By Seth Kinker,

The Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival, otherwise known as Paint Dexter, will be heading into its sixth year this fall when the Festival will be taking place Aug. 13 – 18. Artists travel from all over Michigan, and even the United States, to participate.

The Plein Air movement started in France in the mid-1800’s. Artists during that time had to mix their paints and use them quickly before they tried out, as time went on commercially produced paint that came in tubes became more of the norm and artists now had more freedom to go out and paint what they saw. French Impressionists artists were some of the first to truly adopt the painting “en plein air” or “in the open air” style.


In 2008 the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Committee was formed to embrace all three of those aspects within the Dexter community. As the Paint Dexter Festival has gone on, it has been a key fundraiser for the Arts in Dexter.

Paintings at the Festival consist of scenic views around Dexter and the artists have a chance to have the art judged as well as the opportunity to sell some of their art.

Last year, the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Committee of Dexter wanted to encourage more community participation.

“The Arts, Culture, and Heritage Committee decided that it wanted to do a project involving kids,” said Justin Breyer, Assistant to the City Manager/City Clerk and Staff Liaison to the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Committee. “Thus came the production of banners out of a coloring contest that was held between Dexter Daze and last year’s Paint Dexter Festival so early to mid-August of 2017. We collected colorings from kids who attend Dexter Schools and we had a panel of judges look at all the submissions, pick the best seven, and those were turned into banners. Each winner got two banners that were then hung downtown.”

Local business Mna’ Design Arts created the coloring book pages that were passed out and now hang around town as banners. The banners include local icons such as Gordon Hall, the gazebo, the clock, etc.

The committee received around 20 submissions. The winners of the coloring contest were Sasha Jones, Stevie Cattell, Natalie Harrell, Isabel Martinez, Kate Jacquot, Grace Byron, and Reagan Cattell.

To learn more about Paint Dexter, you can find more information on the Festival’s website at:


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