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This weekend’s Paint Northport event a “plein air” experience for artists of all levels


A commissioned work by The Firefly Artists managing partner, Drigo Morin, who put together this weekend’s “Paint Northport” event, a plein air experience meant to celebrate all the beauty that is Northport.

This Saturday and Sunday, August 28 and 29, artists of all kinds will share space on the sidewalks and in the parks of Northport, to celebrate the beauty of the Village in real time, outdoors. For both days – or just a few hours – Paint Northport event participants will take part in the “plein air” experience, using Northport Village as an inspiration and backdrop for their artwork.

The French term plein air means “out of doors” and refers to the practice of painting entire finished pictures outside. It was a fundamental approach to impressionism painting, and integral to the development of naturalism. One of The Firefly Artist’s managing partners, as well as a primary artist at its Main Street gallery, Drigo Morin, helped create this inaugural event to bring community artists together and find inspiration in a shared experience.

He describes the event as a casual get together for local artists, brought to Northport by a similar passion, to do what they love in the company of others. Art is often a solitary endeavor, Drigo said, and having this event is a good way to network with other artists. He hopes it could be a recurring event.

“It’s always nice bouncing ideas off of other artists and seeing how other artists work,” said Drigo.

Fellow managing partner Beth Atkinson agreed. “I just think it’s a great idea,” she said. “It’s nice for people to walk around and see how artists interpret the same landscape.”

Another draw to the event, said Beth, is introducing people who may not be familiar with the Northport community to downtown, and bringing foot traffic and commerce to neighboring businesses.

“The other thing that is great about this whole thing is bringing people to Northport from other areas of the island that may have not been here before,” she said. She relayed a story about a guest from the Bronx who came to the gallery’s most recent opening, for its “Works on Paper” exhibit.

“She came down and she said, ‘Oh my gosh, I did not know there were towns on Long Island like this. This town is great,’” said Beth.

For its upcoming plein air event, The Firefly Artists invite artists of all levels to paint or draw however they please, completing works onsite or, in a departure from the original plein air practice, at home. Drigo said the weekend is not just for painters but photographers, sculptors, etc., to be inspired by the Village’s natural (and manmade) surroundings. He hopes the outdoor event will instill a deeper sense of community in Northport, while showcasing local established artists and inspiring those up-and-coming ones.

The Paint Northport event will take place from 10am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Artists should bring their own easels, canvas, art supplies and/or equipment. It’s free to register; participants can do so by emailing events@thefireflyartists.com, and check in at The Firefly Artists at 162 Main Street when they arrive for the event. Artists may also register at check in.

The only real rules, said the managing partners, are to “be respectful of our community, don't block traffic and make sure you clean up after yourself.”

Artists who participate in the plein air event may choose to enter their work into the gallery’s upcoming “Long Island Landscapes” show, a separate juried exhibition of works celebrating the beauty and artistic inspiration of Long Island. Those living on Long Island and in the surrounding region are eligible.The deadline to enter is September 2, 2021, and the exhibition will run from September 14 to October 10 at The Darcy Arts Center on the second floor of The Firefly Artists Gallery.