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Join us August 12 -17, 2019 for our Biennial Plein Air Festival

32 Artists painting in and around Floyd county!

The Floyd Center for the Arts is welcoming artists to the county for a week-long painting extravaganza. On August 12th through the 17th, 2019, thirty two artists will converge for the third Floyd Plein Air Biennial art festival.  Coming from Massachusetts to South Carolina, these artists will explore the great vistas and lush hills of Floyd County. Some local, and some graciously staying at host housing, the artists will visit Apple Ridge Farm in Copper Hill, travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway to find their favorite view and sip a fresh cup of Red Rooster Coffee, lose themselves in the vineyards of Chateau Morrisette, connect with the Healing Arts program from the Carilion Clinic Foundation on the campus of the EcoVillage, and discover the lively downtown of Floyd on a Friday night for their Quick Draw Competition. On Saturday, August 17th, the public is invited to a Gala Reception and Plein Air Art Sale in which visitors will get to view and purchase work created during the Floyd Plein Air Biennial. Our Juror, Brett LaGue, will choose the winners from the week and help curate an exhibit that will hang in the Floyd Center for the Arts’ Hayloft Gallery. 

This year’s participating artists are: David Finnell, Coakley Brown, Elizabeth Rhoades, Jennifer Young, Jeremy Sams, Kathleen Willingham, Kyle Buckland, M Stephen Doherty, Maria Reardon, Meg West, Nancy Brittle, Peg Sheridan, Russell Jewell, Andre Lucero, Rebecca King Hawkinson, Arlene Daniel, Crista Pisano, Joan Wiberg, Nan Mahone Wellborn, Paul Keysar, Stephen Haynes, Thomas Bradshaw, Ken Smith, Patricia Bonsignore, Ronald Quinn, Sean Hatter, Alison Hatter, Dan Michael, Debra Howard, and Matt Gentry.

The Floyd Center for the Arts thanks our Event Sponsors: The Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Program is kindly sponsoring our Farm to Table dinner. Clark Gas and Oil is kindly sponsoring our 2019 Floyd Plein Air Biennial Gold Award grand prize and The New Mountain Mercantile is sponsoring our Quick Draw Competition. We could not make this event happen without our Event Partners: Apple Ridge Farms, Red Rooster, Chateau Morrisette, and the Floyd EcoVillage. 


2019 Plein Air Biennial

Schedule of Events


Monday, August 12:              Apple Ridge Farm

                                                Welcome Lunch for Artists, 12pm


Tuesday, August 13:              Blue Ridge Parkway

                                                Follow the artists live with our Running Red Rooster 


Wednesday, August 14:        Chateau Morrisette Winery

                                                Artist Social and Wine Tasting 3-5pm, Patrons welcome

                                                Demonstration by Juror, Brett LaGue

                                                Tickets available to the public at the Winery


Thursday, August 15:            Floyd Eco Village

                                                Healing Arts Program Artist-in-Residence Presentation

                                                Farm to Table Dinner & Wet Paint Sale 5:30-8pm, Patrons welcome


​Friday, August 16:                 Town of Floyd

                                                Quick Draw: The Friday Night Jamboree, 6-9pm


Saturday, August 17:             Collector’s Reception 5-6pm, Patrons welcome 

                                                Gala and Sale 6-9pm, Public welcome

                                                2019 Plein Air Biennial curated exhibit in the Hayloft Gallery

                                                Quick Draw competition in the Community Room


Patron Ticket Information


Throughout the week, visitors who purchase Patron tickets will be able to join the artists at special events throughout the week. On Tuesday, Patrons who catch the Running Red Rooster can have a hot cup of coffee while enjoying the artist working along the parkway. On Wednesday, Patrons can enjoy the Artist Social and Wine Tasting, the general public can purchase tickets for this event through the winery. On Thursday, Patrons will browse a wet paint sale and Farm to Table dinner with the Plein Air artists at the Floyd EcoVillage. On Saturday, all Patrons are welcome for a special one hour preview of the 2019 Plein Air Biennial Exhibition. This unique opportunity to purchase amazing art prior to being open to the public is sure to see some of the finest works sold! Join us for all of this and more as a Patron for the 2019 Floyd Plein Air Biennial!  

Event Details


Apple Ridge Farms


Monday, August 12, 2019


The Floyd Plein Air Biennial is thrilled to open this year’s event at Apple Ridge Farms on August 12, 2019. This lush patch of woods has water features, farm buildings, and a stellar view from the top of an observation tower.  Artists will be painting all day around the farm and will enjoy a welcome lunch together. 


