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Winter Plein Air Painting Festival

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Grand Marais, Minnesota – January 8, 2011 – Preparations are underway for the 2nd annual Winter Plein Air Painting Festival Gunflint TrialPlein Air Painting Festival slated for February 1-6, 2011 up the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, Minnesota.  Grand Marais is a quaint harbor and arts village located on the North Shore of Lake Superior – a mere 90 miles north of Duluth.  Grand Marais, and the surrounding area, is known for its rustic beauty and inspirational landscape that has drawn artists and outdoor enthusiasts to its shores for generations.

The Winter Plein Air Painting Festival is organized by the Grand Marais Art Colony, a historic arts education center.  The Grand Marais Art Colony is Minnesota’s oldest Artist Colony, founded in 1947 as the Outdoor School of Painting.  In its over 60 year history, the Art Colony has grown to include a diverse range of mediums such as glass, print, pottery, photography and writing through hands-on classes and studio rental.  Additionally the Art Colony organizes several art events and exhibits throughout the year.

The Winter Plein Air Painting Festival is a celebration of the serene beauty of the winter landscape and, of course, the color white.  The Art Colony invites adventurous artists to spend a week on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness painting, exploring and enjoying the splendor of winter.  The Winter Plein Air Festival culminates with an Exhibition & Sale of the freshly painted works at the Art Colony February 5-21.  An Opening Reception and guest lecture is scheduled for February 5, 2011.

This year’s Winter Plein Air Painting Festival will be occurring concurrently with other local events: 
Winter Tracks Snow Carving Symposium:  Feb. 1- 4, 2011
• The Grand Marais Art Colony is organizing a Snow Carving Symposium in conjunction with the Cook County Visitors Bureau. 
• Carvings will be on display at participating local business throughout Cook County. 
• Carving begins on February 1st and will be ready for viewing Friday, February 4 kicking off the start of the Winter Tracks Festival.  Carvings will remain intact, weather permitting, until February 14.
Winter Tracks Festival: Feb. 6-13, 2011  A two week outdoor activity-driven celebration of winter. Activities include guided snowshoe tours, dog sled rides, candlelight skiing, sleigh rides & more. 
• Lutsen Family Festival: Feb. 4, 2011   A family-fun weekend at Lutsen Mountains.  The Midwest’s largest ski resort with 92 runs, four mountains & 986’ of vertical.
• Ridge Riders Snowmobile Fun Race:  Feb. 5, 2011   A race for fun across our nearly 300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails
• Snowarama: Feb. 5, 2011 A snowmobile ride to raise money for kids with physical disabilities.
• Volks Ski 400: Feb 12, 2011  One day, 400km of groomed cross-country ski trails and an attempt to ski them all.  (The largest groomed trail system in North America)

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