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Arts Playlist: 'American Impressions' at the Historic Odessa Foundation

Jacalyn Beam
Historic Odessa Foundation
One of Jacalyn Beam's paintings in the "American Impressions' exhibition

There’s a new exhibit at the Historic Odessa Foundation.

It’s called American Impressions: Plein Air Paintings. And the artist is Jacalyn Beam from Centerville

On this week’s Arts Playlist, Beam joins Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele to discuss her background, her art, and this latest exhibit of her plein air oil paintings.

American Impressions: Plein Air Paintings runs through August 30 at the Historic Odessa Foundation Visitors Center Gallery.

The exhibit features 63 plein air oil paintings by Beam, and this is the first time that this many plein air paintings of the Mid-Atlantic can be viewed in one venue.

Beam says most of her work is close to home for her and may be familiar to many Delawareans.

“I’m a local plein air painter. I was born in the Brandywine Valley, and I’ve lived on the east coast all of my life. I do paint nationally, but I love the Brandywine Valley," said Beam. :And so most of my paintings are really from outside my backdoor there’s beauty everywhere you look, so I try to capture that on canvas and then share it with others.”

And Beam explains why the area is her inspiration.

“Maybe it was because I was born here, but there’s a long history of art here on the East Coast, not only the Chester County artists, but the Bucks County artists. And they were from some of the preeminent impressionists of the country. Some moved to the West Coast, and then of course the impressionist movement started there. They were mostly as a result in the Philadelphia, Chester County, Bucks County area because they could travel freely," she said.

American Impressions: Plein Air Paintings can be seen Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Monday by reservation.


More information is available at Historic Odessa foundation website.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.