For 39 years, Apple Ridge Farm has provided an environmental education and camping experience for more than 70,000+ youth, many from Roanoke’s inner-city neighborhoods and public housing projects. Our founder, visionary and educator Peter Allen Lewis, believes strongly that all adults must take responsibility for helping young people succeed. Matching dreams to deeds, Peter purchased his Copper Hill farm in 1975 in order to establish a mountain camp to give under-served children an educational experience at a rural retreat. The wooded areas and country spaces are magical places for urban youth and adults as well. 


The mission of Apple Ridge Farms is to transform the lives of our community’s underserved children and families through engagement in unparalleled educational, cultural & outdoor experiences! Programming at the farm includes: Academic Summer Camps, 21st Century After School Programs, Environmental Education, Outdoor Adventure, Retreat & Conference Facilities, and an EBase USA facility offering Lessons in Sustainability.


“At Apple Ridge, we believe that academic support and success are one of the positive components in building self-esteem. With stronger self-esteem our children will believe in the possibility that they can reach their dreams. Our passion is to reach out to the youth in our communities, offering them a supportive academic environment while helping to close the achievement gap for all children and families in Roanoke. Our job is to see them as the amazing seeds of potential that they are…until they can see that in themselves.”  -Peter Allen Lewis, founder of Apple Ridge Farms


A special thank you to our day sponsor:

Apple Ridge Farm

9230 Pine Forest Rd NE

Copper Hill, VA 24079

Running with Red Rooster along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Join the artist’s of the Floyd Plein Air Biennial along the Blue Ridge Parkway on August 13, 2019.  From sunrise to sunset, artists will paint the amazing vistas and historical sites along the parkway.  You can find where they are painting by checking out the live updates through the Floyd Center for the Arts social media outlets. Thanks to our event sponsor for the day, the artists will enjoy a perky visit from our local coffee roaster, Red Rooster, when they get spotted on the parkway.  


The Blue Ridge Parkway is a ribbon of road that weaves through the region’s vibrant living traditions. From Cherokee life and agricultural history to Southern Appalachian crafts and music, the Parkway’s 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina offer many ways to explore rich traditions. Millions of visitors enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway each year. Some think of it as just a motor road or a pleasant drive. But the Parkway is also a place of varied and significant natural resources. Spanning the southern and central Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers an exceptional glimpse of the regional flora and fauna. It is world-renowned for its biodiversity. The Parkway covers a wide range of habitats along the Appalachian Mountains, and some of these habitats are exceptionally rare. Visitors encounter unsurpassed diversity of climate, vegetation, wildlife and geological features.


Red Rooster Coffee’s motto of “Taking Good Care of Our Coffee, Our People, Our Farmers, Our Planet” is evident in the delicious coffee and cafe treats they deliver every day. Established in 2010 in downtown Floyd, Red Rooster was created with the simple notion of roasting excellent coffee for the owner’s existing coffee house. Soon, word of Red Rooster's quality spread around Virginia and up and down the East Coast. Today, they employ 30 people while roasting some of the best coffee in the world. While they've won numerous awards and accolades for their coffee quality, their true passion is in making a positive social impact both at home and abroad at the coffee's origin.


A special thank you to our day sponsor:

Red Rooster Coffee Roaster & Cafe

823 E Main St.

Floyd, VA 24091



Chateau Morrisette Winery

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

On August 14th, join our Plein Air artists for a day at Chateau Morrisette Winery. Artists will paint throughout the winery and vineyards. Chateau Morrisette is the perfect location to enjoy some wine and a meal while watching the sun set over the mountains and valleys below.  From 3-5pm on the pressing patio, the winery will host a tasting for artists and Patrons. The public can join the wine tasting and social by purchasing a ticket at the Chateau’s website,


Located just north of the Parkway's center, Chateau Morrisette can be found between MP 171 and 172 in beautiful Floyd County, Virginia.  It's a must-stop when traveling along Virginia's Plateau. Guests enjoy fine dining in a casual setting as well as first class wines produced by one of Virginia's oldest and largest wineries.


“Chateau Morrisette is a third generation tradition in Virginia winemaking in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  When you visit us, enjoy the rustic elegance of the Chateau Morrisette Restaurant or take in one of our Black Dog Music Festivals or other special events. Savor the view, ranked among the top restaurant views in America.  Sip some wine by one of our fireplaces, on our restaurant terrace, or in our winery courtyard. Relax and enjoy. Chateau Morrisette is open year round. Find us along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd, Virginia. We welcome you and thank you for supporting Chateau Morrisette.”  -David Morrisette, Founder and Owner


A special thank you to our day sponsor:

Chateau Morrisette Winery

291 Winery Road SW

Floyd, VA 24091


Floyd Eco Village

Thursday, August 15, 2019


On Thursday, August 15, 2019, artists from the Floyd Plein Air Biennial Art Festival will be painting at the Floyd Ecovillage.  In partnership with the Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Program, supported by the Carilion Clinic Foundation, the theme for today’s gathering is art and wellness. After a day of painting, their will be a delicious farm to table dinner and wet paint sale sponsored by the Healing Arts Program. Join the artists for this family style dinner of local produce cooked to perfection by Chef Robert Obst of Floyd VA. Currently the Executive Chef of the Farmhouse in Christiansburg, and formerly with Primland Resort is excited to cook for the arts with this farm to table event. With the purchase of a Patron ticket or an individual dinner ticket, guests can enjoy the dinner and unique exhibition of fresh work. 


