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The Indiana Daily Student

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Bloomington organizations come together to host second annual “Paint Bloomington!”


Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington, Artists for Climate Awareness, Bloomington Watercolor Society, Portrait Group, Upland Plein Air and Bloomington Parks and Recreation are all working together to co-host the second annual “Paint Bloomington!” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. The event will be held at the Woodlawn Pavilion in Bryan Park.  

“Paint Bloomington is a community event for all ages,” Babette Ballinger said. 

Ballinger is a member of Bloomington Watercolor Society, Upland Plein Air, Artists for Climate Change and is an artist who helped to arrange the event. 

“Most other creative communities have art days where artists are encouraged to come out and paint their environment, en plein air, but Bloomington does not,” she said. “Bloomington also has a lack of events that encourage artists to paint and to learn and to share their talents. We felt that interactive visual art events are underserved in our community.”  

[Related: Bloomington to get new gateway to city at Miller-Showers Park]

Ballinger said free classes will be taught from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and art supplies will be provided. The classes will vary in topics, including printmaking, how to begin a painting and perspective and designing for Barbie. Along with free classes, there will be music, demonstrations, storytelling events and competitions.  

According to Visit Bloomington, a blog sharing events occurring in and around the Bloomington area, there is no fee to enter the competitions and artists must check in at the Woodlawn Pavilion from 9:30-11 a.m. the day of the event. The original artwork must be started and finished the day of the event; any medium may be entered. All canvasses or multi-media papers must be stamped before beginning and the completed work must be turned in to the pavilion by 3 p.m. The competition is open to people of all ages and skill levels. Painting supplies will be available for artists at the event.  

“The most exciting thing about the event is seeing first-hand the enormous amount of surprise talent we have here,” Ballinger said. “The most fun was seeing the 7-year-old boy painting for the first time in a competition and telling the professional artist next to him that he thought he won his blue ribbon because of his composition, a term he had learned in his first painting class.” 

Ballinger said at last year’s event, over 70 artists from ages 7 to 85 participated in the competition.  

“We had professional artists painting next to families picnicking with their kids. Best friends did collaborative art. The quality was amazing. This year we are expecting a bigger turnout,” Ballinger said.  

According to Visit Bloomington, after judging, awards will be given in the following categories: 

  • Professional artists 

  • Adults 

  • Teens (Ages 12-17) 

  • Youth (Ages 7-11) 

  • Collaborative Art 

All minors must be accompanied by an adult.  

Art Alliance of Greater Bloomington will be responsible for a show in their gallery for the first-place winners to show off their works, Ballinger said. 

[Related: City of Bloomington partners with Middle Way House for annual Wrapped in Love event]

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