The 11th annual Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival


Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival takes places Aug. 14-19. photo by Lonnie Huhman

The Dexter community welcomes the 11th annual Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival.

Beginning Monday, August 14 and going through Saturday, August 19, the Dexter Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee hosts the Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival every year in the picturesque city of Dexter, which offers the outdoor painter numerous charming subjects from which to draw inspiration, including parks, meadows, rivers, wetlands, wildlife, historical landmarks and architecture.

Activities are scheduled throughout the week and finished artwork will be on display and available for sale in Monument Park in downtown Dexter under a large canopy tent on Friday and Saturday.

The artists were already out early on the 14th beginning to create their works of art. A big part of the festival is the week-long Artist Interaction where you can encounter plein air artists up close and personal in and around the community. There’s also a Quick-Draw competition for the public to watch as participating artists create a painting in three hours on Friday morning and an opportunity to meet respected artists and later purchase the fruits of their labor during the festival.

One local artist set up on the bridge overlooking Mill Creek on Monday morning was Lesli Weston. This is her tenth time in the festival. She said she really enjoys the all together feel of the town, meeting people and participating in the festival.

And she says “I also love the views” while looking out over Mill Creek.

Local artist Lesli Weston painting Mill Creek on Aug. 14. photo by Lonnie Huhman

This year’s children’s art event will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 16. The youth activities are broken down by three age groups: elementary, middle school, and high school.

An introductory workshop painting class will be offered for children of different age groups under the big tent in Monument Park. In this class, children will receive instruction from expert instructors and gain experience with the materials of painting and technique, including brushwork, canvas and color mixing. Cookies and refreshment provided.

Classes for young adults (high school) include an authentic hands-on plein air painting workshop on location in Mill Creek Park. A workshop geared toward the beginning painter interested in learning about painting outdoors and the unique attributes associated with this style of painting.

There’s also an Art Exhibit and Sale where the fresh artwork will be on display in the festival tent with an opportunity to purchase your favorite piece. All of the artwork created throughout the week and submitted for the competitions will be on display in the Gallery Tent in Monument Park starting the Friday of the Festival until the sale closes Saturday evening.

The Tent Gallery in Monument Park will also host a musical performance that Saturday as well from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

There be entertainment at the Gazebo in Monument Park on Friday of the Festival from 6:30 to 9 p.m. as part of Dexter's Friday Night Music Series.

For more information about the festival, go to

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