Spring is coming, and so are these in-person plein air painting opportunities. Check out these upcoming events from our Ultimate Guide! As a special bonus, we’re even including advice for 2021 art event organizers so you can make it the best year yet.

Advice for 2021 Art Event Organizers

By Marie Nuthall (Plein Air Easton)

• Be flexible — in the planning of your event and its execution, in your expectations of yourself and others, and in your vision of what a successful event is.

• Take time to identify your key stake-holders and focus on serving them the very best you can.

• Be clear about your goals. Realize that you will not be able to do it all. Watch out for comments like, “Well, we did it this way in the past.” Everything about your event may
(and probably will) be different.

• Be prepared for everything you do to take longer — every phone call you make, every element of the event you organize. Factor that extra time and additional expense into your planning, as you will likely have to rethink just about every procedure you’re used to. It’s important, though, to take time to bring stakeholders along. People have been suffering and are scared, but they’re eager for good news and want to be engaged.

• Be prepared to amend your plans and go with the flow. Try to laugh as often as you can, and be kind to those around you. They are stressed too.

• Be prepared for the joy that will follow and the depths of appreciation for your efforts.

• Definitely incorporate a virtual component into your event. The range of exposure is up to you — from simply live-streaming an exhibit to putting dollars behind an online sales catalog, and so many opportunities in between. Why wouldn’t you want a worldwide audience to have the opportunity to see what and who you’re promoting? Art is ultimately healing, and there is a need for that now more than ever.

March 2021 Plein Air Painting Events


Desert X
Dates: February 6–April 11, 2021
Website: www.desertx.org

15th Borrego Springs Plein Air Invitational
Dates: March 1–28, 2021
Opening Reception: March 6, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Borrego Art Institute
Venue: BAI Gallery
City: Borrego Springs, CA
Format: Invitational
Juror of Awards: Tim Horn
Award Total: $2,100
Contact: Kay Levie
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 619.701.8132
Website: www.borregoartinstitute.org
The 15th Annual Plein Air Invitational in Borrego Springs, CA, opens on March 1 with a five-day paint-out by 15 invited artists. The artists, who have already been selected, paint until the evening of March 5. Work is judged on the 6th and the reception and awards will occur on that evening. The body of work, which fills the spacious mid-century modern gallery of the Borrego Art Institute, will hang until March 28.

Plein air painting
“White Truck” by Ryan Jensen, 2020 First Place Winner in the the Borrego Art Institute’s 15th Annual Plein Air Invitational


8th Annual Lighthouse ArtCenter Plein Air Festival
Dates: March 14–20, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery & School of Art
Venue: 373 Tequesta Drive
City: Tequesta, FL
Format: Invitational
Award Total: $15,000
Contact: Allie Synder
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 561.746.3101
Website: www.lighthousearts.org/pleinair
The 8th Annual Plein Air Festival is considered the premier plein air festival in the Southeastern United States. Twenty-five national award-winning artists have been invited to exhibit their fresh works in the gallery and online during this highly anticipated celebration of representational art that captures our environment.
The festival will be a combination of virtual and in-person events, with a brick-and-mortar exhibition, a virtual catalog, and an online store. The festival events include virtual and in-person demos, virtual and in-person workshops, an in-person Paint Out Competition, and a live-streamed awards ceremony, wherein winners will receive over $15,000 in cash and prizes.


Paint Out Savannah
Dates: March 25–27, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Savannah Art Association
Venue: The Gallery on Chippewa Square
City: Savannah, GA
Format: Open
Juror of Awards: Marc Hanson
Award Total: Cash awards
Contact: Martha Love
E-mail: marthalo[email protected]
Phone: 912.346.8048
Website: www.savart1920.com
Paint Out Savannah  is a wonderful opportunity to paint in the historic setting of Savannah, “America’s first planned city,” rich in architecture dating back to the early 1700s. Find your paintable moment along our marsh, bustling river, tree-lined streets, or parks filled with old oaks, Spanish moss, and springtime azaleas. This plein air event is brought to you by the Savannah Art Association, the oldest association in Georgia, offering a Quick Draw Competition, Paint Out Competition, Art Sale held in a historic home and courtyard (includes an online listing), and awards ceremony with cash prizes.


Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition
Dates: March 13–19, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Shadows-on-the-Teche
Venue: Shadows-on-the-Teche
City: New Iberia, LA
Format: Juried
Juror of Awards: Kenn Backhaus
Award Total: $6,500
Contact: Pat Kahle
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 337.369.6446
Website: www.shadowsontheteche.org
Shadows-on-the-Teche, a National Trust Historic Site in New Iberia, Louisiana, will present our seventh annual plein air competition in March 2021, with Kenn Backhaus overseeing artist selection and awarding prizes. Enjoy a unique region enhanced by its architecture, massive moss-draped live oaks, and sugar-producing fields watered by the meandering Bayou Teche. Home to pioneering sugar planters, the oldest operating rice mill in the United States, a 19th-century actor’s hunting estate, and Avery Island, the birthplace of Tabasco, this region offers excellent food, superb original music, and hospitable residents. Please see our website for details.

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