A group of artists will take painting to the streets of Bangor on Saturday in the first Paint Bangor Day.
It’ s a simple concept - pick up materials in the morning, find a spot in town and paint away. The results will be auctioned in the evening as a fundraiser for the Bangor Art Society.
The event begins for artists at 8 a.m. and concludes with a silent auction and reception for the public starting at 5 p.m. Artists can also win prize money for their creations.
Paint Bangor Day is modeled after a similar activity held last August in Eastport. Bangor Art Society president Kristborg Whitney, a full-time artist, participated in Paint Eastport Day.
“It was wonderful,” Whitney said. “It was a lot of fun. The community spirit around the event was absolutely wonderful. I think that we have all agreed that we need to get Bangor more involved in the art community. That was one way to try. We don’ t know how it’ s going to turn out but I have no reason to believe it won’ t be a success.”
Success for the artists means completing the entire painting in about 7? hours. Each artist reports to the Bennett Gallery at 34 Central St. to register from 8 a.m.-10 a.m., at which point their paper or canvas will be stamped to make sure the piece is painted that day. After registration, artists can go wherever they want in the city — from the Penobscot River to the City Forest to Bangor International Airport, or another setting that might inspire someone to create a painting.
Organizers hope, however, some artists will stay close downtown, where residents and visitors can watch a painter at work.
“They can go anywhere in Bangor they want to,” Whitney said. “We are really hoping that a lot of the artists will stay downtown, give it a little flavor. & Downtown businesses have been exceptionally receptive.”
Artists have until 3:30 p.m. to return with their finished paintings to the Bennett Gallery, where organizers will hang the paintings. The silent auction will go from 5 to 7 p.m. Members of the public who register for the silent auction can vote on their favorite works.
Half of the auction price of the work will go to the artist and the other half will go to the Bangor Art Society to fund programs including the society’ s juried art show in the spring.
Prizes are $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third. The top artist under the age of 16 will win a gift certificate to craft store A.C. Moore.
Whitney said she’ s not sure how many people will take part in the painting process, but she has had inquiries from as far away as Scarborough.