Plein Air Festival


16th Annual Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival

May 11 – June 22, 2024
Davenport Gallery, Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Gallery, Vidinghoff Gallery

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.


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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.

Olena Babak, ME
Bridger Barksdale, UT
Beth Bathe, PA
Barbara Berry, PA
Lon Brauer, IL
Thomas Bucci, ME
Michele Byrne, NM
Henry Coe, MD
Valerie Craig, PA
Eileen Eder, CT
Qiang Huang, TX
Neal Hughes, NJ
Fred Jackson, PA
Jim Laurino, CT
Christopher Leeper, OH
Elaine Lisle, PA
David Lussier, ME
Mick McAndrews, PA
Jonathan McPhillips, RI
Charles Newman, NJ
Abby Ober, MD
Elise Phillips, PA
Edmond Praybe, MD
Cynthia Rosen, VT
Kari Ganoung Ruiz, NY
Jennifer Sampson, NY
Natalie Shupe, UT
John Slivjak, NJ
Caleb Stoltzfus, PA
Jill Stefani Wagner, MI
Rokhaya Waring, NC
Stewart White, MD


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.

16th Annual Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival Juror:

Wayne Art Center is pleased to welcome Jill Carver as the 2024 Plein Air 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, Plein Air Easton, Sedona, San Luis Obispo and Telluride, 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.

Skip Whitcomb: “Jill is making a powerful imprint on a whole generation of painters and opening eyes and minds to what western painting can be.”


» Full Exhibition Schedule