Plein Air Festival 2024

May 11 – June 22, 2024

The Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival is one of the longest-running and most popular outdoor painting events in the country. Founded in 2008, the Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival has welcomed over 500 artists to paint the splendor of the Philadelphia area and has become one of the most eagerly anticipated cultural events in the region.

The 16th Annual Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival kicks off on May 5, 2024, with the arrival of 32 juried, nationally recognized, and emerging artists who have ventured to Wayne, Pennsylvania to capture the exceptional beauty of the Delaware Valley. As one of the premier plein air events in the country, Wayne Art Center offers artists the unique opportunity to showcase over 300 works created during the festival in three spacious, light-filled, and state-of-the-art exhibition galleries. These impressive works, which represent a diverse range of styles and mediums, are on view and sale through June 22, 2024 (6 weeks). A full schedule of events, to include community paint-outs, artist demos, lectures and other programs will be presented during the span of the festival and exhibition to further advance awareness of the plein air movement.

The galleries at Wayne Art Center are enjoyed by more than 30,000 visitors each year and sales during the Wayne Plein Air Exhibition are robust and remain steady throughout the span of the exhibition.

The success of the Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival is made possible through the artists’ enthusiastic participation over the past 15 years, along with the generosity of our many business sponsors, patrons, and volunteers, demonstrating how valued this festival is to our community. Funds raised through this eagerly anticipated event benefit Wayne Art Center’s vast array of educational, outreach, and exhibition programs for individuals of all ages and abilities.

Artist Participants

For artists who previously have participated in Wayne Art Center Plein Air, the festival offers an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and collectors and to compete for $25,000 in cash awards. For emerging artists, acceptance into Wayne Art Center’s Plein Air Festival represents an important step in achieving national recognition. As one of the first plein air festivals established in our country, the Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival has attracted some of our nation’s most prestigious outdoor painters working in the field and has served an instrumental role in supporting the vibrant contemporary landscape painting movement.


Artist housing will be graciously provided by welcoming members of the community.

Participating plein air artists are requested to attend a Welcome Breakfast at a local picturesque farm on Sunday, May 5 to launch the festival week, along with a comprehensive artist orientation and canvas stamping.


Throughout the festival week, painters work on location throughout the surrounding areas, a locale robust with colorful and varied landscapes. From quaint small towns filled with historic architecture to rolling hills dotted with livestock, to the dynamic skyline views of Center City Philadelphia and its surrounding waterfronts, including the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, there is no lack of inspiration or subject matter. A week of intense work culminates in a dynamic exhibition of over 300 paintings.

Plein Air Festival Exhibition Collectors’ Preview & Awards Ceremony

The 16th Annual Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival debuts with a highly charged collectors’ preview party where patrons vie for the first chance to acquire their painting of choice. Participating plein air artists will have the unique opportunity to connect with Wayne Art Center sponsors, patrons and area collectors while establishing important contacts. Over ten major cash awards totaling $25,000 will be presented by Juror Jill Carver, including Best of Show, First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Special Themed Awards. Industry prizes will also be offered.

In addition to cash, the Best of Show award winner will be invited to participate in the next year’s Plein Air event.

Jill Carver, Juror

Originally from London, England, Jill Carver moved to the United States in 2002. Before becoming a full time professional artist, she was a curatorial research assistant at the National Portrait Gallery in London for twelve years. Jill lives in Rico, Colorado, a small historical mining town nestled in the San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado. After establishing her name winning numerous Artists Choice awards at the country’s top plein events, such as Laguna Beach Invitational and Plein Air Easton, she has participated in premier annual shows such as The Coors and The Bighorn Rendevous. In 2014, Jill won the Gold Medal (Artists’ Choice) for Best in Show at Maynard Dixon Country and in the same year was inaugurated as Signature Member in ‘Plein Air Painters of America’. Her work is represented by The Medicine Man Gallery, The Insight Gallery, and Wood River Fine Arts. She is a popular and highly regarded teacher.

About her work Jill Carver writes, “Painting is my spiritual compass in life. My work explores the dialogue between abstraction and realism, and I enjoy that ‘dance’ or ‘tension’. Artists should think of themselves as poets rather than journalists. I want to say something ‘specific’ about my reaction to a place or a moment in time – to capture the essence of the visual experience but not render every fact. I process any idea through analyzing it in terms of shapes of abstract color rather than content. My expressive brushwork gives a sense of motion and emotion, and allows me to control the rhythm and dynamics. By not explaining fully every fact or detail, the viewer enters a dialogue with the painting and has to complete the thought of what has been suggested. Hopefully, they are then immersed in an experience beyond observation.”


Contact Information
Pam McLean-Parker, Exhibition Coordinator, pam@wayneart.org

Wayne Art Center
413 Maplewood Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
610.688.3553 x211

Application Requirements:
Be sure to have upload-ready JPG files:
File Format: JPG files.
All images should be at least 300 dpi resolution.
File dimensions: 1200 pixels or greater on the longest side.
File size: under 5 MB
Please name each jpg file with the title of the work.

Online applications are accepted through the CaFE platform only and must be completed and submitted with payment by midnight, February 20, 2024.  Wayne Art Center invites up to four images per application.  Artists may submit ONE application.


Open to artists 18 and older from the United States.

Artists participating in the Wayne Plein Air Festival 2024 may not exhibit at other galleries within a 50-mile radius of the Wayne Art Center during the duration of the WAC Plein Air Exhibition from May 11- June 22, 2024.

Invitation to participate as a 2024 Wayne Art Center Plein Air artist constitutes an agreement on the part of the artist to all terms and conditions of this entire prospectus, which includes, but is not limited to, the right of Wayne Art Center to use entry images for publicity purposes.

Plein Air artists will agree to sell work featured in Wayne Art Center’s online gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Rules and Terms to Apply:
Legal Agreement Terms and Conditions for applying:

Entrants must be 18 years of age or older and reside in the United States.

Artwork submitted for review must have been executed in the plein air method and not in the studio.

Paintings submitted to juror must have been created in the last two years.

Upon acceptance artists must make available a brief bio and artist’s statement.

Notification of acceptance/decline will be made by email; therefore, applicants must have a valid, working email address. Please be sure to adjust your email settings to accept messages from the CaFE system to prevent your notification from going into junk mail or your spam folder.

The $50 entry fee is non-refundable.

All work completed in the festival must be framed and wired for hanging.  Artwork created during the festival must remain on display for the duration of the exhibit: May 11 – June 22, 2024.

All paintings exhibited must be available for sale.  Wayne Art Center provides insurance coverage for 60% of the retail price of each painting. Wayne Art Center processes all sales and will retain 40% commission of the sale price, or on any sale that results from mediation by Wayne Art Center staff.  Wayne Art Center processes all resulting commissions of work that occur as a result of this exhibition at the same rate of 60/40 Artist/WAC.

Submission of work to this exhibition constitutes an agreement on the part of the artist to all terms and conditions of this entire prospectus, which includes, but is not limited to, the right of Wayne Art Center to use entry images for publicity purposes.

Insurance and Liability: While all precautions will be taken to ensure the protection of work upon receipt, Wayne Art Center cannot assume liability for any loss or damage to artwork in transportation.  All unsold artworks must be retrieved from Wayne Art Center by the artist or representative by July 26, 2024. Artists are responsible for the return of their unsold work, including the cost of shipping.  Any paintings remaining at Wayne Art Center after July 26, 2024 will no longer be insured and will become property of Wayne Art Center unless special arrangements are made.