The 14th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival - Visit Sedona Blog

The 14th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival

Sedona Arts Center invites you along to be inspired and experience master artists painting in the Shangri-La of the Southwest! Sedona is a sublime and stunningly beautiful environment steeped in art history. The Arts Center dates back 60 years to the founding of Sedona’s identity as an ‘art colony.’ Our community’s iconic and wonderfully creative event—Sedona Plein Air Festival—is a week-long celebration of extraordinary landscapes, world-renowned artists, unique workshops, and wonderful free events from October 13 to 20, 2018. The Festival takes place during the best weather week of the year and is supported by a group of very experienced and enthusiastic staff and volunteers. So, come celebrate creativity with the Arts Center family and enjoy receptions, exhibitions, lectures, and opportunities to collect your next masterpiece at the 14th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival!

Thirty Artists have been invited to the festival to celebrate the landscape by marrying it with art, food and wine during the week-long event. Plein air painting – or painting outdoors from life – began in the era leading up to the Impressionistic art movement in Europe when oil paint was first made portable by being sold in tubes. Traditionally the Festival has been a purely invitational event but this year the program began with an online jury submission process where artists could submit their work for consideration. A jury panel selected the 30 artists from over 75 entries resulting in more ‘new’ artists attending the event this year than ever before.

The event is sponsored by the City of Sedona and local businesses and resorts and many people plan their vacations solely around attending the event. Paint outs are held at sponsored locations and resorts including L’Auberge de Sedona, Seven Canyons Resort as well as Mariposa restaurant. A “paint out” is when the artists gather at a particular time of day and at a particular place to finish a work in a two to three-hour period. The public gets to tour the terrain where the artists are working and witness the process of paintings coming to life! The finished works are gathered together at the end of the paint out framed and put on display on artist’s easels available for purchase. Awards are given at each paint out.

The Festival is also supported by a very experienced and enthusiastic group of staff and volunteers. The Sedona community of art lovers open their doors volunteering to host the thirty artists from around the country in their homes or casitas for the week. Each host is gifted a painting from the visiting artist.  

It all starts with an opening exhibition of six works brought by each artist from their home terrain creating a diverse opening reception at 7pm on October 13th at Sedona Arts Center. The works represent a variety of media and style, incorporating studio work with their plein air masterpieces. Paintings completed during the festival are integrated into the ongoing exhibition throughout the week. These works are available for sale to patrons all week long in the plein air galleries at Sedona Arts Center. Each new work finished during the festival are hung with an identifying ‘wet paint’ sticker beside them.

The festival includes many free educational components. In addition to paint outs the festival includes a keynote presentation mid-week, an informative seminar on artists colors presented by Gamblin Oils, and a unique history of plein air painting presented by Carl Judson of Guerilla Painter—a supplier of all kinds of accessories and tools for plein air artists. The keynote presenter this year is Bill Cramer from Prescott, Arizona. Bill will also serve as the judge for a set of final awards and he will be teaching a three-and-a-half-day workshop with a group of 15 students starting mid-week. The final morning of the workshop Bill will demonstrate the process of making a larger studio painting from plein air studies and photography taken on site. The final demonstration morning can be attended by the public for a small fee.

Friday evening, October 19th is awards night! The artists display their best three works in the Special Exhibition Gallery and all other works in the adjacent Theatre Studio in Sedona Arts Center’s Historic Art Barn. The galleries close for the afternoon for a complete re-hanging of the festival and re-open at 5pm.

Awards night is a celebration of the weeks work, but the Festival is not over! The entire event culminates in a Main Street paint out where artists produce work along 89-A in uptown Sedona. The public is invited to walk the streets and gather at the Arts Center for the final display of these works. Then a final lunch is served with the public invited to dine with all the artists and peruse the galleries for final purchases.

2018 Schedule of Events

•    Saturday, October 13, 7 pm Opening Reception
Join us for a special reception, where each artist will exhibit select works from their home terrain—creating a diverse opening to the Festival that represents a variety of media and styles, incorporating studio and plein air work! This is your first chance to meet the artists of the 2018 Festival and see their various styles and talent! Reception Sponsored by Amara Resort.

•    October 13–20 Artists Paint in Sedona Area
Throughout the week, artists will be integrating new work into the Sedona Arts Center’s Special Exhibition Gallery and Theatre Studio. Paintings are available for sale to patrons all week long.

