Featured Event: Plein Air New Bern

Our area is gearing up a brand-new event, Plein Air New Bern, featuring artists from across the United States and our own backyard. Twenty-eight artists will paint the natural and historical beauty of New Bern and the surrounding area in their chosen medium for one week, with daily creations displayed in the Main Gallery at Bank of the Arts and the lobby of First Citizens Bank. This inaugural event takes place May 11-17, and will feature artist demonstrations, lectures, workshops, collector’s sale and gala, and quick paint.

Plein air is the centuries old tradition of painting the real world directly and on site. Various mediums can be utilized depending on the artist’s preference, including oils, pastel, acrylics, and watercolors. Ten featured artist were selected by Host Artist Kippy Hammond, plein air painter and owner of La Bonne Etoile Artist Retreat in France. An additional eighteen artists, including five locals, were juried into the competition by Nancy Tankersley, a founding member of Plein Air Easton, the largest plein air event in the United States. These twenty-eight artists will create new works inspired by local settings, including the rivers, parks, houses, and historic buildings of the area. Completed works will be exhibited in Main Gallery at Bank of the Arts, a 1,200 square foot exhibition space housed in a turn of the century former bank building in downtown New Bern, with additional works and a painting library in the lobby of First Citizens Bank, located across the street.

The week will feature daily demonstrations and talks by the artists on their works, techniques, and plein air history. The public will also be able to find out where their favorite artists are through social media and published schedules to see the artists at work on site.  Friday night will feature a Collector’s Sale and Gala, with prizes selected by internationally renowned British plein air artist Haidee-Jo Summers, a signature member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and 2012 SAA Artist of the Year. After the gala the gallery will remain open to public to view, enjoy and purchase original works.

The event will also feature a Quick Paint on May 16, allowing artists of any age or medium the opportunity to participate and potentially win prizes. The first place winner of the 2020 Quick Paint will be invited to participate in the 2021 event as a featured artist.

Plein Air New Bern organizers are working to formulate a full schedule of events, and invite you to view and sign up for email updates at www.pleinairnewbern.com.