By Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]
Photos by Ken Ketchie
Celebrated impressionist painter Rick Reinert was on hand at Blowing Rock’s Symphony by the Lake over the weekend and created a plein-air piece in the midst of the music and festivities.
Situated amongst the crowd, he worked throughout the evening on the painting as the droves of people around him enjoyed the symphony. The piece was auctioned later in the evening, and Reinert donated its proceeds to the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the event.
“It was a really neat experience and something that I enjoyed doing. It was great because you have that wonderful music in the background,” Reinert said. “If I could do it, I’d hire a symphony all the time. It was a really magical feeling.”
The artist put in several hours of preliminary work and used reference photos to grasp his concept of the location. At the event, he was conveniently set up close to the symphony, ensuring him a great view for working.
“Everybody came up and said they really liked it. It was kind of a night scene of the symphony tent itself, and I put fireworks in the background and made it more dusk with a lot of light. That’s my forte,” said Reinert. “It turned out the place where I did my work was a lot closer to where I placed it than I thought.”
The artwork focuses on the Symphony of the Mountains and its conductor, Cornelia Laemmli Orth, as it performs beneath the tent at this year’s event. Also featured in the piece are the crowd surrounding the tent, the wooded grounds of Chetola Lake, the nearby mountain vista at dusk and a fireworks display.
The painting sold for $10,500, a sum that Reinert donated to the chamber.
“The chamber is a well run organization and they’re really active, and I thought it was a good fit,” he said. “I love to paint and that’s what I do, so it was a good way for us to get some exposure here and for the chamber to benefit, as well. I consider it a win-win.”
The artist owns and curates three fine art galleries, two in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina and one in Blowing Rock, which feature his own work and that of many other artists.
Reinert said he enjoyed being part of this year’s Symphony by the Lake and was happy to see such a great crowd.
“This was my first time doing it, but the experience was really incredible,” he said. “It’s a major event and I was really pleased and overwhelmed by the whole thing. The fireworks were probably the best I’ve ever seen and the conductor was wonderful.”
See more of Reinert’s work at ReinertFineArt.com and stop by the gallery at 1153 Main Street in Blowing Rock during work hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
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