By Maggie Nelson
The oldest continuously active plein air group in the state, Vistas and Vineyards, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary as a group on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the LaSells Stewart Center from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The public is invited to join the energized group, enjoy an exhibition of over 100 paintings, and meet the artists.
The now well-established group began around 1989 as just a few local artists looking to develop a sense of rooted presence by sharing in the splendor of painting and recording their environmental surroundings. Meeting every Wednesday morning for coffee at the Old World Deli, they had little idea that they would establish such a profoundly supportive environment for artists, which would grow to the current size of over 100 artists.
The crew ranges all the way from beginner-level artists to professionals. The key to maintaining such a large, successful, and unified group is common aspiration and encouragement. Kris Mitchell, chairwoman of Vistas and Vineyards, expanded on the subject. “We unite with a common cause, to paint the landscape we all love, but we stay united because of the safe environment incubated within the group.”
From their humble coffee shop beginnings 25 years ago, they are currently producing a calendar, orchestrating workshops and lessons, hosting retreats, and organizing their art show each October.