Suffolk to host 4th Annual Suffolk Plein Air Festival this September

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 28, 2024

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COASTAL, Va. – Artists from across the country will converge on the City of Suffolk this September for the fourth annual Suffolk Plein Air Festival, taking place from September 10-14, 2024. This year’s festival will feature 37 professional plein air artists competing for awards and prize money by capturing Suffolk’s waterways, landscapes, and cityscapes. The event will culminate with a Wet Paint Sale and Awards Soiree on Friday, September 13, at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts in downtown Suffolk.

Artwork produced prior to the event will be on exhibit at the Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave., starting Wednesday, September 11, with a reception from 5-7 p.m. that is free and open to the public. The exhibition will run until Thursday, October 17, with the gallery open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The gallery is closed on Mondays.

This year, additional awards will be named to honor community members. For example, the Chuckatuck Ruritan Club has established an award in memory of Dr. J. Dwight Bradshaw, a local dentist and active community member. Funds donated by the club will be used to award an artist for the best representation of Chuckatuck, with remaining funds supporting the event. Those interested in establishing an award may do so online at or by calling the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

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Sponsorship opportunities to support the festival are available through July 15, 2024. For details, contact Rebecca Myers, Development Director, Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, at 757-923-0003, ext. 102, or via email at

Tickets for the Wet Paint Sale and Awards Soiree, scheduled for Friday, September 13, from 6-9 p.m. at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, will be available for $100 each starting Monday, July 1, 2024. Tickets can be purchased online at

This year’s Suffolk Plein Air artists include:

– Pamela Betts, Silver Spring, Maryland

– Elizabeth Blanchard, Suffolk, Virginia

– Coakley Brown, Henrico, Virginia

– Lisa BurgerLentz, Media, Pennsylvania

– Nanci Charpentier, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

– Lyudmila Tomova Clark, Cary, North Carolina

– Doug Clarke, Virginia Beach, Virginia

– Carol Cowie, Annapolis, Maryland

– Karen Lee Crenshaw, Jacksonville, North Carolina

– Debra Dartez, Chesapeake, Virginia

– Freeman Dodsworth, Port Republic, Maryland

– Alex Eisenzopf, Haywood Co., North Carolina

– Calina Franzosa, Alexandria, Virginia

– Tarryl Gabel, Poughkeepsie, New York

– Elissa Gore, New York, New York

– Kim Hall, Richmond, Virginia

– Pearl Horng, Midlothian, Virginia

– Fred Jackson, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

– Donald Kaupp, Richmond, Virginia

– Rajendra Kc, Falls Church, Virginia

– Tami Louco, Cazenovia, New York

– Laura Martinez-Bianco, Marlboro, New York

– John Meyers, Norfolk, Virginia

– Crystal Moll, Baltimore, Maryland

– Abby Ober, St. Michael’s, Maryland

– Fen Rasco, Windsor, North Carolina

– Christine Raymond, Manassas, Virginia

– Jim Rehak, Seaford, Delaware

– Orit Reuben, Orlando, Florida

– Elbert Shubert, Pilot Mountain, North Carolina

– Oleg Shvets, Reisterstown, Maryland

– Eric Thingstad, Virginia Beach, Virginia

– Karen Thuermer, Williamsburg, Virginia

– Rokhaya Waring, Clyde, North Carolina

– Terry Wylie, Norfolk, Virginia

– Valentina Yannotti, Geneva, New York

– Vicky Zhou, Oakton, Virginia

The Suffolk Plein Air Festival Committee, comprising volunteers from the Suffolk Art League, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, Downtown Suffolk, and Suffolk Tourism, has worked diligently to bring this unique event to life with the support of community sponsors. Artists, art lovers, and spectators will gather in Suffolk, Virginia to watch the painters in action, identified by the “Paint Suffolk Virginia” yard signs.

Juror and artist Gavin Glakas will review approximately 185 works of art to select the winners, with cash awards of $3,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place. Additional $100 awards will be given for the best historic, city, waterfront, rural, and farmland plein air paintings. The awards will be presented during the Friday night soiree.

On Saturday, September 14, from 12-2 p.m., the “Taste of Suffolk” Downtown Street Festival will host the “Paint the Taste” quick draw event, inviting youth (ages 10-17) and adults to paint outside. This quick draw event challenges participants to create an original piece of plein air artwork in two hours. Judge and artist Vinnie Bumatay will award prizes, and artists are encouraged to sell their artwork during the festival. Registration is $10 and open to all abilities at

The success of the Suffolk Plein Air Festival is a testament to the vision and collaboration of the Suffolk community. Many residents have opened their homes to host out-of-town artists, and others have offered their properties as painting locations. Generous business and patron sponsors have ensured the arts remain accessible to all, fostering rich experiences for the community. For more information about the 2024 Suffolk Plein Air Festival’s artists, sponsors, events, or volunteering, contact or visit