A common scene of happy plein air painters at Fall Color Week (the Publisher's Invitational with Eric Rhoads)
A common scene of happy plein air painters at Fall Color Week (the Publisher's Invitational with Eric Rhoads)

Take advantage of these art and plein air painting events and opportunities from our 2023 Ultimate Guide to Painting Events and Organizations.

(We want to include your plein air painting events! Don’t see your group listed here? Contact our marketing team to learn how to advertise your plein air painting events and more with Plein Air Today.)


Pike Road Plein Air Paint Out
Dates: October 19-21
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 334.221.9004
Website: www.pikeroad.us

Plein Air Fairhope
Dates: October 30-November 3
Opening Reception: November 3
Sponsoring Organization & Venue: Eastern Shore Art Center
Format: Open
Award Total: $2000
Contact: Adrienne Clow
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 251.928.2228
Website: www.esartcenter.org
Join the Eastern Shore Art Center for a weeklong community celebration of painting in the great outdoors! From sunrise to sunset, 60 painters will take it to the streets and bay front pier in picturesque Fairhope, Alabama! Work created during the “paint out” will be available for purchase in a special Wet Room and on exhibit for two months. Event includes Exhibit Awards, Workshop, Gallery Talk, and Quick Draw.


Grand Canyon Celebration of Art
Dates: Through January 15, 2024
Sponsoring Organization: Grand Canyon Conservancy
Venue: Grand Canyon National Park
Format: Juried
Contact: Kathy Duley
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 480.277.0458
Website: www.grandcanyon.org/events/celebration-of-art
Celebration of Art provides a vibrant experience for visitors, a venue for artists inspired by the canyon, and a successful fundraiser to benefit a dedicated art venue at the park. Artists paint for a week at the South Rim, capturing the colors and light as the sun moves across the layers of the canyon. A sale and exhibition follow at Kolb Studio.

Bisbee Plein Air Festival
Dates: October 12-15
Sponsoring Organization & Venue: Central School Project
Format: Open
Award Total: $800
Contact: Laurie McKenna
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 520.432.4866
Website: www.centralschoolproject.org
Paint Old Bisbee’s historic architecture, mining remnants, scenic vistas, and colorful homes amidst the scenic Mule Mountains. On the final day artists gather for judging at Central School Project Gallery and to view and/or purchase work. Activities, exhibitions, and children’s activity held in conjunction with the competition. Central School Project is an arts nonprofit whose mission is to preserve our historic buildings, to provide affordable studios to artists, and to deliver the arts.

Sedona Plein Air Festival
Date: October 20-28
Opening Reception: October 20
Sponsoring Organization & Venue: Sedona Arts Center
Format: Juried
Award Total: $10,000
Contact: Julie Richard
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 928.282.3809
Website: www.sedonapleinair.com
Sedona Arts Center invites you along to be inspired and experience master artists painting in the Shangri-La of the Southwest! Sedona is a sublime and stunningly beautiful environment steeped in art history. Sedona Arts Center dates back 65 years to the founding of Sedona’s identity as an “art colony.” Our community’s iconic and creative event — Sedona Plein Air Festival — is a weeklong celebration of extraordinary landscapes, world-renowned artists, unique workshops, and wonderful free events!


25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational
Dates: October 7-15
Opening Reception: October 8
Sponsoring Organization: Laguna Plein Air Painters Association
Venue: Numerous Sites – Main Site Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach
Format: Invitational
Juror of Awards: Numerous Jurors
Award Total: $45,000+
Contact: Rosemary Swimm
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 949.376.3635
Website: www.lpapa.org
When a group of local artists decided to band together to paint the coastline and canyons of Laguna Beach, none of them could have foreseen how that simple get-together back in 1996 would evolve into one of the most prestigious plein air painting events held around the country. This year, LPAPA celebrates its 25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational. Quick Draw, Nocturnal Paint Out, Collectors Gala, and Open Sunday Art Show.

Exhibition: California Coast
Dates: October 1-31
Venue: Benicia Plein Air Gallery
Website: BeniciaPleinAir.com
The ocean is mesmerizing, crashing breakers and slow, swirling water, angry foreboding and gentle rolling waves, the California Coast has it all. Featured artist Catherine Fasciato says, “My paintings in [this show] range from Point Lobos to the south to the north Coast of Mendocino, painted during the Carmel Art Festival, Mendocino Paint Out, as well as other times.” Catherine will be at the gallery to greet friends and make new friends on October 13 and October 29.

Exhibition: Quiet Discoveries
Dates: Through October 21
Venue: Holton Studio Gallery
Website: www.holtonframes.com
View 35 landscape paintings by plein air artist Richard Lindenberg, with works exhibited in hardwood frames crafted by Tim Holton.


Monuments and Canyons Plein Air Event
Dates: October 1-8
Opening Reception: October 6
Sponsoring Organization: Colorado National Monument Association
Venue: Carlson Vineyards Tasting Room
City: Grand Junction/Fruita
Format: Juried
Contact: John Lintott
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 970.858.3617
Website: www.coloradonma.org
Paint the scenic red rock canyons of Colorado National Monument and the surrounding high desert beauty in Western Colorado. Proceeds from the exhibition provide support for education, research, outreach, and NPS special projects in Colorado National Monument. Many opportunities for artists besides the main exhibition: an optional river-float painting trip, and an extra exhibit in 2024.

Florence, Colorado, Paint the Town
Dates: October 16-21
Opening Reception: October 21
Sponsoring Organization: Florence Arts Council
Venue: Bell Tower Cultural Center
Format: Open
Contact: Peg Piltingsrud
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 719.429.9579
Website: www.florenceartscouncil.org
Join us for our 20th annual “Paint the Town” event in Florence, Colorado, the “Antique Capital of Colorado.” You will have an opportunity to paint mountains and mesas, ranches and buildings, ponds and the Arkansas River. Pristine views and Pikes Peak or even pumpkin patches may catch your eye. We are limited to 40 artists, and 4 pieces per artist, for the 6-day event. Quick draw on Saturday, along with awards and reception.


Paint Dover!
Date: October 3-6
Entry Deadline and Opening Reception: October 5
Sponsoring Organization: Main Street Dover/Downtown Dover Partnership
Venue: The Biggs Museum of American Art
Format: Open
Award Total: $2,000+
Contact: Diane Laird
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 302.678.2940
Website: www.tinyurl.com/doverart
Artists from around the region take to the streets to quickly capture changing color, light, shadows, and the “spirit” of historic downtown Dover, Delaware. Held in the cooler fall season, three days of painting the architectural landscape, streetscape, gardens, parks, shops, and outdoor cafes culminate in an artwork exhibition, competition, and sales at the nationally accredited Biggs Museum. Throughout October, an extended exhibition takes place in shops and virtually.


9th Annual Eagle Plein Air Festival
Date: October 7-14
Sponsoring Organization & Venue: The Gallery at Finer Frames
Format: Open
Award Total: $4000
Contact: Meg Glasgow
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 208.888.9898
Website: www.eaglepleinair.com
We will be offering workshops, artist demonstrations, daily destinations, and a Collector’s party. Our fast-growing festival is a great place to enjoy the camaraderie of 80+ painters while exploring Idaho’s diverse landscape: deserts, mountains, rivers, and canyonlands, all within a short drive from our central location in Eagle, Idaho.


Paint the Town Barrington 2023
Date: October 6-14
Sponsoring Organization: Village of Barrington
Contact: Rollin Potter
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: www.barrington-il.gov


Farm to Forest Plein Air Festival
Date: October 12-15
Sponsoring Organization: Alexandria Museum of Art
Format: Juried
Award Total: $2500
Contact: Olivia Helmer
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 318.443.3458
Website: www.farmtoforestpleinair.com
The Alexandria Museum of Art invites you to celebrate their signature arts event, the Farm to Forest Plein Air Festival. This 5-day festival will bring artists to Central Louisiana to paint en plein air. Artists will be in the city as well as surrounding farms, nurseries, and Kisatchie National Forest painting the abundant natural beauty of our area.


Cape Ann Plein Air Festival
Date: October 8-15
Sponsoring Organization: Cape Ann Plein Air
Venue: Multiple locations
Format: Juried
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 978.837.8273
Website: www.capeannpleinair.org
Held in the birthplace of American plein air; hosted in Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the-Sea, Cape Ann Plein Air is a juried competition that has become a favorite among artists. This community has been the muse for icons such as Homer, Lane, Hopper, Wyeth, Sargent, and Davis. Juried artists are provided housing, opportunities to mingle with the public and engage with local art organizations and galleries, and free access to world-class museums and theater.


