Information for Artists

Plein Air Painting Competition

Friday, September 21 to Wednesday, September 26

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

 Competition Categories

  • Oil or Acrylic
  • Watercolor, Pastel or other media (for example, Wood Block)
  • Nocturne – any media
  • Junior (K-3) – any media
  • Junior (4-6) – any media
  • Junior(7-12) – any media

Student Participation Options

Younger artists are encouraged to participate in the plein air competition.  For college students a reduced entry fee of $15 per category in the main competition 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.

Nocturne Competition

The nocturne artwork must be created during evenings of the competition week and any media can be used.  General competition guidelines apply to this category.

Celebrate Scenic Byway 12 Paint Out

Tuesday, September 25 – all day

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

Celebrate Scenic Byway 12  is the 2018 theme for the Paint-Out.   Artists may paint subjects along Scenic Byway 12.   Proceeds from these artworks will be donated to the Scenic Byway 12 Foundation to support their programming and initiatives.

 Artist Stamp-in

Escalante Community Center

Friday September 21 8 AM to NOON and 1 PM to 5 PM
Saturday September 22 8 AM to NOON and 1 PM to 5 PM
Sunday September 23 8 AM to NOON and 1 PM to 5 PM
Monday September 24 9 AM to NOON


Plein Air Painting Criteria

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 the frame).

Painting Competition Submission

Wednesday, September 26, 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 27 – 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 28 and Saturday, September 29 – 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 29, 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 Scenic Byway 12 – 1st Place – $500 / 2nd Place – $250 / 3rd Place – $125
  • Nocturne – 1st Place – $500 / 2nd Place – $250 / 3rd Place – $125
  • Sheila Wooley Faulkner Memorial Award – $500 – awarded to painting that best captures historical context of Escalante
  • Junior Best of Show – $100 – awarded across all junior categories  
  • Junior Awards (K-3rd) – 1st Place – $50 / 2nd Place – $35 / 3rd Place – $20
  • Junior Awards (4th-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.

Artists’ Wine & Cheese Welcome

Saturday, September 22, 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.  

Artists’ Reception

Thursday, September 27, 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, September 30 – 9 AM – 11 AM – Kiva Koffeehouse – HWY 12 above Escalante River

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 28 and Saturday, September 29 – 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.

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.

Artists Housing Options

Reservations in the local area fill up during September, so book your lodging early.  Many of the area lodging options can be found here.  There are also several public and private campgrounds in the area and information on many of these can be found here.

Escalante 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 21 and departing by Sunday, September 30.  Discounts are not provided for staying fewer days.  Refunds for group camping will not be issued after September 14, 2018.   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
5 – Small trailer no hook up – $125 – four spaces
5 – Camper-shell/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.

We look forward to seeing you in September!