Call for Artists
** Juried and popular vote cash prizes **
** Dedicated time to network with artists and collectors **
** Opportunities to sell your work in our pop-up gallery at William King Art Gallery **
Plein Air Press
Plein Air painting, a phrase of French origin, means "open (in full) air."
Used to describe the act of painting outdoors, The Virginia Highlands Festival introduced Plein Air to Abingdon in 2016 as part of that year’s Festival theme, “Paint the Town.” This event has served artists, collectors, and the community ever since, offering a springtime opportunity to create new works of art with historic and beautiful Abingdon, Virginia as the backdrop.
About Plein Air Abingdon
The Virginia Highlands Festival and William King Museum of Art are hosting a special opportunity for artists April 25–27, 2019. “Plein Air Abingdon” is a plein air paint-out and pop-up gallery that offers you a place to create new work, sell work, and network with fellow artists and creators. Throughout the event, a juried plein air competition will take place around Abingdon and the surrounding region.
Juried plein air competition artist participants will receive:
- +One free entry into the Virginia Highlands Festival Juried Fine Art competition (July 2019)
- +The opportunity to sell up to three artworks at the pop-up gallery (50/50 split with the Virginia Highlands Festival, space permitting)
- +Name and gallery affiliation (if any) on Festival website and social media posts
- Chance to win cash prizes!
- $1,000 – Juried Plein Air Competition Best in Show
- $250 – Juried Plein Air Competition 2nd Place
- $100 – Juried Plein Air Competition 3rd Place
- $500 – Quickdraw Competition “People’s Choice”
We are offering you, as a fine arts collector, this handmade and individual connection to historic Abingdon/Washington County, Virginia! You are invited to meet the artists, purchase one-of-a-kind works of art created over the 3-day festival, and experience our area through the eyes and hands of an artist.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, April 25
+ Check-in begins for all-day event
+ Juried Plein Art participants to choose a scene of choice on Abingdon Vineyards’ property
5PM – 7PM
+ Enjoy Abingdon Vineyards' "En Plein Air!"
+ Juried Plein Art participants will choose a scene of choice on Abingdon Vineyards’ property
+ Mingle with artists and taste delicious food from local restauranteur Joel Jenkins of JJ's Restaurant & Sports Bar and Papa Tom's Cantina
20530 Alvarado Road, Abingdon, VA 24211
Friday, April 26
5PM – 7PM
+ Exclusive pre–sale event with the artists, complete with delicious food by SWVA–based chef, Travis Milton and wines from Nicewonder Farm + Vineyards.
Taste at Nicewonder Farm and Vineyards
21100 Virginia Trail, Bristol, VA 24202
Saturday, April 27
10AM – 12PM
+ Abingdon-based artist Kyle Buckland to demo plein air painting.
Creeper Trail Head
300 Green Spring Road, Abingdon, VA 24210
1PM – 3PM
+ Artists registered for the Quick Draw Competition will paint throughout historic Downtown Abingdon.
5PM - 7PM
+ Pop-up gallery cocktail party and awards ceremony
+ Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required to participate in People’s Choice Voting
William King Museum of Art
415 Academy Dr NW, Abingdon, VA 24210
Special Thanks to our 2019 Host Committee:
Andras draws inspiration from past artists like Bonnard and Van Gogh. He captures beautiful vistas across Virginia and his works reside in the collections of the College of William and Mary, the Medical College of Virginia, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
One of the most sought-after portrait artists in the country, Ronald Bayens has work featured throughout America, Canada, and Europe. He now resides in Alabama and enjoys painting commissioned works and plus teaching students in his studio.
As a teenager, Kyle began to emulate the greats by moving outdoors and painting en plein air. His work is now represented in hundreds of private, public, and corporate collections around the world, in addition to features at OutdoorPainter.com, the home of Plein Air Magazine.
Steve is an established Plein Air artist, plus writer, editor, and juror. For 31 years, Steve was the editor of American Artist magazine and, in 2011, Steve became Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine. He resides in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Originally from Missouri, Lesley now resides in Abingdon, VA. She specializes in portraiture, children’s book illustration, and original works.
An artist, designer, and teacher, Peach works mainly in oil, watercolor, and acrylics. Her art has been featured extensively throughout Tennessee and in print, including the 5th Annual Plein Air Salon Plein Air Magazine.
Theresa was inspired to become an artist through her family’s heritage in Northeast Pennsylvania. She's found a style that incorporates mixed media and storytelling across all media. Theresa’s current body of work, Life & Debt, will be opening in Fall 2019 at Emory & Henry College.
Barbara is inspired by nature’s beauty and the ordinary life happenings around her every day. “Painting to me is taking shapes and building a representation of the subject matter with bold bright strokes.”
A self-taught “wannabe,” this will be Jennifer’s first official Plein Air event! She aspires to achieve “the impressionism of a single moment” in her paintings.
A photographer and fine artist, Nina is co-owner of Studio Bristol. Nina primarily works in soft pastels and finds “drawing, painting, photography, music, any medium that involves working with the hands, senses, spirit” intriguing and satisfying.
Hale is a "plein-air" painter and traveling artist, always looking for inspiration and subject matter. Trotter enjoys engaging the creative spirit, and can be found out in the field, or on a street corner working to capture the scene on canvas.
A Contemporary Impressionist, Ginny’s award-winning oil paintings can be found in many private and public collections across the U.S. and abroad. Ginny currently resides in South Carolina, where she's an exhibiting member of the Charleston Artist Guild and the Mount Pleasant Artist Guild.
A North Carolina native, Lauren takes inspiration from landscape and the natural world around her. By day, Lauren is a Senior Lecturer in the Geological and Environmental Sciences Department at Appalachian State. In her spare time, Lauren pursues her passion for painting.
Steven is a developer, designer, and artist. He once painted 100 oil portraits in 100 days, which was featured in a show at Virginia Tech's Moss Arts Center.
After over thirty years as a graphic designer, Beth now considers herself a “professional plein air painter.” Since 2013, Beth has participated in ten to fifteen national competitions a year. She was also a featured artist in the 2018 February/March issue of PleinAir Magazine.
Joli Ayn Wood
Joli has been painting and creating since 2003, both in the studio and on location “en plein air.” She's inspired by the mountain vistas and rural landscapes of Southwestern
Virginia, the rugged coastlines of New England, as well as the striking Desert Southwest.
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