Santa Rosa Beach artist Joan Vienot has been awarded the prestigious honors of Ambassador and Artist-In-Residence for the Forgotten Coast en Plein Air, America’s Great Paint-Out in Apalachicola May 3-12.

Plein air characterizes the activity of painting outdoors in open air, capturing scenes with natural lighting.

Artistic excellence and the production of investment quality art is the trademark of this 10-day festival with Vienot selected as one of the four Ambassador artists for this year. The event will focus on the natural environment as the area communities recover from the impact of Hurricane Michael.

“I am happy to have been selected a second time," vienot said. "I also served as an Ambassador in 2016, so I know it to be a big job, some of the hardest work but also some of the most rewarding work I have ever done. It involves mentoring artists new to plein air, one-to-one, in two hour sessions, three sessions a day with a different artist each session, working with 15 artists over five days.”

As part of her Artist-in-Residence program, Vienot will be housed in Cape San Blas for a week and will observe, learn, and paint scenes relating to the event theme focusing on the natural environment as it recovers from the effects of the recent hurricane. Vienot will also be looking at mitigation efforts including the installation of living shorelines, planting sea oats, and restoration of longleaf pine forests. She will also be taking a walking tour of St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, and attending two workshops at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. She will give a presentation and exhibit her residency paintings at the Paint-Out in May.

In addition to the four ambassadors, the invitational features 20 internationally acclaimed artists, exhibits, a collectors' forum, distinguished guest speakers, and more. To register for workshops or learn more about the festival go to forgottencoastculturalcoalition.wildapricot.org/.