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Paintings done outdoors blow in

The results are in, and not even rain in Wayne could dampen the enthusiasm of the participating artists in the Wayne Art Center's latest Plein Air Festival painting marathon.

The results are in, and not even rain in Wayne could dampen the enthusiasm of the participating artists in the Wayne Art Center's latest Plein Air Festival painting marathon.

Against a background of extensive community involvement in the festival (named for "open air" from the French), paintings done outdoors in the Wayne environs on four days in May on public thoroughfares are displayed now at the Art Center.

Featured are 185 large and small main-street and country views by 30 juried painters from seven East Coast states and Washington. Oil paint dominates, along with recognizable subjects. And works from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Connecticut are the liveliest segments.

Their subjects include scenes from downtown Wayne; the Chanticleer garden; the local farmers market; a Valley Forge farm; and homes and gardens.

Despite a rainy patch, the participating artists delivered their work on schedule. These artists are engaged in a transition to a new model of painting, with the revival of open-air methods being timely and provocative. Such an approach looks as much to the future as it does to the past.

Unusual shows like this spice things up. Organizational art patronage in the suburbs is especially effective on the contemporary art scene when new kinds of group shows emerge, with this one billed as the second in a new yearly series. Accompanying this display, we see all kinds of related activity.

Besides major sponsorship by 15 local corporations, various art center families hosted stays by individual out-of-state artists at their homes. Six shops on Lancaster Avenue have put up window displays of earlier work by the artists. And the public could watch the artists painting on location.

From the start-up signal to the finish line, a fascinating show: intimate, yet it provides 30 mini-solo shows.

Wayne Art Center, 413 Maplewood Ave, Wayne. To June 28. Mon-Sat 10-5. Free. 610-688-3553.

Chester County.

Of the 745 adult members of the Chester County Art Association, 135 heeded the call to enter one work apiece in the art association's yearly unjuried members' show.

This time, exhibitors were asked to install their own painting, sculpture or photo. Plentiful are seashore and rural subjects, florals, and copies of famous academic paintings, and there's one fox hunt scene.

Exhibitors with heads above the crowd in this modest show include Steve Adams, Anna Bellenger, Cynthia Bonnet, Richard S. Chew Jr., Gretchen Cole, Susan Curtin, Doris Davis-Glackin, Kristen Fischler, Joseph Hoover, Hugo Hsu, Ray Lawler, Naomi Rubin and Peter Smith.

Chester County Art Association, 100 N Bradford Ave, West Chester. To June 13. Mon-Sat 9:30-4. Free. 610-696-5600.

Langman Gallery.

Virginia Klauder-McKenna extends the scope of her male and female nude figure sketches to include fragments of reality in her solo at Langman in Willow Grove.

Imagery, in each of these works, combines collaged and rendered elements. Here the lively patterns formed by the collage are intensified by the vigorously drawn figures, which have an enigmatic presence. This Oreland artist seems to be exploring a variety of sensual surfaces rather than immersing herself in texture. Tension, though persistent, is channeled.

A certain resoluteness in her directing of this sensuality makes her works convincing.

Langman Gallery, 2500 Moreland Rd, Willow Grove. To June 30. Mon-Sat 10-9:30, Sun 11-6. Free. 215-657-8333.