Prairie Plein Air

Prairie Plein Air

Apply online (preferred) OR fill out and print an entry form to apply by mail by the April 10, 2020 deadline.

Artists are invited to participate in the 2020 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 24 and May 8, 2020. 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 12 - June 23, and will coincide with the 33rd annual Prairie Arts Festival, which will be held Memorial Day weekend (Saturday and Sunday May 23-24) on the grounds of the Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center.

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

2020 Prairie Plein Air Competition and Show Judge:
Eric Forsberg. 

2019 Award Winners

First place: Eddie Corkery, Oil, Merkle Cabin Trees
Judge’s Notes: 
I feel like I’m stepping into this painting - over the cool shadows into the light. The trees are handled beautifully. The trunks have solidity and the roots enter the ground in a strong, realistic way. The figures are placed well, in order to give a sense of scale and distance.

Second Place: Steve Puttrich, Watercolor, Morning Light on the Farm
Judge’s Notes: I love the design of this painting! The choices made about composition, values, color and drawing are working in this piece. I can see into the shadow areas, which are dark but transparent. The colors sparkle and the clothes and line are well drawn without being fussy.

Third Place: Andrea Czarnik, Oil, Spring Valley Brush of Snow
Judge’s Notes: 
Like all good paintings done outside, this piece has a feeling of the weather. Strong darks frame the warm light of the snow and fence. The brushwork is vigorous - especially in the foreground and on the fence. Not overworked. 

Honorable Mention: Jeanne Clohisy, Oil, Days Gone By
Judge’s Notes: This is a victorious painting of what I would consider a tough subject - a light colored building in open sunshine with challenging perspective. The composition is strong, with the dominance of the house nicely balanced by the fence, greenery and sky. The brushwork in the smaller areas is loose and colorful. 

Honorable Mention: Irene Peterson, Oil Pastel, Walking Along
Judge’s Notes: This impressionistic pathway drew me in. I love the surface quality created by placing marks side by side with little blending. This technique builds the value pattern and local colors. It’s especially effective on the path. Reminiscent of Monet’s garden pathways. 

Honorable Mention: Thomas Trausch, Oil, Hi
Judge’s Notes: This painting works for me in so many ways. A dramatic composition, strong values and sense of light, and great use of color. The fence and path led my eye to the barn, was stopped by the tree and lead back down to the fence. Everything works in this painting.