Local artists will be painting "en plein air" this Saturday and Sunday (May 25-26) at the Glenbow Ranch Provincial as part of the Art in the Park Festival.

Route 22 Artist Collective Gallery is once again collaborating with the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation (GRPF) for the festival. It's part of the Come Paint Alberta arts festival circuit, which showcases the beauty of Alberta's landscapes and promotes the art of painting in the outdoors.

Lara Kruger, executive director of the Route 22 Gallery, says this is a special festival for artists and spectators alike. 

 "It is a celebration of nature, art, and the strength of our community," she says. "We aim to not only foster the arts and culture of our community but also connect people with the beauty and inspiration of our natural landscape and with each other."

Open air painting provides a unique opportunity for attendees to witness the creative process in action. As you walk through the park, you'll find the artists interpreting scenes from the 3,200-acre park in their own unique styles. 

Lindsay Corbet, marketing and events manager for the Route 22 gallery, says park visitors are welcomed to not only stop and watching the artists, but asks questions.

"I always like to say that our plein artists don't bite and you're more than welcome to go up and ask questions, learn more about the painting plein-air," says Corbet

Those eager to try plein painting can sign up for a ticketed David Sharpe air painting workshop on Sunday (May 26) from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Cochrane RancheHouse.

"So, if you want to get to know a little more about planner painting from a master plein painter David Sharpe is your guy," says Corbet.

Several youth activities are being held in the GRPF learning centre on Saturday. It's all free, including art supplies, courtesy of Route 22.

The Wazin Îchinabi Ti, Nakoda for “House of Oneness", a non-profit society located in Cochrane, alongside District Captain Amber Boyd of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government have played in a huge role in this offering.

"Amber Boyd got us in contact with lots of Métis artists, and so we are able to have a wonderful arts activity lineup on the Saturday. There's finger weaving. Métis digging. fish scale art and some storytelling by some elders from the Stoney Nakoda Nations as well."

The festival will open with a blessing offered by Elders and Knowledge Holders, JR and Pauline Twoyoungmen from the Stoney Nakoda Nation on May 25 at 9:30 a.m. JR and Pauline will also provide a Nature Tour to the public, sharing their perspectives on the land and its connection.

READ MORE: Art in the Park kicks off series of "en plein air" festivals.

Art enthusiasts and collectors will have the opportunity to purchase original paintings created during the weekend at the live art auction hosted by Route 22 Gallery on Sunday afternoon, May 26th. The auction will feature an art preview from 12 noon to 2 pm, followed by the Live Art Auction from 2 pm to 4 pm.

For full details on the weekend, visit here.

art park

Participating plein air artists can register for festival through the Route 22 Gallery website here to gain exclusive access to artist perks, including a Saturday evening VIP & Artist Social event, artist swag bag, and live art auction access.

Glenbow Park Ranch will also be offering golf cart tours of the park and tickets can be purchased from their website. You can learn more here.

The Art in the Park Festival is open to the public and offers family-friendly art activities for all ages with a donation-based system. Attendees are encouraged to contribute what they can, and the funds raised will support the development of future Art in the Park programming.

Route 22 Artist Collective Gallery offers a vibrant and diverse collection of artwork. The gallery aims to provide a platform for local artists to exhibit and sell their creations, fostering a thriving arts community in the region.

The Come Paint Alberta festival circuit runs from May to September and also includes events at the Leighton Art Centre, Rosebud Art Collective, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, and Coutts Centre for Western Heritage.