Avian Solomons Plein Air Draws 25 Artists, Sept. 18-21

Open Air Extravaganza to Benefit CSM Student Scholarships, SBA

Plein air artists will be found capturing Solomons scenes Sept. 18 through 21 as part of the Avian Solomons Plein Air Festival. The term “plein air” comes from the French term “en plein air” which translates as “in the open air.”  Well-known artists, including Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir, created some of their best and most famous works in this style.  Locations around Solomons have been established where juried artists can paint and visitors can watch the artists at work. Their finished paintings will be on display and available for sale at carmen’s gallery, 14550 Solomons Island Road, Solomons, on Sept. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m.

A Star Spangled Quick Draw competition will take place on the Solomons Riverwalk where participants will compete in completing a painting in two hours or less, from 9 to 11 a.m. Judging will begin at 11:30 a.m. and public sales of the “wet” paintings will begin on location as soon as they are set up in and around the Riverwalk Pavilion. This competition is open to non-competition artists for a $25 registration fee. Those interested should register at the Gazebo on the Riverwalk at 8:30 a.m.

The culminating festivities are Saturday evening and they begin with a “VIP Champagne Collectors’ Reception” from 5 to 6 p.m. at carmen’s gallery. Awards will be presented to the winning artists and the paintings will be for sale. Tickets are $100 and can be applied to the purchase of a plein air painting.

Immediately following the VIP reception is “An Affaire of the Arts” which is free and open to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. This celebratory event will include a cash bar, live music and catering provided by the Ruddy Duck Brewery, a major sponsor of the event. This year’s collectible poster, “Meet Me at Bunky’s,” will be available for sale and patrons will have the opportunity to meet poster artist Wesley James Drake, last year’s “Best of Show” winner. Proceeds from the art, poster and beverage sales will benefit student scholarships at the College of Southern Maryland and the signature events of the Solomons Business Association, including the  July 4th fireworks, the Taste of Solomons and the Solomons Christmas Walk and Boat Parade.

This year artists will have the opportunity to paint not only on Solomons Island, but in other picturesque locations around Calvert County on Sept. 18 with the en plein air painting in Solomons Sept. 19 and 20. 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.

Artists this year include Kevin Beck of Boone, NC, Barbara Stepura of White Plains, Ann Crostic of Baltimore, Paul Romano of Lewisburg, Pa., Ray Ewing of Swan Point, Lissa Abrams of Baltimore, Brenda Belfield of  Reston, Va., Gary Pendleton of North Beach, Lynn Mehta of Alexandria, Va., David Diaz of Annapolis, Clarence Shumaker of Chesapeake Beach, Tim Kelly of Baltimore, Carol Lareuse of Baltimore, Greg Johannesen  of Port Republic, Suzanne Morris of Nags Head, NC, Susan Hong-Sammons of Riverside, Ill., Debra Howard of Crisfield, Eileen Eder of Guilford, Conn., Bruno Baran of Nottingham, Drake of Chicago, Ill., Dennis Young of  Wilmington, Del., Luc Herbots of Port Republic, Carol Wade of Prince Frederick  and Duane Sabiston of Baltimore.

The Avian Solomons Plein Air Festival is made possible in part by the support of title sponsor Avian Engineering, LLC, as well as Ruddy Duck & Canard’s Catering, SMECO, Solomons Business Association, Bill Chambers, Calvert Marina, Asbury Solomons, Back Creek Bistro, Barefoot Graphics, Blueshift Marketing, Beautiful Kitchens, Calvert County Government Department of Economic Development, Calvert Marine Museum, carmen’s gallery, College of Southern Maryland, Community Bank of Tri-County, Holiday Inn, Kingfisher’s Restaurant, the McNelis Group, One Pixel Short Graphics, PNC Bank, Schooner Heron Charters, Southern Maryland This is Living, State Farm Insurance/Michael Paxson, Striped Rock Restaurant, Solomons Veterinary Medical Center, Town Crier, WM Davis Inc. and Wesley James Drake.

For information on the festival visit http://www.solomonspleinair.com/