Plein Air Grand Marais
Sponsoring Organization: Outdoor Painters of Minnesota
Exhibit: Through October 15
Venue: Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery
Website: www.outdoorpaintersofminnesota.org


Grand Center Plein Air Festival
Date: October 12-15
Sponsoring Organization: Grand Center Inc.
Venue: Grand Center Arts District in St. Louis
Format: Juried
Award Total: $10,000+
Contact: Will Strang
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 314.289.1510
Website: www.grandcenterpleinair.com
Experience the culture, architecture, and people of this great city in a vibrant urban setting. There will be opportunities for sales, workshops, and networking.

New York

Fall Color Week 
Dates: September 29-October 5
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Venue: Saranac Village City, in Saranac Lake
Contact: PleinAir Magazine, 561.655.8778 or 800.610.5771
Website: fallcolorweek.com
PleinAir Magazine’s Eric Rhoads lives in a place where fall color isn’t great, so he created the Fall Color Week retreat, held in various locations during peak color season annually. It’s a week of painting with old friends and new ones. We have our meals together, and we stay on the same property … all for one price. Join Eric this fall in Saranac Lake in New York during the peak fall color season. Come enjoy the beautiful fall scenery with no competition, just painting alongside your friends. No meals to cook, no one to care for, just roll out of bed, get fed, and paint all day. It’s glorious.

2023 Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival
Date: October 9-14
Sponsoring Organization: Wallkill River Center for the Arts
City: Montgomery
Contact: Susan Roth
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: hvpleinair.com

North Carolina

7th Annual Paint It Orange Plein Air Paint-Out
Date: October 4-6
Entry Deadline: October 4
Sponsoring Organization: Orange County Arts Commission
Venue: Eno Arts Mill Gallery in Hillsborough
Format: Open
Award Total: $1600
Phone: 919.245.2335
Website: www.artsorange.org/paintitorange
Artists are invited to Orange County to capture the landscapes and landmarks of our beautiful communities of Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and Carrboro. Participating artists will paint at sites of their choosing (maps are provided) and will submit up to three of their favorite paintings for jurying on Friday, October 6 at the Eno Arts Mill Gallery.


RiverArts Festival
Date: October 7
Sponsoring Organization: New Richmond Ohio Business Association
Venue: Front Street in New Richmond
Website: https://www.nroba.org/riverarts-festival
RiverArts Festival is a juried fine arts fair featuring a variety of mediums, including paint, wood, fiber, and more. Artists’ booths displaying and selling their work will line Front St. with the beautiful Ohio River as the backdrop. Winning booths will receive a beautiful RiverArts prize ribbon and a monetary award. Our Plein Air Event will accompany RiverArts Festival with artists painting during the event and a “wet paint sale” available later in the day as work is completed.


Plein Air Painting Call to Artists
Dates: October 7th and 14th
Sponsoring Organization and Venue: Laurel Hill Mansion, Philadelphia
Website: https://laurelhillmansion.org/Pages/plein_air.html
Call to Artists and other creatives! Spend the day painting, sketching, and making on the grounds of Laurel Hill Mansion in East Fairmount Park.


McKinney En Plein Air 2023
Date: October 7
Sponsoring Organization: McKinney Plein Air Society; Arts and Music Guild
Contact: Pernie Fallon
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: www.facebook.com/npleinr

Two Rivers Plein Air
Dates: October 9-14
Sponsoring Organization: New Braunfels Art League
Format: Open
Juror of Awards: Tommy Fitzpatrick
Award Total: $3000
Contact: Mary K Hammond
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 210.845.2380
Website: www.thenewbraunfelsartleague.com
Come experience the charm of historical New Braunfels, Texas! Event is open to the first 30 artists who register and pay the $75 entry fee. Entry fee covers plein air, Quick Draw, and submission fees for the special show “ARToberfest.” Quick Draw (October 9) is open to outside artists who pay $25. Entry fee on day of the event. Art will be on display and for sale during the week of the event.

