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Artists Descend on Burnet for Plein Air Competition, Exhibit, and Sale

Kimbell McCurry paints the historic Calvert House during a past Burnet Art Festival. Photo by Debbie Slangal

BURNET — People don’t have to drive beyond the city of Burnet to find artistic inspiration in their surroundings.

That’s one reason why the Burnet Association of Merchants wanted to host a plein air competition, which began in 2014, said Octoberfest co-chair Nina Hoover.

“They thought that’d be a nice event,” she said. “They invited some plein air artists for a competition. They wanted to bring something to the square to have business on the weekend.”

The competition is part of the new Octoberfest, which is Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 12-14.

Along with the plein air competition, Octoberfest also includes Fort Croghan Day (see related story), which is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the museum.

A 5K color run benefiting Burnet Project Graduation is 8 a.m. on Washington and Main streets.

Singer Rick Trevino takes the stage at 7 p.m. on the carnival grounds at East League and Vanderveer streets. The musical schedule includes Anton and the Alley Cats at 11 a.m., Sophia Johnson Band at 1 p.m., Rian Castillo at 3 p.m., and the Hired Guns at 5 p.m.

There also will be food and artist vendors, wine tastings, a beer garden, a farmers market, and children's activities.

A Meet and Greet Artist Brunch is 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at Fort Croghan Museum, 703 Buchanan Drive. The brunch, which is open to the public, costs $10 per person.

Then, the plein air artists will find their spots and spend the next three days capturing the beauty of what they see on canvas.

Accepted mediums include oil, watercolor, acrylic, and pastels. Artists can submit up to three completed framed works ready to be hung with a maximum canvas size of 16 inches by 20 inches.

An art gallery opens from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St. A silent auction is 2:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at the same location.

A quick draw contest is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the community center. Art from the quick draw contest and the plein air contest will be on sale.

“They’ll have the run of the full festival and historic square,” Hoover said of the quick draw contest.

Artists never know what will inspire them. It might be children playing in a sandbox or a scene near the Hamilton /Creek Park riverwalk or a row of classic cars.

With the city’s commitment to green space, artists will be motivated to paint their visions, and spectators will see the beauty of where they live in a whole new way.

For more about the plein air competition and art exhibits, go to

For more about Fort Croghan Day, call (512) 756-8281 or go to

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