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Plein Air Painting Workshop

September 6, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Plein Air Painting Workshop

Join us on Wednesday, September 6th for this in-Person/drop-in program in the Artist’s Garden at Garfield Park Conservatory


$5 Admission into Artist’s Garden Fairy Garden Exhibit, program is free with admission.

Admission to the Artist’s Garden Fairy Garden is free for GPCA Members, Neighbors and children.

Book your visit to the Fairy Garden Exhibit


Let’s paint plants and truly teeny tiny homes together in the lush Artist’s Garden exhibit “Fairy Garden” at the Garfield Park Conservatory!

Utilizing the wonderful plants, paths, and vistas of the Artist’s Garden, learn how to paint outdoors! You’ll create incredible works of art while enjoying a summer evening among the flowers, bumblebees, and butterflies at this Chicago Park District gem. Paint and canvases provided; you bring the imagination to find the wild colors hidden underneath.

All ages and ability levels are welcome and encouraged.

During this drop-in program, paint with artist and educator Erik Peterson from the Smart Museum of Art and learn some tricks about how to set up your canvas, how to sketch and paint plants! We will be stationed in the Artist’s Garden outdoor exhibit “Fairy Garden” which features more than 15 magical fairy houses set creatively within the beautiful flowers and greenery of the Artist’s Garden. Classic flowers including hollyhock, sunflower, sweet alyssum, and nasturtium are joined by enchanting varieties such as ‘fairy bells’ fuchsia, ‘dreamland pink’ zinnia, and ‘spellbound white blush’ petunia. The mini-homes represent a wide range of design styles and materials, limited only by the builders’ imaginations.  If you don’t already believe in fairies, this display might just change your mind! Peterson will also bring some reproductions of Plein Air paintings from the Smart Museum’s collection and current exhibition “Calling on the Past.” This is the perfect program for folks new or seasoned to the art of plein air painting, fans of fairies, and lovers of plants.


How to join:

Program is free with admission to the Artist’s Garden for reservations starting at 4:00pm and going through 6:30pm. Chairs, easels and drawing boards will be available in addition to art supplies. The Artist’s Garden is an outdoor garden, and the program may be canceled due to inclement weather.

Please send an email to if you’d like to request an accommodation.


Garfield Park Conservatory’s “Fairy Garden” exhibit in the outdoor Artist’s Garden


Smart Museum’s exhibition Calling on the Past:

Miyoko Ito, Beehive and Sea (1973)

Gustave Caillebotte, An Estuary of the Seine (1883)

Unknown Artist (Persian), Seated Man in a Garden and Standing Woman in a Garden (17th Century)

Leon-Augustin Lhermitte, Boy and Girl in Spring Landscape


September 6, 2023
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60624 United States
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