Art guild holding Plein Air Art event June 1

The grounds of the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden will be filled with plein air artists on Saturday, June 1.

The Owensboro Art Guild will return to the garden to for its 5th annual Plein Air Art event, which event chairwoman Martha Bratcher said is the guild’s most inclusive show.

“Not only do we have seasoned plein air artists there, but the youngest person I know of participating this year is 5 years old,” said Bratcher, who believes strongly in providing kids an opportunity to participate and create art. “You never know when a kid picks up a paintbrush or a guitar or whatever and they’re going to just feel this is for me and really like it.

“To me, for a young person who doesn’t really like sports or has a physical disability, this is something they can do and enjoy. And a lot of it is to provide an experience and to promote plein air painting.”

Bratcher said creating art in nature brings in several elements an artist must adapt to as opposed to being in a studio.

“You really do learn a lot about painting when you are painting from life outside, because things are changing from moment to moment,” she said. “You have this really complicated piece of information and you’ve got a short time to boil it down into an easily understandable image. You’ve got to learn how to cut out the details and kind of go for the big stuff when you’re trying to paint something and get it done in the few hours you’re going to have before the light is really different.”

Artists can use any type of drawing material for their work and they must bring their own supplies, including easels for adult competitors.

“We’ll have some tables that we use for kids work, because you’re not expecting a kid to have an easel,” Bratcher said.

Registration the day of the event starts at 7 a.m. The entry fee is $25 for artists over 18 years of age. Artists under 18 years of age compete for free.

Awards will be presented at 3 p.m., with first place receiving $500, second place getting $300, and third place winning $200. There will also be two $50 merit awards.

“Last year we had 30-something artists, not counting kids, and we’re hoping to do that many or better this year,” Bratcher said.

The botanical garden, which will open at 9 a.m., offers free admission on the first Saturday of each month, which Bratcher hopes residents will take advantage of to mingle among the artists and enjoy the garden.

“We’re excited to have people come out and paint with us,” she said, “and we have a lot of people every year who come out and watch the painters and stroll around the garden.”

To pre-register for the competition or for more information go to or call 270-302-5982.