All applicants must provide contact information, upload three (3) digital high resolution jpeg images of plein air work painted in the past two years and pay a $50 registration fee. All applications must be submitted online by January 26, 2018 at 5:00pm EST. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Plein Air Easton staff at 410-822-7297 or email@example.com.
What is Plein Air Easton?
In its 14th year, Plein Air Easton is the largest and most prestigious outdoor painting competition in the United States. The festival is the work of the Avalon Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to enrich the community through music, arts and community outreach programming. The object of Plein Air Easton is to expose the area’s vibrant arts community to a larger market and to raise funds to support the festival and the Foundation.
Artists are juried into the festival from hundreds of worldwide applicants. The artists selected for the competition make up some of the best plein air painters in the country. They travel to Easton, Maryland (located on the Chesapeake Bay) and paint for six days competing for over $30,000 in prizes.
Competition paintings produced during the week are exhibited in a local accredited museum and sold throughout the weekend. Celebrating its fourth year is the improved space for display of non-competition works, which provides additional opportunities for the public to view and purchase all work produced during the festival. In 2017, sales exceeded $391,000.
The entire community mobilizes in celebration of this event. Plein Air Easton and its community partners produce many events throughout the week including workshops, demonstrations, concerts and ticketed events. This year’s festival is July 13-22, 2018. To allow artists to get settled and participate in pre-festival paint-outs, host family housing will be open for artists beginning on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Artist Registration, Orientation and Canvas Stamping will take place July 13th. Plein Air Easton will host a Meet the Artist Dinner and Paint Out for the competing artists, the organization’s top collectors and donors on July 14th. Public facing events begin in earnest from July 15-22nd.
Why should I apply?
Plein Air Easton enjoys the highest art sales of any Plein Air event in the United States. Plein Air Easton is a juried competition with a new juror and judge each year. Any artist who paints en plein air may apply. With only the top award winners receiving automatic entry into the competition, the festival tends to see 1/3 to 1/2 of its population as new artists each year. Plein Air Easton represents a meaningful opportunity for emerging artists to gain national recognition. PleinAir Magazine called Plein Air Easton “one of the most rewarding outdoor Arts Festivals in the USA.” With a reputation for strong organization, growing sales, a beautiful landscape and just plain fun; Plein Air Easton has become a “must paint” for many of the world’s top painters.
What should I expect if I get in?
You should expect to visit a beautiful waterfront community full of welcoming people. You should expect an event that is well organized and values artists. You should expect fierce competition from top plein air artists. You should expect lavish parties and opportunities to connect with collectors. You should plan on making friends and establishing contacts. You should expect it to be hot - very hot and humid. You should expect to have fun and leave tired. You should expect to want to return the next year!
I live locally what is different for me?
Plein Air Easton has always sought to elevate and highlight the local arts community. If your primary residence is in any of the five counties surrounding Easton, MD (Kent, Queen Anne, Talbot, Caroline or Dorchester), please indicate so on your registration form. After the juror chooses the 2018 slate (based on the images submitted by all applicants, including those that live locally), he/she will be presented with the images submitted by the “local” artists, of which he/she will choose three additional artists to participate in the Festival. This will give local artists two chances to be juried into Plein Air Easton. Plein Air Easton does not reveal which Artists are juried into the festival through this local-only process.
January 26, 2018, 5:00pm EST – All entries must be received.
February 9, 2018 –2018 Plein Air Easton competition artists will be posted online at www.pleinaireaston.com and all competing artists will be notified via email.
July 11, 2018 – Host Family Housing is available
July 12-13, 2018 – Pre -festival paint outs
July 13, 2018 - Artist Orientation
July 14, 2018 - Meet the Artists Dinner & Paint Out
July 13-19, 2018 – Artists produce competition paintings
July 19, 2018 – Hard Deadline: Artists submit paintings for judging, exhibition and sales
July 20, 2018 – Mandatory attendance at the Collectors’ Preview Party located in the Academy Art Museum & Waterfowl Festival Building. The event opens to ticketed collectors at 7pm.
July 21-22, 2018 – Exhibit and sales continue workshops, lectures, quick draw competitions and more!
July 22, 2018 – Small Painting Sunday and Judge’s Talk. All unsold paintings must be collected by artists at 4pm on July 22.
How is Plein Air Easton Juried/Judged?
Plein Air Easton names a new juror and judge each year. The juror views three digital images from each artist online, so be sure to give us files that will present well on a computer monitor. The juror sees no identifying information about the artists. The juror submits a list of numbers to the Festival’s executive team who convert the numbers back to names and announce the list of competition artists.
All competition paintings are eligible to win prizes that are awarded by the competition judge at the Collectors’ Preview Party.
Who is this year’s Judge and Juror?
Judge: Jill Carver
Originally from London, England, Jill Carver moved to the United States fourteen years ago. Before becoming a full time professional artist, she was a curatorial research assistant at the National Portrait Gallery in London for 12 years. Jill currently divides her time between Austin, Texas, and Rico, Colorado.
In 2014, Jill won the Gold Medal (Artists’ Choice) for Best in Show at Maynard Dixon Country and in the same year was inaugurated as Signature Member in ‘Plein Air Painters of America’. Previously, she won numerous awards including: ‘Artists Choice’ at the Laguna Beach Invitational in 2009; at Telluride, also in 2009; and, at Plein Air Easton in 2008. She participated in the prestigious Maynard Dixon Country event for five consecutive years, the Artistic Horizons show in Bozeman, MT, for three years and, in 2016, was a Guest Artist at The Northwest Rendevouz Show at The Brinton Museum in Sheridan, WY. She is a popular and highly regarded teacher.
Juror: To be announced week of December 7th
What about awards?
Awards will total over $30,000 and typically include 16-20 awards for competing painters.