Plein Air Curaçao - An Exceptional Art Festival
Susan Campbell, Curaçao Nights
Since 2011, the Art Foundation Curacao has held an exceptional international art festival called Plein Air Curacao every two years, which lasts for 10 days in March.
Plein Air means, “open air,” in Papiamentu, and the idea is to showcase Curacao’s natural and architectural wonders on canvas from an outdoor perspective.
Artists from around the world descend upon the shores to paint up a storm, but you need not be an expert in the arts. There are plenty of workshops, master classes, and events for all ages and skill levels as well as lots of exciting interactive offerings for children.
Select locations around the island are chosen for events like moonlight painting and street fairs with local food, drink, and music. It’s an amazing island-wide “art-a-palooza”! There are also competitions with great prizes, and creators can also sell their work during the festival at the Plein Air Art Gallery.
The island from all angles
The first Plein Air Curacao festival originally focused simply on painting from the outdoors, but since then they have added inspiring new elements to the artistic challenge like Plein Eau and Plein Aerial.
Curacao has such colorful coral reefs and amazing marine life that it was only natural that the underwater world should be part of the painted scenes. But the challenge was how? Fortunately, this island already had expertise in that arena using special waterproof, nontoxic materials. Artists Alexander Belozor from the Ukraine, American artists Tanya Hanes and Warren Buck (who invented the “seasel” – an underwater easel), and artist Peter Bott from the Netherlands all dove in to show everyone just how it’s done!