Plein Air-Easton! Presents Art for Everyone, July 15-21

Hiu Lai Chong Artists' Choice Award 2012 courtesy of Attraction magazine (400 x 409)The Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival celebrates its ninth anniversary by continuing the vibrant dynamic that has made it America’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 Mid-Atlantic region’s hottest art sales of the year, offering the art collector a unique opportunity to select from a huge inventory of reasonably priced paintings.

Friends of Plein Air–Easton! Opening Dinner & Paint-Out, Saturday, July 13, Hope House

Guests at the “Meet the Artists” Opening Dinner & Paint-Out will enjoy a lavish dinner party, meet the 2013 Plein Air–Easton! competition artists as they arrive and begin to paint, and have the opportunity to take home a fresh painting created that day. Hope House, one of the great Federal era estates of the Chesapeake, exists as a working farm with an evident commitment to environmentally sensitive land management. A special invitation to the “Meet the Artists” Opening Dinner is available only as a benefit to 2013 Friends of Plein Air–Easton! sponsors. Friends of Plein Air-Easton! is an active base of supporters and art collectors who strive for the sustainability and success of Plein Air–Easton! while promoting conservation and tourism through the arts.

“A View from the Other Side of the Easel,” Thursday, July 18, 8pm, Talbot County Free Library Past and present and Plein Air–Easton! judges Peter Trippi and Tim Newton will present this fascinating program. Well known collector Tim Newton and prominent editor Peter Trippi join together to discuss the role of the collector in today’s art world. This “fireside chat” will specifically focus on Newton’s experiences and collecting strategies as an art collector since 1991. This promises to be a lively and engaging evening for both artists and art buyers alike. Free.

Collectors’ Preview Party, Friday, July 19 at 7pm, Academy Art Museum
Offers the first chance to view and purchase competition paintings. The pinnacle of the competition comes when more than $20,000 in prizes are awarded at 7:45pm. The full $150 ticket price may be applied to any Plein Air–Easton! art purchase at the Academy Art Museum on July 19, 20, and 21

“Local Color” Exhibit and Sale, Friday-Sunday, July 19-21, Tidewater Inn
A juried and judged show featuring the works of 32 of our best local artists. Throughout the show, Local Color will present painting demonstrations by accomplished national plein air painters. Free and open to the public.

Plein Air–Easton! Competition Gallery Exhibit & Sale, July 20 and 21, Academy Art Museum
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 20, 10am-2pm, Downtown Easton
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 nearly 200 artists paint within a six-block area, creating entire paintings in just two hours. Total cash prizes of more than $3,000. Open to any artist; registration information at

Children’s Quick Draw, Saturday, July 20, 10am-12pm, Academy Art Museum Front Lawn
Free to young artists, ages 5-12. Supplies and basic instruction provided. No preregistration required. This event is sponsored by Ben Franklin Crafts.

“Choosing a Winning Painting,” Saturday, July 20, 8-9 pm, Academy Art Museum
Competition Judge Don Demers will discuss the 2013 winning paintings and why he chose them. Always a standing room event, competing artists and savvy collectors pack the house. Free.

“Out of Box” Art Exhibition & Sale, Saturday, July 20, 9am-4pm & Sunday, July 21, 10am-3pm
This invitational exhibit is designed for artists to showcase their process as well as their completed works of art and interact with visitors to the Plein Air-Easton! festival. The exhibition will highlight artists whose work falls outside the constraints of traditional plein air painting. The exhibition will be held outdoors near Harrison Street in downtown Easton.

Plein Air–Easton! The Next Generation, Sunday, July 21, 10:30am-3pm, Downtown Easton
Plein Air–Easton! The Next Generation is especially designed to offer high end arts training and experiences to young artists. The event is comprised of educational workshops for students in grades K-6, and a Quick Draw competition for artists under age 18. Registration on Harrison Street at 10am, no preregistration is required. Exhibit & Sale will be held from 2-3pm, with awards announced at 2:30pm. The event is sponsored by Attraction magazine.

• Workshops, Demos, Lectures, and More . . . Galore!: Monday through Sunday, July 15-21, check out the extensive schedule at Free
• Live Theatre Performance: July 19-21, Avalon Theatre, Wye Operetta Workshop (WOW!) returns for a 6th year to present Thornton Wilder’s beloved classic, “Our Town,” on this 75th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize winning drama. Professionally costumed and staged. Sponsored by the Wye Conservatory of Music. Tickets at the door: adults $10, children and students $5. For more information please contact 410-603-8361.
• Sunday Brunch Gallery Walk: On the final day of this year’s Plein Air-Easton! Competition and Arts Festival, local art galleries will open their doors to artists and art lovers alike. Stroll Easton’s historic downtown while visiting multiple local galleries and enjoying a progressive Sunday Brunch. Maps locating local galleries are available at the galleries, Plein Air–Easton! Information Center, and Easton’s Welcome Center. Free

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.

Plein Air–Easton! is supported by various corporate, media, and community sponsors, including the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County Arts Council, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Star Democrat, and Attraction magazine. Donations from Friends of Plein Air–Easton! support the event while promoting conservation and tourism through the arts. Strong community support and sponsorships have helped make Plein Air–Easton! one of Easton’s biggest attractions and America’s premier plein air festival.

During the festival week, obtain official festival information, programs, artist locations, and more at the Plein Air–Easton! Information Center located at Red Hen Café, 1 Goldsborough St. in downtown Easton.
Latest information, including full itinerary, artists’ bios, ticket sales, galleries, and more, is available at Regular updates are also posted on Facebook and Twitter. The Plein Air–Easton! Hotline can be reached 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.)