Caribou Coffee On West Franklin To Host “Open Sky Art” Exhibit

"Girls Fishing," an 'en plein air' painting by Kimberly Alvis
"Girls Fishing," an 'en plein air' painting by Kimberly Alvis

June 2, 2009 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) – The Caribou Coffee Company location at 110 West Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill will host Open Sky Art: An Exhibit, beginning Sunday, June 7 and running throughout the month.

Open Sky Art is a celebration of “en plein air” painting (French for “in the open air”), sponsored by Chapel Hill artist Kimberly Alvis, who wants to expose the art and the artists who enjoy this method of painting to a wider local audience.

“Caribou Coffee seeks out different avenues to connect with community, and here on West Franklin Street we’re always looking for opportunities to support the local artists and musicians,” said store manager Carla Strickland.

“We’re delighted and honored that Carla and Caribou Coffee have agreed to host our exhibit,” Alvis said. “The popularity of that coffee shop and its location right in the middle of everything on Franklin Street will provide excellent exposure for the artists who are lugging their easels, paints, brushes and talent outdoors to create original works of art under the open sky.”

A frequent participant in open-air painting, Kimberly Alvis is hosting an all-day painting session in her own gardens on Sunday, June 7. Over a dozen artists are participating. Paintings completed that day and prepared for hanging will be included in the Open Sky Art Exhibit. Somerhill Gallery’s celebrated director and curator Joe Rowand will then determine First, Second and Third place winners. A cash prize will be awarded to the First Place winner.

“En plein air” painting challenges artists to create works outside of their studios, using what they see and feel around them as inspirations for their work. During the Open Sky Art painting session, artists will use Kimberly Alvis’ lush gardens, backyard pond and parade of ducks as potential subjects.

“I love ‘en plein air’ painting because you never know what you’re going to have to deal with,” Alvis said, remembering a particular session when she had to keep goats from munching on her canvas while she was painting on a goat farm near Graham, NC. “The wind, the quality of the lighting – everything factors in when you’re painting outdoors.”

As the host and sponsor of Open Sky Art, Alvis will not paint during the event or include her work in the judging process, but she will hang a completed painting in the exhibit.

The Open Sky Art Exhibit can be seen in Caribou on Franklin Street during the town’s Second Friday Art Walk (June 12) and throughout the month during regular business hours.

Caribou Coffee Company, Inc., founded in 1990, makes it a practice to give back to the communities where its shops are located. For more information, visit

For more information on Open Sky Art and Kimberly Alvis, visit

posted by blueplate pr

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