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Plein-Air Painters of America work opens Oct. 15 at Haggin Museum
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STOCKTON — Experience water as you’ve never seen it in “The Allure of Water: On Location with the Plein-Air Painters of America,” which opens at The Haggin Museum on Oct. 15, amidst a number of special events.

The Plein-Air Painters of America (PAPA) have again returned to The Haggin Museum for their 23rd Exhibition & Sale, following the success of the exhibitions “From the Heart” in 2007 and “American Legacy: Our National Parks” in 2009.

Water is essential to our physical sustenance and psychological bliss, and has inspired artists from the earliest times. Today’s on-location painters are no less intrigued by the challenge of capturing the illusion, movement, and infinite moods of water in pigments on canvas and paper. PAPA Members and select guest artists went into the field to experience and translate everything from rain, fog, and clouds to lakes, rivers, and oceans, snowfields and glaciers, swamps and marshes, fountains and waterfalls.

What is plein-air?

The adjective plein-air (French for “in the open air”) refers to the philosophical belief that going into the field and painting on location, challenging as it may be, is crucial to successfully documenting a visual and emotional point in time and place. The artists in this exhibition are recognized as some of the finest on-location painters in the country.

The result of this year’s exhibition is more than 100 new paintings from across the country, offering an immersion in water’s myriad forms.

The exhibition remains on view through Jan. 22, 2012, and is documented in a color catalogue.

The Allure of Water opening events are:

• Luncheon with Guest Speaker Steve Doherty, Tuesday, Oct, 12, noon

Steve Doherty, Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine, offers an illustrated lecture titled “Plein-Air Painters: Crazy About Nature, or Just Plain Crazy?” on outdoor painters working in the cause of environmental and historic preservation, subjecting themselves to extreme risks, providing comical entertainment for the public, conducting research for their studio work, and just having a good time.

This special event will be held at the Stockton Golf & Country Club and will feature a catered lunch. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance. Call (209) 940-6316.

• Gala Opening Reception, Friday, Oct. 14, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Mingle with the artists, enjoy elegant hors d’oeuvres and have the first opportunity to view and purchase the paintings at Friday night’s gala opening reception. Wine will be provided by Kautz Ironstone Vineyards and Bronco Wine Company, which will be debuting its new pink rosé wine titled Allure. Ruhstaller 1881 Red Ale will be provided by Rubicon Partners Inc., and there will also be a no-host bar. Tickets are $50. Call (209) 940-6316.

• Outdoor Painting Demonstration & Auction, Saturday, Oct. 15, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Visiting artists will set up their easels along Stockton’s Downtown Waterfront to create new art. Visitors can watch them at work and bid on their paintings. Completed works will be brought to the courtyard of the Waterfront Warehouse at noon for a final opportunity to participate in the fixed-price auction.

Artists scheduled to participate include: Kenn Auster, Kenn Backhaus, John Budicin, John Cosby, Gil Dellinger, Don Demers, Louise DeMore, Kathleen Dunphy, Andy Evansen, Gay Faulkenberry, West Fraser, Gerald Fritzler, Lynn Gertenbach, Raleigh Kinney, Frank LaLumia, Joan LaRue, Jean LeGassick, Ned Mueller, Joe Paquet, Ray Roberts, Randall Sexton, Jane Shuss, George Strickland and Brian Stewart.

Admission is free to this outdoor event. For more information, call (209) 940-6312.

• Artist Conversations, Friday, Oct. 16 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Participating Plein-Air Painters will be stationed on both floors of the exhibition during the museum’s public hours, allowing visitors to stop and talk with the artists and engage in informal, small group discussions, with the exhibition providing a backdrop.

Artists scheduled to participate include: Gil Dellinger, Kathleen Dunphy, Andy Evansen, Frank LaLumia, Jean LeGassick, Ned Mueller and Brian Stewart.

This event is included with regular museum admission ($5 adults; $2.50 ages 65+, 10-17; free for museum members). For more information, call (209) 940-6315.