Ventura Botanical Gardens Hosts Inaugural Plein Air Event

Spring Walkway Among the Trees by Barbara Brown

“Cross Pollination” is the first annual Plein Air Invitational paint out hosted by the Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG). Over the weekend of April 6th & 7th, thirteen gifted regional artists will create original artworks depicting the flora, fauna, landforms, and panoramic vistas of the gardens. From the French, en plein air means in the open air. Plein Air painters draw their inspiration by depicting their subject matter in real time, allowing them to better capture the changing details of weather and light on the surrounding landscape.

“The garden color should be spectacular for the painters,” explains Joe Cahill, Executive Director. “There will be so many flowers in bloom including the plants of the California native garden, South African gardens, Chilean garden and the Mediterranean garden. We should also have crystal clear views of the islands as well.”

An artist meet and greet will take place Saturday, April 6th from 9:00-10:30 AM at the Merewether Visitor Center. Garden visitors can meet the artists or hike the trails later to watch the artists at work. This event is free for members and $7 for nonmembers. The Ventura Botanical Gardens is located at 567 Poli St.

Glow San Marcos Pass by Kevin Gleason

Featured artists include: Barbara Brown, Steven Curry, Margaret Garcia, Kevin Gleason, Jeremy Harper, Laura Jespersen, Anette Power, John Robertson, Mary Scott, Doug Singletary, Ruben Zavala, Ron Zolkover, and Kay Zetlmaier.

An exhibit of the finished works will be held in conjunction with an artists and VBG members’ reception on Saturday, May 11th from 2:00-4:00 PM. After the reception the paintings will be exhibited and available for purchase on the VBG website at All proceeds will benefit VBG and the participating artists.

VBG is a public benefit nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating a world-class botanical garden for the preservation, education, cultural contribution and enhancement of the community. The gardens celebrate the five Mediterranean climate regions. The locale boasts spectacular 180-degree views of the California coast and the Channel Islands. VBG planning includes outdoor opportunities like community gathering spaces, training and research opportunities, and educational programs ranging from horticulture and botany to sustainability. To find out more, visit and join us on Facebook.

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