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Arboretum to bring artists 'open air'

Plein air, French for open air has become synonymous the world over with creating art in the outdoors. While the practice was popular in the 1800s, it's experiencing a revival, and in Slingerlands the Pine Hollow Arboretum hopes to make it a local event.

On two Saturdays, June 5 and 12, artists will be invited to the arboretum in order to draw inspiration from their surroundings and create art. There is a $5 registration fee per artist, and they'll be largely free to return to the arboretum when they need to for their work.

The results will go on display during a reception event Sunday, July 18, between the hours of 2 and 5 p.m.

Such events take the sometimes solitary act of creating art and socialize it, with many different artists drawing inspiration from the same source.

"It's not unique to us, it's being practiced all over the world," said Kay Abbuhl, a member of the arboretum's board of directors. "It's a mix of art and getting together."

About a dozen artists have signed up so far, she said. There will be no restrictions on medium for artists.

"As far as I'm concerned, there are no rules about what you can submit," Abbuhl said. "Mostly, it is about people experiencing the property... If something comes out of the experience that helps us promote and maintain the property, then that's OK too."

The Pine Hollow Arboretum is located in Slingerlands off of Maple Avenue. It's open Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., April through October. For more information, visit pinehollowarboretum.blogspot.com.

Call to register as an artist for the Plein Air event at 439-6472 or 439-7132. The July reception at 16 Maple Avenue will be free and open to the public. There, works will be judged via public participation, with cash awards donated by the Bethlehem Garden Club awarded to the top three artists.""

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