17th Annual Sonoma Plein Air FestIval
September 9, 2019 to September 14, 2019
Sonoma, California
Application Dates
Jan 2 to Feb 28 '19
Application Fee
Notification Date
Mar 13, 2019


17th Annual Sonoma Plein Air Festival
September 09-14, 2019

Application Dates: January 2 – February 28, 2019
Application Fee: $50
Notification Date: March 13, 2019

Join us for a week of plein air painting in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma Valley, and we invite you to venture beyond to Marin and San Francisco. This is a painter’s paradise: vineyards, farms, meadows dotted with oaks, rolling hills, mountains, rivers, the Pacific Coast, vintage barns, Victorian houses, city hills, San Francisco Bay and that iconic bridge… you will also have access to paint at private Sonoma Land Trust properties.

Hosted by the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, 40% of all painting sales support youth art education in the Sonoma Valley public schools and community arts organizations in Sonoma.

Entry Process

The Sonoma Plein Air Festival is open to all painters age 18 and older.

A panel of jurors will review all submitted applications and make the final artist selections, for a total of 37 artists. The previous year’s Artists’ Choice Award Winner is invited back without jury process. Notification of selected artists will be sent to each applicant via email no later than March 13, 2019. Artist agreement forms will be emailed to those who have been accepted following the announcement.

Submission Requirements

  • Entries must be submitted electronically, along with a non-refundable application fee of $50.
  • Artists must submit four (4) digital images of plein air paintings made within the past 12 months. Images must be JPEG format at 300 ppi and sized from 1400 to 4000 pixels on the longest dimension.
  • Images of your work should be professionally photographed, cropped and color accurate. No digitally manipulated images allowed. You may only adjust for brightness, contrast, color correction and to remove scratches and debris. Each image should have the name of the painting.
  • Arrange images in the order in which you would like them to be viewed.

Event Requirements

  • Artists must paint on location for at least 3 of the 5 days of the event.
  • Artists are asked to paint a minimum of 8 paintings.
  • All exhibited plein air work must be original, framed and wired, and available for sale.
  • Artists must submit 1 finished piece created during the week of September 09th  - 13th for prize judging and silent auction sale at the Collector’s Preview and Gala.

 Additional Planned Events for Artists

  • Studio Works sale. Artist may bring studio paintings (no more than 8) to sell at Festival on Saturday, September 14th.
  • Artists/Hosts Evening Reception
  • Mid-week Artists Luncheon 

Artist Choice Award Ceremony,
Collector’s Preview and Gala Dinner Event

All artists will receive free admission to the award ceremony and gala on Friday, September 13th. You are welcome to bring a guest; tickets for artists’ guests must be purchased.

Housing and Transportation
Hosted housing for artists will be available for 7 nights beginning Sunday, September 08th. Artists wishing to apply for host housing should make their request known upon submission of the Agreement to Participate. All artists should plan to have access to a car.

Promotion and Marketing
The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation has a robust marketing program including social media, email newsletter and print advertising. Additional promotional opportunities will be outlined for accepted artists.


  • This event is a fundraiser for the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which provides funding for youth art education.
  • The sale takes place outside in the historic Sonoma Plaza on festival-supplied panels.
  • The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation will retain 40% commission of the sale price. All works commissioned during the Festival week will be treated as sales. Payments to the artists for sold work will be mailed 30 days after the event. All artists must submit a completed W-9 form at time of artist check in.


Important Dates

 February 28, 2019

 Online application deadline, midnight, Pacific Time

 March 13, 2019

 All competing Artists notified by email

 March 25, 2019

 Selected Festival Artists confirm their participation

 September 9, 2019

 Artist registration, orientation,

 Artists/hosts evening reception

September 19 - 13

 Artists paint in Sonoma, Marin and San Francisco

September 13

 Award ceremony, collectors’ preview and gala dinner event

September 14

 Art exhibition and sale, all open to the public