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A Cool Event for One of the 10 Coolest Towns

So maybe this is yet another reason that Budget Travel has tagged Lexington as one of its 10 coolest small towns. On Saturday, Lexington is staging its Second Annual Plein Air Paint Out. The term “plein air” comes from the French en plein air, meaning “in the open air.” The Impressionists were particularly interested in the influence of changing light outdoors on color. So starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, numerous professional Virginia painters will set up easels around town and begin painting at various locations. Then, once they finish at 4:30 pm, there will be a public opening to view all the finished paintings  from 5 to 7 p.m. at Nelson Gallery, 27 West Washington Street. Painting location maps can be obtained at Nelson Gallery or the Lexington Visitor Center. Among the artists who’ll be at work is Kathleen Olson, professor of art at W&L, who will be concentrating on Woods Creek. Kathleen’s new shown, “Somewhere In Between,” opened in W&L’s Staniar Gallery Thursday, and she will be giving an artist’s talk at 5:30 p.m. today in Wilson Hall. You can read about her exhibition and talk here. Meanwhile, the Plein Air Paint Out is co-sponsored by Rockbridge Area Tourism and Nelson Gallery. And speaking of a cool town, Saturday’s weather forecast predicts some very cool painters.