WAXAHACHIE — Home to what seems to be a scavenger hunt of artists sprinkled throughout Waxahachie, the Ellis County Art Association — along with the gallery of ART On The Square — is holding its 12th annual "Paint Out" event.

The event began May 5 and continues through June 5.

“It’s an art event that paints historic Waxahachie, and it’s been going on for 12 years,” explained Tina Bohlman, President of Ellis County Art Association. “We have an average of 40 to 50 artists every year that participates, and it’s not only artists locally, but we also have about 20 to 25 artists from Ellis County, and the other artists are pulled from South Texas, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma. We’re the premiere Paint Out event in North Texas.”

Based on the passed-down style of interactive artistry deriving from French phase of “en plein aire” (in the open air), the Paint Out challenge took artists out of the studio and into nature’s field.

“This is a movement of ‘plein aire’ painting and has gained its popularity back, probably 15 or 18 years ago. The practice itself, by artists, has been going on for centuries,” Bohlman explained “It’s all about the artists’ interpretation of the landscape and historic landmarks of Waxahachie through their eyes. You can take all the photographs you want, but it still doesn’t show the beauty the artist sees and can put on canvas or paper.”

With a theme of “This Place Matters,” artists set up their easels around town with paintbrushes in hand for 10 days, capturing timeless portraits of historical Waxahachie, both in daylight and nocturnally.

“Each one will bring in about three to five paintings, and that work will be hung in the exhibition," Bohlman acknowledged.

Nearly 50 artists participated in the 10-day challenge, celebrating the arts, history, and architecture of historical Waxahachie.

The event also doubled as a fundraiser with artists donating a percentage of their sales to the association’s programs, which includes a youth summer art academy, regular classes, and other events throughout the year.

“The artists donate back a percentage of their sales to the Ellis County Art Association to help promote our mission of promoting the arts and education of the arts throughout Ellis County and those communities,” Bohlman affirmed.

Along with the support of the 49th annual Gingerbread Trail Tour of Homes, the City of Waxahachie, Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Merchants Association, and a plethora of volunteers, the event has so far been a success.

With over 200 paintings submitted through the Paint Out, Bohlman encourages the community to stop by the gallery to not only purchase original works of art but to also gaze at the talent and character of Waxahachie depicted within the frames.

ART On The Square, located at 113 West Franklin Street, will hold the Paint Out exhibition’s sale through June 5 during store hours. For more information visit elliscountyart.net or call 972-937-3414.

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Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer

(469)-517-1450