April 9-14 

For the fourth year, Kern County Arts Council will sponsor a Plein Air Festival that will feature artists from California and several other western states. Sixteen artists will fan out across the county to paint between three and seven paintings in the span of five days. The festival will culminate in an awards ceremony and art sale, followed by a gala reception to be held at BMW of Bakersfield. Well-known artist Frank Serrano, of Big Pine, California, will judge the show. 

Painting outside or en plein air was a 19th-century artistic principle that began in France. It was a rebellious reaction to the staid academic tradition of The Royal Academie of Painting and Sculpture. Artists left their studios to paint outdoors in a more informal style that was heralded by Claude Lorrain of the Barbizon School. Later iterations transformed into the impressionist movement. The chief tenet is to spontaneously capture the immediacy of light. While Vincent Van Gogh prized the light in the south of France, many artists here remark about the beautiful quality of the golden light of Kern County. To this day, there is indeed gold to be found in the hills.

Kern County Arts Council provides access, advocacy and art education to residents and groups in Kern County. For ticket information, contact Arts Council of Kern, KernArts.org, or call 661.324.9000