en Plein Air Painting Festival

Event Dates

September 29 to
October 5, 2018

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Nature Through the Artist’s Eye

Join us to paint in celebration of the remarkable beauty and diversity of the Ottauquechee River watershed ecosystem, its vibrant human and natural communities, and the important message of conservation of the natural world.

En Plein Air, “in the open air,” describes the act of painting outdoors with the use of natural lighting. This festival concentrates on mindful, artistic inspiration and exploration of the beauty the natural world embodies.

Best of Show Winners

Event Details


Adults: $40
Register Today

  • Artists will submit two paintings, one painting for the overall competition, and one painting to the quick paint competition.
  • If an artist wishes to submit paintings in more than one category, they may do so for an additional fee of $10.00 per category. (Limited to two additional categories.)

Youth (17 years and under): Free

Requirements & Information

All artists are required to read and submit a signed acknowledgement of the following form:

Competition Rules & Guidelines Form

Other important information:

  • 75% of paintings must be completed in an outdoor location.
  • Size of canvases are limited to 24” X 30”, not including framing.
  • Canvases to be stamped upon check-in to event. Check-in will be at the Welcome Center.
  • Stamps must be visible on the back and paintings. For submission to be judged we require paintings to be hang ready.
  • VINS will receive 30% commissions of any art work sold at the event.
  • A 6% Vermont Sales Tax will be added on the price of the painting.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, September 29

  • 9am – 5pm Registration
  • 5pm – 6pm Artist Reception, with Guest Artist and Speaker Wimby Hoyt

Sunday, September 30

  • 12pm – 1pm Artist Demonstration with Julia Purinton
  • Painting in the Kaufman Gardens by reservation only

Monday, October 1

  • 12pm – 1pm Artist Demonstration with Kathrine Lovell
  • Painting in the Silberfarb Gardens by reservation only

Tuesday, October 2

  • 11:30am – 12:30pm Artist Demonstration with Laura Zindel
  • 1pm – 4pm Quick Paint Competition

Wednesday, October 3

  • 2pm, with an additional fee, Through the Eyes of the Artist Tour at Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park
  • 6pm – 10pm Nocturnal Painting at the Callens Pond

Friday, October 5

  • 5pm – 6:30pm Award Ceremony

October 5 – 22

  • Exhibition and Art Sale

Quick Paint

This competition is an optional one-day event where artists finish a painting in three hours, using individual expression to capture a moment in time.

12:30 pm - 1 pm at the VINS Event Tent

1 pm - 4 pm on the VINS Campus

4:30 pm - 5 pm at the VINS Pavilion (must be hang-ready)

Painting Awards

  • $1,000 Best of Show Award – The Best of Show winner will receive a $1,000 purchase award prize. The winning painting becomes the property of VINS.
  • $250 Watershed Painting – Natural beauty of riparian environments.
  • $250 Nocturnal Painting – Theme is an ethereal, moonlit, starry nights.
  • $250 Avian Art – The artist's personal representation of VINS’ avian residents.
  • $250 People’s Choice – The public will nominate their favorite among exhibited works.
  • $50, $75, $100 Youth –A category for those 17 years of age and younger to display their creativity. There are three prize places for this category.
  • $100, $200, $300 Quick Paint – A scheduled three-hour timed competition. There are three prize places for this category.


For more information, call 802.359.5000 or email info@vinsweb.org.

The Ottauquechee, White, and Connecticut River watersheds are the designated painting location for artists.

There are special properties which artists have permission to use as well. Directions to these properties are available upon sign in.