Free plein air painting and nature journaling classes to be offered

As part of an Artist-in-the-Community grant for his show “The Hidden Chautauqua,” regional landscape painter Thomas Annear will offer a series of free plein air (in the outdoors) painting and nature journaling classes at the SUNY Fredonia College Lodge in Brocton this spring and summer.

Annear’s exhibition and the art classes will explore some of the hidden gems of Chautauqua’s landscapes-from remote old-growth forests to rare and seasonal flora to spectacular views that are sometimes “hidden” in plain sight. The SUNY Fredonia College Lodge was chosen as a site for the classes because of its rich biodiversity, exceptional beauty, rare wildflowers, and safe, easily accessible trail system and facilities.

The plein air painting classes will be held as two-week sessions on Saturdays in April, May, and June, with the first session beginning on April 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The journaling classes will take place on April 22nd, in conjunction with SUNY Fredonia Earth Day programming, and on July 19th, as part of the College Lodge Bio Blitz.

Each painting and journaling session will start with a short guided hike to help participants understand the difference between a managed forest (99 percent of the land in Chautauqua County) and a natural landscape and will highlight the important role wildflowers play in the mature forest ecosystem. Spring classes will allow participants to focus on different ephemerals as they come into bloom, with a goal of recording as many of these wildflowers and their delicate habitats as possible.

All of the classes are free and open to the public, although space in the classes is limited.

To learn more about the classes or to register,visit

The classes are funded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Decentralization Program, which is administered by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council. To learn more about NYSCA or Cattaraugus Arts Council programs, visit