The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will present a collection of works from local artists in an exploration of Plein Air paintings in “Plein Air: California Landscape Painting” as the college’s first exhibition of the fall semester.
The exhibition runs from Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Thursday, Oct. 22 at the COC Art Gallery, located on the college’s Valencia campus.
Plein Air painting is described simply as “the practice of painting on location in the open-air” with the artist’s subject in full view.
COC Art Gallery director Larry Hurst says Plein Air style is one that inspires a unique passion among the participating artists.
“Working outdoors can be challenging, yet it offers the unique opportunity to be present at the actual time that the light and atmosphere are in alignment for the artist to capture on canvas,” Hurst said. “Each of these artists shares a common reverence for this quest that can be truly described as spiritual.”
Participating artists include Karl Dempwolf, Joe Forkan, Alan Garber, Mike Hernandez, Lorelle Miller, Laura Wambsgans and Raymond Cuevas.
Dempwolf is an accomplished artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the southwest. His paintings are also a part of permanent collections of McGraw-Hill Publishers and the National Park Foundation.
Forkan’s earlier work, “The Lebowski Cycle,” has previously been exhibited at the COC Art Gallery and featured in Esquire Magazine. He is also a professor of art at California State University, Fullerton.
In addition to painting, Garber has had a wide-ranging career including that of a model maker for the film industry. He is currently a member of the California Art Club and the Pasadena Society of Artists.
Hernandez is an artist and has also worked as an art director and production designer for DreamWorks Pictures. His previous projects included “Shrek” and “Bee Movie.”
Miller is an accomplished artist working with various mediums including oils, pastels, stone and marble sculpture. Her work has been featured at exhibitions around the United States, Canada, Mexico and Norway.
Wambsgans is a painter and sculptor whose career spans over 20 years. Her work has previously been exhibited throughout Southern California including the Santa Clarita Valley Art Classic and the Old Town Newhall Art Walk.
Cuevas is an artist with 30 years experience focusing on the landscapes of Los Angeles and San Gabriel. His works have been exhibited since 1987 and been held in private collections throughout the United States.
In addition to the Plein Air paintings, the exhibition will also feature works from the Steve & Doris Marie Zimmer collection to add historical context. Those works range from the 1920s through the 1940s.
“These vintage art works were done during the advent of California Impressionism that was the hallmark of the Plein Air movement in California,” Hurst said. “The contrast of the historic with the contemporary offers a unique reference to the enduring nature of this genre of painting.”
The COC Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by special appointment on Mondays.
For more information about the College of the Canyons Art Gallery or the exhibition, “Plein Air: California Landscape Painting,” please visit www.canyons.edu/artgallery or call (661) 362-3612.