How do you stack up? Who can answer that question? Perhaps a fellow artist, one who graduated from two academies and has received numerous awards from national shows — someone who stays current with the finest working artists and approaches his art as an ever-growing student. Enter the PleinAir Salon and let T. Allen Lawson take a look at your work.
Every two months, PleinAir magazine taps an expert in the field to choose winners in the Salon. It may be an accomplished painter, it may be a museum official, it may be a high-profile gallery owner. Experienced eyes look carefully at the work.
Winning isn’t everything. Part of the usefulness of competitions such as the PleinAir Salon is in how they force an artist to very critically evaluate his or her own work. The next step is to see how it does when compared to the work of one’s contemporaries.
If a piece doesn’t win, this doesn’t mean the piece is bad. Just ask Jim McVicker, a past winner of the Salon’s $15,000 Grand Prize. He entered the same piece several times over a year, and it eventually clicked with a judge and went on to snag the big money.
The deadline for the April-May contest of the PleinAir Salon is May 31. Enter now.
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, and Best Artist Under 30.
The winner of each bi-monthly contest is featured in this e-newsletter and profiled on In April 2017, the $21,000 in prizes will be awarded to the annual winners at the 2017 Plein Air Convention & Expo in San Diego.


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