VALENTINE, Neb. - The Niobrara - its beauty has earned the recognition of National Scenic River. This week artists from across several states are attempting to capture that beauty through brushstrokes.

“You have to get out in nature and feel the fresh air and hear the birds, and see the different colors you aren’t used to. You ask people, ‘What color is snow?’ They say, ‘White.’ It isn’t. ‘What color is a tree?’ They say, ‘Green.’ What color of green? ” Dixie Craft said.

Craft is from Council Bluffs and is taking part in Paint Along the Niobrara River. The four day event started Monday and ends Thursday.

“Nobody is on their cell phones. There’s no music. We’re embedding ourselves into nature,” Organizer Joan Swim said.

This is the fifth year of the event, which started during the COVID pandemic.

“I think most people come to paint, and they want to paint what they see, but then they find out that it’s more than that,” Swim said.

“You get in touch with nature, and get back to self,” Craft said.

An event that not only brings peace to these painters, but also is a canvas for capturing history.

“Because we go back, and the barn or house we painted are gone, but they’re in a picture,” Craft said.

A peaceful picture capturing a point in history.