Cuttyhunk Plein Air Festival 2018 – Sat June 23 2018

The Cuttyhunk Plein Air Festival is not run by the BVAA, but we are sharing news of it.

Here is the writeup.

Artists are urged to register now for Cuttyhunk Plein Air 2018, set for Saturday, June 23, 2018 with Sunday, June 24 reserved for a rain date. The $75 registration fee includes roundtrip ferry ticket, choice of box lunch, reception, and prizes. Island participants pay a $30 fee, including lunch.

A reminder that a dozen artists were waitlisted in 2017, so act quickly to secure a spot.

Sponsors for the 2018 festival are the Cuttyhunk Cultural Council, Cuttyhunk Historical Society, and the Long-Range Planning Committee for the Town of Gosnold. Fatherdaughter team of Jim and Molly Conway, former owners of the Pea in Your Pants Gallery, will present two purchase awards. Jurors will award gift certificates of $200, $100, and $50 from Dick Blick Art Supplies to the top three paintings.

Cuttyhunk, a 580-acre glacial remnant, is the most remote of the Elizabeth Islands chain, and the only one with public access. Approximately three-quarters of a mile wide and a mile and a half long, the quaint island is easily walkable and abounds with scenic views of rocky beaches, cliffs, sailboats, distant islands, wildflowers, and handsome homes.

Cuttyhunk welcomes artists throughout the season. In addition to splendid scenery, the island offers public rest rooms at the Marina and Town Hall, engaging exhibits at the Museum of the Elizabeth Islands, tasty fare from the Island Market, Cuttyhunk Café, Raw Bar, Soprano’s Pizza (evenings), Lucky Dog Grill, Scuttlebutt Café (some evenings), Cuttyhunk Fishing Club (breakfast), and aboard the M/V Cuttyhunk which provides daily passenger service from New Bedford to the island. Captain John Paul Hunter, aboard his SeaHorse water taxi, also offers transport.

The inaugural Cuttyhunk Plein Air 2016 took place on June 18, 2016, a sparkling Saturday with 45 participants: 40 from the south coast of New England and five from the island. Jurors Helen Sturgis Nadler, Bob Smith, and Jodi Stevens selected the top three artists: Mary Benton, of Swansea, MA, took the first prize with a painting of Church’s Beach distinguished by her brushwork and palette; Heidi Hallemeier, of South Dartmouth, MA, was second with a scene featuring the Fish Dock and Raw Bar boat described as evocative; and Barbara Healy of North Dartmouth, MA won third place. Each artist received commemorative ribbons and $200, $100. and $50 gift certificates respectively from Dick Blick Art Supplies. A special Spirit of Cuttyhunk Captured award went to Suzanne Lewis of Bristol, RI for her painting of the school house. The prize was selected by a representative of each of the sponsoring organizations, the Cuttyhunk Cultural Council, the Cuttyhunk Historical Society, and the Long-Range Planning Committee.

Cuttyhunk Plein Air 2017 concluded with clearing weather and happy artists. Organizers, artists, and island ambassadors breathed a collective sigh of relief as the fog lifted and the ferry landed for Cuttyhunk Plein Air 2017. Fifty artists, accompanied by Ambassador Patty Andrews picked up box lunches prepared by CTHK Café and Island Market, were scooped up by volunteers with golf carts, and distributed to island motifs and front porches to spend the day capturing Cuttyhunk. They were returned to the US Coast Guard Boat House and their work hung along the east wall of the historic structure. Jurors Jodi Stevens, Severin Haines, and Bob Smith roamed up and down the display before conferring and passing their choices to Festival Director Teri Bordenave to be announced to the gathering crowd of more than 100 islanders.

First place went to Anne McKee of Wayland, MA for “That Tree,” located on the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club property. Elizabeth Havens received second honors for “Cuttyhunk Charm.” The third prize ribbon was for Jane Owen’s “Pond View.” The artists received $200, $100, and $50 gift certificates, respectively, from Dick Blick Art Materials. Molly and Jim Conway were the donors and jurors for the Spirit of Cuttyhunk purchase prize. They chose “Bass Cove” by Barbara Healy. The winning painting was then donated to the Cuttyhunk Historical Society for the Museum opening auction on Saturday, July 1. Ms. Healy was the third prize winner in 2016. The painting was purchased by a CHS board member and donated to the museum. Following the announcement of winners the crowd enjoyed a wine reception _ARTY! in the Boat House before artists boarded the ferry for the return ride to New Bedford.

Ms. Bordenave counted 15 sales of works done during the paint-along. The paint-in-place event was promoted along the South Coast of Massachusetts and as far west as Providence and Newport, RI. The participants hailed from New York to New Hampshire.

For more information, or to register for Cuttyhunk Plein Air 2018, please visit Contact Director Teri Bordenave at or Publicist Sara Lehner at

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