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Nothing plain about it

STEW MOSBERG

Just above 7,500 feet, in the valley known as Estes Park, the Loch Vale Fine Art and Snowfire galleries are again hosting the 2004 Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters (R.M.P.A.P.) National competition. R.M.P.A.P. is made up of an extremely talented group of outdoor painters with the goal of encouraging and promoting the advancement of on-location painting in the Rocky Mountain region. The association works to bring artists and those who appreciate art together in a creative atmosphere, while also encouraging members to share their ideas, enthusiasm and knowledge. Several art events are featured throughout the summer with the painting event beginning on Aug. 16 and continuing through Aug. 26.There is a Gala Reception weekend starting on Friday with an awards dinner and gallery previews, continuing through Sunday.This year the judged event features artwork created in five western locations: New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona and Colorado. The resulting canvases will be on display along with a miniature paintings show, which is juried separately from the plein air event. The miniature paintings were created by 70 artisans from around the country.Also during this period, and Sponsored by Art Warehouse, is the R.M.P.A.P. paint box project, with work by 50 artists.The invited artists decorated functional wooden boxes in any fashion they chose, including painting, carving, inlays, bas-relief and sculpture.The finished boxes will be displayed at the two galleries and on the tables at the Gala Dinner, and will be sold by silent auction that evening.They can be viewed online at http://www.snowfire.comWatching plein air paintings being created by members of the R.M.P.A.P. is as easy as showing up on Saturday afternoons from Aug. 7 to Sept. 11, at Mama Rosa’s Restaurant on the River Walk in Estes Park.There on the patio you will see R.M.P.A.P. members demonstrating their talent while you dine, snack or enjoy a cocktail.Stew Mosberg is a freelance writer in Blue River. He is the author of two books on design, and a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches design at CMC in Breckenridge. He can be reached by e-mail at WrtrF@aol.com


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