Tickets Released For Plein Air–Easton! Collectors’ Preview Party

Tickets to the Plein Air–Easton! Collectors’ Preview Party are now on sale to the public. This exclusive gala takes place Friday, July 22, from 7-9pm. It is the highlight of a weeklong painting marathon by top plein air artists from across the country and beyond (2 from the U.K. this year). Plein Air–Easton! is one of Easton’s biggest events and is the country’s premier plein air festival. Spectators and art buyers at the national competition experience up-close, personal access to 58 top plein air artists. The lineup includes grand prize winners from five previous Plein Air–Easton! national competitions: Tim Bell (2006), Robert J. Barber (2007), Greg LaRock (2008), and Stewart White (2009), and Ned Meuller (2010).

This year artists from the Plein Air–Easton! National Competition have the opportunity to create even more beautiful artwork of local landscapes during a series of both public and private paint-outs before the official start of the Plein Air–Easton! competition. Although these painting will not be eligible for competition prizes, they will be available for sale at the Academy Art Museum during Plein Air–Easton! Locations for these additional paint-outs include the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels o n July 14, 7am-7pm; Chesapeake Exploration Center at Kent Narrows and Piney Narrows Yacht Haven on July 16, 8am-Noon; and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum all day on July 20. Private paint-outs 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.

The official competition will kick off with artist registration on Sunday, July 17 and then the painting marathon begins in Easton and Talbot County for four full days (Monday thru Thursday, July 18-21). Many artists will create several paintings during this timeframe, culminating in a varied, compelling look at the area’s natural beauty and an exceptional body of artwork displayed at the competition exhibit.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to view and purchase some of the best representational art in America today. Competition artists select two of their best works from the four-day painting fest to deliver to the Academy Art Museum by noon on Friday, July 22. Just hours later, before the paint has had a chance to fully dry, doors open to the Collectors’ Preview Party and guests arrive at the East Coast’s hottest art sale. Guests enjoy the company of old and new friends, fine wine, beer, hors d’œuvres, and conversation with competition artists. Preview Party attendees have the first and only opportunity to see the entire competition show, as they choose their favorite works, and purchase paintings right off the museum walls.

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 all weekend. Preview Party guests also have easy access to replacement paintings from the exhibit library, giving them first chance to purchase paintings even before they are exhibited.

The pinnacle of the evening comes when Competition Judge M. Stephen Doherty 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 22, 23, and 24 or at the Winners’ Paint-Out & Brunch on Sunday, July 24.

Awards judge, M. Stephen Doherty will follow up his announcements at a feature event on Saturday, July 23 from 8-9pm at the Academy Art Museum. Doherty is editor of the recently relaunched Plein Air magazine. Prior to this, he worked for 31 years as editor and publisher of American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing, and Workshop magazines. He is an active outdoor painter who travels around the United States and Europe. Doherty serves on the advisory boards of several arts organizations, including the New York Academy of Art, The Florence Academy, and the Portrait Society of America. He has been a judge in various national and international competitions.

The 7th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival takes place July 18-24, 2011. 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 various corporate, media, and community sponsors, including the Talbot County Arts Council. 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 the premier plein air festival in the country.

Ticket sales, competition prospectuses, artists’ bios, galleries, itineraries, educational components, and more are available at For further information, email or call the Plein Air–Easton! Hotline at 410.822.7297.

In photo: Tickets are now on sale for the Plein Air–Easton! Collectors’ Preview Party on Friday, July 22. This exciting, fast-paced event is a highlight of the 7th Annual Plein Air–Easton! Competition & Arts Festival, to be held July 18-24, 2011. “Monday Morning” by Ned Allen Mueller [shown here with Al Bond (far left) and Ellen General of The Avalon Foundation and (far right) 2010 Competition Judge Jean Stern] from Renton CA won the Grand Prize in the 2010 Plein Air–Easton! National Competition. Mueller returns this year as one of 58 competition artists from across the country.