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Fine Art in Eagle

by Bavani Purushothaman, photos by Jim Peterson

The arts are alive in Eagle! Stepping into the Gallery at Finer Frames, my expectation of walking into a little framing shop was pleasantly transformed by the sight of a beautiful, spacious art gallery. Columns of unique, grand frame samples grace the walls while carefully chosen pieces of exclusive artful gifts delicately adorn the gallery.  Finer Frames specializes in art restoration services, art installation, and design-oriented preservation. After having worked in a confined space for the last five years, Finer Frames celebrated the grand opening of their newly expanded premise at the end of March this year.

Meg Glasgow is the owner and visionary behind the Gallery at Finer Frames. Glasgow’s inspiration arrived as early as during her childhood when “she grew up playing with the tools and in the saw dust in the workshop of her father who was a cabinet maker”.  Realizing her gift for art, she ardently pursued painting during her school years. While living in Portugal for three years, she spent her days hanging out at a frame shop where she learnt the European method of framing from the owner with whom she had struck up a friendship.

Glasgow’s passion for the arts is visibly evident as she tells me excitedly about the 2016 Eagle Plein Air Festival & Competition which will be held from June 2nd to June 4th. Plein air is a term derived from the French phrase “en plein air” which means in open air. Plein air painting is a 19th-century style which takes artists into nature to capture subjects while being tested by the challenge of the ever-changing elements of nature, such as light and air movement.

After the resounding success of last year’s inaugural festival, Glasgow expects to see a 40% increase in the number of artist participants. This competition is open to professional and non-professional artists of all skill levels. This signature event that brings the community together is Glasgow’s initiative at playing matchmaker between the artists and the community.  The objectives of the festival, Glasgow says are, “one, to recruit top quality artists, the cream of the crop. And two, to attract an audience, people who appreciate the art and who are going to engage with the artist, purchase and support the arts. The more buyers there are, the better quality artists that can be attracted.”

The event kicks off on Wednesday, June 1st with a pre-festival paint out for the artists on the river behind Bella Aquila Restaurant. The next three days will see Eagle turn into a living art gallery. Artists from around the region will come to paint, draw, and sketch around the picturesque and natural, greater Eagle area. They will compete for ribbons, cash prizes, and, of course, deserved recognition.

The 3-day event will also include painting demonstrations and workshops. On Friday, June 3rd, David Mensing, who was the 2015 grand prize winner, will conduct a workshop on the “Key Principles for Fine Painting on Location”. He will also serve as the guest juror for the competition this year. On Saturday, June 4th, there will be a “paint in the park” free family event for anyone to have a go at creating their own plein air painting with pastels. The Festival culminates at The Gallery at Finer Frames with an award ceremony, refreshments, and a silent auction. The event is going to be a meaningful experience for art collectors who will be able to see first-hand art being created, learn about and engage with the artists, and finally have the opportunity to purchase original art.

Glasgow says, “I have had a wild, wonderful career. To be able to find something you love to do and be rewarded for that not just by the community who loves and supports what you do but also by the industry is amazing.” She is grateful to be an instrument in fostering the arts in Eagle.