Wellington paints in front of Fondren Art Gallery

“The painters are in town.” This was the text we received yesterday from Brad Reeves, owner of Brent’s Drugs who was not talking about a facelift for his business. No, he was referring to the artists who you may have noticed lately perched under a shade tree or on the sidewalks of Fondren who are part of the Plein Air Artists of Mississippi. Susan Wellington, a former Fondren resident and member of the group, said Fondren is one of their favorite places to paint. “It’s the diverse architecture, the colors, the light, and the shadows that bring us back here over and over again,” she said. And that is indeed the mission of the plein air artists: to capture the essence of the subject – very quickly, before the light changes.

Ye Olde Fondren: Oil on Canvas by Theresa King

Wellington said the local chapter of 13 are from around the greater Jackson area. The group took a plein air workshop to learn the style and move around from place to place to paint, often returning to Fondren. Wellington said on this day her painting of the Capri theater and Butterfly Yoga studio, a former service station, took her back to teenaged memories. “Those,” she said, “were landmarks of my youth.”

The Plein Air Artists of Mississippi will have a show at the Cedars in September. Wellington said their pieces, many of which will be scenes from around Fondren, will be available for sale. To learn more about the group, visit pleinairartistsofmississippi.com