“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

February 6- March 1, 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: TBA

Benicia, My Kind of Town Watercolors by Rolando Barrero

January 10 - February 3, 2019

Reception Saturday, January 19, 3 - 5 p.m.

February 7 - March 3, 2019 

Featured artist: Catherine Fasciato

Reception: February 16, 3-5

April 4 - May 5, 2019

Featured Artist: Judith Kunzle

Reception: TBD

May 9 - June 2, 2019

Featured artist: Stephen Berry

Reception: TBD

August 8- September 1, 2019

Featured Artist: Nancy Roberts

Reception TBA

Benicia Plein Air Gallery kicks off the new year with featured artist Rolando Barrero's exhibit "Benicia, My Kind of Town", opening January 10 and running through February 3. The gallery will host a festive reception for Rolando's show on Saturday, January 19 from 3 to 5 p.m.

An award-winning watercolorist known for his crisp, lively style and masterful drawing skills, Rolando is a founding member of the co-operative Benicia Plein Air Gallery, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. His show "Benicia, My Kind of Town" will be a special collection of Benicia scenes he has painted during the last ten years, and will include original watercolors as well as prints of some of his most popular Benicia-themed paintings.

Rolando is an avid plein air painter and participates often in competitive and juried plein air events throughout Northern California. His passion is painting street scenes, boats, harbors and county fairs, always with an eye toward capturing the light, atmosphere and essence of the place. He loves life and enjoys including people, nature and bustling activity in his paintings, believing that a good painting should tell a story. With a lifetime of experience as both an architect and an artist, Rolando's colorful and richly-detailed portraits of historic buildings, landmarks, cityscapes and shoreline life are especially beloved by his many appreciative collectors.


Group Exhibit

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

January 9 - February 2, 2020

Featured Artist: Samantha McNally

Reception TBA