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Art on the trail

A pair of cyclists travel along a wide-open stretch of the Katy Trail near the trail’s western terminus at Clinton, Mo, in 2006. Photographers and artists are invited to take part in a Capital Arts exhibit showcasing the many miles of trails surrounding Jefferson City.

A pair of cyclists travel along a wide-open stretch of the Katy Trail near the trail’s western terminus at Clinton, Mo, in 2006. Photographers and artists are invited to take part in a Capital Arts exhibit showcasing the many miles of trails surrounding Jefferson City. Photo by The Associated Press.

To celebrate and showcase the many miles of walking trails surrounding Jefferson City, Capital Arts Gallery will be opening an exhibit in July 2013.

Debbie Schellman, an artist and teacher in Jefferson City, has been instrumental in organizing the “En Plein Air” painting and sketching project. The term is French for painting in the “plain air,” or painting outdoors.

The focus will be on revealing the beauty of the city’s Greenway Trails, the Katy Trail from Sedalia to St. Charles and the miles of local parks and neighborhood trails that traverse Jefferson City.

She said her goal is to cultivate more smallgroup mentors who want to organize and lead groups of artists. The groups will then gather together to paint or draw, she said.

She noted: “Artists of all ages and levels of experience are invited to join one of the sketch groups and come out to sketch, paint and photograph the miles of trails in and around Jefferson City.”

As envisioned, each mentor would send an e-mail or a cellphone text to their team to coordinate the meetings. The artists — which could be organized by medium as well — could then get together to paint or draw. So, if a group of oil painters wanted to gather alongside one of the area’s many trails, they could do so with relative ease. “They’ll be a support group for each other,” Scheller said.

Artists who don’t want to join the outing all day, but who may want to buzz by on their bicycles and take photographs, are also welcome. Participation on specific dates is optional, and there is no cost to join a group.

“The purpose is to promote camaraderie and good company with fellow artists of all ages, while getting out to promote the miles of trails in the area,” Schellman said. “Hopefully the end result will be a diverse exhibition in July of artists’ styles, experience and viewpoints of the shared experience of painting and sketching ‘en plein air.’”

For more information about joining the exhibit, or becoming a mentorship leader, or joining a painting or photo group, contact Schelllman at debschellman@embarqmail.com or call Capital Arts Gallery at (573) 635-8355.

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