Free outdoor class in Batavia to gather artists at riverbank

By KANE COUNTY CHRONICLE - editorial@kcchronicle.com Published: Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 7:52 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 8:19 p.m. CDT
Joel Sheesley will lead a free Painting En Plein Air outdoor art class Aug. 26 in Batavia. — Photo provided

BATAVIA – Artists can experience the joy of painting outdoors during Painting En Plein Air from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia.

The Conservation Foundation is partnering with the Fox Valley Park District and Kendall Arts Guild for the event, part of its Art of the Fox project featuring artist-in-residence Joel Sheesley.

“En plein air,” French for outside, was long embraced by artists, including Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh to name a few, who recognized the value of getting out of the studio to experience ever-changing natural lighting.

All skill levels are invited, with artists encouraged to pack up their field easels for an afternoon of painting on the banks of the Fox River. Sheesley will be on hand to provide constructive guidance and critique for those interested.

Registration at the shelter will be from 11 to 11:30 a.m., followed by choosing a location and setup, painting from noon to 2:30 p.m. and sharing work and light refreshments from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The event is free, but registration is required by emailing readitback@sbcglobal.net or calling 630-636-1184. The Red Oak Nature Center is at 2343 S. River St. Bug spray, water and a sack lunch are recommended. Rain date is Sept. 23.

Sheesley is a professor emeritus of art at Wheaton College and has partnered with The Conservation Foundation as artist-in-residence for Art of the Fox.

The foundation, celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2017, is one of the region’s oldest and largest nonprofit land and watershed conservation organizations. Work is focused in Kane, DuPage, Kendall and Will counties.

Find out more at theconservationfoundation.org.