Plein Air Events -
A common scene during the Publisher's Invitational plein air events.

Take advantage of these in-person and virtual plein air painting opportunities from our Artists’ and Collectors’ Ultimate Guide to Painting Events and Organizations.

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October 2021 Plein Air Painting Events


Pike Road Paint Out
Dates: October 15–16, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]


Grand Canyon Celebration of Art
Dates: Through January 17, 2022
Sponsoring Organization: Grand Canyon Conservancy
Venue: Grand Canyon National Park
Format: Combination
Contact: Kathy Duley
Phone: 480.277.0458
Celebration of Art (CoA) is a wonderful tradition at Grand Canyon National Park, providing a vibrant experience for visitors, a venue for artists inspired by the canyon, and a successful fundraiser to benefit a dedicated art venue and arts programming at the park.
Since 2009, CoA has invited participating artists to paint “en plein air” for a week at the Canyon. The works produced are available for purchase online and are on display at historic Kolb Studio for a four-month sale and exhibition.


Siloam Springs Plein Air 2021
Dates: October 7–9, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]


EXHIBITION: Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County
Dates: Saturdays through October 3
Sponsoring Organization: San Luis Obispo Painters for the Environment (SLOPE)
Venue: Wildling Museum of Art & Nature
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.

Exhibition: “Vistas, Varmints and Vagabonds: The PAC6 Paints the Wild West”
Dates: Through November 7
Venue: Santa Paula Art Museum
PAC6 is a group of six women artists from Southern California who joined together in 2014 to travel and paint en plein air across the country. They are Linda Brown, Marian Fortunati, Nita Harper, Debra Holladay, Laura Wambsgans and Sharon Weaver. While the six artists paint side-by-side during their expeditions, each artist renders the location and subject matter in her own distinct style.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) 23rd Annual Plein Air Invitational
October 2-10
With our “show must go on” attitude LPAPA learned to conquer the virtual world and now LPAPA is excited to present a Recharged and Revitalized Invitational combining both physical and virtual elements. The 2021 Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational features 35 of the nation’s top award-winning plein air artists who are dedicated to painting the landscape and preserving Laguna’s plein air painting legacy and tradition. During the 9-day plein air art festival, the invited artists will paint in and around Laguna Beach and the surrounding communities, coastlines, and canyons. There will be opportunities to purchase original paintings created during the week, meet and greet with the artists. The artists will submit what they consider to be their best paintings at the end of the week for the awards judging and the Collectors Gala exhibition.

Salmagundians and Their Friends – Southern California Plein Air Painters
Through October 31
Venue: Wieghorst Museum in El Cajon,CA
Thirty-nine plein painters joined together in the beautiful cactus gardens at the Wieghorst Museum on September 17. A mounted policeman, riding Cody, his mount, was the highlight of the morning. Painting for three hours, then joining together for lunch and afterwards having a lively critique, culminated as artist framed and hung their wet paintings in the museum. Their exhibition will be on display and will end with a reception at the museum on October 31.


Monuments and Canyons Plein Air Invitational
Dates: September 26–October 3
Opening Reception: October 1
Sponsoring Organization: Colorado National Monument
City: Grand Junction, CO
Format: Invitational
Contact: John Lintott
Phone: 970.858.3617
Come paint the most dramatic high desert scenes in western Colorado. The event is based in the incredible setting of Colorado National Monument and the surrounding BLM National Conservation Areas. The 2021 Monuments and Canyons Plein Air Invitational will host up to 25 artists if the event is deemed safe to proceed. If there are any health and safety concerns, it will be held virtually, as it was in 2020. This will be the event’s fifth year, and we hope you will see why John Otto, Colorado National Monument’s first park superintendent, called these canyons “the heart of the world.”

Florence, Colorado, Paint the Town
Dates: October 11–16, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Florence Arts Council
Venue: Bell Tower Cultural Center
Format: Open
Award Total: $4,000–$5,000
Contact: Peg Piltingsrud
E-mail: [email protected]
Join us for our 18th annual “Paint the Town” event in Florence, the “Antique Capital of Colorado.” You will have an opportunity to paint mountains and mesas, buildings and farms, the Arkansas River, and pristine views. Pike’s Peak, the Royal Gorge, a lavender farm, or a pumpkin patch may catch your artistic eye. We are limited to 40 artists [4 pieces/artist] for the 6-day event, with a separate quick draw on Saturday. In case of inclement weather, inside venues are possible. Accommodations are available in town or 15 minutes away. A reception and awarding of prizes happens on Saturday.


