Plein Air announces artist Robert Townsend as 2024 Artist in Residence

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

By Leighton McCool
Special to the Eagle
The Plein Air neighborhood announced the distinguished contemporary artist Robert Townsend will serve as the 2024 Plein Air Artist in Residence.
Townsend’s bold works are in many museums and private collections around the globe, including two pieces on loan with the University of Mississippi Museum.
He will be the Artist in Residence from July 8 through August 8, 2024.
Townsend is no stranger to Lafayette County.
“I fell in love with Mississippi on my first visit and that love has grown exponentially with each subsequent trip,” he said. “Even without the landscape and food the people alone would’ve made me entranced.”
Townsend will create his studio in Plein Air’s event venue, The Mill, with 14-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls and large plate glass windows for natural light exposure.
“I’m excited about creating work in a space as large and open as what The Mill provides,” said Townsend.
The residency will kick off with a wine & cheese welcome reception in Plein Air at 6 p.m. on July 9, sponsored by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. All local artists and community members are invited to attend.
On Thursdays during his residency, local artists are invited to bring their canvas and easel to join Townsend in the Mill (or Plein Air style anywhere throughout the beautiful front porch neighborhood) to paint, mingle and sell artwork for the day. Spaces are limited, If you are interested in participating in Community Paint Days, please sign up via the YAC website.
The evening of July 18 at WonderBird Gin will mark the first time Townsend’s nude “Oxford 12” paintings will be viewed outside of his studio. The program will kick off with a reading by former Mississippi Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly from her essay “Dear Viewer of My Naked Body” followed by a panel with the artist and some of the models from the art series.
There will be other programs with Townsend throughout Lafayette County at the University Museum, Oxford Tree House Gallery, Lost Dog Coffee, Exploradora Coffee and other locations. Go to Townsend’s website, FREECOLORTV.COM for program updates, locations and times.

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