Susquehanna Solstice Festival

Plein Air Painting Event


Set in an inspiring - if not magical - meandering stretch of the Susquehanna River's North Branch, the area surrounding historic French Azilum offers pastoral charm, a deep agrarian history - including wonderful barns and farmscapes - outstanding Victorian architecture in nearby towns such as Wyalusing and Towanda, and breathtaking panoramic views over PA's Endless Mountains region that will inspire everyone.

The plein air painting event - the longest portion of the Susquehanna Summer Solstice Fest, lasting from Tuesday June 13 to Sunday June 18 - invites painters from across northeastern USA to explore this area of Pennsylvania, interacting with fellow painters and locals to produce several new works for a juried exhibition held at the end of the week. Any artist over 18 is encouraged to take part in the Susquehanna Summer Solstice Fest. Registration is non-juried, however we can only accept the first 30 applicants.

Plein Air Program Schedule

Artist Registration Form

Juror and Awards

Our esteemed 2023 juror is Rob Evans, an accomplished painter based in York, PA, specializing in depictions of the southern parts of the Susquehanna. Rob has also curated museum shows on the Susquehanna.

The award prize money (and general support) has been generously donated by businesses, individuals and organizations from northern Pennsylvania and southern New York.

2023 Plein Air Awards

2023 Plein Air Participants

What is "plein air" painting?

En plein air is a French expression meaning “in the open air”, and refers to the act of painting outdoors with the artist’s subject in full view. Plein air artists capture the spirit and essence of a landscape or subject by incorporating natural light, color and movement into their works.

The high point of plein air art came with the ‘emer- gence of Impressionism in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Artists of that period who painted outdoor landscapes included Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cezanne and Van Gogh. Interest in outdoor painting has remained constant since the twentieth century. Today’s artists carry on the traditions of these past masters by capturing light and movement in landscapes that can only come from seeing the subject outdoors in its natural form.

The last twenty years have seen a resurgence of interest in plein air painting in the United States. During this time, groups of plein air painters began gathering together to paint at single locations or within certain geographic boundaries. These “Paint Outs” are now very popular and give artists a chance to share their talents and creativity with the public and with one another.

Susquehanna Solstice Festival

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