Plein air events -
Image courtesy of Big Bend Arts Council (Texas)

Looking for a local event next month? Check out these listings of plein air events from the Northeast to the Southwest, and beyond!

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Grand Canyon Celebration of Art
Dates: September 7, 2019–January 20, 2020
Opening Reception: September 14, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Grand Canyon Conservancy Venue: Grand Canyon National Park
Format: Combination
Contact: Mindy Riesenberg
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 928.863.3878
Celebration of Art is a wonderful tradition at Grand Canyon National Park and a successful fundraiser to benefit a dedicated art venue at the South Rim. Art plays a critical role in the appreciation of our national parks, and this event helps to keep the artistic tradition part of the Canyon experience. Since 2009, Celebration of Art has invited participating artists to paint “en plein air” for a week at the Grand Canyon. The works produced during this time are shown alongside studio-produced pieces at the historic Kolb Studio in an exhibition and sale that takes place over four months.


Sonoma Plein Air
Dates: September 9–14, 2019
Opening Reception: September 9, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Sonoma Plein Air Foundation
Venue: Sonoma Plaza
Contact: Irene Cook
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 416.699.1079
The Sonoma Plein Air Festival, a favorite of artists nationwide, celebrates its 17th year, with 40 juried artists gathering for one week to paint the beautiful wine country, farmlands, and coast of Sonoma and the city of San Francisco. Artists enjoy housing, the welcome reception, luncheon, and a patron gala with silent auction of their art, prior to a one-day public art show and sale on the historic Sonoma Plaza. The event supports art education in both public schools and community organizations serving youth in Sonoma Valley, with 60 percent of sale proceeds to artists and 40 percent to the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation.

Mendocino Open Paint Out
Dates: September 16–22, 2019
Venue: Mendocino Art Center
Contact: Michael McDonald
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 707.937.5818
A week-long plein air festival held in a spectacular setting along the Northern California coast. Artists claim the light is unlike anywhere else in the world. From the rugged surrounding landscape, to the bay and beaches, to the quaint Victorian architecture and water towers, to the nearby vineyards and wineries, abundant creative inspiration is sure to be found amid the beauty and tranquility of the Mendocino Coast. Enjoy daily plein air painting, wet paint sales in a professional gallery, daily demonstrations by featured plein air artists, a Quick Draw Competition and Sale, and a celebratory awards presentation, among other activities.


South Park Plein Air Arts Celebration
Dates: September 3–7, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Town of Fairplay
Contact: Julie Bullock
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 719.836.2622
Painting in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado is a one-of-a-kind plein air adventure, featuring mines, working ranches, historic buildings, and wide-open vistas. Celebrate our 10th anniversary in Fairplay, a small-town arts community. We accept 35 to 40 artists per day during this four-day event. Awards each day, social events, amazing paint-out locations, quick draw, and camaraderie among artists. Exhibit and sale open to the public on Friday and Saturday. This event is a fundraiser for local nonprofit organizations.

Steamboat Art Museum’s Plein Air 2019
Dates: September 21–27, 2019
Opening Reception: September 27, 2019
Entry Deadline: September 14, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Steamboat Art Museum
Venue: 807 Lincoln Avenue
City: Steamboat Springs
Juror of Awards: Dave Santillanes
Contact: Dottie Jones-Zabel
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 970.870.1755
Join us at the Steamboat Art Museum as up to 60 artists from around the country gather to paint the glorious autumn landscape. From historic ranches, alpine vistas, and botanic gardens to our historic downtown, opportunities abound. Events include an Opening Reception and Awards night with cash prizes, a quick draw, community events, and artist gatherings throughout the week. All works will be on exhibit and for sale through November 2, 2019. This is a non-juried show. Space is limited; please reserve early.

