Celebrating Art and Community: Highlights from the 2023 North Carolina Plein Air Art Festival New Bern
By Kippy Hammond
The North Carolina Plein Air Art Festival in New Bern (ncpleinair.org) wrapped up recently with an increased revenue of 25% over last year, which means $116K will furnish $70K+ to artists and partnering non-profits.
It also saw an increase in volunteers for ”Be Part of Art,” growing to over 54 helpers, covering everything from installing displays, organizing food events, hosting artists, manning demos and forums, and filling the exhibition hall with sales team members and gallery greeters.
The workshops by Suzie Baker and James Richards were full to the brim and the Artists to Artists Forum was well received and will grow with mentoring sessions offered in 2024.
Highlighting the 100th Anniversary of the New Bern Historical Society, painting selections were awarded to 12 featured artists for the 2024 Wall Calendar to be published this fall. “Our historical venues of New Bern, Beaufort, and Oriental, NC were a highlight with our artists and the public was delighted to be able to locate active artists and demos with the En Plein Air App.
Congratulations to all our award winners: Durre Waseem, Mat Barber Kennedy, Martin Geiger, Vlad Duchev, Thomas BUCCI, John T Eiseman, Crista Pisano, Charles Cashwell, Katie Dobson-Cundiff, Jim Laurino, Antwan Ramar, Jeff Markowsky, Natalia Andreeva, Craig Reynolds, Russell Jewell, Rokhaya Waring, Rhonda Ford, Audrey Cushman, and Jill Glassman.
Save the dates for May 2024 – with the exciting news that PACE will be held in North Carolina next year, plans are already being made to showcase plein air. This be a wonderful opportunity for our state to share its beautiful resources, and the local communities will certainly feel the positive impact economically along with experiencing a heightened awareness of the quality of life when the arts are embraced. It’s a win-win-win for us all.