A scene from the Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival (June 17-20, 2021, Nova Scotia)
A scene from the Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival (June 17-20, 2021, Nova Scotia)

Summer is coming, and so are these in-person plein air painting opportunities. Check out these upcoming events from our Artists’ and Collectors’ Ultimate Guide to Painting Events and Organizations.

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June 2021 Plein Air Painting Events


EXHIBITION: Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County
Dates: Saturdays through October 3, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: San Luis Obispo Painters for the Environment (SLOPE)
Venue: Wildling Museum of Art & Nature
Website: Wildingmuseum.org
Eleven paintings from SLOPE members have been juried into The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature’s exhibition, “Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County.” This show celebrates outdoor treasures on the Central Coast. A key goal of the exhibition, in partnership with Healthy People Healthy Trails and the Santa Barbara County Trails Council, is to raise awareness of the wealth of trails in Santa Barbara County and to inspire visitors and community members to explore them, while encouraging a healthier lifestyle.


Telluride Plein Air
Dates: June 28–July 5, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Sheridan Arts Foundation
Venue: Historic Sheridan Opera House
Format: Juried
Award Total: $10,000
Contact: Ronatta Palamar
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 970.728.6363
Website: www.telluridepleinair.com
Each summer over the 4th of July, the Sheridan Arts Foundation brings 25 nationally renowned plein air artists to paint the beautiful scenery of Telluride, Colorado. Telluride Plein Air Festival has become an indispensable part of Telluride’s Independence Day festivities, allowing locals, collectors, and tourists alike to observe some of the nation’s top plein air artists at work. The festival concludes in a three-day sale where the artists display the work they have created on site in Telluride all week long. This is a benefit for the 107-year-old historic Sheridan Opera House.


11th Annual Mountain Maryland Plein Air Competition & Exhibition
Dates: June 14–19, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.mmpleinair.org


Plein Air in the Berkshires
Dates: June 1–September 30, 2021
Opening Reception: July 1, 2021
Entry Deadline: September 28, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Guild of Berkshire Artists
Venue: The Mount, Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Berkshire Botanical Garden
City: Lenox, MA
Format: Combination
Contact: Karen Carmean
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 617.868.7082
Website: www.berkshireartists.org/creating-art-outdoors
Create art outdoors in the Berkshires of Western Mass. Every day of the week from 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m., weather permitting, June–September. Meet at a beautiful Berkshire location such as The Mount, Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Work until noon, then positive critique over lunch (bring or buy). Oil, acrylic, photography, watercolors, pastel, drawing, digital painting are encouraged. Bring your own supplies. Open to all levels. Come for a day, a week, or more. We encourage you to join your favorite venue at the NARM level. Stay safe and leave the area pristine.


Plein Air Glacier Paint Out
Dates: June 17–24, 2021
Opening Reception: June 26, 2021
Sponsoring Organization / Venue: Hockaday Museum of Art
City: Kalispell, MT
Format: Juried
Contact: Alyssa Cordova
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 406.755.5268
Website: www.hockadaymuseum.org
Paint the beautiful majestic mountains, meadows, and landscapes “en plein air” in Northwest Montana and Glacier National Park. The 2021 event includes a weeklong paint-out followed by a public party and exhibition as well as an opportunity to sell works in a month-long online auction and sale.
Canvas stamping: June 15-17; paint-out: June 17-24; party: June 26, 5–7 p.m.; exhibition and online auction: June 26– August 7.

New Mexico

Plein Air Painters 2021 Events
Dates: January 1–December 31, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Plein Air Painters of New Mexico
Venue: Event venues will vary
City: Santa Fe, NM
Format: Combination
Contact: Elizabeth Cooper
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 720.933.4022
Website: www.papnm.org

New York

PleinAir Magazine Publisher’s Invitational: Paint the Adirondacks
Dates: June 12–19, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Venue: Paul Smith’s College
City: Paul Smiths, NY
Contact: PleinAir Magazine
Phone: 561.655.8778 or 800.610.5771
Website: www.paintadirondacks.com
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 dorm bed for breakfast, pack your sack lunch for your day of painting, and show up for dinner. Our days are filled with painting the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York State and the surrounding area.


