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Dozens of nationally and internationally acclaimed outdoor painters will flock to Cape Ann this coming week to capture the scenic beauty of the region’s rocky shores, tranquil salt marshes, historic homes, and magnificent shipyards as part of the 7th annual Cape Ann Plein Air festival and sale. The weeklong festival, taking place from October 8 to 15, is a celebration of the plein air style of painting, in which artists work outdoors, painting quickly to capture the ever-changing beauty of the scene before them.

“When it comes to plein air painting, Cape Ann’s historical pedigree is unsurpassed,” says participating artist Tim Kelly from Baltimore, Maryland. “I’m humbled and honored to be able to contribute to this legacy by participating in the Cape Ann Plein Air Festival.”

The fully packed schedule includes daily artists’ demonstrations, Palate to Palette dinners featuring artists painting at local restaurants, Meet the Artists night at the renowned Beauport Hotel, and Nocturne Night on Bearskin Neck in Rockport in which artists create paintings in the enchanting evening hours. On October 9, a fast-paced Quick Draw event will bring an additional 100 painters to Maritime Gloucester for a two-hour paint-out.

The full event calendar is available online.

The culmination of this artistic extravaganza will be the Gala Awards and Sale Event, taking place at the Glen T. MacLeod Cape Ann YMCA in Gloucester on Saturday, October 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to view and acquire all 185 competition paintings, which will be judged by the esteemed art collector, Tim Newton, hailing from Cody, Wyoming. More than $20,000 in prize money will be awarded to participating artists.

The Gala will feature live music and an innovative and elegant spread crafted by Vinwood Catering, with an open beer-and-wine bar included in the ticket price. Tickets and more details are available online.

“There’s nothing as thrilling as [this] week for artists and the public alike. Shorelines are dotted with artists capturing the best of what Cape Ann has to offer. These hard-working artists make their living painting outdoors, and their expertise shines in the work they produce during the week. To see these remarkable paintings displayed in one place is truly awe-inspiring,” says Susan Gould-Coviello, executive director of Cape Ann Plein Air.

A significant portion of the proceeds from the week will be directed towards Cape Ann Art Haven, a Gloucester-based nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering artistic talent.

For more information, visit