We all know that Benicia is a robust arts community. But how is the art best viewed? Try an afternoon of gallery-hopping at three downtown venues: The Arts Benicia Gallery, 621 Gallery and the Plein Air Gallery.  Each has its own distinct style, and none are intimidating. Unlike some big city galleries, you can comfortably browse here without pressure. Although it’s the smallest, the Plein Air Gallery, housed in a First Street Victorian, is chock full of vibrant watercolor and oil paintings from fourteen member artists, painted “en plein air,” (in the open air). The gallery is in its third year, and you can’t help but smile when you walk in the door.

Opened in September 2011, the 621 Gallery is the newest of the three—a contemporary fine art venue with large, light-filled rooms displaying works in a variety of media including painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography. The Plein Air and 621 galleries feature works from member artists, with a larger display for the featured artist of the month. The Arts Benicia Gallery, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, hosts a number of annual exhibitions and community events such as Open Studios, the ABAiR (Arts Benicia Artist in Residence) project, Small Works and Art of a Community.  So next time your soul needs soothing, tour all three or immerse yourself in just one for deeper contemplation.

Arts Benicia Gallery
Current Exhibit: ABAiR Project, through July 15
Featured artists Debra Stuckgold and Warmbaby
991 Tyler Ste. 114, Thurs-Sun 12-5
707.747.0131, artsbenicia.org

621 Gallery
July Featured Artist: Jerrold Turner
621 First St., Thurs-Sun 12-6 or by appt.
707.746.6211, gallery621.com

Plein Air Gallery
July Featured Artist: Susan Johnson
307 First St., Thurs-Sun 12-6 or by appt.
707.495.2940, beniciapleinair.com