Plein Air Japan - Lynn Mishkel
Lynn Mishkel, painting the cherry blossoms during Plein Air Japan, sponsored by PleinAir Magazine

Take advantage of these art and plein air painting events and opportunities from our 2024 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.)


31st Annual Carmel Art Festival
Dates: May 17-19
Venue: Devendorf Park, in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Carmel-by-the-Sea Plein Air Painting Competition & Art Sale, plus Sculpture-In-The-Park, Quick Draw, Kids Make Art Day, and live music. All art is painted during two days prior to the festival by our 60 juried artists, who can be seen painting all over Monterey County including Big Sur’s dramatic cliffs, Pebble Beach’s unsurpassed 17 Mile Drive along the ocean, Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove and the quaint artist colony of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

3rd Annual Lost Sierra Plein Air Festival
Dates: May 18-25
Sponsoring Organization: Bear Creek Frames
City: Quincy
Juror(s) of Award: Frank Serrano
Format: Open
Awards: $3,250 cash and prizes
Contact: Mark V Reynolds
E-mail: [email protected]
Plein air artists of all abilities converge on the little-known area called the Lost Sierra to paint the vast vistas, small towns, and beautiful valleys. There will be painting demonstrations, workshops, and the artist reception and awards ceremony in the Veterans Hall in downtown Quincy. The festival will culminate with a quick draw competition and “Off the Easel Sale” at the Lost Sierra Artist Street Fair in downtown Quincy on May 25. Artist Reception May 24.

EXHIBITION: From Field to Frame: The PAC6 Show How It’s Done
Dates: Through July 7
Venue: Santa Paula Art Museum
PAC6 is a group of six women artists from Southern California who travel and paint together across the country. The artists are Linda Brown, Marian Fortunati, Nita Harper, Debra Holladay, Laura Wambsgans, and Sharon Weaver. For PAC6, “From Field to Frame” marks ten years of collaboration, and is their third major exhibition for the Santa Paula Art Museum. The show features over 70 new landscape paintings, including scenes from the group’s most recent “bucket list” trips to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in Arizona, and Hope Valley and the Monterey Peninsula in California. In other paintings, the artists have revisited some of their favorite destinations from the past decade, including Yosemite, Ediza Lake, and Lake Tahoe.


Paint the Nebraska Sandhills
Dates: May 11-18
Sponsoring Organization: Mullen Arts Center, Dismal River Club
Venue: Dismal River Club
Contact: Stephanie Carter-Nielsen
Phone: 801.389.6238
E-mail: [email protected]
Plein air exhibit and workshop. Attend plein air painting workshop taught by Debra Joy Groesser. $375 including lunch. Lodging available at Dismal River Club. Limited to 15 students, so apply early! Enter plein air artwork into the exhibit judged by Debra Joy Groesser. Applications can be found on the Mullen Arts Center Facebook page.

New Mexico

PAPNM: Paint New Mexico Paint Out
Dates: May 10-23
Sponsoring Organization: Plein Air Painters New Mexico (PAPNM)
PAPNM will hold a statewide paint out followed by a juried show of up to 90 paintings at Weems Gallery in Albuquerque. Paint New Mexico! is a new plein air event for artist and student-level members of PAPNM. The painting area, rather than being confined to a limited geographical section of the state, will permit artists to paint anywhere in the state. The show will be held at Weems Gallery in Albuquerque from June 1-23.

North Carolina

North Carolina Plein Air Art Festival – New Bern
Dates: May 12-19
Sponsoring Organization: North Carolina Plein Air Art Festival in New Bern
Venue: New Bern Farmers’ Market – 421 S Front Street
Format: Combination
Contact: Kippy Hammond
Phone: 252.558.1689
E-Mail: [email protected]
Submission Juror: Shanna Kunz
Awards Judge: James Richards
Now in its 4th year, North Carolina Plein Air Art Festival in New Bern hosts 35 nationally acclaimed plein air artists in Eastern Carolina, rich in maritime and historic sites. Exhibition/Sales Gallery with fresh paintings daily, plus paint-outs and pop-up exhibits in Oriental and Beaufort make a spectacular week of demos, workshops, forums, mentoring sessions, and youth activities. $12,000 in cash prizes, $4,000 Best of Show. Workshops by Shanna Kunz and James Richards. Following our Quick Paint May 19, join our caravan to Cherokee, NC, for PACE, May 20-24.

