Frank Bette Arts Center plein air
Photos by Fred Fago

The 18th annual Frank Bette* Plein air paint-out took place recently, with Ellen Howard as this year’s Juror. The Frank Bette Center for the Arts is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization in Alameda, California, which is on an island in the San Francisco Bay.

“It was an honor to judge the 18th Annual Frank Better Painout,” said Ellen. “The work was especially outstanding this year by all the 40 artists who participated. The award-winning artists excelled at capturing the essence of Alameda while displaying a high degree of craftsmanship, design, and creativity. Congrats to all!”

The 2023 Award Winners Are:
Jamie Morgan, “Old Offices,” Best of Show
Lana Rak, “Morning on Sherman St,” Frank Bette Award
Marie Massey, “Beautiful Willow,” Frank Bette Honorable mention
Sergio Lopez, “View from the Hornet,” Frank Bette Award of Merit
Geoff Allen, “Beef Eater,” Alameda Award
Barbara Tapp, “Sunkissed Light,” Alameda Award Honorable Mention
Steven McDonald, “At Days End,” Alameda Award of Merit
Paul Feinberg, “Palace Arch,” M. Graham Award
Kristian Mathews, “Step in the Light,” Island award
Randall Stauss, “Waffles,” Island Award of Merit
Cleo Vilett, “Laguna Vista,” Island award of Merit
Carol Tarzier, “Sunset on Grand,” PAPO award
Geoff Allen, “Closed on Mondays,” Quick Draw Artists choice award
Nancy Takaichi, “Ballena Bay Sunset,” Jack Richeson Award

Jamie Morgan, Best of Show
Jamie Morgan, Best of Show
Lana Rak, Frank Bette Award
Lana Rak, Frank Bette Award
Geoff Allen, Alameda award
Geoff Allen, Alameda award
Carol Tarzier, PAPO award
Carol Tarzier, PAPO award

The demonstration artists included Geoff Allen (watercolor), Teresa Steinbach-Garcia (pastels), and Nancy Takaichi (oil).

“We have one of the largest numbers of restored Victorian-era houses on the west coast, along with many interesting neighborhoods build up over the years,” said Margaret Fago, Co-Chair. “Up until the 1980’s half of the island was a naval airbase. Now the area is being developed for housing and industrial use but a number of the old buildings and a row of naval ships are still docked here including an aircraft carrier The Hornet, which is a naval museum. We have views of San Francisco, the Oakland Hills, and the Bay.

“Our 40 accepted artists love the variety of subjects in town but also appreciate that one day is ‘off Island’ with a chance to paint in the surrounding communities of Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco.”

A follow-up exhibit titled “En Plein Air,” with a selection of works from the paint-out (including many of the award winners), is on view until September 30, 2023.

*From the organization’s website: Frank Bette gave the community a beautiful building and his generous spirit inspires the character of the Center and the arts. Today, his strengths – serving the community and reaching out to partner creatively with visionary people and organizations – allow the Frank Bette Center for the Arts to strive toward becoming a leading catalyst for creative energy and cultural pride.

For more information, please visit

Become a better outdoor painter today when you get the FREE e-Book for artists, “240 Plein Air Painting Tips.” [click here]

And browse more free articles here at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here