The University of Saint Francis 2014 art season will open with a bang this year! The year will kick off on September 6 with the "Presidential Gala: Cape Ann Collection Connections." Guests may explore the exhibit of historic paintings produced en plein air, or "in the open air." The Weatherhead Gallery in the Rolland Center for Art and Visual Communications will host a number of famous works by artists well known for their technique. Among the scenes of Cape Ann depicted in the work, there will be some picturing Gloucester and Rockport, Mass. Featured artists include Emile Gruppe, Aldro Hibbard, and Anthony Thieme. As part of the exhibit, the Goldfish Gallery will display works by contemporary plein air painters of Cape Ann. Continuing the theme, the Artist Spotlight Gallery is hosting paintings inspired by visits to the Cape Ann region; a couple of Indiana artists will have work featured in this exhibit. The Presidential Gala will include food, beverages, and live music in a covered outdoor setting in front of the Rolland Center on Leesburg Road. The event is free of charge, but there will be a cash bar on site for those who are 21 years of age and wish to partake. In conjunction with the opening of the exhibit, artists and collectors Douglas Runyan and Fred Doloresco will be offering a lecture titled, "Cape Ann Collections: a Closer Look." The lecture, which will take place on Wednesday, September 10, at 7:30 pm, will address the historical context of the Cape Ann plein air paintings as well as their tremendous influence on the art community and on the contemporary plein air art form. The event promises to be a great night for anyone who loves art. And, if you can't make the Presidential Gala, you can still see the exhibit on your own. The exhibit will run through October 5, and the gallery is open Mondays-Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am - 5;00 pm, and Sunday 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm.