Collectors’ Preview Party Tickets Now on Sale

Hiu Lai Chong Artists' Choice Award 2012 courtesy of Attraction magazine (391 x 400)Tickets to the Plein Air–Easton! Collectors’ Preview Party are now on sale to the public. This exclusive gala takes place Friday, July 19, from 7-9pm. It is the pinnacle of a weeklong painting marathon by some of the best plein air artists in the world. Plein Air–Easton! is America’s premier plein air festival and one of Easton’s biggest events. With hundreds of paintings sold over just a few days, this event is the hottest art sale in the Mid-Atlantic region. Spectators and art buyers have easy access to see 58 competing plein air artists at work. This year’s exciting lineup includes grand prize winners from seven previous Plein Air–Easton! competitions: Tim Bell (2006), Robert J Barber (2007), Greg LaRock (2008), and Stewart White (2009), Ned Meuller (2010), Camille Przewodek (2011), and Hiu Lai Chong (2012), along with many returning favorites and numerous fresh, talented artists who are new to Plein Air–Easton!.

The Collectors’ Party is a rare opportunity to view and purchase some of the best representational art in America today. Be one of the few to experience and purchase the best of this year’s competition. Competition artists select two of their best works from the six-day painting marathon to deliver to the Academy Art Museum by noon on Friday, July 19. Just hours later—often before the paint has had a chance to fully dry—doors open to the Collectors’ Preview Party. Guests enjoy the company of old and new friends, fine wine, beer, refreshments, and conversation with competition artists. Preview Party attendees have the first and only opportunity to see the entire competition show and purchase paintings right off the museum walls before the exhibit opens to the public.

Competition paintings will be for sale starting at 7pm when doors open to ticketholders. Sales promise to be brisk, and this is the only time the competition exhibit will be intact. The exhibit will evolve all evening as new paintings replace sold ones. Winning paintings will remain on display at the Academy Art Museum all weekend. Preview Party guests also have easy access to replacement paintings from the exhibit library, giving them the first chance to purchase paintings even before they are exhibited.

The pinnacle of the evening comes when Awards Judge Donald Demers announces the winners of more than $20,000 in prizes. Awards will be announced at approximately 7:45pm.

A limited number of tickets to the Collectors’ Preview Party are available. This event sells out fast; don’t be disappointed, reserve your tickets now. Tickets are $150 and the full ticket price applies to any Plein Air–Easton! art purchase at the Academy Art Museum on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, July 20, 21, and 22.

Awards judge Donald Demers will follow up his announcements at “Choosing a Winning Painting,” a free feature event on Saturday, July 20 from 8-9pm at the Academy Art Museum during which he will discuss his award choices and what makes a winning (and collectible) plein air painting.

Competition artists will also paint as part of the Opening Dinner & Paint-Out on Saturday, July 13, which kicks off the official competition. The Opening Dinner event is a special Friends of Plein Air–Easton! membership benefit. A new “We Want it All” ticket package is now available, which bundles two tickets to the Collectors’ Preview Party plus two tickets to the Opening Dinner & Paint-Out. For tickets and more information, visit

Plein Air–Easton! is the work of the Avalon Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide diversified arts and educational programs that improve the quality of life in the Mid-Shore region. The Academy Art Museum is the accredited museum venue for the competition exhibit. The event is supported by the Talbot County Arts Council, along with corporate and individual donors. Donations from Friends of Plein Air–Easton! support the event while promoting conservation and tourism through the arts and a distinct sense of place. Strong community support and sponsorships have helped make Plein Air–Easton! one of Easton’s largest events and America’s premier plein air festival.

The 9th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival takes place July 15-21, 2013.

For more information, ticket sales, itineraries, artists’ bios and galleries, or to become a Friend of Plein Air–Easton! or to join the mailing list and blog, visit, email or call the Plein Air–Easton! hotline at 410.822.7297.

In photo: Hiu Lai Chong from Rockville, MD is congratulated by Al Bond of the Avalon Foundation and Krystal Allen of PleinAir magazine. Chong’s “All Tucked In” was the winner of the 2012 Plein Air–Easton! Grand Prize Timothy E. Dills Memorial Award. The painting also received the Artists’ Choice Award. Chong returns to vie against 57 other artists for $20,000 in prizes during the 9th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival, to be held July 15-21, 2013. (photo courtesy of Attraction magazine.)