SAINT AUGUSTINE – The Ximenez-Fatio House and National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of Florida (NSCDA-FL) will host a variety of Plein Air artists at the historic property in downtown St. Augustine, 20 Aviles St. From Friday, May 4 until Sunday, May 13 from 11 am until 5 pm during the renowned Romanza Festivale, outdoor painters will enjoy the day at the 200-year-old House as part of events to celebrate arts and culture. For information and to participate in Romanza Festivale of the Arts, visit the website at http://www.romanzafestivale.com.
According to Julia Vaill Gatlin, Ximenez-Fatio House Museum’s Executive Director, the property continues its activities with the annual Festivale which includes music, dance, theater, art, cuisine, and heritage. “We are proud to open our historic site to artists as we expand our public outreach and mission which promotes the nation’s national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects,” said Gatlin.
Specifically, Plein Air art is a French expression which means painting “in the open air”. The artists follow a long tradition which began in the mid-19th century while working in natural light. Many vignettes of the House Museum are popular with the visiting artists. The historic scenery supports their work with structures and grounds built in 1798 by Andres Ximenez, a Spanish storekeeper. For example, the original portion of the Ximenez-Fatio House includes a coquina house and the detached kitchen which became a tavern, private residence and later a fine boarding house for military officers, sea captains, dignitaries and families from the north and south.
The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is open for tours from Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm and tours of the buildings and rooms are available from 11 am until 3:00 pm and closed on Sundays and Mondays. The property is available for group functions including weddings and events. During tours, regular admission is free for St. Johns County residents; adults $10; children, students, seniors and military $8, and the family rate is $20. Private group rates are $6.50 per person.
The Ximenez-Fatio House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Buildings Survey. It is a Florida Heritage Landmark and is also recognized as an integral part of the St. Augustine Town Plan National Historic Landmark District. The House is rated as a top attraction in St. Augustine by TripExpert along with TripAdvisor as a Certificate of Excellence designation venue, awarded to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn the highest levels of reviews from travelers.