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HANFORD — The Plein Aire Painters let their inspiration drive their work every week, and this week, the painters were inspired by Hanford’s old fire station.

On Tuesday, Diana Leoni, Sharon Banister and Suzanne Willis braved the chilly weather to create paintings of the station while they still can.

All three women were sad that the building is scheduled to be demolished and are looking for ways to possibly save the building.

Leoni, who grew up in Hanford, said the historical buildings downtown mean a lot to the people of Hanford.

“These buildings are our history,” Leoni said, lamenting the idea of the area turning into another parking lot.

The six or so people who make up the Plein Aire Painters are all retired and members of the Kings Art Center who get together every week and paint outdoors. Plein aire is French and translates to “open air.”

They all paint whatever they feel like doing at the time, whether that be people, landscapes or buildings like the Bastille, Civic Auditorium and old fire station.

Every Tuesday they pick a place, sometimes going back for weeks in a row. Leoni said they love the fire station so much, they will be back to paint the building again next week.

The Plein Aire Painters maintain an open invitation to anybody who wants to join them, as long as the weather permits. Young or old, amateur or professional, it doesn’t matter as long as you love to paint.

“This goes to show that art is for all ages,” Banister said.

To join the group, you can meet at the Kings Art Center at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. If you would like to paint the old fire station on Tuesday, Banister said the group will be across the street from the station around 9:30 a.m. to set up and begin painting.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or

News Reporter

News reporter for The Sentinel

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