Painting during the Publisher's Invitational, Fall Color Week
Painting during the Publisher's Invitational, Fall Color Week

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.)


The Lost Sierra Plein Air Festival
Dates: May 20-27, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: The Gallery at Bear Creek Frames
City: Quincy
Contact: Mark Reynolds
E-Mail: [email protected]


Plein Air Convention & Expo
Dates: May 21-25, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir® Magazine
City: Westminster (Denver area)
The Plein Air Convention & Expo is the world’s largest gathering of outdoor artists. With a faculty of over 80 instructors, the event is designed to inspire painters and fine-tune their skills. The convention features indoor painting demonstrations, with big-screen views, in water media, pastel, and oil painting. Daily painting as a group features instructors who offer suggestions as you paint. The giant Expo Hall features art supplies and frames at deep, convention-only discounts. There is also an art show of faculty and attendee artworks that is open to the public. Lori Putnam will conduct the pre-convention workshop (pre-registration required), and we’ll welcome celebrity guest Jane Seymour.


12th Annual Prairie Plein Air Competition and Show
Dates: April 28-May 12
Sponsoring Organization: Village of Schaumburg in conjunction with Blick Art Materials
City: Schaumburg
Contact: Roxane Benvenuti
E-Mail: [email protected]


Paint Sedalia Plein Air Event
Dates: May 31-June 3, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: Sedalia Visual Art Association (SVAA)
Venue: Downtown Sedalia
The Sedalia Visual Art Association (SVAA) invites you to join us for a plein air painting that will take place during the Scott Joplin Festival beginning Wednesday, May 31st until Saturday, June 3rd. The finished artwork will be shown in The Art Room at 304 West Main on Saturday. There will be food trucks, and music in the downtown area throughout the event.

North Carolina

NC Plein Air Art Festival
Dates: May 14-21, 2023
Venue: New Bern Farmers Market
Format: Combination
Contact: Kippy Hammond
E-Mail: [email protected]
Previously known as “Plein Air New Bern,” this event will again bring 35 nationally acclaimed plein air painters to Eastern North Carolina, rich with hundreds of historic and maritime sites. Along with New Bern, paint-outs and pop-up exhibits in Oriental and Beaufort, North Carolina, will highlight the event. Join us for a spectacular week of demos, workshops, exhibitions, artists’ forums, youth activities, and Quick Paint. Plein Air New Bern is a 501(c)(3) organization, serving Craven, Pamlico, and Carteret counties.


Wayne Art Center
Dates: May 7-12, 2023
Opening Reception: May 12, 2023
Format: Juried
Juror of Awards: Brian Mark Taylor, Juror of Selection, and Shanna Kunz, Juror of Awards Award Total: $20,000+
Contact: Pam McLean-Parker
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 610.688.3553
Bryan Mark Taylor (Utah), accomplished landscape and cityscape painter, chooses 32 national plein air artists to participate in Wayne Art Center’s 2023 festival as juror of selection. Nationally renowned naturalistic painter Shanna Kunz (Utah) serves as juror of awards. Kunz presents $20,000+ in cash awards at the Collectors Preview Party & Sale May 12. Approximately 300 paintings will be on display and for sale. Kunz conducts a painting demonstration May 13 and workshop on May 15-17.

Plein Air Painting along the Historic National Road
Dates: May 21, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: Touchstone Center for Crafts
City: Farmington
Contact: Dean Simpson
E-Mail: [email protected]


Paint Historic Waxahachie
Dates: May 5-17, 2023
Opening Reception: May 19, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: Ellis County Art Association
Venue: Art on the Square
Format: Juried Contact: Pam Briden
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 214.949.5543

Plein Air Southwest
Dates: May 8-13, 2023
Opening Reception: May 12, 2023
Venue: Galveston Historical Foundation
Format: Juried
Contact: Tina Bohlman
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 972.741.6154
Annually, to showcase the incredible talent within our 300+ member association, we produce Plein Air Southwest, a juried painting competition event that attracts national attention and elite artists and is promoted and featured in major art magazines. The event has earned a reputation among collectors and artists as one of the premier competition events in the Southwest. Artists are members of the Outdoor Painters Society and are considered some of the best plein air painters working today.


Paint Great Falls 2023
Dates: May 20-27, 2023
Opening Reception: May 27, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: The Arts of Great Falls
Format: Open
Contact: Meralee Fredenburgh
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 703.795.2137
Join us for the 9th Annual Paint Great Falls! Capture the spring colors and gorgeous scenery in Great Falls, Virginia — 9 miles from Washington, D.C., but a world away with rolling hills and historic buildings. Artists can paint the Great Falls waterfall and private gardens, plus the historic Colvin Run Mill, Great Falls Grange, and Forestville Schoolhouse buildings. This 7-day event includes a quick draw and award reception.


Pacific Northwest Plein Air in the Columbia River Gorge
Dates: April 24-May 29, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: Maryhill Museum of Art
Contact: Steven Grafe
E-Mail: steve@
Phone: 509.773.3733

Painting Events Coming Soon

New York

Paint Adirondacks
Dates: June 10-17, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Venue: Paul Smiths College, in Paul Smiths
Contact: PleinAir Magazine, 561.655.8778 or 800.610.5771
PleinAir Magazine’s Eric Rhoads started the Publisher’s Invitational so his friends could join him in the Adirondacks to paint, but an invitation is no longer required. This event is a chance for busy painters who need a break, an opportunity 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.

Fall Color Week 
Dates: September 29-October 5, 2023
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Venue: Saranac Village City, in Saranac Lake
Contact: PleinAir Magazine, 561.655.8778 or 800.610.5771
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 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.

Stay tuned for more painting events coming online or near your hometown! We’ll post the June painting events soon!


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