“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

March 7 - 31, 2019

Featured artist: Joanne Gustilo

Reception: March 16, 3-5

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

Watercolorist Joanne M. Gustilo takes the featured artist spotlight at Benicia Plein Air Gallery with her exhibit "Coastal Reflections", running March 7 through March 31. The community is invited to the artist's reception on Saturday, March 16 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Known for her luminous watercolors that blend sensitive detail with lively looseness, Joanne feels a special connection with the Northern California coastline. She loves painting harbors and boats, and is fascinated by coastal scenes. "I can feel the sea calling," she says. "I love to paint the waves crashing and the stillness and reflections of the boats in water." In true plein air spirit, she hopes to capture a moment, a stillness, a certain time of day. Her "Coastal Reflections" collection feels right at home in Benicia Plein Air Gallery, just steps away from Benicia's scenic waterfront. 


Group Exhibit

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