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Community invited to landmark exhibition & events at Studios on the Park 

–With an aim to connect the great and timeless legacy of historic California Plein Air art to the 21st century, Studios on the Park presents California Impressionists: The Masters & The Greats They Inspire sponsored by Rancho Azul y Oro Olive Farm. Art lovers are invited to view the exhibition at Studios on the Park from Oct. 3 to Nov. 17 and attend affiliated special events taking place throughout the month of October.

This exclusive and exceptional exhibition is a must-see for anyone who admires Impressionist painting. The confident color, bold brushwork, and “captured light” of this historical and contemporary artistic movement have captivated audiences on the West Coast since the turn of the 20th century. The first American Impressionism artists were influenced by artists in France and Italy, traveling to those regions to become students of plein air painting. Upon returning, they pioneered a new direction in American landscape painting.

The California Impressionists, favoring the state’s advantageous climate and scenic and varied terrain, painted en plein air, or outdoors, capturing the distinctive color and light of regions throughout the state. An iconic subset of American Impressionism, California Impressionism is closely connected to the region in which it flourished, depicting the state’s exceptional beauty with a focus on canyons, coastlines, deserts, forests, and mountains. Exquisite examples of California Impressionism by renowned artists Maurice Braun (1877 – 1941), Selden Gile (1877 –1947), Joseph Kleitsch (1882-1931), Edgar Payne (1883 – 1957), Granville Redmond (1871 – 1935), Marion Wachtel (1873 – 1954) and others are included in this exhibition. These artworks have never before been on view on the Central Coast, and merit special recognition for their significant place in this show and historic contribution to changing the course of the prevailing art style of the early 20th century.

Along with the landmark presentation of historical works, Studios on the Park will exhibit the works of more than forty impressive contemporaries. Featured artists include: Jeff Bellerose, Chris Chapman, Ken Christensen, Marsha Connell, Rick J. Delanty, Karl Dempwolf, Kathleen Dunphy, Aimee Erickson, Mark Fehlman, Kadin Goldberg, Susan Guy, Marc Hanson, Holli Harmon, Carolyn Hesse-Low, W. Truman Hosner, Susanna Hoy, Debra Huse Ressel, John Iwerks, Anne Laddon, Ann Larsen, John Lasater, Sergio Lopez, Carolyn Lord, Nancy MacDonald, Jim McVicker, William Mitchell, Ernesto Nemesio, Rita Pacheco, Anton Pavlenko, Camille Przewodek, Lori Putnam, Randy Sexton, Michael Situ, Wei Jason Situ, Tom Soltesz, Teri Starkweather, Tom Swimm, Carol Talley, Elizabeth Tolley, Michele Usibelli, Jeff Yeomans.

Studios on the Park is proud to share this ambitious, dual-focused exhibition with the Central Coast community. Through over eighty of the best historical and contemporary California landscapes, viewers will have a special opportunity to see how a group of artists are united across history in creative fellowship through their shared love of light, nature, and climate. It is a collection of works that is beautiful, historical, educational, and spectacular.

Please join Studios on the Park on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. for the exhibition premiere, which begins at Park Cinemas with an engaging and informative presentation entitled “Historical Development of Plein Air Painting” by nationally recognized art historian Jean Stern. His digital presentation will define “plein air” and trace its origins and developments to the present. Stern will show how practical and scientific developments led to the refinement of the art form.

Stern has extensive experience as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher. He is the Senior Curator of California Impressionism at the University of California, Irvine Institute and Museum of California Art and is the author of numerous books and articles on California Impressionism.

Following Stern’s presentation, the premiere continues at Studios on the Park, where guests will view the exhibition and have the exclusive first opportunity to purchase the stunning paintings created by the featured contemporary artists. Tickets are $30 per person, $50 per couple and can be purchased at Studios on the Park or online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/california-impressionists-presentation-premiere-party-tickets- 69994440255.

The exciting Art After Dark Paso Opening Reception for the exhibition is on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Studios on the Park. From 6 to 9 p.m., meet some of the featured artists and enjoy live music, all for free. Celebrate with wines from Tablas Creek for $8 per glass.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, Studios on the Park will offer an intimate event entitled “Collecting California” with Scot Levitt, Vice President and Director of Fine Arts at Bonhams in Los Angeles and San Francisco. At 6 p.m., he will discuss the history and share strategies of collecting California paintings and offer guidance on how to begin and build your collection.

Levitt is a seasoned art world professional with four decades of experience in the field. His expertise ranges from old master to modern, with deep knowledge of California and Western paintings and sculpture, a collecting category that Bonhams has almost single-handedly introduced to the world stage with several auction records and groundbreaking prices.

The presentation is free to all who wish to attend. A VIP dinner with Levitt follows on the patio at Il Cortile Ristorante at 608 12th Street. To make your reservation, please call (805) 226-0300. Dinner prices begin at $95 plus tax and gratuity per person.

Those interested in studying with one of the greats should make special note of the California Impressionism Workshop with Karl Dempwolf, which will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 23 thru Friday, Oct. 25.

For decades, Karl Dempwolf made it his life’s work to learn from the paintings of California Impressionism’s great masters and figure out just how they made such wonderful compositions, found such rich yet tasteful colors, and used such wonderful brushwork.

In this rare workshop, Karl reveals the priceless techniques he discovered and shares his years of experience so that you can take your paintings to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate painter, or an experienced professional working en plein air or in the studio, there is value for you.

Smaller, on-location studies are the focus of the three days. Karl says, “I prefer that the students work small on location, 9×12 or 8×10 or smaller, forcing the student to decide on masses and shapes in a relatively confined area, and therefore reducing the amount of information they are able to include in a painting. The student can use any medium he or she prefers, they can use a minimalist pallet or a full complement of colors, the only requirement I have insisted on for years is that they bring a sketch pad and pencil where some of the students thinking is exposed and an early critique will assist them in their efforts.”

Participants should bring plein air easels and supplies and plan to paint outside in beautiful Paso Robles wine country. In case of rain or a heatwave, an indoor option is available, and participants may bring larger paintings to work on.

The cost of the workshop is $400 cash/check or $425 credit and reservations may be made by calling Studios on the Park.

To support the organization or to learn more, visit studiosonthepark.org.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.