by Cate Whetzel, Program Developer
Join us on Saturday, September 8th as Indiana’s oldest plein air painting competition celebrates its 30th year! The cornerstone event in Brown County Art Colony Weekend, the Great Outdoor Art Contest celebrates T.C. Steele’s birthday on September 11th, and is often the starting place for pleinair artists all over Indiana. The Great Outdoor Art Contest is open to young and old, children and professional artists. Come see what amazing artwork can be made within hours only, here in Brown County! People’s Choice voting will open at 2pm, and the awards ceremony will begin at 3:15pm, starting with Child and Teen categories. First place and People’s Choice winning artwork in all categories will be displayed from September 8th through the 30th at the Brown County Art Guild following the PaintOut.
This year GOAC judges include Jeanne McLeish and Mark Burkett—make sure to visit the Large Studio during the competition, to see the PaintOut judges’ own artwork on display! During the judging, artists and visitors can enjoy an outdoor concert at 2pm by Stephen and Nancy Dickey and Friends, performing old time music with fiddles and banjo. The Dickeys, affiliated with Traditional Arts Indiana, are related to the great Lotus Dickey, for whom Bloomington’s Lotus Festival is named. For lunch, Brozinni Pizzeria will sell New York-style slices, breadsticks and salads, and Salt Creek Brewery will bring their beer and homemade soda wagon. For those visiting for the weekend of Sept. 7-9th, Brown County Art Colony Weekend will also feature a Village PaintOut in Nashville on Sunday, September 9th, sponsored by the Brown County Art Guild. September 9th will also be the last day to visit the Dewar Family Log Cabin at the historic site; as of September 10th, the cabin will be closed until its re-opening with a special exhibit in 2019!
Special this year is a first look at the brand new Traveling Studio Wagon! This historic re-creation of the wagon Steele used to travel Indiana at the turn of the century is the result of a Heritage Support Grant awarded to the Friends of T.C. Steele State Historic Site by the Indiana Historical Society. The Friends of T.C. Steele were awarded $44,000.00 to build the Wagon, and were required to raise a 15% match. We are excited to announce that, as of PaintOut day, the Friends will have raised their target of $7,000 for the Traveling Studio Wagon! Many thanks to the Friends and donors who made this possible! The Traveling Studio Wagon is all-Indiana made. Constructed of Tulip Poplar, with Amish-made wheels and Kokomo glass, it was built by Woolywagons, owned and operated by Steve Auth in Russiaville, Indiana. During the PaintOut, the Traveling Studio Wagon will be displayed near the Formal Garden, as a special sneak peek at what will become the center of the Traveling Studio Wagon Camp, a signature outdoor experience for kids and families. The Camp will be located across from the new Singing Winds Visitor Center, and will offer self-guided activities for children to immerse themselves in the history and activities of the Steeles, as they traveled Indiana in the 1890s. The full Traveling Studio Wagon and Camp experience will open to the public this fall! More information coming soon!
Registration materials for the Great Outdoor Art Contest will be available for download from the Friends of T.C. Steele website (www.tcsteele.org/ programs) on August 1st. Hard copy of the registration materials will be available from the site office in August, and day-of contest registration will be available. Parking is free for registered artists, Indiana State Museum members, and Friends of T.C. Steele members; $3 parking for the general public. The Great Outdoor Art Contest is co-sponsored by the Friends of T.C. Steele State Historic Site, supported by the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, and Jack Richeson & Co., Inc. The Traveling Studio Wagon and Camp was funded by a Heritage Support Grant awarded to the Friends of T.C. Steele State Historic Site. Heritage Support Grants are provided by the Indiana Historical Society and made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc.