Prairie Plein Air

Prairie Plein Air

The registration is closed for this year. Apply online or fill out and print an entry form to apply by mail in January 2020.

Artists were invited to participate in the 2019 Prairie Plein Air Competition and Show by creating an original plein air painting or drawing of any location within the Schaumburg, IL city limit. While there's no shortage of great locations to inspire your work, we've created a map with a few notable locations to get you started. Works must be completed between April 26 and May 10, 2019. See our prospectus for complete information. 

Submitted works will be exhibited and for sale in the Herb Aigner Gallery inside the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts May 14 - June 25, and will coincide with the 32nd annual Prairie Arts Festival, which will be held Memorial Day weekend (Saturday and Sunday May 25-26) on the grounds of the Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center.

2019 Prairie Plein Air Competition and Show Judge: Tom Henrichsen.

 For more information, contact Roxane Benvenuti or call 847-923-3605.

2018 Award Winners

First place: Christina Body, Oil, Zurich
Judge’s Notes: A bold, original composition, with a deft organization of shapes. The light and atmosphere are beautifully observed, and painted convincingly. The paint handling is fresh, yet restrained, in keeping with the solidity and simplicity of the structure.  This painting grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go!

Second Place: Miguel Malagon, Oil, St. Peter
Judge’s Notes: This is poetry. Hints, glimpses, suggestions. Just enough, but no more. Sigh.

Third Place: Eddie Corkery, Oil, Chickens with Milk
Judge’s Notes: Strong initial impact, but exciting up close as well. The brushwork is fresh, vigorous and varied. Great use of angles in the composition, and the lighting feels true.

Honorable Mention: Robert Holmes, Watercolor, Looking Back - House on Lengl St.
Judge’s Notes: There is a beautiful simplicity about this work, with great control over light and shadow. Nice organization of shapes, with just enough detail to make sense of things.  Nothing overworked, really fresh!

Honorable Mention: Thomas Trausch, Oil, Piggy Doo
Judge’s Notes: Great sense of light and atmosphere, and the handling of the tree is superb. The spatial depth is quite convincing. All of the elements in this painting are well-orchestrated.

Honorable Mention: Susan Whitney, Oil, Magnolia by the Coach House
Judge’s Notes: This piece has both strength and simplicity. The close-in focus and cropping of the buildings makes for some strong shapes, with the flowering tree as a soft counterpoint. The handling of the light and shadow is very effective; no doubt about what kind of day this was!