In its 15th year, Plein Air Easton is the largest and most prestigious outdoor painting competition in the United States. The festival is the work of the Avalon Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to enrich the community through music, arts and community outreach programming. The object of PAE is to expose the area’s vibrant arts community to a larger market and to raise funds to support the festival and the Foundation.
Artists are juried into the festival from hundreds of worldwide applicants. The artists selected for the competition make up some of the best plein air painters in the country. They travel to Easton, Maryland and paint for six days competing for over $30,000 in prizes.
Competition paintings produced during the week are exhibited in a local accredited museum and sold throughout the weekend. Celebrating its fifth year is the improved space for display of non-competition works, which provides additional opportunities for the public to view and purchase all work produced during the festival. In 2018, sales exceeded $400,000.
The entire community mobilizes in celebration of this event. PAE and its community partners produce many events throughout the week including workshops, demonstrations, concerts and ticketed events. This year’s festival dates are July 12-21, 2019. To allow artists to get settled and participate in pre-festival paint-outs, host family housing will be open for artists beginning on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Artist Registration, Orientation and Canvas Stamping will take place July 12th. PAE will host a Meet the Artist Dinner and Paint Out for the competing artists, the organization’s top collectors and donors on July 13th. Public facing events begin in earnest from July 14 – 21st.