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Solomons Plein Air Festival

About the Festival

The Solomons Plein Air Festival is unique in that it offers the artists such diversity in painting subject matter.  Solomons Island is an historic fishing village where working boats of the Chesapeake Bay were built in the 1800s.  It was chosen by Coastal Living Magazine as “one of the top 15 happiest seaside towns in the U.S.”  It is located just an hour from the Beltway in D.C. at the “other end of Pennsylvania Avenue” where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay.  It is now a picturesque mix of work boats, pleasure boats, marinas, old fishermen’s cottages, rural farmland, and quaint architecture with a few shops scattered amongst historic waterfront buildings.  Stand in one spot on the Solomons Riverwalk and you can paint any of these things and more.

The Solomons Plein Air Festival allows artists the opportunity to enjoy not only painting but sharing their creativity with the public.  To the viewers, this art form can be very exciting because it invites them into the creative process:  the sight, sound, and even smell of the artists’ world.  The competitive side of the process pits artists against each other for prizes awarded after 4 days of painting “en plein air” (outside on location).

The Competition

Artists will have the opportunity to paint not only on beautiful Solomons Island, but in other picturesque locations around Calvert County.  Monday, September 18, artists will be able to choose their own Calvert Co. location from a thoughtfully compiled list of suggestions.  On Wednesday artists will paint in the Sunset Quick Draw Competition. Guests are welcome to paint alongside the artists for a registration fee of $25. On Thursday and Friday the “en plein air” painting will be located in Solomons. New this year will be the Saturday morning event on the Riverwalk: “Paint the Town for a Cause – an Art from the Heart Public Paint Out.” All are welcome to paint alongside the artists for free, or just wander the Riverwalk and view the artists at work. *Artists must paint within the competition boundaries and without the assistance of photographs.  Any medium may be used, although photography is not acceptable in this competition.  Artists must turn in up to three framed, ready to hang artworks.  (Two will be hung in the main gallery, but all will be displayed.)  Exhibit and sale will take place in the grand “Affaire of the Arts", Saturday, September 23. Sales will continue through Sunday afternoon.

Earlier Event: September 7
WORKSHOP: Create Moving Atmospherics
Later Event: October 8
Cape Ann Plein Air Festival