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MTC ART GALLERY

OUTDOORS/INDOORS

A group show by the East Bay Plein Air Painters (EBPAP)

Through January 4, 2007

Joseph A. Blum

"Weeds in the Woods " by Elizabeth Kavaler

HISTORY

In 1989, members of the Vista plein air watercolor class on the U.C. Berkeley campus decided they wanted to continue painting together after the class ended. Judy Brooks Strickland (original founder who has since moved to Nevada) arranged for Glenn Hirsch to give an evening painting class on campus. Beginner students of Mark Quiq-Hartman’s Vista watercolor classes also found their way into the Saturday plein air group. They named their association: Berkeley Watercolorists & Friends (BWF).

Judy convinced her friend Aki, owner of 3’C’s, a small student café on Hearst near the campus, to allow BWF the use of his walls for group shows and receptions. It was a permanent venue for several years, and provided many of us the first opportunity to exhibit work in public.

The first year, BWF met every Saturday, April through October, at the Botanical Garden in Tilden Park. The following year they met in various places, two weeks at each site, a practice that continued until BWF reorganized in 2003 and the schedule was revised to twice a month.

Since the early days, BWF has grown to include plein air painters from all around the Bay Area. At first confined to watercolorists, the group now includes artists working in all mediums – oils, acrylics and pastels. While some are weekend painters, many have become professional artists, exhibiting their work in galleries, including solo and group shows.

Because of the diversity of its membership, and reflecting the focus and purpose of the association, the group adopted a new name in 2005: East Bay Plein Air Painters.