March 17, 2023

LeFleur’s Bluff to host air paint competition in April

Therese Apel

Celebrate Earth Day by joining us at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park on April 22 for the En Plein Air Paint Competition! This event, brought to you by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and Pacesetter Gallery, will showcase 27 well-known Mississippi artists as they paint scenes of their choosing from LeFleur’s Bluff State Park. The public is encouraged to come out to enjoy the park, meet the painters, and watch as art comes to life through oil, watercolor, acrylic, and pastel mediums.

Watch artists paint live from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with judging taking place at 2:30 p.m. Visitors can purchase artwork throughout the day, or they may wait until the Wet Paint Sale from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, the sale is first come first serve, and you do not want to miss your chance to purchase a piece from beloved artists like Susan Wellington, Karen Bennett, and more.

“As an artist and fan of plein air painting, I have noticed many of the general public haven’t experienced watching painters create plein air. I wanted to find a way to share this experience and bring recognition to these talented artists. The beauty of LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is sure to inspire some amazing pieces at the competition with wooded areas, cypress swamps, trail, and lake areas to choose from.”, states Keri Davis owner and artist of Pacesetter Gallery.

“En plein air” artists are able to record places that someday may no longer be there. Artists are able to see beauty in things that most people pass by. We call it finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Artists help people slow down and enjoy the beauty that they are missing right in front of their faces. Observers get to see the artistic process, ask questions and then they can actually take a piece of that experience home with them. It doesn’t get much better!” Artist Carol Roark is a professional plein air painter from Enid, MS. Her credentials include being the cover artist for the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show from 1995 to 2005.

“Plein air artwork has a freshness that places the viewer within the scene that touches all the senses. Painting from life allows the viewer to not only see the scene but to feel the breeze and hear the water.” Artist Karen Bennett is a professional plein air painter from Kokomo, MS. Her work has been featured multiple times on HGTV’s Hometown and can be found in galleries throughout Mississippi.

Participating Artists include (all bios on artists available upon request):

Susan Wellington, Karen Bennett, Beth Dean, Wes Arrington, Linda Peters, Feixue Yang, Wade Stephenson, Carol Roark, Pam Locke, Michael Joseph Hipps, Michael Keen, Janice Kraft, Debbie Myers, Maggie Mayer, Chris Cockrell, Albert Smathers, Elke Briuer, Chelsea Young, Luce Wren Cooper, Mike Koskie, Ari Atarji, Bryan Peters, Susan Cobb, Gayle Quick, Rowan Bird, Andrew Mize, and Cindy Prince.

This event is sponsored by Community Bank, Neblett’s Framing, Flowood Chamber of Commerce, and Rooster’s and Basil’s Restaurants.

For more information about Mississippi State Parks, visit or call (601) 432-2400. Follow us on Facebook at or Instagram at

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