Paint Dover!
Dates: September 29–October 1


New Smyrna Beach (NSB) Plein Air Paint Out
October 19-23
Venue: Marine Discovery Center / Artists’ Workshop NSB Campus, Smyrna Beach
Contact: Wendy Castino, [email protected]


Eagle Plein Air Festival
Dates: October 9–16, 2021
Opening Reception: October 8, 2021
Sponsoring Organization / Venue: Finer Frames
City: Eagle, ID
Format: Open
Award Total: $2,500
Contact: Meg Glasgow
E-mail: [email protected]
The 2021 Eagle Plein Air Festival & Competition will be held Saturday, October 9 through Saturday, October 16 in historic Eagle, Idaho. It is a festival, exhibition, and competition open to professional and non-professional artists of all skill levels. At the end of the festival, the public can view and purchase paintings at the Festival Exhibition and Awards Reception. Advance registration is recommended and can be made online beginning February 2021. The first 50 artists to register will receive our legendary Artist Swag Bag at check-in. “Eat, Sleep, Paint, Repeat” all week with us!


Plein Air Painters of Chicago: “Uncommon Ground”
Show Dates: October 6, 2021 – January 16, 2022
Venue: Uncommon Ground Edgewater on Devon

5th Annual Paint the Town — Barrington
Dates: October 2–9, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]


EXHIBITION: Roy Boswell, American Ideals: Midwestern Farm
Dates: Through October 2
Venue: Richmond Art Museum
There are moments that grasp you so fully, you can’t turn away. It could be something subtle, but undeniably beautiful, or grand and awe inspiring. The ideal sticks with you, forever a part of your soul. It will present itself during pivotal moments in our lives, or when we are enthralled by the eternal here and now. We are in communion with the past, present, and future. These moments help define our humanity. The paintings of this show are interpretations of those moments condensed to their visual forms. They are meant to be beautiful, but also a bridge, and a way to calibrate you to the ideal. To be aware and search them out yourself as you adventure through life. When in doubt, hard work, a clear mind, and looking up will help you see the ideal moments around you.

EXHIBITION: Historic Indiana En Plein Air Art Show
October 10-November 27
Venue: Indiana State Museum, Bridge Gallery
The exhibit of 60 oil, pastel, and watercolor paintings is included with admission to the Indiana State Museum. The artworks by members of the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association (IPAPA) showcase views of the state from Lake County to Jefferson County, Steuben County to Posey County and many places in between.


Bluff Strokes Paint Out 2021
Dates: October 3–9, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Bluff Strokes
Venue: Steeple Square
City: Dubuque, IA
Format: Combination
Award Total: $10,000
Contact: Wes Heitzman
E-mail: [email protected]
Paint historic Dubuque, Iowa, on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. Dubuque was founded in the early 1800s and boasts many historic residences, buildings, and parks, as well as scenic river vistas and riverfront scenes and interesting barge, rail, and industrial infrastructure. Dubuque County, which bounds the event, is nestled in the Driftless Region, with unique topography and interesting rural scenes. Our sales venue is a beautiful former German Catholic church, now restored as an event center. Visit our website for prior winners and explore our “Paint Dubuque” section painting ideas and opportunities.


EXHIBITION: The Latimer School: Lorenzo Latimer and the Latimer Art Club
Dates: Through March 27, 2022
Sponsoring Organization: Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada
Venue: 2nd Floor Galleries
The Nevada Museum of Art is celebrating 90 years as Nevada’s premier cultural institution. An exhibition by one of the West’s most well-known plein air artists, Lorenzo Latimer, kicks off a months-long celebration.

New Mexico

Plein Air Painters of New Mexico (PAPNM) 2021 Events
Dates: Through December 31
Sponsoring Organization: Plein Air Painters of New Mexico
Venue: Event venues vary
City: Santa Fe
Format: Combination
Contact: Elizabeth Cooper
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 720.933.4022

New York

PleinAir Magazine Publisher’s Invitational: Fall Color Week
Dates: September 30–October 6
Sponsoring Organization: PleinAir Magazine
Venue: Young Life Camp
City: Saranac, NY
Phone: 561.655.8778 or 800.610.5771
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 bed for breakfast, pack a sack lunch for your day of painting, and show up for dinner. Regardless of what level of artist you are, seven days of painting can make a monumental difference in your painting skills and your state of mind. At Fall Color Week, you can come as a beginner or a pro. Either way, you’ll have just as much fun, and you will see progress.

