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November 30, 2022

Capitola gears up for Plein Air Art Festival

CAPITOLA — A new art exhibit at the Jade Street Community Center in Capitola is serving as an appetizer for the upcoming fifth annual Capitola Plein Air Art Festival.

Four artists have two works in the show that were winners from previous Plein Air events, said Capitola Arts and Cultural Commission member Laurie Hill, who is also chair of Capitola Plein Air.

“This is a lovely collection of art that we hope excites people to get involved in our fifth annual event,” Hill said. “We think there’s something in it for everyone.”

The artists represented are Charles Prentiss, Wendy Brayton, Al Shamble and Scott Hamill. As a native Californian Hamill has lived most of his life in and around the ocean and mountains of the state. He has developed a connection to the water and land while surfing the Pacific Coast and fishing, backpacking and canoeing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In his Plein Air paintings Hamill said he hopes to capture the mood or essence of a place and allow the viewer to experience the beauty of the natural world. He uses a limited palette of colors in oils, which he said helps harmonize the paintings.

Prentiss is an artist, museum exhibit designer and architectural and color consultant from La Selva Beach. He works primarily as a painter and printmaker. Born in Astoria, Oregon, he grew up in Orange County, attended UCLA as an art major and graduated from UC Riverside with a degree in Zoology. He was the Curator/Director of the Santa Cruz City Museum of Natural History from 1969-98.

Hill said the upcoming Capitola Plein Air Art Festival starts with a “Paintout” where a slew of artists hit the streets, cliffs and beaches around Capitola to capture on-site paintings and drawings from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.

New this year: The public can watch artists painting during a timed “Quick Draw.” Paintings will be displayed for sale following that event that will be accompanied by live music. That event runs Nov. 2 from 1-4 p.m. at the Capitola Esplanade.

The festival culminates with an exhibition and sale Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Brighton Middle School Performing Arts Center, 25 Washburn Ave. The exhibit will include about 100 paintings, hands-on art-making, food trucks and a fine art sale. That event is free.

Learn more at

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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