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Celebrate Summer with Art at Atkins Reservoir

July 20 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

painter on the summit

To celebrate the beauty of each season, Kestrel and the Amherst Plein Air Society are partnering to offer a 4-part Plein Air Landscape Painting series. The 2024 theme focuses on landscapes along the Robert Frost Trail (RFT) in honor of the 150th birthday-anniversary of the four-time Pulitzer Prize winning American poet who taught at Amherst College. It’s also a celebration of Kestrel’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the long-distance trail that bears his name.

The summer event will be held at Atkins Reservoir in Shutesbury, one of the many conservation areas in the Connecticut River Valley that host a section of the RFT. The trail runs alongside the reservoir on Cushman Road in Amherst, making it an easily accessed location for walkers and for artists!

Plein air (the French term meaning outside or in the open air) painting captures the spirit and essence of a landscape enhancing our relationship with the natural world.

Painters are invited to gather outside and capture on canvas the various picturesque views of the landscape as the RFT traverses the woods and brook. Whether you paint plein air regularly, want to try painting outdoors for the first time, or simply enjoy watching artists as they create, come join us for the third “paint out” of 2024 on Saturday, July 20, 9:00am-1:00pm. The event is open to artists of all levels, as well as spectators.

  • At 9:00am, artists arrive at Atkins Reservoir to paint for 2-3 hours. Artists should bring their own supplies, including an easel, canvas or paper, and painting or drawing supplies. A member of the Amherst Plein Air Society will be available to welcome artists and advise about set up.
  • Beginning at 10:30am, the public is invited to wander the area and watch participating artists at work.
  • At noon, artists will gather to informally exhibit and critique the paintings created that day.

To participate as a painter:  Register here!

To watch participating artists: Register here!

“Pondside” Painting by Susanne Personette

Mark your calendar for the final plein air event in this series (specific location to be determined):

  • Fall: Saturday October 5 (12-4 PM)

Attendance at all four events is not required. Come to one, two, three, or all four! Registration is per event and will be available as each upcoming program is announced.


July 20
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
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Kestrel Land Trust
Amherst Plein Air Society
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