Scenes of the golden Yampa Valley attract over 60 Plein Air artists to Steamboat |

Scenes of the golden Yampa Valley attract over 60 Plein Air artists to Steamboat

The Main Street Steamboat Springs award of excellence winner during the Steamboat Art Museum’s 2017 Plein Air event went to artist Stephen Henry for this piece, “Steamboat At Night.” (Courtesy photo by Stephen Henry)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Just in time for the golden hue to cast its glow on the Yampa Valley, 60 Plein Air artists from across the country will convene to capture the mesmerizing scenes.

Rain or shine, the Steamboat Art Museum will host its annual Plein Air Paint Out week-long event, starting Saturday and continuing to next Friday.

Plein air is French for “in the open air,” and the museum’s non-juried event gives local and national artists an opportunity to select a location of their choice in Routt County to create as many as three paintings with approved materials.

If you go

What: 2018 Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28

Where: Steamboat Art Museum, 807 Lincoln Ave.

What: 2018 Quick Draw, BBQ and Silent Auction

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29

Where: Wolf Run Ranch, Routt County Road 33

New this year is the Harvest Moon Nocturn Paint Out event on Tuesday during which artists will have a chance to paint downtown in the glow of the full moon.

“It’s a whole other process to paint and adjust for the night scene,” said Betse Grassby, Steamboat Art Museum executive director.

Throughout the week, Grassby said artists are typically found along scenic roads like Elk River Road or Twenty Mile Road, on various ranches, in front of historic buildings, at the Yampa River Botanic Gardens or along the streets of downtown.

The Steamboat Art Museum will host the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 28 with the new works on display at the gallery. The featured pieces will continue to be exhibited at the museum through Nov. 3.

Steamboat Art Museum artist Mark Thompson will be this year’s judge to present awards that include cash prizes and three awards of excellence from Historic Routt County, the Community Agriculture Alliance and Main Street Steamboat Springs.

The museum will also host its popular Quick Draw and BBQ event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Wolf Run Ranch on Routt County Road 33.

It features a competition in which artists will have only two hours to work on paintings that will then be hung and judged for an opportunity to win cash prizes and honorable mention awards. The event will also include a catered barbecue, bar and live music.

“The thing about the Quick Draw is that you can watch the artists create each piece from beginning to end,” Grassby said. “It’s amazing to watch because they have no opportunity to touch up the painting before time is up, and it’s framed and hung.”

Tickets for the Quick Draw and BBQ event are $40 for members of the museum and $50 for non-members. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Steamboat Art Museum.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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