Information for Artists

Plein Air Painting Competition

Friday, September 22 to Wednesday, September 27

Rules and guidelines for competing in the Escalante Canyons Plein Air Competition are detailed here: 2017 Plein Air Rules and Guidelines.  All registered artists must agree to these to participate in the competition.

 Competition Categories

  • GENERAL – Plein Air Competition – Oil/Acrylic Category
  • GENERAL – Plein Air Competition – Watercolor/Pastel/Mixed Media Category
  • JUNIOR (K-6) – Plein Air Competition – All Media
  • JUNIOR (7-12) – Plein Air Competition – All Media

Student Participation Options

Younger artists are encouraged to participate in the plein air competition.  For college students a reduced entry fee of $25 per category is offered (Student ID required at stamp-in).  The Junior Competition category allows high school and elementary students to compete for cash prizes and include their work in the exhibit – this entry fee is $5.

 Artist Stamp-in

Escalante Community Center

Friday September 22 8 AM to NOON and 1 PM to 5 PM
Saturday September 23 8 AM to NOON and 1 PM to 5 PM
Sunday September 24 8 AM to NOON and 1 PM to 5 PM
Monday September 25 9 AM to NOON

Plein Air Painting Parameters

Paint on location anywhere in Garfield, Wayne, or Kane Counties.  75% of each painting must be completed at the plein air location.  Please limit artwork size to 30″x 36″ (including frame).

Painting Competition Submission

Wednesday, September 27, 11 AM to 6 PM – Escalante Community Center

Submit one entry per category.  At submission, the entire back of submitted artwork must be visible so that the authentication stamp is visible.  All entries must be framed or presented for display.  Framed artwork must have a wire attached for hanging.  Artwork can be framed after submission if need be.  Artist must determine whether to include their submissions in the silent auction or the “buy-it-now” sale.

Plein Air Competition Judging

Thursday, September 28 – Escalante Community Center

The judges evaluate each competition entry for composition, originality, presentation, skill, technique, and the freshness that is the spirit of plein air.  The Best of Show Purchase Award winning paintings in each category are marked “Not for Sale”.  The Community Center is closed to the public (including artists) on Thursday.

Plein Air Exhibit, Choice Awards, Silent Auction and Buy-It-Now Sale

Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30 – Escalante Community Center

All plein air competition entries are displayed in the Escalante Community Center and ballots are collected for the People’s Choice and Artists’ Choice Awards.  Bidding for the silent auction opens as soon as the exhibit opens to the public.  Buy-it-now sales are to hang in show until after the award ceremony.

Plein Air Award Ceremony and Reception

Saturday, September 30, 6 PM to 8 PM – Escalante Community Center

The Festival closes with a reception and award ceremony open to all artists and the public.  The silent auctions close and winning bidders rejoice.  Competition winners are announced and the following prizes are awarded:

  • Best of Show Purchase Award** – Oil/Acrylic – $1500
  • Best of Show Purchase Award** – Watercolor/Mixed Media/Pastel – $1500
  • Award of Excellence – a half-page ad in Southwest Art Magazine valued @ $2,305
  • Awards of Merit, 2 in each category – $500
  • Honorable Mention, 3 in each category – $250
  • People’s Choice Award**  – $250
  • Artists’ Choice Award (voted by registered artists) – a quarter-page ad in Plein Air Magazine valued @ $1250
  • Paint-Out – Celebrate Public Lands – 1st Place – $500 / 2nd Place – $250 / 3rd Place – $125
  • Paint-Out -Nocturne – 1st Place – $500 / 2nd Place – $250 / 3rd Place – $125
  • Junior Awards (K-6th) – 1st Place – $50 / 2nd Place – $35 / 3rd Place – $20
  • Junior Awards (7th-12th) – 1st Place – $50 / 2nd Place – $35 / 3rd Place – $20

**Note that Escalante Canyons Art Festival keeps the Best of Show Purchase Award winners in each category.   The People’s Choice Award is granted only once to an artist during the life of the festival.

Paint Out Events

Nocturne Paint Out

Saturday night, September 23

Stamp-in: Saturday, September 23: 6 – 8 PM / Submission: Sunday 24:  8 AM – noon – Vagabond Inn Gallery

This evening paint out event is scheduled to coincide with the Artist Welcome Reception.

Celebrate Public Lands Paint Out

Tuesday, September 26 – all day

Stamp-in: 7 AM to NOON / Submission: 2 – 5 PM – Escalante Community Center

Celebrate Public Lands is the 2017 theme for the Paint-Out.   Artists may paint subjects on any public lands in Garfield, Kane or Wayne Counties.  Proceeds from the Celebrate Public Lands Paint will be donated to Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners ( support their programming and initiatives.

More detail about the Paint Out events is located here.

Artists’ Welcome Cocktail Party

Saturday, September 23, 6 PM – Vagabond Inn

**Open only to registered artists, festival committee, volunteers and supporters, and their family members.  

A welcome party hosted by one of the festival’s original founding funders is being held to welcome artists to town.  This event coincides with the Nocture Paint Out stamp-in.  

Artists’ Reception

Thursday, September 28, 7 PM to 9 PM – Escalante Interagency Visitor Center

**Open only to registered artists, festival committee, volunteers and supporters, and their family members.  

Participating artists, festival committee members, festival sponsors, and local art patrons mix and mingle at this festival favorite which is supported by businesses and members of the local community who donate food and beverages for everyone to enjoy.   

Festival Finale Brunch

Sunday, October 1 – 9 AM – 11 AM – Circle D Eatery – 475 West Main Street, Escalante

Join us for a no-host brunch to close out the festival.  Display your artwork for sale in front of the restaurant.

Artists’ Overflow Sales Tent

Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30 – 10 AM to 6 PM –  just outside Escalante Community Center

Artists can sell paintings in the Artists’ Overflow Sales Tent that were created during the week but not entered in the competition.  Artwork need not be framed.  Participating artists are encouraged to volunteer to help monitor and staff the tent.  Sales are processed by the festival staff in the Escalante Community Center.  Artists are responsible for securing their artwork at the close of each day.

Artists Housing Options

**UPDATE as of 8-20-2017:  No additional local donated housing in area homes is available for this year.

State Park Group Camping – We have also reserved a large group camp site at the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park (1 mile west of town adjacent to Wide Hollow Reservoir).  Securing a space requires making payment prior to arrival.  Space at the state park can be reserved for a set fee with check-in beginning as early as Friday, September 22 and departing by Sunday, October 1.  Discounts are not provided for staying fewer days.  Refunds for group camping will not be issued after September 15, 2017.   The cost of camping at the group campsite is as follows, no matter the length of stay:

1 – RV full hook up – $200 – one space
3 – Small trailer no hook up – $125 – four spaces
8 – Car camping/tent spaces – $75

Reserve Group Camp Site

For those wanting to stay only a few days at the state park, try to make reservations for other sites in the campground directly via this link.


Art Sales Commission

The Escalante Canyons Art Festival retains 25% of proceeds for any and all sale proceeds for artwork produced and sold during at the festival.  This includes direct sales facilitated by artists.  Checks for the sale of artwork are mailed after the festival.  

Many artists choose to rent a vendor booth during the festival. As a vendor, you are not subject to any commissions or artwork restrictions for works sold from the vendor booth.

We look forward to seeing you in September!