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Home / Exhibits / Small Town Ohio: A Juried Exhibit of Paintings by Members of The Ohio Plein Air Society (August 3, 2021- October 24, 2021)

Small Town Ohio: A Juried Exhibit of Paintings by Members of The Ohio Plein Air Society (August 3, 2021- October 24, 2021)


Small Town Ohio is a juried exhibit of paintings by members of the Ohio Plein Air Society (OPAS), a collection of artists and art lovers who share a common interest in outdoor painting. The exhibit highlights visions of small towns in the buckeye state all painted from 2019-June 2021. 


The group credits their "admiration for the world around us" as inspiration to explore the diversity and uniqueness of Ohio’s landscapes, cityscapes, lakes, rivers, and streams through art.  As a non-profit organization, OPAS welcomes and supports artists, patrons, educators, and enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels, backgrounds and interests. Members represent nearly every county in Ohio and from each of the surrounding states. They get together to paint and learn, to work in a supportive atmosphere, and to encourage each other by scheduling paint outs, workshops, competitions, critiques and group exhibitions. Each member may be as active as he or she chooses to be.


The phrase plein air comes from the French word for “outside.” The height of plein air art came with the emergence of Impressionism in the mid-to-late nineteenth century with artists such as Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cezanne and Van Gogh painting outdoor landscapes. Interest in outdoor painting has remained constant since the twentieth century. Today’s artists carry on the traditions of these past masters by capturing light and movement in landscapes that can only come from seeing the subject outdoors in its natural form.


The last twenty years have seen a resurgence of interest in plein air painting in the United States in which time, groups of plein air painters began gathering together to paint at single locations or within certain geographic boundaries. OPAS is proud to be at the forefront of the resurgent plein air movement in the United States. For the purpose of shows and competitions, OPAS defines plein air as: “Paintings should be 95% completed outside, on location, and from direct observation. No photography allowed. The painting must resemble the location. Multiple sessions are acceptable.”


More information about the group can be found at


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