Central City Plein Air Festival
Dates: September 27–29, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Central City Opera
Venue: Gilpin County Arts Association’s Washington Hall Gallery
Format: Juried
Award Total: $3,700
Contact: Clare Mail
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 303.292.3500
The 2nd Annual Central City Plein Air Festival welcomes painters to Central City, Colorado, to capture the town’s breathtaking mountain views, fall foliage, and historic architecture. Up to 25 juried artists from around the country will convene in the charming mountain town for three days of painting, a Quick Draw Competition and Sale, and special artist social gatherings. The festival culminates in a public exhibition, sale, and awards reception on September 29, 2019, in the historic Washington Hall Gallery. Over $3,500 in cash prizes will be awarded.

Colorado National Monument Plein Air Invitational
Dates: September 30–October 6, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Colorado National Monument Association
City: Fruita
Contact: John Lintott
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 970.858.3617
Come paint in a national monument rivaling more popular national parks in its diversity of subject matter and variety of dramatic scenes. Colorado National Monument, located between Fruita and Grand Junction, Colorado, is a must for plein air painters interested not only in high desert piñon/juniper forest, red rock cliffs, and isolated towering monuments, but also the surrounding areas of pastoral beauty including rural roads lined with trees, wineries, ranches, and orchards. This event is heading into its third year. It has numerous awards and purchase awards, and proceeds from sales stay within the park for youth and educational programs.


Fall Plein Air International Paint-Out
Dates: September 5–8, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

Stone Mountain Paint Out
Dates: September 28, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

3rd Annual Northbrook Plein Air Painting Festival
Dates: September 26–29, 2019
Opening Reception: September 26, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Northbrook Arts Commission
Venue: Village Green Center
Juror of Awards: Nancie King Mertz
Award Total: $4,000
Contact: Bruce Bondy
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 847.421.6999
Come paint in Northbrook and Chicago’s Northshore for four days. Thirty artists for 2019. Chicagoland-area premier plein air event. $4,000+ in prizes.


Carmel on Canvas Plein Air Paint Out
Dates: September 13–15, 2019
Opening Reception: September 15, 2019
Entry Deadline: September 13, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: City of Carmel
Venue: Hoosier Salon
Format: Open
Award Total: $11,500
Contact: Kelli Prader
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 317.571.2474
The sixth annual Carmel on Canvas Plein Air Paint Out is September 13–15 and will take place throughout the Carmel Arts & Design District. “Carmel on Canvas is a great way to bring many artists from across the Midwest to create works of art using Carmel’s Arts & Design District as their inspiration,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “One of my favorite aspects of this event is that the artists interact with the public, who are able to see the works of art created. Our desire is to grow this event to be the best plein air paint-out in the country.”


Plein Air Grand Marais
Dates: September 6–13, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]


15th Annual Ste. Genevieve Plein Air Painting Event
Dates: September 25–29, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

New Mexico

PleinAir Magazine Publisher’s Invitational: Fall Color Week
Dates: September 22–29, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Venue: Ghost Ranch
City: Abiquiú
Contact: PleinAir Magazine
Phone: 561.655.8778 or 800.610.5771
PleinAir Magazine’s Eric Rhoads started the Publisher’s Invitational for busy painters who need a break — a chance to slow down, reconnect with friends, and paint beautiful places where the masters before us have painted. We make it effortless. You roll out of your bed for breakfast, pack your sack lunch for your day of painting, and show up for dinner. Our days are filled with painting the towering rock walls, vivid colors, and vast skies loved by Georgia O’Keeffe.

New York

Adirondack Harvest Plein Air Festival
Dates: September 18–21, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

AIS 20th Annual National Juried Exhibition
Dates: September 19–October 2, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

North Carolina

3rd Annual Paint It Orange: Plein Air Paint-Out & Wet Paint Sale
Dates: September 25–27
City: Hillsborough
Artists are invited to join us for two days this September to capture the landscapes and landmarks that are signature to our county. Local and visiting artists will paint the beauty and charm of Orange County en plein air. We are pleased to announce that Linda Dougherty, North Carolina Museum of Art’s Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art will serve as the guest juror. Awards for first, second, and third place, People’s Choice and Sponsor’s Choice will be announced at 6 p.m., followed by a reception during the Last Fridays Art Walk and “Wet Paint Sale” in which the submitted paintings will be available for a “cash and carry” sale.


