2nd Annual Student “Plein Air” Painting Event at Willow Fork Park

What: Katy ISD art students step outside the classroom to experience the inspiration and challenge of painting “en plein air”—an art form of painting the landscape outdoors first made popular by French Impressionists.

Who: Student painters and Fine Arts staff for Katy ISD will share about the skills learned through painting in a natural environment, and Willow Fork Drainage District (WFDD) board and Friends of Willow Fork Park will be available to discuss the park and District activities.

When: Saturday, October 19 – 8 a.m. set-up, 9-11 a.m. painting, 11-12 p.m. exhibition and awards (Rain Date – Saturday, October 26)

Where: Willow Fork Park, located at the northwest corner of TX-99/Grand Parkway and Cinco Ranch     Blvd., across from LaCenterra.

The inspiration to host an outdoor painting event at Willow Fork Park, where painters are challenged with lighting, environmental conditions and other distractions like spectators viewing their works in progress, came to Neil Stillman while seeing live outdoor painting when working as a summer park ranger in Grand Teton National Park.

“Our first event last year was very successful, with about 25 student artists participating,” said Stillman, a WFDD resident and founder of Friends of Willow Fork Park. “Both the students and Katy ISD art teachers enjoyed the new painting experience and agreed it should become an annual event.”

This year, more than 30 students and art teachers from eight Katy high schools have entered the event and contest, which will feature two hours of live painting for visitors to observe, followed by an exhibition at the park’s pavilion and judging by artists from the Outdoor Painters Society. All students will receive a certificate for participating and three art glass awards will be given for: Best in Show – judges vote, Award of Excellence – judges vote, and Artist’s Choice – participants vote.

Follow Friends of Willow Fork Park on Facebook for more information on this event and other free, family-friendly, nature-based activities being planned at Willow Fork Park.


Established in 1985, Willow Fork Drainage District (WFDD) constructs, maintains and operates drainage and recreational facilities to preserve and enhance the communities within its boundaries. Located approximately 25 miles west of the central business district of Houston and 2.5 miles south of the intersection of I-10 and Mason Road, its operations span 5,700 acres, including 15 miles of drainage channels, three community parks, and nearly 50 miles of trails.

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