Every April, like monarch butterflies migrating south, artists descend upon the Plein Air Convention. Royal Talens has been supporting this event, which has been called the “Woodstock of Painting,” since its inception. A week-long event that attracts artists from around the world, PACE is a mixture of education, painting excursions, camaraderie and of course, shopping for the world’s finest art materials.
For Royal Talens, this is a unique opportunity to engage with over 1000 artists, from veteran workshop artists who capture the interest of a packed auditorium, to more novice spectators, who hang on every word, with the inevitable question “what color is that, by what brand?” or “which brush do you use?”
Kyle Richardson, who has attended each of these events, recalls the first event that PACE put together in Las Vegas.
“I remember not being sure of what to expect, and not seeing a whole lot of familiar faces. It was the year we launched Cobra, and I got a lot of strange looks, but after the first day, I was on the phone to HQ to expedite more sets because of the demand. We made a decision at that first event to partner with a local independent retailer at each of these shows, which was different than the approach of the other vendors. That’s paid off for us in spades, because we train the staff while we’re there, and we leave with a store in that area that has become a specialist with our products. Most importantly though, the bonds and relationships that are created with artists from this event, while your talking shop during the day, or painting with them in the evening has been not only great for our company, but also, I think is at the core of why we’re successful and why we’re doing what we do.”
During the day, there’s an ebb and flow between workshops and live demos, with artists circling around the centrally-located trade show area to pick up much needed sundries and often to get valuable time with vendors to ask questions and understand the products. On one hand, artists are there to come together to do what they love, to be connected to their community (or the “tribe” as it’s called). But they’re also there to pursue the never-ending quest of learning and growing that is the life of an artist. There is often deep discussion on the art world, the marketing and business of being an artist, or the philosophy of various schools of thought on the artistry and craftsmanship of the trade. In every corner, at every painting location, there is laughter; there is also an intensity directed towards painting, capturing light and expressing emotion with a brush stroke.
The incredible event is coordinated and hosted by a phenomenal team at Streamline publishing, which produces Plein Air Magazine, and owner Eric Rhodes orchestrates it all to perfection. It is an experience unlike any other, and this fall, they will also be launching the Figurative Art Convention in Florida, which proves to be just as enriching as PACE.
We hope to see you there- if you are attending, stop by and say hello!