Artists celebrating bicentennial by capturing historic sites on canvas in Athens

ATHENS, Ala. — A statewide artist group will be in Athens this weekend as part of a bicentennial art project to capture historic sites on canvas.

The Alabama Plein Air Artists will be painting in the open air like the impressionists of the late 1800s. These paintings result from quick sketches done on site to get an impression of the subject. The artists then take their impressions back to a studio to create paintings that are more detailed.

Swan Creek study that was done as a plein air project by artist Tina Swindell

High Cotton Arts artists Tina Swindell and Lynn Weatherford arranged for the group to conduct its En Plein Air event in Athens on Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23. Both are members of APAA.

Tina Swindell

Swindell said the APAA is coordinating a traveling exhibit that will visit various locations in Alabama throughout the year. Entries are due in July. Artists are painting subjects within the state’s history with the theme being “Alabama Then and Now.” Alabama turns 200 in 2019 and started bicentennial celebrations in 2017. Athens and Limestone County are both older than the state and 200 this year. Athens and Limestone County joined the state in its three-year celebration.

Lynn Weatherford

“We welcome these artists to our community, and I look forward to seeing how they depict our local history through their creative visions,” Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said. “This is a great way to recognize our local bicentennial as well as the state’s bicentennial.”

Approximately 10 artists will be participating. The artists will gather at High Cotton Arts in Downtown Athens on Friday morning to receive information from Limestone County Archives and ask questions about historical landmarks.

To learn more about local art opportunities in Athens, like Athens Arts League and High Cotton Arts on Facebook. Athens Arts League is a non-profit entity that operates High Cotton Arts, an art incubator with art opportunities for all ages.