Arts festival challenges artists to create outdoors

Local artist Donna Carling works on a piece of art outdoors during last year’s Plein Air festival. Over 15 artists and vendors will set up shop outside of the Nevada Northern Railway for this year’s festival over Labor Day weekend. (Dany Feinstein photo)

Local artist Donna Carling works on a piece of art outdoors during last year’s Plein Air festival. Over 15 artists and vendors will set up shop outside of the Nevada Northern Railway for this year’s festival over Labor Day weekend.
(Dany Feinstein photo)

In French, “en plein air” means in the open air. To Nevada Northern Railway Sales and Marketing Director Dany Feinstein, the phrase conjures up images of artists sitting outside in a park, painting the landscapes that surround them. This Labor Day weekend, the NNRY will host their fourth annual Plein Air Outdoor Arts Festival, gathering local and out of town artists together outside to create art live.

“It is just a great opportunity to watch an artist go from a blank canvas to a new creation” Feinstein said.

At least 16 different booths will line the railroad track from Aug. 29 through Sept. 1, with artists sharing the sunlight with other vendors, such as crafts and food. Train paintings are usually the most popular item to come out of the festival each year according to Feinstein. Knowing that, the NNRY plans on staging trains along the track to provide inspiration for new paintings this year, from painters such as Ornon Shaw from Cedar City or local artist Donna Carling.

Though the focus is on art and the creative process of working live, outdoors, Feinstein said that the festival has grown to include other talented, local and out of town artisans.

“This year we have expanded beyond just Plein Air. We’ll have handmade crafts and jewelry as well as homemade jams and salsas, scents candles. It will really be a variety,” Feinstein said.

Though pieces of art will be available for purchase at the festival, it is not a fundraiser for the railroad. Instead, Feinstein describes the event more as one more venue artists in and around Ely can show their work and promote a more inclusive artistic culture in the area.

“It thrills me completely to see more art and dance in Ely. In our region there is a plethora of artists and artisans, and no one event takes anything away from them, instead, its like all of these events add up to be something greater than the sum of their parts. It’s all enhancing the arts and culture in Ely,” she said.

Feinstein encourages everyone to come out and support the artists so they will want to return again next year. For more information on the festival, contact Feinstein at 775-289-2085 or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nnry1.

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