Moments of Memory: Minnesota Landscapes Painted from Life

On view January 27–May 26
A landscape painting

Learn more about this exhibit

Plein air painting is the art of capturing outdoor scenes from life. Named from the French for “open air,” this form of painting from life moves artists out of the studio to study real landscapes, focusing on how light and shadow interact with things in particular places. The result is a snapshot of a moment in time, one that might be remembered, but never repeated.

This exhibition is a partnership between the Bell Museum and Minnesota Plein Air Collective (MPAC), a statewide collaboration dedicated to helping all artists, from beginner to expert, capture the beauty and diversity of the state’s natural landscapes through painting. The exhibition is centered on MPAC’s second annual juried exhibition of landscape paintings, and features recent paintings completed by artists during Minnesota’s premier plein air festivals held in the Driftless Area, Prairie Lakes, and North Shore regions.

Visitors will learn about the art of painting outdoors, its importance in the field of natural history, and its role in the making of the Bell’s dioramas. They will see a variety of outdoor painters’ equipment and have the opportunity to learn more about plein air painting how-tos.