A plein air artist paints a scene of rowhomes. Photo courtesy of Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association/Facebook

Plein air painters, that is artists who paint outdoors, will be creating art in Mount Vernon twice this summer — once this weekend and again in August.

Starting at 9 a.m. this Saturday, July 9, spectators can observe plein air painters from the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association (MAPAPA) as they render the Washington Monument and its surroundings as part of the Mount Vernon Place Paint Out. Admission is free.

MAPAPA will also bring plein air painting to Mount Vernon on Aug. 9.

With a rich history rooted in French Impressionism, the “plein art” method encompasses any act of painting outdoors. Famous plein artists include Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir, and John Singer Sargent. 

Today, paint out events provide artists with the chance to follow in the footsteps of French Impressionists to capture the scenic outdoors.

This weekend’s plein artists will have a wealth of outdoor landscapes to paint in Mount Vernon, including the area’s historic buildings, parks full of greenery, and of course, the Washington Monument.

Pieces created during the Paint Out events will be exhibited at the Mount Vernon Place Plein Air Art Show on Sept. 25. Hosted in the courtyard of the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion, the art show is a continuation of the 2019 Mount Vernon Plein Art Art Show.

Proceeds from the art show will go towards the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion Endowment Fund, which was established in 1992 in order to “preserve and restore” the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion as a National Historic Landmark, according to a press release from Baltimore Heritage.

Gifted to B&O Railroad heir Robert Garrett and his wife, Mary Sloan Flick, for their wedding, the mansion has 40 rooms, 100 windows, and 16 fireplaces. Some consider the mansion a paragon of Gilded Age architecture. 

The landmark has also been used as a filming location for a number of Baltimore-based television series, including “We Own This City” and “VEEP.”

Currently, the mansion is home to the Engineers Club of Baltimore, who collaborate with the endowment fund to host educational public events like concerts, theatrical performances, and symposia. 

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to share the elegance of the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion, and feel it is fitting that paintings reflecting the beauty of Mount Vernon Place will be displayed within it,” Carl Eastwick, board president of the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion Endowment Fund, said in a statement.

Tickets for the art show cost $25 and can be purchased on the Baltimore Heritage website. Wine and cheese refreshments will be provided.

Liv Barry is Baltimore Fishbowl's 2022 summer reporting intern. Barry is rising junior at Washington College, where she is majoring in communication and media studies and double minoring in journalism,...