By Roger McKinney
Globe Staff Writer
NEOSHO, Mo. —
The Neosho Arts Council's Hermann Jaeger Festival is billed as a celebration of art, food, music and wine.
The festival, in its second year, begins today and celebrates the local Swiss immigrant who through his hybrids in the 19th century helped save the European wine industry from a devastating insect infestation. The festival continues through Sunday, May 5, with many events held downtown.
The historical exhibit "Hermann Jaeger, Master of the Vineyard," will be on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Saturday, May 4, at the Neosho Civic Center. It is free.
Also with no cost is a screening of "The Lorax" at 7 p.m. today in the Neosho Civic Center for Picnic in the Civic. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Noted plein air painter Jason Sacran, of Lavaca, Ark., will take part in several aspects of the festival. The French phrase "plein air" simply means painting outdoors.
Sacran will conduct a plein air oil painting workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27. The $125 tuition includes lunch. The day is expected to begin at the Neosho Civic Center and proceed to an outdoor location Sacran has chosen.
He will give a nocturnal painting demonstration at 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 29, on the Neosho square. The demonstration is free.
Sacran also will judge the Painting Neosho three-day plein air painting competition, to be held Sunday through Tuesday. There's a $40 entry fee and cash awards totaling $1,500.
Sacran said that painting outdoors has challenges and rewards.
"When you're painting outdoors, you're working against moving light," he said. "You're working against the weather. You're working against the elements; everything under the sun, literally."
He said outdoor paintings are more susceptible to failure, which makes the successes even better.
"When you're plein-air painting, even though the time is shortened, it's intensified," he said. "It's a concentrated effort. It can be pretty exhausting and rewarding at the same time."
Sacran said he would arrive in Neosho a day early to scout out a location for his workshop.
Among other events during the week are the ArtSquared Spring Art Show and Sale at the Neosho Civic Center from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 3.
A Wine and Food Pairing Dinner, sponsored by the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in the Neosho Civic Center. Cost is $50.
Boulevard Bank's Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest for children ages 6 to 10, takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4, on the square. There will be $1,000 in cash awards.
Want to go?
A full schedule of events is on the Neosho Arts Council website at neoshoarts.org. Other sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts and the Missouri Arts Council.