Important Dates for Plein Air–Easton! Artists in March

The deadline to enter the 5th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition is March 6, 2009 by 5:00 p.m. Artist’s Prospectus and submission guidelines are available at Entries may be submitted online or mailed/delivered to the address shown below.

The entry jurist is Jean Stern, a recognized authority on California Impressionism. Mr. Stern has extensive experience as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher. He has been the executive director of the Irvine Museum in Irvine, California since its inception in January, 1993, and has produced a number of traveling exhibitions of plein air and impressionists artwork. He further established a national presence for the museum in the field of California Impressionism through a noteworthy international series of books, exhibitions, articles, video documentaries, and national and international lectures and exhibitions.

Accepted artists and alternates will be announced March 27, 2009 via posting at

This year’s Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival will be held July 20-26, 2009. The national competition is complimented by a comprehensive arts festival that draws thousands of artists, collectors, art enthusiasts, and spectators from across the country. Attractions include gallery exhibits, collectors’ parties, world class speakers, art demonstrations, music, theater, and the popular, fast paced “Quick Draw” painting competition held for two hours in downtown Easton.

Artist groups and paint-outs are springing up across the country, making plein air painting America’s hottest art movement. Plein Air–Easton! has quickly become the East Coast’s premier plein air festival, attracting artists of high caliber and creating a stir among art collectors. The national Plein Air–Easton! Competition will showcase approximately 60 national artists vying for cash awards totaling more than $11,000. The First Place award will be $5,000, Second Place $2,000, Third Place $1,000, with the remainder being distributed among Awards of Merit and various named awards.

This year’s awards judge is Brian Stewart (, a nationally known artist and teacher from Minnesota. Stewart is a Signature Member of Plein-Air Painters of America, and a member of the Classical Realism Society, Oil Painters of America, and California Art Club. He received his early training at The Art Center in Los Angeles and later at Atelier LeSuer in Minneapolis, where he learned the classic, academic fundamentals as they were taught in Paris a century ago. He enjoys sharing and passing on these fundamentals through teaching workshops. Stewart has received many awards for his plein air work, most recently an Art Renewal Center (ARC) International Salon award. His work has been featured in Fine Art Connoisseur, Southwest Art, and The Artist’s Magazine, among others.

Artists in the national contest create two paintings each for the competition, and may also sell other paintings they bring with them or paint during the week, making available hundreds of pieces of some of the best art in America today. Paintings by artists from the Delmarva region will also be available at the “Local Color” plein air exhibit, a juried and judged show featuring artists from the Delmarva Peninsula, presented Friday through Sunday at the Tidewater Inn.

Paintings will be for sale during the entire festival weekend, including special events such as the Collectors’ Preview Party on Friday evening, the Quick Draw Exhibit & Sale on Saturday afternoon, the Winners’ Paint-Out & Brunch and Live Auction on Sunday, and an ongoing exhibit throughout the weekend at the Academy Art Museum. Sales in past years have been brisk; last year total sales exceeded $200,000 with 214 paintings sold.

Plein Air–Easton! is presented by Easton Main Street in partnership with the Avalon Foundation and hosted by the Academy Art Museum, which provides an accredited museum venue for the competition exhibit. The event is supported by Friends of Plein Air–Easton! and various corporate, media, and community sponsors, including the Talbot County Arts Council.

Information, Artist’s Prospectus and digital uploading of juried submissions are available at Submissions will also be accepted on CD sent by postal mail or delivered to: Plein Air–Easton!, c/o The Avalon Foundation, 40 East Dover Street, Easton MD 21601. For more information, email or phone 410-822-7297.