Benicia Plein Air Gallery

307 First Street

Benicia, CA 94510

(707) 771-6166

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We are open:

Fri - Sun, 11 am to 5 pmAnd by appointment

Benicia Plein Air Gallery presents a year-round exhibit of work by all of our gallery artists showcasing a colorful variety of media and styles.

Drop by to see what's new! 

Benicia Plein Air Gallery presents Iris Sabre in July as the Featured Artist show with her show “This Side of Paradise”.

“Whenever I am out painting, I always think of how lucky I am to be living in such a beautiful place,” says Iris Sabre. "There is incredible joy in the experience of painting at the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea or on a hillside sprinkled with wildflowers. The senses are heightened. The wind, the sun, the fog, the birds, and the insects are all part of the experience." Iris conveys this joy to the viewer through vigorous brush strokes and vivid colors. Using undiluted oil paint, she works rapidly to capture the moment, usually completing a relatively large format painting on location in a single session.  Iris Sabre was born and grew up in San Francisco. Her parents were both artists.

The family lived in North Beach in a flat with a view of the Bay, Alcatraz Island, and the hills of Marin County. As a child growing up in the city there were hillsides to explore and seashores to wander. Iris attended San Francisco State University where she obtained Bachelor’s degrees, one in psychology and one in fine art, as well as teaching credentials in multiple subjects (kindergarten and elementary), and a single subject, art. She taught elementary school in the Bay Area for several years, instilling many young people with the wonders of nature and art. Iris paints outdoors with friends and with several local plein air painting groups. Her work can be seen at the Benicia Plein Air Gallery and at the Marin Society of Artists Gallery in San Rafael.

Iris’s show will be up Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 28. You can meet with Iris at her reception on Saturday, July 13 from 2-5 pm.


On exhibit at our gallery is a collection of plein air paintings by all 12 of the gallery’s artists. Benicia Plein Air Gallery is located at 307 First Street in downtown Benicia. Staffed by the artists, the gallery is open Fridays through Sundays, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information visit 

July Featured Artist

Iris Sabre

This Side of Paradise

Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 28

Reception: Saturday, July 13, 2-5 pm.

Catherine Fasciato's painting "First Light at Cypress Cove" has been selected for the California Art Club’s 113th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University in Orange, CA. The show runs from Tuesday, August 20, 2024 – Sunday, October 26, 2024.

Catherine Fasciato

Leslie Golden will be showing her California landscape and botanical work during the month of July at the Wilder Art Center located at 2024 Wilder in Orinda. The reception will be held Sunday, July 7, 2:30 - 4:30pm. Come join her! 

Leslie Golden

Maria SantoStefano will be Valley Art Gallery's Featured Artist Tuesday, June 25, through Saturday, August 4. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am - 5 pm. Valley Art Gallery is located at 1661 Botelho Drive, Suite 110, in Walnut Creek. 925-935-4311.

Maria SantoStefano

Samantha McNally

Samantha McNally's painting "Taylor" will be in the Lamorinda Arts Alliance show "Inspired by the Greats" at aRt Cottage in Concord from Wednesday, July 3 to Thursday, August 29.

Reception: Saturday, July 13 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. 2238 Mt. Diablo Street Concord, CA 94520. Open Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 5pm.

Benicia Plein Air Gallery Artists Won at the Valona Plein Air Paint Out!

Benicia Plein Air swept the top honors at the Valona Plein Air Paint Out Reception on Sunday! First Place went to our newest member, Jessica de Jesus. Second Place to Maria SantoStefano. Third Place to MaryLou Correia. Thanks to Judge, Warren Dreher, and to Gerald Epperson and his team for bringing this fun event back to the Epperson Gallery!

Benicia Plein Air Gallery Welcomes New Member 

Jessica de Jesus

Marian Harris says, “I discovered my passion for portraying themes of nature in the form of animals, lands, skies and waters at age 9, while attending a children’s outdoor drawing course at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, CA. “
This has led her to plein air painting, enjoying soaking in the vibrance and brilliance of nature with like-minded colleagues, translating the wind, fog, rain, sun, clouds, bird-song, scents of flowers, water, and grasses, into color on canvas.

“While plein air painting with friends is an ongoing pursuit," Marian continues, ”I also am a printmaker, educated at UCSB, where I obtained a BS in art with an emphasis on printmaking. While printmaking is more technical, plein air painting is equally satisfying. In both mediums, I am experimenting with technique, colors, textures, and composition, looking for ways to interpret nature, and reveal the spirit within, be it a bird, fish, mountain, rock, tree, skies, or waters.” Marian is a member of several national level organizations, and has won awards in juried exhibitions with the NAWA and The Audubon Artists, Inc.

Professional affiliations: The National Association of Women Artists (The NAWA),California Society of Printmakers (CSP), Audubon Artists, Inc., The Lamorinda Arts Alliance (LAA), Monotype Guild of New England (past), and Printmakers of Cape Cod (past).


Instagram @marian_harris


"Nature and distant landscapes have always captivated me, and I cherish the opportunity to bring these experiences to life in my paintings." Jessica’s artwork showcases California’s majestic Sierra Nevada range and the picturesque golden hills of Contra Costa County. She uses gouache and watercolor and occasionally acrylic. When the world came to a halt during the Covid-19 pandemic, she reignited her passion for painting and has since garnered numerous recognitions, most recently first place at the 2024 Valona Plein Air Paint Out. Her work is treasured in private collections across the U.S.

Balancing her roles as a mom, wife, artist, board member of California Watercolor Association, and business owner, Jessica finds creative inspiration even in her busiest moments. She can often be spotted running through the Walnut Creek Open Space with her trusty mini sketch kit, capturing the long shadows cast by the setting sun.  



Our July Guest Artist  

Marian Sims Harris

“Painting at the Ocean is wonderous to me, the crashing waves and swirling foam is always a challenge, just being there is an exciting experience, though sometimes can be difficult in the wind, fog and cold but that just adds to the magic.”

Catherine loves to paint the Ocean and can be seen painting in the wind on a cliff top or on a beach all along the California coast from Garrapata to Mendocino, so of course the show will be a selection of her favorite plein air paintings of the coast.

She has won awards at the Carmel Art Festival, American Impressionist Society and Mendocino Paint Out as well as others and is Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America and The American Impressionist Society as well as Artist Member of the California Art Club. Her website is found at

Her show, California Coast runs through August and she will love to see you for a meet and greet on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10, from 11 am to 5 pm. Her show runs through the end of August.

August Featured Artist

Catherine Fasciato

Meet and greet on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10, from 11 am to 5 pm