Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

Paint the Town draws artists

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Before the annual Labor Day parade marches around Warner Circle Monday, artists will have captured Kensington scenes on canvas as part of Paint the Town, an art show sponsored by the Montgomery County Art Association.

The weekend show at Kensington Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell St., returns Saturday through Monday, with local scenes immortalized on canvas.

Susan Moses, art association spokeswoman, said a gallery will be open all weekend, but artists are excited for the annual Plein Air challenge.

Plein Air is French for ‘‘open air,” and refers to the way in which artists paint in the outdoors, Moses said. Painters capture Kensington parks, plants, people and shops beginning Saturday morning.

‘‘It rained a little last year, and it was kind of hard for the watercolor artists,” Moses said. ‘‘Being outdoors is so different ... from looking at a photograph. Artists see color in shadows, where they look black in a photograph.”

Artists are required to focus on a subject in the 20895 ZIP code, and abstract pieces may be entered as long as they represent a Kensington theme. Registration for the art show and Plein Air Event end at noon Friday.

Moses said the paintings of homes and businesses in town are often sold during the show.

‘‘Last year I did one [painting] of Johnson’s Flower Shop and they went down and bought it that day,” Moses said, and an owner of the flower store at 10313 Kensington Parkway purchased her painting that afternoon.

The gallery gives artists a chance to sell their work and win awards, she said, and draws at least 80 artists each year.

Nudity will not be accepted in any work, and multiple entries will be accepted, but only one will be judged. Paintings must be turned in by 3 p.m. Saturday.

The outdoor event is one of two art shows this weekend.

Other works will be on display in Town Hall from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The gallery will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday in conjunction with the town’s annual Labor Day festival and parade.