Linda Lee, Jason Sacran, and Leslie Lobell

As organizers began to plan for the second annual Renaissance festival in Cape Ann, Massachusetts, they had only one thing in mind: making the second annual Cape Ann Plein Air festival better than ever.

“We had been told John Caggiano participated in up to a dozen plein air events a year and would be the ‘go to guy’ for plein air event information,” said James Caviston, president of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. “John spent several hours with the committee and shared materials from the more successful plein air events he attends. He helped us realize what a large undertaking it was going to be, and, armed with his advice and continued participation, we were willing to rise to the occasion.”

John Caggiano at Burnham’s Boat Yard in 2016

As a result of this collaboration, from October 8-16, Cape Ann will be hosting its new and improved plein air event. In 2016, the festival brought 40 national and 130 regional painters together for a week of creativity and competition.

Cape Ann Plein Air, 2016; photo: Paul Trefry

“As a painter, I am drawn to Cape Ann Plein Air for many reasons. It has all the essential ingredients that makes it a first-rate event that attracts plein air artists,” said Caggiano. “There is a large prize purse exceeding $20,000, host housing, national judges, and it takes place in one of the most beautiful and diverse areas in the United States. Cape Ann is a painter’s paradise.”

Neal Hughes working on a nocturne in 2016; photo: Kathy Chapman

2017’s participating artists include Natalia Andreeva, Olena Babak, Mitch Baird, Beth Bathe, Lon Brauer, Jay Brooks, John Caggiano, Tammy Callens, Tony Conner, Ken DeWaard, Lisa Egeli, Mark Farina, Paul George, Marc Grandbois, Palden Hamilton, Ray Hassard, Hai-Ou Hou, Kathleen Hudson, Neal Hughes, Susie Hyer, Carol Jenkins, Ken Karlic, Tim Kelly, Thomas Kitts, Ken Knowles, Stephen LaPierre, Marjet Lesk, Joseph Lonbardo, David Lussier, Alison Menke, Elise Phillips, Anette Power, Robert J. Simone, Allan Forrest Small, Richard Sneary, Carol Strockwasson, R. Gregory Summers, Janet Sutherland, Rokhaya Waring, and Tara Will.

Kirk Larsen in 2016

Learn more by visiting Cape Ann Plein Air.

This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.


  1. I am reviewing the possibility of starting and event in Las Cruces, NM. May I have a contact email for John and the committee that ran the recent event in Cape Ann.

    Thank you,


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