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Plein Air Magazine/Streamline Publishing, Inc.
8th Annual Plein Air Salon, April/May

PleinAir magazine presents the eighth annual PleinAir Salon Art Competition. In the spirit of the French Salon created by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, this annual competition, with six bi-monthly cycles leading to annual Salon Grand Prize winners, is designed to stimulate artistic growth through competition. The competition rewards artists with $27,000 in cash prizes and exposure of their work, with the winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir magazine.


It is our belief that cash prizes provide further inspiration and an avenue for artists to thrive and create new work by helping alleviate financial pressure.


Winners in each bi-monthly competition may receive recognition and exposure through PleinAir magazine’s print magazine, e-newsletter, and social media. Winners of each bi-monthly competition will also be entered into the annual competition.


Annual Awards: $21,000 in Cash Awards

1st place: $15,000 cash prize plus the cover of PleinAir magazine!

2nd place: $3,000 cash prize plus a feature

in the digital edition of PleinAir magazine

3rd place: $1,500 cash prize

Three finalists: $500 cash prizes — total $1,500

Plus, all winners will be showcased in PleinAir magazine!

Bi-monthly Awards: $6,000 in Cash Awards

1st Place Overall: $1,000


Categories (Subject Matter):

Because this competition is created by PleinAir magazine, which features not only plein air paintings, but also studio paintings, all types of paintings are eligible and do not need to have been painted in plein air. As we know, many studio paintings start with plein air sketches. Our interest is in rewarding great paintings.

There are 19 categories to submit in.


Plein Air work only — Must be completed en plein air, all subject matter eligible

Building — Cityscapes, farms, architectural elements (plein air or studio work)

Vehicles — Running or run-down (plein air or studio work)

Figure & Portrait — Figures and portraits, including figures in the landscape (plein air or studio work)

Animals and Birds — animals or birds (plein air or studio work)

Floral — Gardens, fields of flowers, etc. (plein air or studio work)

Landscape — Landscape or outdoor environment (plein air or studio work)

Nocturne, Sunrise, Sunset — Night scenes, sunrises, sunsets (plein air or studio work)

Outdoor Still Life — Table settings, garden ornaments, etc. in an outdoor environment (plein air or studio work)

Water — Seascapes, coastal, marine, rivers and streams, etc. (plein air or studio work)

Drawing & Sketches— Drawings, sketches, travel sketching, (any subject and medium including iPad sketching (plein air or studio work)

Western — Any painting featuring a Western theme, landscape or figure

Student (HS or College) — Must be over the age of 18 (proof of age and school attendance required), all subject matter is eligible (plein air or studio work)

Artist Under 30 — Must be under the age of 30 (proof of age required), all subject matter is eligible (plein air or studio work)

Artist Over 65 — Must be over the age of 65 (proof of age required), all subject matter is eligible (plein air or studio work)

Acrylic — Paintings can be of any subject matter in the acrylic medium

Oil — Paintings can be of any subject matter in the oil medium

Pastel — Paintings can be of any subject matter in the pastel medium

Watercolor — Paintings can be of any subject matter in the watercolor medium


Bi-Monthly Competition Awards (22 winners each cycle):

Artist Profile in weekly PleinAir Today newsletter. The winner in each of these categories is automatically entered into the annual Grand Prize competition.


Overall Winners

1st Place Overall ($1,000 cash prize)

2nd Place Overall

3rd Place Overall

Best Overall Acrylic

Best Overall Oil

Best Overall Pastel

Best Overall Watercolor


Category Winners

Best Student Artist (age and school verification required)

Best Artist Under 30 (age verification required)

Best Artist Over 65 (age verification required)

Best Plein Air Work Only

Best Building

Best Figure & Portrait

Best Floral

Best Landscape

Best Nocturne, Sunrise, Sunset

Best Outdoor Still Life

Best Water

Best Vehicle

Best Drawing & Sketch

Best Animals and Birds

Best Western


Competition Rules:


·         All individuals entering must be at least 18 years of age to accept cash prizes.

·         Competition is open to residents of any state or country where acceptable by law.

·         Those entering the Student, Artists Under 30, or Artists Over 65 categories must verify age (and in the Student category, school attendance) if selected as an award winner.



