Opening set for ‘In Plein Site’

Published 5:57 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and Suffolk Art League have partnered to deliver a regional art exhibition titled ‘In Plein Site’ opening on Oct. 15.

The opening reception will be in-person from 5 to 7 p.m. and provides an excellent opportunity to meet the featured artists. Thursday’s art opening will be a departure from the norm, as it is Suffolk Center’s first gallery opening since the pandemic. Out of an abundance of safety, in-person guests will be limited to 100 people, and everyone must wear masks while inside the Center.

‘In Plein Site’ is a juried art exhibition featuring 15 talented artisans: Beth Blanchard, Thomas Bradshaw, Gina Buzby, Kirk Dice, Linda Gerek, Mick Grochowski, Barbara Harris, Elisabeth McGinn, Brian Murphy, Squeaky Swan, Eric Thingstad, Rachel Vredenburg, Sandy Waters, Jenny Windsor and Terry Wylie. Their 54 original plein air paintings are on view in the Suffolk Center’s BB&T and Norfolk Foundation galleries through Dec. 19.


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‘In Plein Site’ features artwork created in plein air — meaning leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists.

“The exhibit gives us an overview of many styles of painting in the Plein Air style with oil and watercolor paint. Our artists represent some of the best work in our region,” said Pat Eelman, Suffolk Center’s gallery manager.

‘In Plein Site” has provided a wonderful opportunity for Suffolk Art League and Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts to partner to bring a unique style of painting to the Suffolk Center galleries,” said Suffolk Art League Executive Director Linda Bunch. “The artists in the exhibit have captured images of our region illustrating both the beauty of Hampton Roads and the talent of these artists.”

Plein Air artist Thomas Bradshaw generously donated a piece of his artwork, titled “Sunrise on the Chesapeake Bay,” for a raffle benefiting the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. His original artwork is 8″ x 20″, painted with oil on board and is framed in a lovely gold frame. “Sunrise on the Chesapeake Bay” is valued at $1,100. Raffle tickets cost $10 each, or three for $25 with only 250 Art Raffle tickets available on-line through the Suffolk Center’s website,

The drawing will be held live on Oct. 29 on the Birdsong Theater stage streaming to Suffolk Center’s Facebook Page: Patrons can attend the live drawing before the ‘Together on Stage’ performance featuring Connected, a jazz quintet with smooth vocals, playing music that ranges from the “New Orleans” sound to more of the contemporary sounds of today. Tickets to see Connected perform live at 8 p.m. Oct. 29 are $10 a person.

Interested in learning more about the Plein Air method of painting? Experience the joys of plein air painting in the upcoming two-day Plein Air Workshop, Nov. 7- 8, under the direction of artist Brian Murphy. Embrace Plein Air all year long by joining the Suffolk Plein Air Society, led by artists Barbara Harris and Sandy Waters. The Plein Air Society meets the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Suffolk Center and provides demonstrations, painting locations and membership is open to all levels.

The ‘In Plein Site’ art exhibition sets the stage for Suffolk’s Plein Air Invitational 2021, a three-day event Sept. 9-11 featuring artist Thomas Bradshaw of Blackstone and talented artists from all over. Artists will be inspired to paint Suffolk’s historic downtown, beautiful farmland and pristine waterfront. The 2021 festivities include Plein Air workshops, artist’s demos, a Quick Draw and a Wet Paint Sale. Suffolk’s Plein Air Invitational 2021 is presented by the Suffolk Art League, Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and Suffolk Tourism.

For more information on ‘In Plein Site’, Plein Air Art Raffle, Plein Air Workshop, Plein Air Society, or the Suffolk Plein Air Invitational 2021, visit The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is located at 110 W. Finney Ave.