Ohio Plein Air Society 16th Annual Competition
Dates: September 26–29, 2019
Opening Reception: September 29, 2019
Entry Deadline: September 23, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: The Ohio Plein Air Society
Venue: The Art Barn, Women’s Art Club Cultural Center
City: Cincinnati
Format: Open
Award Total: $5,000+
Contact: Ray Hassard
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 513.941.1116
Come and experience the beauty of Southern Ohio for the Ohio Plein Air Society’s 16th Annual Competition. The painting border is all of Hamilton County, which includes the greater Cincinnati area, including a section of the Ohio River. There is a wide variety of sites to paint, including farms, city, rivers, and beautiful vistas. This will be our second year at this location under the leadership of Ray Hassard.


Riverside Festival of the Arts
Dates: September 21–22, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]


Paint the Town: Plein Air Painting in the Big Bend
Dates: August 30–September 1
City: Alpine
Organizer: Big Bend Arts Council
This slate of free arts events is presented by the Big Bend Arts Council in association with the Texas Portrait Society. The weekend is centered on a series of paint-outs; locations are set for Alpine, the nearby town of Fort Davis, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, and Big Bend National Park. The paint outs are free for painters and observers alike, and the public is welcome to visit and watch as each canvas come to life.


Escalante Canyons Art Festival — Everett Ruess Days
Dates: September 20–29, 2019
Opening Reception: September 21, 2019
Entry Deadline: September 24, 2019
Venue: Escalante City
Format: Open
Award Total: $10,000+
Contact: Allysia Angus
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 435.826.4923
Join us to celebrate the stunning public lands of Utah’s canyon country. Hosted in Escalante, Utah — along Scenic Byway 12 — between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks, in the heart of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Plein air, nocturne, and paint-out competitions, exhibits and art sales, workshops, demonstrations, arts and crafts fair, live music, speaker series, film festival, and much more.


Chincoteague Island Plein Air Event
Dates: September 14, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

Bath County Plein Air Festival
Dates: September 30–October 6, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Warm Springs Gallery
City: Warm Springs
Contact: Barbara Buhr
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 540.839.2985
Warm Springs Gallery is delighted to announce the Seventh Annual Bath County Plein Air Festival, celebrating the tradition of outdoor painting with some of the finest painters from across the country. Thirty nationally acclaimed artists will set up their easels, pull out their paint brushes, and document the landscape and culture of Bath County, Virginia. Events include demonstrations, artist talks, nocturne paint-out, farm-to-table dinner, exhibit, and award ceremony. Wonderfully supportive community. $10,000 in prize money.


Plein Air Between the Bluffs
Dates: September 6–21, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]


Plein-Air Thermopolis Wyoming
Dates: September 7, 2019
Location: Hot Springs State Park
E-mail: [email protected]
More than 100 artworks in oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel are expected to be on display and for sale. The public is also invited to tour the park during the day and watch the artists as they paint its picturesque landmarks.

Yellowstone Plein Air Invitational
Dates: September 24–29, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Yellowstone Forever
Contact: Marisa Griffith
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 406.586.6303
Join some of the nation’s most talented artists for a special weekend celebrating art in Yellowstone. Activities include painting demonstrations, paint-out gathering, and artwork sale, all in the incredible landscape of the world’s first National Park. Learn more at


17th Great Worldwide Paintout International Plein Air Painters
Dates: September 6–8, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

British Columbia, Canada
Federation Retreat
Dates: September 3–8, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: Federation of Canadian Artists
Venue: Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
City: Bamfield
Contact: Helen Duckworth
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 604.681.2744
Paint with Canadian Master Instructors Sue Cowan, Charlie Easton, and Brent Lynch at Bamfield in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Hosted by the Federation of Canadian Artists.

Upcoming travel and art events with Streamline Publishing:

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