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9th Annual Plein Air SmackDown

  • Coldwater Spring 5601 Minnehaha Park Drive South Minneapolis, MN, 55417 United States (map)
Plein Air Smackdown.jpg
Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.
— Oscar Wilde

The Groveland Gallery Plein Air SmackDown returns for its 9th year!

Twenty five gallery and guest artists will be painting “en plein air” at Coldwater Spring, a section of the national park located between Minnehaha Falls and Fort Snelling State Park. During the event, visitors are encouraged to explore the restored prairie and wetland, the trails, and the ruins of the springhouse as they observe artists painting throughout the park.

Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists. Their desire to paint light and its changing, ephemeral qualities, coupled with the creation of transportable paint tubes and the box easel—the precursor to the plein air easels of today—allowed artists the freedom to paint “en plein air,” which is the French expression for 'in the open air.'


10 AM - 12 PM: NPS Rangers and staff will greet visitors at Coldwater Spring with coffee, donuts, and maps to the artists’ locations.

10 AM - 3:30 PM: Artists will be painting on location. The public is encouraged to visit and observe. A map of the artists’ locations will be available at the entrance to the park and at Groveland Gallery’s website.

4 - 6 PM: All artists and observers are invited to return to Groveland Gallery for a party and art sale on the front porch.

SmackDown artists include: Richard Abraham, Fred Anderson, Scott Lloyd Anderson, Michael Banning, Maddy Bradley, Carl Bretzke, Kristie Bretzke, James Conaway, Christopher Copeland, Joshua Cunningham, Robert Dorlac, Susan Horn, Aaron Jacobs, Mary Nagel Klein, Cindy Koopman, Greg Lecker, Stuart Loughridge, Tom Maakestad, Barbara McIlrath, Jill Michell, Dan Mondloch, Jason Sacran, Holly Swift, Justin Terlecki, and Bob Upton.

This year’s event is being held in partnership with the National Park Service and Mississippi Park Connection.

Things are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the arts that have influenced us.
— Oscar Wilde