Nantucket Events

Capturing Island Magic on Canvas

The Artists Association of Nantucket (AAN) knows how magical Nantucket’s scenery can be. That is why the organization is pleased to be hosting its third annual outdoor painting festival, Plein Air Nantucket, which will span four days, from Thursday, June 19 through Sunday, June 22. Plein Air Nantucket is hosted in the spirit of Frank Swift Chase, an early 20th century Nantucket artist who taught outdoor painting classes. The core of his regular students became the founders of the AAN.

Plein Air Nantucket is open to artists at any skill level who wish to paint in the fresh air, and enjoy the camaraderie of painting alongside others. Local artist Greg Hill of G.S. Hill Gallery says, “I love plein air painting because it’s a continuing learning process. No matter what the weather is, you’re constantly learning something about colors, perspective, moods, light. Every time I get outside to paint, I think, ‘Why don’t I do this more often?’”

Plein Air Fest SandyFlavin “Changes are in the wind for our third annual festival,” says AAN curator of exhibitions Robert Frazier. “We’ve doubled the festival length, expanded the designated painting area, and are holding it at our gallery. The most exciting addition for this year,” notes Frazier, “is the Wet Wall, where art works that have been completed can be posted immediately each day for the public to view and purchase.”

The designated painting area runs from Washing Pond through all of town to Monomoy. Curator of Exhibitions Bobby Frazier says, “In the festival’s first year, artists painted in just the Washington Street and wharf area. This year, we wanted to branch out so artists have a wider range of subject matter. That way, those artists who have participated the past two years are not painting the same scenery.”

Plein Air pic LennyMoskowitz Artists who want to participate may sign up on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, June 19-21 beginning at 9:30 a.m. each day in the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery at 19 Washington Street. The entry fee is $10. All artists’ canvases are limited to either 9” x 12” or 12” x 16” and will be stamped by the AAN at registration. Up to four works may be completed. The majority of the work should be painted on location. All art must be returned to the gallery by 4 p.m. Sunday, June 22 for judging.

The festival will conclude with the Frank Swift Chase Awards presentation and public reception, which will be held on Sunday, June 22, at 5 p.m., in the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery. All are welcome to attend this free reception.

For festival details, call 508-228-0294, visit, or email


Articles by Date from 2012