“Plein Air” means “open air” and signifies outdoor painting that captures nature’s light. Plein Air painting became famous in France in the 19th century. The invention of paints in tubes enabled impressionist artists, such as Van Gogh and Monet, to paint outdoors, en plein air.

"Not until the late 1860s, with the work of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro, the leaders of Impressionism, did painting en plein air become more popular. This change came about from 1881, when Monet, in his efforts to capture the true effects of light on the colour of landscape at any given moment, began to carry several canvases at once into the out-of-doors. On each he began a painting of the same subject at a different time of day; on subsequent days, he continued to work on each canvas in succession as the appropriate light appeared."

July 4 - August 4, 2019

Featured artist: Mary Lou Correia

Reception: TBA


December 5 - January 5, 2019

Featured artist: Sharon Hind Smith

Reception: TBA

January 9 - February 2, 2020

Featured artist: Rolando Barrero

Reception: TBA

Benicia Plein Air Gallery

307 First Street

Benicia, CA. 94510

Phone number: 707-297-5903

October 3 - November 3, 2019

Featured artist: Judy Feins

Reception: TBA

November 7 -  December 1, 2019

Featured Artist: JoAnn McMahon

Reception: TBA

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June 6 - June 30, 2019

Featured Artist Susan Johnson

Reception: TBA

September 5 - September 29, 2019

Featured Artist: Iris Sabre

Reception: TBA

Visitors since September 2017

February 6 - March 1, 2020 

Featured artist: Catherine Fasciato

Reception: TBA

August 8- September 1, 2019

Featured Artist: Judith Kunzle

Reception: TBD

May 9 - June 2, 2019

Featured artist: Stephen Berry

Reception: TBD

April 4 - May 5, 2019

Featured Artist: Nancy Roberts

Reception: April 6, 4-6

Group Exhibit

A year-round exhibit showcases the gallery's artists, refreshed monthly.

Nancy Roberts takes the featured artist spotlight at Benicia Plein Air Gallery with her exhibit "Color Journeys", running April 4 through May 5. The community is invited to the artist's reception on Saturday, April 6 from 4 to 6 pm.

An award-winning plein air painter and retired architect, Nancy is known for her bold use of color, dynamic design and inventive, slightly quirky style. With "Color Journeys", a collection of acrylic landscapes, she invites the viewer to "walk into" her paintings and explore vibrant, and sometimes mysterious, new trails. Painting all around the Bay Area, she loves working from life but thinks of reality as just a jumping-off point. "I start by paring a thing down to its essence," she says, "then respond to its spirit with energized color and pattern." She enjoys letting a painting unfold with a life of its own, taking unexpected twists and turns and revealing hidden secrets with its own language. Her crisp lines and joyful color put a fresh new spin on the landscape tradition. To learn more about Nancy and see her work visit www.NancyRobertsStudio.com.

Also on exhibit is a new collection of plein air paintings by all 13 of the gallery's artists showcasing a colorful variety of media and styles. Benicia Plein Air Gallery is located at 307 First Street in the heart of historic downtown Benicia. Staffed by the artists, the gallery is open Thursdays through Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.