The prizes are nice, sure. But one of our past PleinAir Salon winners says he likes to participate in competitions like the Salon because it helps make him part of the fabric of contemporary fine arts.
“The value of entering these is in trying to achieve excellence and receiving the inspiration from the other contestants whom I find inspiring,” says Daud Akhriev, the winner of the April-May contest. “When I receive an award I am really grateful, but when other artists win and show their best work, it is very exciting, too. Especially because in these competitions, we artists are contemporaries, not dead museum artists, and one can follow their careers and feel camaraderie, and, in a really healthy way, compete to do one’s best.”
September 30 is the last chance to enter the August-September contest of the PleinAir Salon, with a win making you eligible for the big prize in the spring. The PleinAir Salon consists of six bi-monthly contests, with the First, Second, and Third Place winners of each contest, and the category winners, automatically entered into the annual competition. First prize in the annual competition is $15,000 cash and the publication of the winning image on the cover of PleinAir magazine, along with a feature story. Second Place earns an artist $3,000 and an article in the digital edition of PleinAir magazine. Third Place yields $1,500 in cash. Three additional finalists win $500.
Aside from First, Second and Third Place overall, categories include Best Oil, Best Pastel, Best Watercolor, Best Acrylic, Best Plein Air, Best Building, Best Figure in the Landscape, Best Floral, Best Landscape, Best Outdoor Still Life, Best Nocturne, Best Water, Best Vehicle, Best Sketchbook, Best Artist Over 65, Best Student, and Best Artist Under 30.
The winner of each bi-monthly contest is featured in this e-newsletter and profiled on In mid-April, the $21,000 in prizes will be awarded to the annual winners at the 2017 Plein Air Convention & Expo, in San Diego, California.


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