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Cape Ann Plein Air Competition & Festival

October 7, 2018 @ 10:00 am - October 15, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

Cape Ann Plein Air

The third annual Cape Ann Plein Air (CAPA) outdoor painting competition and festival, which takes place in the Cape Ann communities of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport, will run from Sunday, October 7th through Monday, October 15th. CAPA 2018 provides local, national and internationally recognized artists the opportunity to compete in the premier New England Plein Air festival and winner of the BONS 2018 Editor’s Choice for Best Arts Festival, located in the birthplace of American Plein Air Painting, Cape Ann.

Forty artists have been juried into the competition, including some well-known local artists alongside renowned national and international plein air artists arriving from all over the US, Canada and Russia to compete for over $21,000 in prizes and awards. There are awards of $6000 for first place, $4000 for second place and $2000 for third place, with two $750 honorable mention awards.  Many additional $500 themed awards will be granted for Best Americana, Best Marine, Best Use of Light, Best Nocturne and many more. Local businesses and organizations, as well as private art patrons, have contributed to the awards.

Award-winning plein air artist Hiu Lai Chong served as the CAPA2018 entry juror, selecting the 40 artists who are participating in this year’s competition.  Another nationally recognized plein air artist, Don Demers, will serve as the CAPA2018 awards judge at the Awards Gala held at North Shore Arts Association October 13th from 6-9pm.

The weeklong CAPA festival includes an opening artist reception at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum on Sunday, October 7th which is open to the public; both a Collectors Preview and an Awards Gala held at the North Shore Art Association on Saturday, October 13th. There is a QuickDraw Competition and Sale at the Rockport Art Association and Museum on Sunday, October 14th, with over $2000 in awards for both juried and non-juried artists, and is open to anyone who wants to participate in this 2-hour wet paint competition, which will be followed by an exhibit and sale of the paintings, with live music, all open to the public. During the week there are artist demos in all four communities, dinners with the artists, a nocturne painting event and more. Please check the capeannpleinair.com website for the full calendar of events, times and locations.

Schedule of Events

Sunday, October 7th: 
Artists Welcome Reception from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Essex Ship Building Museum. OPEN and free to the PUBLIC.
Artists will paint all over Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester by the Sea. Follow us on Facebook to watch them in action throughout the week and see their paintings in progress.
Monday, October 8th:
Noon-1 pm, Demo at Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, Gloucester, Artist Geoffrey Chalmers. FREE to the PUBLIC
Tuesday, October 9th:
Noon- 1 pm, Demo at Cogswell’s Grant, Essex, Artist David P. Curtis. FREE to the PUBLIC
Tuesday, October 9th:
7-9 pm CAPA Artist Preview Reception, Charles Fine Arts, 196 Main St., Gloucester. FREE to the PUBLIC
Wednesday, October 10th:
Noon-1 pm, Demo at Tuck’s Point, Manchester, Artist Natalia Andreeva. FREE to the PUBLIC
Thursday, October 11th:
Noon-1 pm, Demo at Rockport Art Association and Museum, Rockport, Artist Stapleton Kearns. FREE to the PUBLIC
Thursday, October 11th:
5-9 pm, Nocturne painting event on Rocky Neck. Artists, music and more. Free to the Public; food and drink available for purchase.
Thursday, October 11th:
6:30 pm, Artist Appreciation at the Studio Restaurant, 49 Rocky Neck Ave., Gloucester. The public is welcome; food and drink available to purchase.
Friday, October 12th:
6:30-8 pm, CAPA Artists dinner, Gloucester House Restaurant, Gloucester. Music, lobster bake, Gloucester stories and more! Public invited, $30 per person @ door.
Saturday, October 13th: Collector’s Preview from 4:30-6:00 pm at North Shore Arts Association
Saturday, October 13th: Awards Gala and Art Sale 6:00-9:00 pm at North Shore Arts Association.
Sunday, October 14:
QuickDraw/ Wet Paint Competition. Come out and watch! Artists have just two hours to complete a painting outside in downtown Rockport from 9am-11am. 
Sunday, October 14:
Quick Draw paintings exhibit & sale at Rockport Art Association and Museum from 1-5 pm. Music, food and art. Prizes will be awarded.
OPEN and FREE to the PUBLIC.Sunday, from 10 am – 5 pm, CAPA art exhibit and sale continues at North Shore Arts Association
Monday, October 15th:
CAPA paintings exhibition and art sale, North Shore Arts Association, Gloucester.FREE to the PUBLIC
Monday, October 15th:
Quick Draw paintings exhibition and sale, Rockport Art Association & Museum, Rockport. QuickDraw artists can register by visiting www.capeannpleinair.com. There is a $20 registration fee. Free to the public.

For more information on Cape Ann Plein Air and to buy tickets, visit www.capeannpleinair.com.


October 7, 2018 @ 10:00 am
October 15, 2018 @ 5:00 pm


North Shore Arts Association
11 Pirates Lane
Gloucester, MA 01930 United States
(978) 283-1857