An inviting 75 acre mix of woods, farm fields, and gardens, the Floyd EcoVillage is located just a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and the charming town of Floyd. The Floyd EcoVillage Farm is made up of three and a half cultivated acres of mixed vegetables, flowers and small fruits. There are several gardens with a variety of flowers and plants. You'll also find bridges, picnic area, sitting areas, trellises, gazebo, and a walking trail through the woods. In the heart of the campus is the lovely Floyd Event Center. The Event Center is perfect for community gatherings, weddings, organizational meetings, and other special events. The EcoVillage also has lodging, sustainably built and cozy to stay in for the night, and the headquarters of Wall Residences. 


The Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Program addresses the emotional needs of patients and families by integrating literary, performing, and visual art experiences into the healing process. Providing the very best patient care means treating more than just physical symptoms. In general, healing arts programs have been shown to:

  • Shorten post-operative recovery and hospital stays

  • Raise pain thresholds and reduce need for pain medications

  • Improve mood

  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate

  • Reduce stress and anxiety

  • Enhance sleep patterns, alertness, and growth in newborns


The Farm to Table Dinner will be held at:
Floyd EcoVillage

188 EcoVillage Trail

Floyd, Va  24091

A special thank you to our day sponsor:
The Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Program


Downtown Floyd, Virginia

Friday, August 16, 2019

On Friday, August 16, the artists from the Floyd Plein Air Biennial will be painting in and around the town of Floyd for their final day together. You can find them downtown for the much anticipated Quick Draw Competition between 6pm-9pm.  The artist must begin and finish a composition in this location to be considered for a special cash prize, to be determined by our juror, Brett LaGue. The Quick Draw Competition is sponsored by Clark Gas and Oil. 


Located atop the magnificent Blue Ridge Plateau in southwestern Virginia, Floyd is a haven of natural beauty. Floyd has its own style of hospitality and a vibrant culture of music, arts, local foods and wines, and outdoor recreation. Floyd is a key stop on The Crooked Road, Virginia’s heritage music trail because of our famous Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store. You can find the young and the old dancing in the streets to the to the sound of many fine local, regional, and traveling musicians. Our small town will be the backdrop to many lively scenes for the Floyd Plein Air Biennial Artists. 


Floyd Plein Air Biennial Exhibition and Gala


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Join us on Saturday, August 17 for the Floyd Plein Air Biennial Exhibition and Gala from 6pm to 9pm in the Hayloft Gallery for the Floyd Center for the Arts Community room. The Hayloft Gallery will host a curated exhibit from the week's work. Visitors can also enjoy a special exhibit of the Quick Draw Competition from downtown Floyd.  Our juror, Brett LaGue, will make a statement about all of the artists achievements. Along with the evening's grand prize sponsor, Clark Gas and Oil, the Floyd Center for the Arts will announce the winner of the 2019 Floyd Plein Air Biennial and the Quick Draw Competition, sponsored by The New Mountain Mercentile. 

A special preview of the exhibit will open for one hour at 5 pm for Patron ticket holders.  Don't miss out on this special opportunity to be the first to purchase the grandest work of the week!


The Floyd Plein Air Biennial Exhibition and Gala will be held at:

Floyd Center for the Arts

220 Parkway Lane South

Floyd, VA 24091

Our Juror, Brett LaGue

      “Revealing the energy of the everyday landscape.”


Born in Indiana and growing up in Florida, Brett LaGue spent countless hours wandering woods, fields, along riverbanks and at the beach. After wearing out several pairs of flip-flops while attending Ringling School of Art & Design (Now Ringling College of Art + Design) in Sarasota Florida, LaGue graduated with honors in graphic design & illustration.


 After discovering the beauty of Virginia, and a 25+ year career in advertising, Brett is now a full-time artist. He has exhibited in solo and group presentations, art festivals and plein air competitions. LaGue’s work can be found in collections across the United States as well as in England and France, and is a recipient of a professional fellowship grant from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.


“Each of my paintings is a combination, of its creative record, the story of its visual content and an interaction between both of these elements and the viewer. Understanding that individuals viewing an artwork – no matter how specific in detail – will reinterpret the artist’s intention as they feel it, I strive to invite that reinterpretation, allowing them to become a part of the work.” - Brett LaGue