“En plein air,” a French term that means “in the open air,” refers to the practice of painting entire finished artworks outdoors. Where an observer may see only a glimpse of a landscape, an artist sees light and atmosphere, shape and color, subject and form, all combining in a blaze of inspiration that compels the artist to capture it in paint. On Sat., Nov. 4, Adkins Arboretum will host the second annual Plein Air Adkins, a plein air paint-out, exhibit and sale, on the Arboretum grounds. The public is invited to explore the forest, meadows and wetland and observe as artists paint their original works.

Artists will begin painting at 10 a.m. At 12:30 p.m., they will bring their completed works to the Visitor’s Center for exhibition and judging. The juror is Alison Berry, a painter who exhibits in Maryland and Virginia and has participated and placed in numerous plein air events.

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places and for honorable mentions. An Artist’s Choice Award will also be given. Beltway Bistro, Blue Monkey Street Tacos and Ten Eyck Brewery will have food and drink for sale beginning at 11 a.m., and Fine Times will provide music during the exhibition and sale.

All works created during Plein Air Adkins will be for sale during the exhibition. The event is open to any artist who wishes to participate. The artist registration fee is $20, and artists may register in advance or on the day of the event at Observers are admitted free of charge.

Participating artists as of press time include Caroline Brown, Pamela Chase, Carol Cowie, Nancy Fine, Rhonda Ford, Debra Howard, Michael Iandolo, Lynn Lewis, Ed Lewandowski, Nancy Lorentz, Maryellen Lynott, Kennie Mauche, Diane DuBois Mullaly, Abby Ober, Madeline Patsel, Yik Chek Phan, Martha Pileggi, Jose Ramirez, Christine Rapa, Jim Rehak, Russell Reno, Catherine Renzi, Sheryl Southwick, Gail Stern, Nancy R. Thomas, Maureen Wheatley and Judy Wolgast. 

The event will take place in light rain or shine. In the event of heavy rain, it will be rescheduled for Sun., Nov. 5. For more information, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 100.

Plein Air Adkins is generously sponsored in part by the Caroline County Council of Art, Choptank Electric Cooperative and Unity Landscape Design|Build.

CUTLINE: Artists exhibit their work at last year’s inaugural Plein Air Adkins. Adkins Arboretum will host the second annual plein air paint-out, exhibition and sale on Sat., Nov. 4. All artists are invited to participate, and the public will be admitted free of charge to explore the grounds and observe the artists as they paint. Photo: Kellen McCluskey