© 2017 Solomons Plein Air Festival

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Signature events

Solomons Plein Air Festival is well known for its signature events. Artists from across the country join us for this open air painting extravaganza. What is plein air? Simply put, it is painting outdoors rather than in a studio. The term comes from the French 'en plein air', meaning 'in the open air'. The Impressionists were particularly interested in the influence of changing light and the effects of light on color when outdoors. Monet is a popular example of a plein air painter. Today, plein air painting is flourishing as its' own art form. Artists come together for “paint outs” and competitions to hone their skills. Landscape painters of all skill levels are finding that plein air painting is a rewarding and powerful experience.

Sep 20, 2017

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sunset Quick Draw

Registration for the public begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Southern Md. Sailing Association (SMSA) clubhouse just across from the Riverwalk Pavilion on Solomons Island Road. For this event, the public registration fee is $25. Artists participating in the Quick Draw must have their canvases stamped at the registration table to be considered for awards. Bring your easels, paint brushes, pastels, head lamps, etc. and you will be all set to paint the evening away. Any medium is welcome, but photography is not acceptable. All entries must be painted without the assistance of photographs.

What is a “Quick Draw”, you ask? Well, in our festival, the procedure is as follows… A horn will sound at 6:00 p.m. and artists may begin painting. At precisely 8:00 p.m. another horn will sound and artists must put down their materials and submit their artwork for adjudication at the Southern Maryland Sailing Association. Judge Jason Sacran will choose the paintings that best fit the category standards, and present awards to the winners. Immediately following the awards, the “wet” paintings will be sold by the artists. Artists receive 60% of the sale proceeds, and 40% of the proceeds support the Festival.

Sep 23, 2017

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Paint the Town for a Cause

Come paint with our artists on the Solomons Riverwalk! This event is FREE to register & open to all ages and skill levels. Prizes will be awarded in several categories. Registration is onsite, and you must register to participate in this event.

More details to come on this wonderful charity event.

Sep 23, 2017

6 - 9 p.m.

The “Affaire of the Arts” offers spectators, art enthusiasts and collectors alike the unique opportunity to purchase paintings which they have observed the competition artists creating throughout the week. This one-night-only reception gives the public the opportunity to meet the artists, learn about their inspiration, and purchase paintings full of local color and subject matter. Artists have spent the week creating paintings of the landscape, the people, the landmarks, the boats, and the endless beauty of Southern Maryland. Nowhere else in Calvert County will you find such a diverse and complete collection of works painted “en plein air” or outdoors. The festive “Affaire of the Arts” includes a cash bar and beautifully catered hors d’oeuvres.  All of the competition artists will be in attendance.

Your purchase of these paintings allows us to continue this event, support the artists, and contribute generously to charitable organizations.

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