Plein Air Paintout Is Back!

Plein Air-Marina

A group of 40 artists is out and about painting scenes of life on the Island this week. They’ll present these outdoor-focused works of art on Saturday at South Shore Center as part of the Frank Bette Center for the Arts’ eighth-annual Plein Air Paintout Art Exhibit and Sale.

“We’ve brought 40 artists together from all over the United States to Alameda for this event,” said Doug Perry, director of communications for the organization. “They were encouraged to paint on the street and wherever they felt drawn to paint within the city limits.”

Many artists choose to paint buildings, streetscapes, boats docked at a marina or other themes. “This year, Team Artemis said they’d let us know when their America’s Cup catamaran was set to be on the water,” explained Perry, “which is really exciting.” Another popular spot for painting this year, he said, is the egret-nesting area on Bay Farm.

Though about one-fourth of the artists are Alamedans, “This is really a national event,” Perry explained. “The artists had to apply and go through a jury. They are very qualified and competent, with portfolios of work to show for themselves.”

With the involvement of artists from the East Coast, Northwest, other parts of California and even Europe in past years, “The Plein Air Paintout bring Alameda and Frank Bette a certain degree of notoriety and a real reputation,” he shared. “Artists take art showcasing Alameda back home with them, which extols the virtues of Alameda. It’s really a high-profile event that’s taken quite seriously within the arts community.”

Local volunteers with the Frank Bette Center have let some visiting artists stay in their homes for the week-long event. They’ve also organized social activities for the guests and made arrangements for the South Shore exhibit. “This all takes a lot of time to put together,” said Perry.

Janet Levaux