Plein Air Easton painting festival competition
Photo by Ted Mueller Photography

Enjoy a full recap of this year’s Plein Air Easton, including the winning artists, and videos of the Awards Ceremony and Judge’s Talk.

From the organizers:

Plein Air Easton (Maryland) started with a community celebration and block party on July 15, 2022 and finished its 10-day event schedule with an action-packed weekend. Credit for the continued success of the festival and competition lies overwhelmingly with the unwavering community support and partnerships, the generosity of the Friends of Plein Air, the Plein Air Easton Steering Committee, a plethora of volunteers, and the dedication of the Avalon Foundation’s staff.

The competition officially began with a canvas-stamping event on July 14 where artists were oriented for the week ahead before setting out within the bounds of Talbot County to put brushes to canvas. The following Saturday, competition artists could be found at the party of the summer known as the Meet the Artists Party. This event, for Friends of Plein Air Easton who support the event through charitable giving, is a true celebration of art where easels dot the landscape of a different private estate in Talbot County each year.

This year’s hosts, Tye and Arlene Mains, shared the beauty of their historic estate, Langdon Farm, while art collectors, supporters, and onlookers moved from easel to easel watching paintings progress before their eyes. Even the summer storm that evening couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the evening’s guests and the evening culminated in an exhibit and sale of the day’s work.

The 58 competition artists had a full week to complete two paintings for the main competition and one 6×8 for the Small Painting Sunday competition. During this time, community-hosted paint-outs in Oxford and Tilghman concluded with exhibits featuring Artists Choice awards and brisk sales. In Oxford, the Artists Choice Award sponsored by the Oxford Business Association, went to Charles Newman. The following day in Tilghman, the Artists Choice award, sponsored by Tilghman Watermen’s Museum, went to Nancy Tankersley.

On July 21, two completed competition works were turned in to be considered by this year’s event judge, Julia Marciari-Alexander, President & CEO of the Walters Art Museum, who focused on selecting the award winners from a spectacular body of combined work.

The Grand Prize: Timothy Dills Memorial Award (sponsored by Ellen Vatne) was awarded to Charlie Hunter for his painting “Agrarian Geometry.”

Charlie Hunter - Plein Air Easton
Charlie Hunter accepting his award; Photo by Ted Mueller Photography

The honor of an award by their peers, known as the Artists’ Choice Award (sponsored by Hali and Scott Asplundh) was awarded to Neal Hughes for his painting, “P.T. Hambleton’s.”

On Saturday, July 23, more than 175 artists painted through the searing heat during the Quick Draw Competition. David Diaz won First Place (sponsored by September First Partners) overall, Carla Huber won Best Alumni Painting (also sponsored by September First Partners) and Dennis Young won First Place in the non-competition artist category.

On Sunday, July 24, the festival concluded with Small Painting Sunday (held in honor of Suzan Estelle Brice in celebration of a life well-lived and sponsored by Ellen Vatne and Denise & John Bode) and the Judge’s Talk, during which Marciari-Alexander explained her award choices and bestowed the final round of Small Painting Sunday awards to the 2022 competition artists. Cynthia Rosen took home Small Painting Sunday First Place.

Plein Air Easton 2022 Awards Ceremony:


Plein Air Easton 2022 Judge’s Talk:


Plein Air Easton is a juried competition, however, winning First, Second, Third Places; Artists’ Choice; First Place Quick Draw and the Alumni Quick Draw awards also come with the honor of an automatic invitation to the 19th Plein Air Easton competition, scheduled for July 14-23, 2023.

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