The PleinAir Salon gives First, Second, and Third Place awards every two months, plus awards in various categories based on media and subject matter, but some don’t realize that the contest seeks out up-and-coming artists, too. The deadline for the next contest is mere hours away, so folks under 30 should get in motion.

Lead Image: “Winter in Panguitch Creek,” by Kyle Ma, oil, 11 x 14 in. Best Artist Under 30 winner in the April-June contest of the PleinAir Salon

The Best Artist Under 30 category allows the publishers of PleinAir magazine to recognize developing artists, the future of the art world. PleinAir’s efforts are getting noticed. “I really appreciate the Artist Under 30 category of the PleinAir Salon because I feel it helps recognize and encourage the development of young artists around the world,” says Kyle Ma, the winner of the category in the April-June contest.

All artists interested in earning a shot at the big $15,000 prize should get their entries together for the next deadline, which is this Friday, July 31. For that contest, PleinAir tapped the talents of Bob Malenfant, one of the partners at Southwest Gallery in Dallas, to be the judge.

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, of course, Best Artist Under 30.

The winner of each bi-monthly contest is featured in this e-newsletter and profiled on In April, the $21,000 in prizes will be awarded to the annual winners at the 2016 Plein Air Convention & Expo in Tucson, Arizona.


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