2021 Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival
October 11-15
October 16: Reception and Artist Demonstration by Andrew Lattimore
The painting portion of HVPF runs from October 11-15, 2021. During that time, fifty previously accepted juried artists are provided with lists of scenic sites and venues throughout the region, where they are welcome to set up their easels and paint. Artists begin with blank canvases, which are stamped by the HVPF committee, thus insuring that the works ultimately submitted to the Juror of Awards have indeed been accomplished during the allotted time.
A particularly popular and highly anticipated feature of the HVPF is the Quick Draw competition, where all participants converge at one site on the last day of the festival to paint for a specified amount of time. The 2021 location is expected to be in and around the Farmers Market in Goshen NY and will be on Friday, October 15 from 8:30 am to Noon. The general pubic is welcome to participate in the Quick Draw event if they bring their own supplies. Advance registration and a nominal fee are required.
Artwork created during the festival will be exhibited publicly (and available for sale) at the Wallkill River School and Gallery during regularly scheduled gallery hours from October 16-31, 2021.


Northeast Ohio Plein Air Festival (NEOPAF)
Dates: October 2, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]


Palette to Palate — Farm to Table Plein Air
Cates: October 22–24, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]

EXHIBITION: Mountain Valley Plein Air Painters Annual Exhibit
October 2-3
City: Mont Alto
Contact: [email protected]
This is the fifth annual exhibit of plein air works painted by the Mountain Valley Plein Air Painters. The paintings were created at local southern Pennsylvania properties, including dairy farms, apple orchards, wineries, an alpaca farm, and the Gettysburg battlefield. Paintings are shown in an old red barn that is a perfect place for a plein air show. The doors are open to the outdoors and the rustic look sets a natural theme. The paintings are hung on chicken wire that works surprisingly well. It is a joyful celebration of the painters’ work in a beautiful setting.


Brushes by the Beach Plein Air
Dates: October 23–November 8, 2021
Entry Deadline: November 8, 2021
Sponsoring Organization / Venue: G. Lee Gallery
City: Galveston, TX
Format: Open
Contact: Brenda Donaloio
E-mail: [email protected]
Come to the Island and relax. This open plein air event gives participants 16 wonderful days to paint. Blessed with beautiful weather, landscapes that stretch from beach to bay with historic homes, a thriving port, and diverse neighborhoods in between, Galveston gives artists a myriad of challenging plein air subjects. Need to stay home, stay safe? No problem. Your plein air art created in the U.S. and within the event time frame will be digitally accepted. Brushes by the Beach — small, intimate, and fun — bring your family.

Dates: October 24–31, 2021
Opening Reception: October 29, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts
Venue: Fort Concho National Historic Landmark
City: San Angelo, TX
Format: Juried
Juror of Awards: Sara Linda Poly
Award Total: $30,000
Contact: Barbara Rallo
E-mail: [email protected]
So much to paint on iconic private ranches while soaking in genuine West Texas culture. Plus an invitation to paint at the top invitational roping in the world! So much inspiration … an eclectic downtown along the river … historic Fort Concho … the International Waterlily Gardens. The nationally acclaimed San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts welcomes you with West Texas hospitality in host homes and a full week of activities that engage our community, culminating with the Art Collectors STAMPEDE & Awards Party.


2Rivers Plein Air Paint Out
Dates: October 15–16, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]


Tidelands Plein Air Tappahannock
Dates: October 13–16, 2021
Opening Reception: October 13, 2021
Entry Deadline: October 13, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Tappahannock Artists’ Guild
Venue: TAG Gallery, 200 Prince Street
City: Tappahannock, VA
Format: Open
Contact: George Jennings
E-mail: [email protected]
A relaxed and social plein air event with 40 artists painting in scenic Tappahannock and Essex County, Virginia. Featured is a Wednesday-evening reception, a Friday-evening waterfront picnic, and a Saturday-evening framed wet paint exhibit “in the barn” with the annual TAG Fall Festival of music and food! No competition or expectations. Just come paint with friends in the beautiful Tidelands of Central Virginia.

Coming Soon Online

Watercolor Live
Dates: January 27-29, Beginner’s Day January 26, 2022
Sponsoring Organization: American Watercolor Weekly / Streamline Publishing
Save years of struggle and frustration by discovering techniques revealed by the world’s top watercolor artists in just three days in the world’s largest online art training event!

Watercolor Live 2022 - by August 31

Check out the 2021 Artists’ Guide to Workshops, Schools, and Ateliers for even more painting opportunities, and click below to get your event listed in our 2022 Ultimate Guide. Hurry – the deadline is October 22, 2021!

2022 Ultimate Guide to Plein Air Events


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