Grab a brush, a canvas and paint outside

Published 6:13 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Plein air is the art of painting outdoors. The Washington Harbor District Art Stops will kick off a series of plein art events with the first Plein Air on the Pamlico on June 7 and June 8. Casual and competing artists of all levels and ages are welcome to paint on the shores of the Pamlico River and in the historic district of Washington during this first in a series of Plein Air on the Pamlico events.

Painters 15 years and older are welcome to join in the fun of capturing images in downtown Washington and of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Summer Festival. High school and college students are welcome. Students who volunteer for three hours or more on Saturday will receive a free registration to be part of the event. Contact Debra Torrence or Thad Aley at Arts of the Pamlico for details.

Artists can register online or at the historic Turnage Theatre to be part of the event for one or two days. On June 8 by 3 p.m., participating artists may choose to enter up to three works of art to be judged by renowned artist Dan Beck for prizes. The Chamber will also be judging the work as well, and if they find one they like, may offer a special prize to an artist as the top cash prize of the event and may use it for Summer Festival outreach in 2020.

The June 2019 event has a fee of $20 (cash/check) per artist. Artist registrations pay for the awards. First place is $300; second place, $200; third place, $100; and a special prize will be chosen by the Washington–Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce’s Summer Fest Award, which will be up to $750 if a work is selected, for the best work that captures Summer Fest splendor. The Chamber will retain the selected artwork and rights of use for the work. Awards will be given at 6 p.m. during the public reception, which starts at 5 p.m. June 8 at the Turnage Theatre.

All are invited to come to the “wet paint” sale by the artists, which will start at 5 p.m. when the opening reception for the work begins with music by Chuck Phillips. Plein air art will be on exhibit and for sale through the month of June at the theater.

The 10 art stops in downtown Washington include the Arts of the Pamlico-Turnage Theatre, Art Tyndall Studio, Contemporary Art Exchange, Art on Market/Kay Woolard Gallery, Lemonade Gallery, Little Shoppes & South Market Antiques, Lone Leaf Gallery & Custom Framing, River Walk Gallery and Arts Center, Sam’s Rustic Shop and Secret Garden & Boutique.

If you are interested in participating in the Plein Air festival visit where you will find information on the boundary for the Plein Air event and information about how to register or call AOP at 252-946-2504 with questions.

AOP’s historic Turnage Theatre is located at 150 W. Main St. in Washington. To learn more about this event or future events, visit AOP’s website at

Looking for arts and cultural close to home? Art Beat, from the team at the Arts of the Pamlico, is about arts and cultural programming offered in Beaufort County, as well as arts activities in your back yard. Support for advertising the event has been provided as a reimbursed grant by the Washington Tourism Development Authority.

Art Beat is written by Debra Torrence, AOP executive director, and Crystal Holman, AOP weekend coordinator.