exhibit with the summer season in mind.

“‘Plein air’ art has a good summer feeling, since it’s created outdoors and captures landscapes. We thought it would suit this season,” Burns said. “Throughout the year, we try to have a nice assortment of exhibits, including of photography and abstract art.

“We’re lucky to have three good, established ‘plein air’ painters in the show,” Burns added, mentioning each artist submitted 10-15 paintings, depending on the size of their art pieces.

Each artist has been previously exhibited at The Bridge Gallery, so Burns knew the community would appreciate seeing some of the artists’ new, original artwork in the anniversary celebration exhibit.

“Seth Hill has a unique energy and style that makes him a gallery favorite. He puts it all on the canvas,” said Burns about the Clarksburg native whose love of art and the outdoors led him to “plein air” painting.

Burns said Hill just returned from a nine-month trip to California, where he lived out of his truck and painted some of the artwork that can be seen in the exhibit.

“Tim Clayton is a Shepherdstown resident, whose style is refined and picturesque,” Burns said about Clayton’s realistic, but expressive, paintings.

Clayton’s goal with his paintings is to connect with the viewer on an emotion level through the beauty of nature.

“Walt Bartman is probably the most well-known artist in our exhibit. A lot of his paintings are of the beautiful Maryland countryside and Chesapeake Bay area, while others are of cows from his cow-painting workshops,” Burns said about the Middletown, Maryland-based painter.

Along with founding and directing the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery on Tilghman Island in the Chesapeake Bay, Bartman has taught over 15,000 students in workshops he has taught around the world in his over 40 years of experience.

“This art exhibit gives us the opportunity to show a variety of original art, and to be a connection between artists and the community–we’re the bridge,” Burns said, mentioning the art exhibit will be shown through the end of the Contemporary Arts Theater Festival.

For more information, visit bridgegalleryandframing.com, or contact Burns at 304-876-2300 or aartskb@msn.com.