The Younger Generation Plein Air Project is a 4-step youth education art program that provides 4th grade students with the following opportunities:
1. To learn about the history of Plein Air Art in California;
2. To see in person an acclaimed collection of Plein Air Art;
3. Watch and participate in a live demonstration by a professional Plein Air painter; and
4. To actually become Plein Air painters for the day.
The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) and Jeff Sewell, Director of Education, developed the Younger Generation Plein Air Project as a way to offer 4th grade students an enhanced learning experience to coincide with their normal curriculum of California history. This program is fully funded through LPAPA as part of their mission to provide youth art education and is presented in collaboration with The Irvine Museum, and with the generous support of its artists, donors and grant funding. Preparation for the program includes organizing two classroom visits, a trip to The Irvine Museum, and an optional day outside painting with the students. Each of these steps are described below.
Step 1: Learning about the history of Plein Air Art in California
On this first day of the program, a LPAPA Signature Artist will visit the classroom and teach the students about what it means to paint “en plein air”. They will also discuss the methodology of plein air artists and true historical significance between plein air painting and California. The students will be shown references from books and sample prints and learn about how this early California plein air art has become a living record that helps to document the landscape of our state. This is an interactive lecture and discussion between the Artist and students.
Step 2: Field trip to The Irvine Museum
The Irvine Museum is dedicated to the preservation and display of California art of the Impressionist Period (1890-1930), and the Plein Air Project would not be possible without the museum’s generous support. This step of the program involves a visit to the museum where the students will break into groups and participate in a docent lead tour of the current exhibition. Here the students will be able to see up close and in person both historical and contemporary examples of California Impressionism.
Step 3: In-class demonstration by a LPAPA Signature Artist
On this day of the program, an Artist will do a live painting demonstration for the class during which he or she will complete an entire painting from photo reference and memory. Students will learn about establishing a composition for a painting, mixing paints and colors, and the techniques used by a professional plein air painter. Students will be given the opportunity to observe the painting up close and discuss the many aspects of the painting process.
Step 4: A day of Plein Air Painting
This step of the program is strongly encouraged, but optional based on the participating school’s schedule. On this day the students will have the opportunity to become a plein air painter with a trip outside to a designated painting location. Students will be broken up into groups, then taught and guided by a group of LPAPA Artists who will share their own plein air painting style and experience, during the painting trip the students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have learned from the previous days of the program.
The main objective of the Younger Generation Plein Air Project is to provide 4th grade students with the knowledge of plein air painting, art and California history, museum education, field study, and a multi-faceted education of California’s natural landscape. The program is meant to enhance their standard study of California history and allow students to connect these history studies to plein air art. Ultimately, LPAPA hopes that the program will change the way a student looks at their surrounding landscape and inspire them to further explore their artistic abilities.
For information about bringing this program to your school,
Contact LPAPA’s Executive Director email@example.com or (949) 376-3635