Plein Air Painting Competition

Friday, September 16 to Wednesday, September 21

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. 

If you are new to the festival or Escalante Canyons region, this list may help you plan your painting outings.

Registration is taken as agreement to follow CDC Covid-19 guidelines in place when festival is hosted.

Artist Stamp-in

Escalante Community Center – 89 N 100 West (Corner of 100 North and 100 West)

Friday September 16 8 AM to NOON and 1 PM to 5 PM
Saturday September 17 8 AM to NOON and 1 PM to 5 PM
Sunday September 18 9 AM to NOON
Monday September 19 9 AM to NOON

Painting Competition Submission 

Wednesday, September 21, 10 AM to 5 PM – Plein Air Exhibit Tent – Escalante Town Park

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.  

Competition Categories 

  • Oil or Acrylic
  • Watercolor, Pastel or other media (for example, Wood Block)
  • Quick Draw – any media
  • Nocturne – any media
  • Junior (Grades K-3) – any media
  • Junior (Grades 4-6) – any media
  • Junior(Grades 7-9) – any media
  • Junior(Grades 10-12) – any media

Youth Participation Options

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

Additional Competitions 

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. 

Quick Draw

TBD  – Sign in at entrance to Plein Air Exhibit Tent

Artists will set up and paint within a block periphery of the town park using photos, mobile devices or from life. Artwork may be sold off the easel.  

Plein Air Competition Judging 

Thursday, September 22 

The judges evaluate each competition entry for composition, originality, presentation, skill, technique, and the freshness that is the spirit of plein air.  The Exhibit Area is closed to the public (including artists) during judging.

Plein Air Awards 

  • 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, 2 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
  • Quick Draw People’s Choice – $250
  • Nocturne – 1st Place – $300 / 2nd Place – $200 / 3rd Place – $100
  • Sheila Wooley Faulkner Memorial Award – $300 – awarded to painting that best captures historical context of Escalante
  • Junior Best of Show – $100 – awarded across all junior categories  
  • Junior Awards (K-3rd Grades) – 1st Place – $50 / 2nd Place – $35 / 3rd Place – $25
  • Junior Awards (4th-6th Grades) – 1st Place – $50 / 2nd Place – $35 / 3rd Place – $25
  • Junior Awards (7th-9th Grades) – 1st Place – $50 / 2nd Place – $35 / 3rd Place – $25
  • Junior Awards (10th-12th Grades) – 1st Place – $50 / 2nd Place – $35 / 3rd Place – $25

**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.

Art Sales

Plein Air Exhibit and Sale

Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 10 AM-6 PM

Online Sale

Begins Friday, September 23, 10 AM

The festival is excited to host an online art presentation and eCommerce sales opportunity for all the competition categories. Only artworks submitted for the competition can be included in the online sale. The online presentation is optional for all registered artists, but we encourage everyone to participate. 

3 Steps at Artwork Submission to Participate in Online Sales
  1. Complete ECAF – Online Entry Sheet
    • Online Entry Form will be available at Stamp-in and Submission and via this link.
  2. Provide Artwork Photo
    • Artists are responsible for providing a quality image of their artwork.
  3. Email Artwork to
    • Include the following in the subject line:
      • Artist Name
      • Competition Category 

If all goes well with the roll-out of doing online sales for the first time, ECAF will keep sales live at least through the end of the year for those artists that are interested.

Overflow Sales Tent

Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 10 AM-6 PM

Artists can sell paintings in the Overflow Sales Tent that were created during any year of the festival – the paintings must have a festival stamp.

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.  Artists are responsible for securing their artwork at the close of each day.

Festival Finale Breakfast

Sunday, September 25 – 9 AM – 11 AM – Location: TBD

Join us for a no-host breakfast to close out the festival.  Artists may sell art of the local area, stamped or not. 


Registration refunds will be provided up to 30 days before the workshop or competition starts. 


Escalante Canyons Art Festival also reserves the right to refuse plein air competition registration to future events to any individuals who do not follow the Rules and Guidelines or conduct themselves in other unethical or fraudulent behavior or actions.

We look forward to seeing you in September!