Plein Air painting in Alton, IL

3rd Annual Mississippi Earthtones
 Plein Air Competition 
 in conjuntion with the Mississippi Earthtones Festival Sat., Sept. 18, 2010 

Celebrating our river through art, music, and conservation. The contest will consist of paintings or drawings done en plein air of the Mississippi River or surrounding scenery as viewed from the festival grounds of the Mississippi Earthtones Festival held and juried on Saturday, September 19th, 2009 (noon to 5pm) at the Alton Amphitheater at Riverfront Park, Alton, IL.  Completed paintings will be juried at the festival for cash prizes. Art will be exhibited and artists will have the opportunity to sell their work during the Mississippi Earthtones Festival, if desired.

 THE MISSISSIPPI EARTHTONES FESTIVAL: sponsored by Alton Marketplace and the Sierra Club, is a celebration of our river through art, music, and conservation – held annually on the 3rd Saturday in September – this year falling on 9/18/2010. This event, held from noon to 9pm, attracts hundreds of people to Riverfront Park for informational booths on ecology, native plants & animals, and recycling, as well as: fine arts, river-related crafts, food vendors, litter clean-ups, organized hikes & bike rides, and live music.

a) Entry into the contest and eligibility for cash prizes.
b) Entry to a Liquitex “acrylic materials & methods related to plein air painting” lecture given by Christine Ilewski from 11am-Noon on Saturday, September 18th in a covered pavilion at Riverfront Park, which officially kicks off the contest. (optional)
c) Attendees of the lecture will receive a primary mixing set of Liquitex acrylic paint that would be appropriate for use in the competition, if participants so choose. ($25 Value)

Artists will have their blank canvases to be used in the competition stamped at this time. The contest will start at Noon, and artists may choose to start painting at any time of day, but please note that the cost is the same if you paint for one hour or the full 5 hours.

 AWARDS: Cash prizes will be given for first, second, and third place overall as well as for a “Peoples’ Choice” category, with all votes to be cast on the day of the festival.

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all artists 18 & over.

CATEGORIES: Oil Painting, Watercolor, Pastel, Acrylics, Drawing, & Mixed Media. Participating artists must paint from life – on location. Studiowork is not allowed.

FEES: $15.00 if registration is postmarked by September 13th or hand-delivered by September 17th. The walk-up fee is $20.00 to register on the day of the festival. Registration fee is non-refundable, and the cost is the same if you paint for one hour or the full five hours. Checks and money orders are accepted, made payable to Alton Marketplace OR you may pay online with PayPal at Please note that if you pay online, you still must mail in your signed entry form.

 JUROR / JUDGING: Jeff Vaughn, nationally acclaimed landscape artist and Alton native, will be the juror for this competition. Only art created in plein air of the Mississippi River or surrounding scenery during the competition will be considered for awards. No unstamped surfaces will be considered for jury. All artwork to be judged must be delivered to the River Art Village section of the festival by 5pm sharp; judging for the general competition will start promptly at 5:15, and awards will be given at 6pm. Each artist may submit up to two pieces for judging in the general competition, but only one monetary award will be given per artist. Competition winners will be announced at the festival, and publicized in Marketplace’s October newsletter as well as by press release to local media.

 REGISTRATION & CHECK-IN: The registration fee for the competition is $15.00 in advance or $20 on the day of the festival. All artists must have their blank painting surfaces stamped before starting the painting or drawing, and no canvases will be stamped prior to 11am on September 18th when the “acrylic materials & methods” lecture is to be held to kick off the competition.

 EXHIBITION BY ARTISTS: Artists will be required to show their plein air artwork created during the competition at the festival on Saturday, September 18th from 5pm – 7pm. All artists are required to provide an easel to show their juried work only.

 SALES: If desired, artists are also welcome (though not required) to show and sell work created at other locations and in their studio for an additional $35 fee. Display space will be limited to 10’ X 10’ per artist. All artists will be responsible for their display materials – tents, display racks, easels, tables, chairs, etc. Any original artwork or handmade items are welcome to be sold during the festival and will not be subject to a commission by the organizer; shared booth space is permitted.
 Please see the link at the top of this post for the official entry form.

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