For the past four years, local and visiting painters have flocked to the lovely and historic town of Dexter, just west of Ann Arbor, to take part in the Plein Air Festival. A celebration of outdoor art, the Plein Air Festival consists of four days of outdoor painting, a two-day exhibit, and a silent auction of the art produced.
Dexter is the perfect location for this unique event – small, picturesque, historic, welcoming, and with plenty of beautiful scenes to paint. In the past, artists have been inspired to paint vistas including Dexter’s iconic stone arch bridge, the fields at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms, the charming downtown area, and several area historic barns. Anyone interested in art is welcome to watch the artists painting around Dexter from August 15-18, and also to attend the Quick Draw Competition in Mill Creek Park on Friday, August 19, where locals and visitors can view the artists creating plein air paintings in three hours or less. On Saturday, August 20, the silent auction beings, where art-lovers can take home part of the festival by purchasing one of the pieces created during the festival. Also on Saturday, the whole family can get involved at the Children’s Chalk Art Event in Monument Park, where kids’ art comes to life with the help of acclaimed chalk artist David Zinn, whose lovable and distinct creatures regularly pop up around Washtenaw County and beyond.
To complement the visual art at the event, the Dexter Community Jazz Trio and Dexter Community Orchestra Chamber Quarter will perform on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, respectively. While you’re in Dexter, be sure to take a stroll along the Huron River (there is a lovely boardwalk area near downtown), grab a bite to eat at Terry B’s or the Red Brick Kitchen & Bar, and catch a show at the Encore Musical Theatre Company. During Plein Air, the classic favorite “My Fair Lady” is playing, directed by Tony and Emmy Award-winning Tony Walton.