Tuesday, Sept. 7-
Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021

See Daily Schedule Below 

Juried Artist Registration Fee: $35
Learn more about SCCA Plein Air Society

Lodging Information
Suffolk Plein Air Cocktail Reception
Plein Air Workshops
Quick Draw Registration
MEET the Plein Air Artists!
Plein Air easel
Suffolk Plein Air Invitational 2021

Suffolk Plein Air Invitational 
 September 7 – 12, 2021

What is Plein Air Painting?:
Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists. Their desire to paint light and its changing, ephemeral qualities, coupled with the creation of transportable paint tubes and the box easel—the precursor to the plein air easels of today—allowed artists the freedom to paint “en plein air,” which is the French expression for “in the open air.”

SCCA PLEIN AIR INVITATIONAL :  Tuesday, September 7 – Saturday, September  11, 2021, featured artist Thomas Bradshaw of Blackstone, VA and talented artists from all over will be inspired to paint Suffolk’s historic downtown, beautiful farmland, and pristine waterfront.  This event is hosted by the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and co-chaired by Suffolk artists Barbara Harris and Sandy Waters.

The Plein Air Invitational 2021 continues on Saturday evening, September 11 with special ticketed ‘Suffolk Plein Air Cocktail Reception, providing heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and showcasing the newly painted Plein Air works of art.


  • Juried Artist Registration Fee is $35.00 Registration and payments are available online at Application deadline: July 1, 2021.
  • Check-in from 4-6 PM on Thursday, September 9th or 8:30 -9:30 AM on Friday, September 10th at the Suffolk Cultural Arts Center.
  • The Plein Air Invitational will take place Rain or Shine.
  • A CASH AWARD will be given for the Best In Show, $3,000, 2nd Place, $1,000, on Saturday evening along with 3rd Place, $500, CASH awards. Additional non-monetary awards given for Top Rural, Top Waterway and Top Urban paintings.


SEPT. 7-8, Check in at 9 AM,  Thomas Bradshaw Plein Air Workshop

SEPT. 8-9, Check in at 9 AM, Barbara Harris Plein Air Workshop

SEPT. 9, 4 – 6 PM – Artist Registration and Artist Welcome Reception.  Stamp your canvases at the Suffolk Cultural Arts Center
SEPT. 10, 8:30-9:30 AM – Artist Registration continues at the Suffolk Center.
SEPT. 10, 9:30 AM – 4 PM – Plein Air Painting Starts, Rain or ShineArtsits will be provided with suggested painting locations throughout Suffolk, VA.

SEPT. 10,  4:30 PM – Artist’s Dinner. Location TBD.

SEPT. 11,  9 AM – Quick Draw Check-In Begins. Location TBD.
SEPT. 11, 10 AM- 12PM Wet Paint Sale

SEPT. 11, 12:15- 12:30 PM Awards

SEPT. 11,  2:00 PM – Artist DEMO by Thomas Bradshaw
SEPT. 11, 7:30 – 9:30 PM – Painting Awards & ‘Wet Paint Sale’: The cost for this special event is $100 per person / Space is Limited! The evening includes:

• Heavy Hors d’oeuvres
• Open bar
• Live Music
Wet Paint Sale – Showcasing the newly painted works of art, providing guests with first access to purchasing the new artwork created during the Plein Air Invitational.

SEPT. 12,  10:00 AM – 11:30AM -Artist’s Brunch (Invitation Only) Artists will pick up unsold work

For more information on the SCCA Plein Air Invitational, please contact Sandy Waters or Pat Eelman at the Suffolk Center:  757.925.1800

JOIN THE SUFFOLK CENTER PLEIN AIR SOCIETY! Lead by artists Barbara Harris and Sandy Waters, the Plein Air Society encourages interest in the plein air method of painting designating monthly painting locations throughout the Hampton Roads Area. Membership is open to all levels. The Plein Air Society meets the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10 AM – 2 PM at the Suffolk Center, 110 W. Finney Ave., Suffolk, VA 23434.