•    Sunday, October 14, 10 am – Noon Gamblin Oil Painting Materials Free Presentation
The public is invited to attend a very informative free presentation by Ann Fox Ryan of Gamblin Artist’s Colors on the history of color, the development of tube paints and the ever evolving world of oil painting materials and colors. Gamblin is a sponsor of the awards at all three of the paint-outs in the festival.

•    Sunday, October 14, 1–4 pm “Courageous Color” Workshop
Join artist and Gamblin Color Expert, Anna Fox Ryan for an afternoon of courageous color mixing. Participants will each receive four 8×8 Ampersand panels, and unlimited Gamblin paints. You will explore various ways of creating mood through color and color relationships.

•    Tuesday, October 16, 7–8 pm “Paint-outside the Box” Presentation with Carl Judson
The public is invited to attend a free presentation on the history of plein air painting from Da Vinci to David Hockney. The theme of the night is an exploration of personal style in plein air work. Carl Judson is the owner of Guerrilla Painter a company that provides all material associated with Plein Air painting including pochade boxes, paints and accessories. Guerrilla Painter is a sponsor of the awards at all three of the paint-outs in the festival.

•    Wednesday, October 17, 10 am Noon Creekside Paint Out at L’Auberge de Sedona
The public is invited to watch artists paint both still and moving water, reflections, sycamores and ducks at this beautiful setting along Oak Creek. Awards and sale immediately following at L’Auberge de Sedona. Public Shuttle provided by Red Rock Magic Trolley from 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. picking up in the Sedona Arts Center lower parking lot and shuttling to and from nearby L’Auberge Resort. Sponsored by L’Auberge de Sedona.

•    Wednesday, October 17, 7 pm, KEYNOTE PRESENTATION with Bill Cramer
Open to the public. This year’s judge and Keynote Speaker, Bill Cramer, will give a digital presentation followed by a reception in our Special Exhibition Gallery. Cramer is known for his award winning paintings and has been an instructor with the Arts Center for many years.

•    Thursday, October 18, 1–4 pm, Paint Out at Seven Canyons Resort
The public is invited to beautiful Seven Canyons to watch artists paint the afternoon and evening light as it carves out the red rock profiles. Artists will explore panoramic vistas from the Clubhouse, driving range, and views from beautiful Rachel’s Knoll. Red Rock Magic Trolley will provide shuttle service between all the painting venues. Awards Ceremony and a reception on the event lawn will commence at 4 pm. Sponsored by Seven Canyons Resort.

•    October 19, 5 to 8 pm, Plein Air Party and Awards Presentation
Held at Sedona Arts Center’s Special Exhibition Gallery and Theatre Studio in the Historic Art Barn. Fine wine, fine hors d’oeuvres and fine art. This is the big event. Artist’s awards are presented throughout the evening recognizing the best work created during the week including Best of Show and merit awards by Festival Judge Bill Cramer, Artist’s Choice Award, Collectors Choice by ballot and Sedona Arts Center Awards. Sponsored by Sedona Rouge.

•    October 20, 10am–noon, Main Street Paint Out
The final paint-out of the festival is held in collaboration with the City of Sedona and is the last chance for visitors and residents to become acquainted with the artists and observe them in action. Artists will paint in Uptown Sedona on 89A from the Arts Center to Pink Jeep Café. Sale and awards at the Arts Center immediately following, then join us for a free cook-out outside the plein air galleries. Final event sales from noon – 2pm.
Sponsored by the City of Sedona.

The Sedona Arts Center wishes to thank its sponsors for this year’s receptions and paint-outs: L'Auberge de Sedona, Seven Canyons Sedona, the City of Sedona, Amara Resort, and Sedona Rouge.

2018 Sedona Plein Air Festival Awards
•    Best in Show Award pays $500.00 and a ½ page ad in Plein Air Magazine
•    A Collector’s Choice and an Artists Choice award each have a $500.00 prize.
•    Six Awards are provided by Materials Sponsors: Gamblin Oils and Guerilla Painter (two awards at each paint out) $250.00 value each.
•    In addition to the Best of Show Award, three Merit Awards are selected by the Judge and Keynote Speaker for the event.
•    A special “Image Award” is used in advertising for the next year’s festival.