3 Day Event
Rescheduled to:
Thursday, Sept. 9-

Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021

See Daily Schedule Below 

Invitational Artist Registration Fee: $25
Learn more about SCCA Plein Air Society

MEET the Plein Air Artists!
Plein Air easel
Suffolk Plein Air Invitational 2021

Suffolk Plein Air Invitational 2020
Rescheduled to: September 9 – 11, 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 : For 3 days, Thursday, September 9 – 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 concludes on Saturday evening, September 11 with special ticketed Palette to Plate’ Dinner & ‘Wet Paint Sale, providing a gourmet meal, drinks and showcasing the newly painted Plein Air works of art.

The curated Plein Air artwork evolves to create ‘IN PLEIN SITE’, a six week gallery exhibition which is On View: SEPTEMBER 23, 2021.


  • Invitational Artist Registration Fee is $25.00 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, $2,000, First Place, $1,000, on Saturday evening along with a 2nd Place, $750, and a 3rd Place, $500, CASH awards. Additional Gift Certificate awards given for Top Rural, Top Waterway and Top Urban paintings.


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,  2:00 PM – Artist DEMO by Thomas Bradshaw
SEPT. 10,  4:30 PM – Artist’s Dinner. Location TBD.
SEPT. 11, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM – Plein Air Painting continues
SEPT. 11: 6:30 – 9 PM – ‘Palette to Plate’ Dinner & ‘Wet Paint Sale’: The cost for this special event is $100 per person / Space is Limited! The evening includes:
• Gourmet Dinner
• Two Drink Tickets
• Live Music
• Artists Award Ceremony
Wet Paint Sale – Showcasing the newly painted works of art, providing ‘Palette to Plate guests with first access to purchasing the new artwork created during the Plein Air Invitational.

For more information on the SCCA Plein Air Invitational please contact Sandy Hart 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, provides demonstrations and designates monthly painting locations. 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.