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Plein Air Art is Back

by Marianne Lods, Executive Director, Millville Development Corporation

Calling all area artists! On September 25the Glasstown Arts District, Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, and the Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission are sponsoring a “plein air art” event downtown and in Captain Buck Riverfront Park.

Plein air art comes from the French words for painting in the open air. This style became popular among the impressionist art period in Europe and here in the United States. Many fine examples can be seen in the art of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Henri Monet, etc.

An artist, if he or she wishes, can remain in the same spot from sunrise to sunset and can produce artworks that vary greatly because of the lighting differential in morning, afternoon, and at sunset. The effect of light on the subject is captured by the artist, and then enjoyed by the patron who purchases the piece.

Artists will be competing for cash prizes for first ($500), second ($250), and third place ($125). The art will be hung at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, 22 N. High Street, Millville, and be on exhibit until October 15.

You may download the registration form at or call me at 856-293-0556 or e-mail: We look forward to welcoming you to this event.

The Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission and Gallery 50 are sponsoring another plein air art event on the waterfront in Bridgeton on Saturday, August 28. Artists will be vying for $700 in prizes. The exhibition will take place in Gallery 50, located at 50 Commerce Street, from September 3 to 24.

The artwork must be picked up on September 25 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. You may get details from 856-453-2175 or e-mail:

Artists’ Day is sponsored by Cumberland County Department of Planning and Tourism and Community Affairs and will be held on Saturday, September 11 at the Mauricetown Historical Society Headquarters at the Edward Compton House, 1229 Front Street, Mauricetown. Contact Omarey Williams at 856-453-2133 for details. A brief service will be held in honor of the victims of 9/11.

In addition to hosting artists who will also be painting en plein air, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Compton House, which is home to a treasure trove of artifacts from the days of sea captains who fished and sailed the local the Maurice River and the Delaware Bay in the 19th century.

When you drive through the small community, you will see many well-maintained houses from the Victorian era of architecture. This event date offers the first-time visitor a wonderful introduction to local history. For repeat visitors, you can delve more deeply into the rich heritage of town and area.

All of these events have been on hiatus since 2019 or before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sponsoring and hosting organizations are thrilled to be able to invite artists to participate in many events to give them opportunities to create art, have an audience view it, and to vie for prize money. The artwork will be for sale during the exhibitions so that you, the art patron, have the chance to add more beauty to your residence or work environment.

Millville Matters