Plein Air Convention & Expo
Dates: May 20-24
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Location: The Great Smoky Mountains and Biltmore Estate, North Carolina
Over 80 expert artists and 5 days of teaching and painting! All training sessions are indoors on giant high-definition screens. Beginners and Pros feel right at home. Every year, the Plein Air Convention brings the foremost artists in their fields to share their best practices and techniques with you for five days of high-impact art instruction. It’s your chance to be part of a family of artists and to learn from the very top painters in the world.

Bill Cone - Plein Air Convention
Bill Cone has been engaged in landscape painting with pastels for over 25 years. He had a long career at Pixar Animation Studios as a designer and art director, starting in the mid-90s. He is now retired, living in the Bay Area of California, and teaches a few workshops every year. For 18 years he’s been organizing pack trips into the Sierra Nevada to paint with other artists. Learn from Bill & 80+ other artists at the 11th Annual Plein Air Convention!


16th Annual Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival
Dates: May 5-10
Format: Juried
Juror(s) of Awards: Jill Carver
Award Total: $20,000+
Contact: Pam McLean-Parker
Phone: 610.688.3553
E-mail: [email protected]
Jill Carver (Colorado), nationally acclaimed artist, will select 32 plein air artists to participate in Wayne Art Center’s 2024 Plein Air Festival and present $20,000+ in cash awards at the Collectors’ Preview & Sale May 10. Approximately 300 paintings will be on display at WAC through June 22. Carver will present a 3-day workshop May 13-15.


Plein Air Southwest 2024
Dates: May 5-11
Opening Reception: May 10 – VIP invitational
Sponsoring Organization: Outdoor Painters Society
Venue Location: 1880 Garten Verein, 27th & O Avenue in Galveston
Contact: Tina Bohlman
Phone: 972.741.6154
E-mail: [email protected]
Annually, to showcase the incredible talent within our 300-plus-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. With a $5,000 Best in Show, the awards total over $25,000 in cash and merchandise.


Paint Menokin
Date: May 15-18
Opening Reception: May 15
Sponsoring Organization: Menokin Foundation and JART, Inc.
Venue: 4037 Menokin Rd., Warsaw
Format: Open
Contact: Janice Jones
Phone: 703.887.2878
E-mail: [email protected]
Paint Menokin is a relaxed and social plein air event with 40 participating artists. Featured are a Wednesday evening reception, Friday picnic, and Saturday evening framed wet-paint exhibit and reception. No competition or expectations. Just come paint with friends in the beautiful grounds of Menokin.

10th Annual Paint Great Falls
Date: May 18-25
Sponsoring Organization and Venue: The Arts of Great Falls
Format: Open
Award Total: $2,500
Contact: Meralee Fredenburgh
Phone: 703.795.2137
E-mail: [email protected]
Artists will capture the spring colors and gorgeous scenery in Great Falls — less than 45 minutes from Washington, DC, but a world away, with rolling hills, tree-lined country roads, horse properties, and historic buildings. Paint the waterfall in Great Falls National Park on the Potomac River, historic Colvin Run Mill, charming Great Falls Village Centre, exquisite private gardens, and historic farms. A list of suggested painting locations will be provided. Includes a Quick Draw and culminates with an Award Ceremony Art Show & Sale.

Coming Soon in Person

Publisher’s Invitational: Paint Adirondacks
Dates: June 8-15
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Venue: Paul Smith’s College
City: Paul Smiths, NY
Contact: PleinAir Magazine
Phone: 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. An invitation is no longer required. This event is a chance 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.

Looking Ahead, Online

4th Annual Pastel Live
Dates: September 18-20, with Essential Techniques Day on September 17
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Venue: Online
If you’re looking for a way to accelerate your painting skills and an alternative to expensive travel, Pastel Live features some of the finest pastel painters on Earth, over three days, plus an optional Essential Techniques Day before the main event starts. Essentials Day is a great opportunity for those who need a refresher before the main event, or those just starting out. Join us for demonstrations, lectures, painting critiques, discussions, group painting, and more … all online from the comfort of your own home.

PleinAir Salon Art Competition
Date: Monthly
Sponsoring Organization: Streamline Publishing / PleinAir Magazine
Enter the PleinAir Salon $50,000 Art Competition. This is open to all artists and not just for plein air painters. You could win $15,000 and be on the cover of PleinAir Magazine!

Stay tuned for more painting events coming online or near your hometown! We’ll post next month’s painting events soon!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here