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Sedona Arts Center hosts first-ever Tailgate Paint Out Event


A Plein Air Painting by Williamson Tapia in a tailgate setting, ready for the event. (courtesy of SAC)

A Plein Air Painting by Williamson Tapia in a tailgate setting, ready for the event. (courtesy of SAC)


Originally Published: June 1, 2022 10:58 p.m.

June 3-5, Sedona Arts Center (SAC) will hold its first Tailgate Paint Out in the outdoor areas of the center. The event will host invited artists as well as community members interested in participating in or observing plein air style painting.

Plein air is a French term meaning “open air.” In the art world, it refers to the practice of painting in the out of doors rather than in a studio. Famed artists such as Claude Monet, Renoir and Georgia O’Keefe were known to practice this style.

“We do a plein air event every year in October,” said JD Jensen, operations coordinator at SAC. “But we wanted the chance to have an event that anyone could participate in.”

On Saturday evening at 5 p.m., the Tailgate Paint Out begins. The group of 24 invited artists will draw or paint “en plein air” while members of the community are invited to park their vehicles in the lower parking lot of the arts center and tailgate amongst the painters.

“Most of the guest artists are established in their own mediums and styles but may not be plein air painters,” said Jensen. “We are focusing on artists that have never been to one of our events or are emerging artists. We hope this event will help expand their knowledge and skills. In addition, we wanted to get the community involved in a fun, free outdoor event.”

Tailgaters are encouraged to bring along comfy chairs to relax in and can enjoy free food and drinks catered by Heartline Café or pack their own picnic baskets. Artist awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m.

On Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., community members are invited to paint alongside the professional artists in the Community Paint Out. Participants can even opt to sell their paintings at the event and to be considered for a prize. The only requirement is that they register with a SAC staff member upon arrival. One award with a prize of $500 will be given for Best Community Painter on Sunday.

“We want to encourage members of the community to come out, participate and have some fun,” said Jensen. “It’s a great opportunity to practice and learn.”

Additional activities will include an Open Paint for invited artists on Friday at 10:30 a.m. From 4 to 6 p.m. that evening is the opening reception including meet and greets with the artists and an art sale. The community is encouraged to attend.

All events will take place at the Sedona Arts Center and are free to attend. Tailgate Paint Out is supported by a grant from the AZ Office of Tourism.

Cindy Cole is a freelancer for the Independent. Reach her at cindycole@live.com.