River Towns Plein Air to Be Launched in April

Written by Linda Mylin Ross

Cherry blossom time is always something to look forward to in Marietta. This year, an added attraction will be watching artists set up to capture their spectacular bloom. In fact, artists will be seen at other scenic spots in our river towns and along the river itself during an eight day “paint out” in late April. This is when the first ever “River Towns Plein Air” takes place and organizers hope it will become an annual festival that will grow in attendance and showcase all that our river towns have to offer.

“Plein Air” is a French expression that refers to painting a scene outdoors on site and plein air festivals are growing in popularity across the country. At the end of the painting period, the work produced is exhibited and judged for awards. But during the painting process, people can watch the artists create on the spot.

Marietta Art Alive is partnering with Rivertownes PA USA to stage this event and PCAD (Pennsylvania College of Art and Design) is helping with promotion and educational components currently in the planning stages. The school is enthusiastic about returning to its Marietta roots where the exhibit will be held. The site is in the Marietta Community House’s spacious Studio 264 (formerly the gym and home to Susquehanna Stage Company) Windows and doors can be opened here and all CDC directives in place at the time will be followed. Times are Friday April 23, 5:00-9:00, Saturday, April 24, 10:00-5:00 and Sunday, April 25, 10:00-4:00.

In addition to the “paint out” and exhibit, other related educational activities are in the planning stages. Family oriented demonstrations and/or workshops will likely take place on Saturday.

Marietta Art Alive consists of a group of local artists dedicated to promoting art in the river town area. It is encouraging participation from artists with varying experience and skill levels. For updates, and further information, visit and follow the group’s Facebook page.

It will be really interesting to see how artists, especially those from afar, identify and capture the beauty we live with every day!