Plein Air West Reading 2021
Dates: June 15–19, 2021
Opening Reception: June 18, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Art Plus Gallery
Venue: Art Plus Gallery
City: West Reading, PA
Format: Juried
Juror of Awards: Dan Graziano
Award Total: $4,000
Contact: Russell Slocum
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 610.796.0418
Website: www.pleinairwestreading.com
Conditions permitting, the Friday-night Patrons Preview and awards presentation will be followed on Saturday with the exhibit opening to the public as the keystone event of Art on the Avenue, West Reading’s popular one-day street festival. Regardless, the exhibit will be showcased at Art Plus Gallery through July 4.

Back to Nature 2021: A Landscape Painter’s Invitational
Dates: May 23-June 26, 2021
Venue: Wayne Art Center
Website: https://www.wayneart.org/
Featuring work by twenty one artists from the greater Philadelphia region, Back to Nature 2021 offers viewers a rich and diverse experience of the landscape across seasons in Pennsylvania and beyond. Each Back to Nature artist brings a unique sensitivity and interpretation to this theme as those who paint outdoors gain a particular intimacy with the location they are depicting. This exhibition offers a powerful entrance into that phenomenon. Back to Nature 2021 lifts up the healing effect of nature which has been crucial to so many during the pandemic.


Dates: June 11, 2021
Venue: San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts
Website: http://www.enpleinairtexas.com/
There will be red carpet and spotlights, champagne, charcuterie, and chocolate. Cameras will roll as guests arrive in their artsiest outfits. And of course, there will be a drama and suspense. EnPleinAirTexas organizer Barbara Rallo said, “We normally select 35 artists each year, and those end up being from 16-18 states, sometimes from foreign countries – it just depends on who the juror selects. The juror has hundreds of images of paintings to sort through to narrow down to the 30 he selects. The top five winning artists from 2020 get an automatic jury into the competition this year.”


Wasatch Plein Air Paradise
Dates: June 25–July 5, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.midwayartassociation.org


Cedarburg Plein Air Event
Dates: June 5–12, 2021
Opening Reception: June 5, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Cedarburg Artists Guild
Venue: Cedarburg Cultural Center
Format: Open
Award Total: $5,000 with additional $3,000 1st place purchase award
Contact: Bridget DeLoge
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 734.645.4907
Website: www.cedarburgartistsguild.com/index.html
The 20th Anniversary of the Cedarburg Plein Air Event will be memorable for artists, visitors, and buyers alike. Enjoy painting in this historic city and throughout the charming countryside. It begins with Fresh from Cedarburg, a unique event held in the historic district that includes an exhibit and tent sale. Next is a five-day-long painting period, ending with an exhibition and public award ceremony at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. This special event, enjoyed by up to 150 artists, combines social gatherings, workshops, and buyer events. The long-standing event has proven to be a favorite throughout the Midwest.

Canada – Nova Scotia

Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival
Dates: June 17-20, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Parrsboro Creative
Website: https://www.parrsborocreative.com/pipaf
PIPAF 2021 will be an in-person event June 17-20, restricted to 20 artists from within the Atlantic ‘bubble’ – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland. With the final application date of March 31 still a while away, 8 artists from the previous year have been re-invited to compete and with 12 spots remaining, more applications are coming in each week. The artists will go through a jurying process before making their way to Parrsboro to paint and be judged by Ian Muncaster of Zwicker’s Gallery in Halifax and enjoy socially-distanced events like the welcome reception and the awards gala. And, of course, they can be observed working live, and can sell their finished art on the spot and, later, online.


Virtual Cuttyhunk Plein Air Festival
Date: June 19, 2021
Website: https://www.cuttyhunkpleinair.com/

Coming in August: Pastel Live
August 19-21, 2021, with a Beginner’s Day on August 18
Sponsoring Organization: Plein Air Today / Streamline Publishing
Website: PastelLive.com
To have 30 of today’s best artists show you exactly what they do to succeed will make Pastel Live THE most important 3 days you’ll ever invest in yourself and in your art. These artists will help you drastically improve your skills by demonstrating the methods and techniques that have taken them YEARS to master. There will be critiques, question and answer sessions, roundtable discussions, and group painting! Even if you’re not a pastel artist, this event will open your mind and expose you to even MORE techniques that could greatly improve your art.

Pastel Live banner

Also check out the 2021 Artists’ Guide to Workshops, Schools, and Ateliers for even more opportunities.


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