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2019 Central City Plein Air Festival
September 27, 2019 to September 29, 2019
Central City, Colorado
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Application Dates:
Jan 9, 2019 - Mar 31, 2019
Application Fee:
Notification Date:
Apr 19, 2019

2019 Central City Plein Air Festival
September 27 - September 29, 2019
Central City, Colorado

Application Dates: January 8 – March 31, 2019

Application Fee: $40

Notification Date: April 15, 2019


Central City Opera, in partnership with the Gilpin County Arts Association, seeks 20 artists to participate in the 2019 Central City Plein Air Festival, September 27- September 29.

Up to 20 artists will be selected to paint the fall landscapes and historic architecture of this Colorado mountain town.  The festival culminates in an Exhibition, Sale, and Awards Reception on Sunday, September 29th in which the paintings created throughout the weekend will be on display and available for purchase in the Gilpin County Art Association’s Washington Hall Gallery.

Entry & Selection Process

  • The Central City Plein Air Festival is open to all artists 18 and older.
  • Entries must be submitted electronically, along with a non-refundable application fee of $40. Required application information includes 3-5 artwork images and an artist bio/statement.
  • Artists are selected through a blind juried process consisting of one juror: Bruce Gomez. The judge will review all submitted applications and select up to 20 artists to participate in the 2019 event.  The previous year’s Best in Show Award Winner is invited back without jury process.
  • Notification of selected artists will be sent to each applicant via e-mail no later than April 15, 2019. Artist agreement forms will be emailed to those who have been accepted following the announcement.

Image Requirements

  • Each artist must submit 3-5 images of the Plein Air artwork in JPEG format, color space preferred format with a resolution of 300 DPI (max 4000 pixels on the longest side)
  • Submitted artwork images must be representative of the type, style, and medium of artwork the artist plans to create during the festival itself.
  • Applicants may only submit images of artwork that has been created entirely of their own skill with no assistance of instruction
  • No digitally manipulated images are allowed. You may only adjust for brightness, contrast, color correction, and to remove scratches and debris.

Event Requirements

  • All artwork must be completed within a 2-mile radius of the Central City Opera House area between September 27th and September 29th, 2019.
  • Artists are asked to paint a minimum of three (3) original paintings for prize judging at the Exhibition and Sale on Sunday, September 29, 2019
  • Canvases will be stamped with an approved insignia as they arrive. Only artwork with this stamp will be permitted in the Exhibition & Sale and this authentication must be visible on the back of the artwork substrate.
  • Artists must bring artwork  to the Washington Hall Gallery on Sunday, September 29 no later than 2 PM. Art must be hung and set by 3 PM.
  • Wire hangers or a suitable hanging devise must be attached and ready to hang for exhibition. (Wire hangers must not be visible when the work is hanging and sawtooth hangers are not permitted).
  • Artists are required to attend both the Private Preview Party and Public Awards Reception and Exhibition and Sale on Sunday, September 29, 2019


  • This event  supports Central City Opera House Association (Central City Opera), and the Gilpin County Arts Association,  501(c)(3) non profits.
  • Central City Opera will retain 25% of all sales revenue generated throughout the sale. The Gilpin County Arts Association will retain 15% of all sales revenue generated throughout the sale.
  • Gilpin County Arts Association staff and volunteers will be responsible for taking and processing all sales and the will remit artists’ earnings within thirty (30) days after the exhibition closes.
  • Artists are permitted to take commissioned works, but these requests are subject to the same commissioned rate. Payment for Central City Opera’s 25% portion of and Gilpin County Arts Association 15% portion of any commissioned pieces must also
    be made at the time the commission is requested by the buyer.

Cash Awards

  • Best of Show: $1,200*

Best of Show winning painting will be purchased for $1,000 by the City of Central and will be included in the City’s public art collection

  • 1st Place: $800
  • 2nd  Place: $400
  • Artist Choice Award: $500
  • Best Opera House Painting: $500
  • Quick Draw Competition Award: $300


  • Lodging is available to each participating at no charge for three (3) nights, beginning Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, September 29th.  Artists will be housed in the historic Victorian homes owned by Central City Opera House Association. Please note, the Victorian Homes available for artist lodging are group accommodations. Artists will share a kitchen and bathroom with up to 11 other artists. Additionally, artists who choose to take advantage of these lodging accommodations will be required to bring their own linens and toiletries (sheets, towels, pillows, shampoo etc.). Artists are also responsible for providing their own transportation to and from, Central City.

  • Artists are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from, Central City, Colorado.​

Important Dates

     March  31, 2019

      Online Application Deadline

      April 15, 2019

      Artist Invitations sent via email

      Artist Agreements  sent via email

      May 1, 2019

      Selected Artists confirm participation

     September 27, 2019


     Artist arrival & Registration

     All Day Paint-Out

     Private Artist Welcome Reception

      September 28, 2019

     All Day Paint Out

     Quick Draw Competition (Eureka Street)

     September 29, 2019

     Paint Out

     Private Preview Party (Central City Opera Donors & Art Collectors)

     Public Awards Reception and Exhibition & Sale

Licensing For Promotion
Artist acceptance to the event grants Central City Opera  a nonexclusive license to use images of participating artists in Central City Opera promotional purposes including, but not limited to, the invitation, website, posters, advertisements, and subsequent year’s prospectus. Participating artists must sign a photo/video release authorizing Central City Opera to reproduce and use said photographs/recordings for use in Central City Opera  advertising, publicity, commercial or other business purposes.

About the Judge: Bruce Gomez
We are thrilled to have Bruce Gomez as our judge  for this event.  

Bruce A. Gomez was born in Denver, Colorado in 1957 and was educated at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Denver, where he received a degree in Political Science as well as a degree in Romance Languages.

Bruce has been working in pastels for thirty-nine years, full-time for the past twenty-nine. Entirely self-taught, Bruce works exclusively in that medium on cold-pressed watercolor paper. In addition, he has taught for the last twenty years at the Ah Haa School in Telluride, CO, where he has been one of the school’s highest-rated instructors, consistently. He has also had the opportunity to teach workshops in Sedona, AZ, Moab, UT, London, England, and Cortona, Italy. He is currently a regular instructor at the Abend Gallery of Fine Art in Denver.

Bruce has appeared in numerous Pastel Invitational shows as well as Plein Air Invitationals including The Denver Golden Triangle Invitational, and The Sedona Plein Air Festival, in which he won The Collector’s Choice Award, The Artists Choice Award, and received one of five Merit Awards in 2011 and the Merit Awards in 2012.

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