·         Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee.

·         The fee for the first image submitted is $35, and additional images submitted are $13 each (U.S. dollars).

·         All entry fees are non-refundable and must be paid via check or credit card by the entry deadline.



·         Because this competition is created by PleinAir magazine, which features not only plein air paintings, but also studio paintings, all types of paintings are eligible and do not need to have been painted in plein air. As we know, many studio paintings start with plein air sketches. Our interest is in rewarding great paintings.

·         All entries must be original compositions and cannot be based on anything that has been published elsewhere. Copies of other artists’ work are NOT considered original and are not eligible. Paintings based on another person’s photograph (even if copyright-free) are NOT eligible. All entries must be 100% painted by the artist entering and cannot have been painted partially by an instructor.

·         Photography, computer-generated, printed or painted over photographs are PROHIBITED. The PleinAir Salon reserves the right to refuse any artwork if the method with which is was created is questionable. If the artwork is questionable, we will do our best to contact the artist and discuss before any disqualifications are officially made.  

·         Employees or associates of Streamline Publishing, Inc., or their immediate families may not enter.

·         Entries do not need to be new or fresh. Older paintings accepted.

·         There is no limit to the number of images you can enter in each bi-monthly competition.

·         An image can be re-entered in subsequent competitions as many times as you wish, until it wins a category. Note: All category winners are included in the judging for the Grand Prize, so there is no need to enter a winning painting multiple times.

·         Images can be entered in multiple categories. Please note that if you enter the same image in multiple categories, that image can be selected as a winner of only one category.

·         Grand Prize winners are not eligible to win the Grand Prize again within 12 months of winning.

·         When first entering the PleinAir Salon Art Competition, you’ll be asked to create a profile. If you do not have an artist account at, click here. [] This takes just a few minutes, and then you can upload quality images of your paintings and select the categories you wish to enter.

·         Grand Prize winners are NOT eligible to win the Grand Prize within 12 months of winning.

·         PleinAir magazine reserves the right to reject or not display any image that it feels is inappropriate or distasteful, if the image’s resolution quality is poor, if we believe the image is a copy of another painting, or it does not meet the above criteria.


·         All images must include the signature of the artist.

·         Before uploading your images, make sure they are smaller than 4MB, but at least 1920 pixels on the longest side at 72 dpi. Images should be in JPEG format, sRGB color space. Help in photographing your work and properly sizing your images can be found at: If you need help entering your images or are unable to, please write to us here:

·         Please add and to your safe senders list to ensure notifications are received.


·         After the close of each bi-monthly competition, an invited guest judge (top museum or gallery professional or master artist) selects the best paintings from each category. The winners will be notified and official announcements and promotion will begin approximately two weeks after the close of each competition. More details…[]

·         In the event a judge who has been promoted is unable to judge for any reason, an alternative judge will be appointed. If one cannot be found, judging will be done by an editor or publisher of either Fine Art Connoisseur or PleinAir magazine.

·         Winners will be selected in each category of each bi-monthly competition. A cash prize will be awarded to the first place overall winners in each competition.

·         Winners of each bi-monthly competition, including each category winner, will be entered into the judging for the annual Salon competition.

·         In the event a category does not have enough entries or paintings of high enough quality, judges may decide not to award recognition in that particular category for that competition period.

By entering the PleinAir Salon Art Competition, you agree that you are submitting images of your own original artwork and not that of other artists or material in which you do not hold the copyright. The original work does not have to currently be in your possession. You are also agreeing, in advance, to have your submitted artwork and your image published to any print or digital/electronic property of Streamline Publishing, Inc. This includes, but is not limited to, print and digital magazines, newsletters, websites, e-mails, social media pages, and promotional materials in perpetuity.


At times, Streamline Publishing, Inc. may request a higher-resolution image than was submitted through the PleinAir Salon Art Competition. When entering, you agree to fulfill this request in a timely manner in order for Streamline Publishing, Inc. to promote the competition winners.


Each bi-monthly competition ends at midnight Pacific Time on the published final day of that competition.


Only electronic submissions through the competition’s official website will be accepted. Entries received by mail or physical delivery in the form of photographs, discs, or actual paintings will not be accepted.

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