Susan Nicholas Gephart at work

Fifty fine artists from the Mid-Atlantic and beyond assembled in Chincoteague and Assateague in Virginia for a paint-out, show, and sale. Who took home hardware?

Each year, the second week of September brings more than 50 plein air artists from the Mid-Atlantic and beyond to Chincoteague, Virginia, to paint in and around the town and on Assateague National Wildlife Refuge. Chincoteague boasts no high-rise buildings, boardwalks, or traffic jams, but instead offers artists serene seascape views, salt marshes, coastal waterways, and an abundance of wildlife.

Reception and sale

In 2017, over 200 works of art were created during the three-day event held September 7-9. 2017 was the event’s 14th year, attesting to its success. A reception and sale was hosted on September 9, and patrons were lined up outside the hall waiting for the doors to open at 6 p.m. so they could hurry in to claim their favorite paintings, often ones they had watched being created during the week. Lovely refreshments, prepared by Gail Beard of The Farmer’s Daughter, were passed out by CCA volunteers dressed in black and white. By the end of the evening, 95 paintings had sold!

Kim Hall, “Turquoise Roof”
Patricia Keough, “Grass and Glass”
Maria Reardon, “Afternoon Walk,” pastel, 9 x 12 inches (Second Place, Quick Draw)

“The success of this event continues to amaze me,” says Nancy West, event co-chair. “Many patrons plan an annual vacation weekend here so that they are able to attend our event. Local patrons have been coming every year for 14 years, and are continually surprised by the subjects artists choose to paint around their island homes.” One of the heartwarming aspects of this show is how much local businesses and residents support it. Fred and Linda Scholer host a gourmet dinner for the artists on Friday night, with desserts that rival a 5-star restaurant. Businesses provide discounted rooms, meals, and advertising. Chincoteague Cultural Alliance volunteers set up the show venue, prepare and serve a meal for the artists just before the show opens, and prepare and serve all the appetizers that the patrons have come to enjoy. “It’s the spirit of this event that seems to make it such a success each year,” says West. “I’m so proud of our island, its people, and the artists who come to capture its beauty.”

The event itself does not offer prizes, but the Quick Draw did recognize winners. Taking First Prize was Kim Hall for “Turquoise Roof” while Maria Readon’s pastel “Afternoon Walk” was the Second Place winner. Finally, Patricia Keough’s “Grass and Glass” received Third Prize.

To learn more, visit the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance.

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


  1. Will you be showing the paintings, was unable to attend! Thank you.
    Hope to attend next time.
    Didn’t know how the plein art show worked…We have to seek out the Artists. Then attend auction. I’ll be around soon to attend the next event!🖌🎨
    Tia Garman.


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