01 Oct 2022

Return of En Plein Air brings sense of normality to Limerick village

Return of En Plein Air brings sense of normality to Limerick village

The annual Draíocht ‘pleinair’ art competition will take place in Adare this Sunday | PICTURE: Draíocht

THE return of En Plein Air to Adare has brought a welcome sense of normality in the village and has also unleashed a desire among painters to get back and active into the art community. 

But the event, which takes place this Sunday, August 15,  will be adhering very strictly to Covid-19 guidelines, organiser Andrew Timoney of the Draíocht Gallery emphasises. 

The idea behind En Plein Air, is to bring artists together at various sites around Adare to paint what their artist eye sees and all under the summer sky.

“We have had a good response,” Andrew said but, as always, he is expecting a last-minute rush of registrations. Past events have attracted up to 50 competitors but he expected they would probably cut off entries at 40 this year..

“We couldn’t do it last year and this year we are much more aware of the safety guidelines and we are accommodating all of that,” he explained, adding that he very much welcomes the positive reaction he is getting from locals. He is also pleased that a great many of this year’s competitors are new to the competition. 

Competitors can register online on the Draíocht site or in person this Saturday. All canvases must be stamped and validated in advance, either on Saturday afternoon or from 8.30am on Sunday. 

The sites, all close to the village, are chosen in advance by Andrew and his team but while they assign the site, artists choose their own vista. 

Many artists Andrew explained will choose to begin work at dawn or early in the day. But all the participating artists must be in place between mid-day and 2.30pm when the judges do their walk-through. 

Throughout the day, members of the public are free to wander through the sites where the artists are working at their easels but must keep social distance. 

From 3.30pm judging will take place at Draíochts and this year’s judges are Henry Morgan and Eleanor Swan. Unlike previous years, Andrew pointed out, there will be no gathering at the gallery to announce the winners. Instead, they will be invited by phone or text to come to the gallery where social distancing and masking will operate. 

Once again, the medical devices company Regeneron is the main sponsor and the winner of this year’s En Plein Air will receive €1000.

There are also runner-up prizes of €300 and €200 and this year, for the first time, there are framing prizes sponsored by Sebastian Stacpoole and Art Mad. 

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