The Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival celebrates its seventh anniversary by continuing the vibrant dynamic that has made it the nation’s premier plein air festival and one of Easton’s main attractions. Plein Air–Easton! is at the forefront of the modern plein air movement. Artists, collectors, and art lovers alike have discovered that this event lives up to its motto of “Art for Everyone” by producing some of the best representational artwork in the country, along with events that appeal to a wide variety of art enthusiasts. Most events are free and open to the public. With hundreds of artists and a wealth of artwork to choose from, this weeklong artfest is one of the country’s hottest art sales of the year, offering the art collector a unique opportunity to select from a huge inventory of reasonably priced paintings.
Festival highlights . . .
• Collectors’ Preview Party, July 22 at 7pm, offers the first chance to view and purchase competition paintings. Nearly $20,000 in prizes will be awarded. The full $150 ticket price may be applied to any Plein Air–Easton! art purchase at the Academy Art Museum on July 22, 23, and 24, or at the Winners’ Paint-Out & Brunch on Sunday, July 24.
• Plein Air–Easton! Competition Gallery Exhibit & Sale, July 23 and 24. Sales promise to be brisk, but there will be no bare walls here! As paintings sell, replacements will take their places, so that this exciting exhibit evolves throughout the weekend. Stop by several times to see and purchase new artwork. Free and open to the public.
• National Quick Draw, Exhibit and Sale, Saturday, July 23, 10am-2pm. Long on excitement, short on time, this two hour paint-out, followed by an outdoor Exhibit and Sale, is one of Plein Air–Easton!’s most popular events. Spectators and art buyers flock to downtown Easton to watch more than 150 artists paint within a six-block area, creating entire paintings in just two hours. Open to any artist; registration information at www.pleinaireaston.com.
• Children’s Quick Draw, July 23 10am-12pm, on the Academy Art Museum lawn, free to young artists, ages 5-12. Supplies and basic instruction provided. Space is limited; pre-registered is recommended. To register call Jeanne Saulsbury at 410.634.2360 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Quick Draw: The Next Generation, a new painting competition for emerging artists age 25 and younger. The event takes place Sunday, July 24, and consists of a four-hour paint-out and subsequent outdoor exhibit and sale. The paint-out will be from 10am-2pm, with an exhibit and sale on S. Harrison Street from 2-4pm. Cash prizes totaling over $3,600 will be awarded. Registration information at www.pleinaireaston.com.
• Sunday Winners’ Paint Out, Brunch & Live Art Auction, July 24, open by special invitation to the members of the Friends of Plein Air–Easton! Information about joining this dedicated support organization is available at www.pleinaireaston.com.
More hot picks . . .
• Discover Local Talent: “Local Color” Exhibit and Sale, July 22-24. A juried and judged show featuring the works of 32 of our best local artists. Tidewater Inn. Free
• Workshops, Demos, and More . . . Galore!: Monday through Sunday, July 18-24, check out the extensive schedule at www.pleinaireaston.com. Free
• Bay Hundred Studio Tour: Visit artists as they work in their studios. Self-guided map available at www.pleinaireaston.com. Free
• Fascinating Film Screening: Thursday, July 21, 7pm, Avalon Theatre, showing of The Art of the Steal Followed by discussion. Sponsored by Chesapeake Film Festival. Free
• Outstanding Operetta: July 22-24, Avalon Theatre, Wye Operetta performs Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular show, Pirates of Penzance, full of romance, complications and pirates! Free
• Focus on Photography: Enter the Plein Air–Easton! Photography Competition. Guidelines available at: www.pleinaireaston.com. Be sure to check out this year’s contest prizes and photography workshops.
• Strong Support: Friends of Plein Air–Easton! continues to ensure the success of its namesake event while celebrating and preserving local landscapes and strengthening the arts in our community. For information or to become a Friend, call 410.822.7297 or visit www.pleinaireaston.com.
SPECIAL PAINT-OUT LOCATIONS
See invited artists from the Plein Air–Easton! National Competition do more of what they do best: create beautiful artwork of local landscapes during a series of both public and private paint-outs. Works created prior to the start of the competition on July 18 will not be eligible to enter in the competition, but these paintings will be sold at the Academy Art Museum over the Plein Air–Easton! weekend.
The Inn at Perry Cabin, St. Michaels
Thursday, July 14, 7am-7pm (Exhibit 5-7pm)
A five star accommodation, this charming manor house resort and spa sits in gardens that reach to the waters of the Miles River. Artists may paint all day and will exhibit work from 5-7pm.
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels
Wednesday, July 20
The museum campus, including the grounds, harbor, and buildings, will be open to competition artists for a day-long painting extravaganza. This is a fantastic way to enjoy two of the area’s treasurers in one day!
Londonderry Manor House, Easton
Thursday, July 21
The lovely waterfront manor house and lush grounds will be open to competition artists all day.
QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY
In partnership with the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council
Chesapeake Exploration Center at Kent Narrows
Piney Narrows Yacht Haven
Saturday, July 16 8am-12Noon
This is a prime opportunity for artists to experience the beauty of a neighboring county and for collectors in Queen Anne’s County to see some of the nation’s finest plein air painters in action.
Private events will be hosted by the Plein Air Painters of the Eastern Shore and the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore. A private, members only paint-out will be held at the Tred Avon Yacht Club.
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 sponsored by Friends of Plein Air–Easton!, the Talbot County Arts Council, Maryland Public Television, corporate donors, and media sponsors. For full itinerary, artist information, ticket sales, and more, call 410.822.7297, email email@example.com or visit www.pleinaireaston.com.
During the festival week, obtain official festival information, programs, artist locations, and more at the Plein Air–Easton! Information Center located at Coffee Cat, 5 Goldsborough St. in downtown Easton.
Latest information, including full itinerary, artists’ bios, ticket sales, galleries, and more is available at www.pleinaireaston.com. Regular updates are also posted on Facebook and Twitter. The Plein Air–Easton! Hotline can be reached at 410.822.7297.