Brushes by the Beach
Dates: October 19-November 5
Opening Reception: November 11
Sponsoring Organization & Venue: G. Lee Gallery in Galveston
Format: Open
Contact: Brenda Lee
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 409.370.7350
Website: www.gleegallery.net
Wrap up your plein air year with warmer weather on Galveston Island. Can’t travel to the Island? No worries, this event accepts online plein air submissions created anywhere in the U.S. within the event dates. But if you can come to the Island, your plein air challenges will reach from beach to bay, historic neighborhoods, iconic landmarks, and a working port; Galveston affords artists a myriad of subjects. We enjoy welcoming back, year after year, beginners to pros. Cash prizes and ribbons awarded.

Dates: October 20-28
Opening Reception: October 27
Sponsoring Organization: San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts
Venue: Fort Concho National Historic Landmark in San Angelo
Format: Juried
Juror of Awards: Michael Grauer
Award Total: $30,000
Contact: Barbara Rallo
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 325.656.2500
Website: www.enpleinairtexas.com/index.php
In the 1920s artists gathered on the clear spring waters of the Concho River, never dreaming today we’d be doing the same! EnPleinAirTEXAS celebrates 10 years of capturing the authentic West. Come paint on iconic private ranches and the eclectic downtown of San Angelo along that same Concho River. The nationally acclaimed San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts welcomes you with West Texas Hospitality, host homes, and innovative events.


Plein Air Abingdon
Dates: October 5-7
Opening Reception: October 4
Sponsoring Organization: Virginia Highlands Festival
Venue: William King Museum of Art in Abingdon
Format: Open
Award Total: $3500
Contact: Deirdre Cole
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 423.963.9007
Website: www.pleinairabingdon.com
Plein Air Abingdon is a 3-day, open enrollment painting event celebrating its 7th year. The stunning fall landscape of Southwest Virginia coupled with the oldest mountain range in the world provides a magnificent backdrop for any plein air artist. With daily pop-up galleries ending in a Grand Finale Gallery and sale, artists are afforded the opportunity to offer their work for purchase to both the community and the art connoisseur searching for the next masterpiece.

Tidelands Plein Air Tappahannock
Dates: October 18-21
Sponsoring Organization: Tappahannock Artist Guild
Venue: Tappahannock
Contact: George Jennings
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: www.tapparts.org

International Plein Air Events

Ontario, Canada

The Great Migration Paint-Out
Dates: October 19-22
Opening Reception: October 22
Entry Deadline: October 21
Sponsoring Organization: The Town of Kingsville
Venue: The Grovedale Arts and Culture Centre
Format: Open
Contact: Layne van Loo
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 226.345.3714
Website: www.kingsville.ca
Kingsville is located on the north shore of Lake Erie on the 42nd parallel, the southernmost point in the province. The town is home to the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary where thousands of Canada Geese stop to rest on their migration route in spring and fall. We welcome you to come and paint our variety of historical buildings, marinas, quaint farms, and lakeside vistas while enjoying the hospitality and amenities the town has to offer.

United Kingdom

EXHIBITION: Mont Blanc: The Summit Paintings
Dates: September 27 – October 8
Venue: Cromwell Place, London
Website: https://www.cromwellplace.com/
In July 2022 James Hart Dyke climbed to the summit of Mont Blanc to paint the sunset, emulating as closely as possible the conditions under which the legendary French painter of the Alps, Gabriel Loppé (1825-1913) made his pair of summit paintings in August 1873.

Painting Events Coming Soon

Realism Live
Dates: November 9-11, with an Essential Techniques Day on November 8
Sponsoring Organization: Streamline Publishing
Website: RealismLive.com
There are many forms of realism. For instance, many create impressionist paintings while others paint or draw tight, realistic subjects. Realism Live contains art instruction demonstrations, talks on art principles, lectures on art history, and more. It includes all styles of realism, painting mediums, and subjects from Figure, Portrait, Still Life, Landscape, Floral, and more. This event is held online, so you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home.

PleinAir Salon Art Competition
Date: Monthly
Sponsoring Organization: Streamline Publishing / PleinAir Magazine
Website: PleinAirSalon.com
Enter the PleinAir Salon $50,000 Art Competition. This is open to all artists and not just for plein air painters. You could win $15,000 and be on the cover of PleinAir Magazine!

Stay tuned for more painting events coming online or near your hometown! We’ll post next month’s painting events soon!


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