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The Plein Air Festival and Competition will be held in person at Central School Project this year!
Wed Oct 6 - Sun Oct 10, 2021


Supported by the Bisbee Foundation 

Presented and Central School Project & by Bisbee After 5   Wed October 6 – Sun Oct 10, 2021

We are so happy to have our 2021 Festival in Bisbee once again this year!

We are moving the headquarters of the festival from grassy park over to Central School Project for public health concerns and  logistical reasons.  CSP has ample indoor and outdoor space options depending on weather and our pandemic public health situation - we intend to have a safe and fantastic festival for artists and art lovers alike.

 The Bisbee Plein Air Festival returns October 6 through the 10!  Join other artists in painting Old Bisbee’s historic architecture, sprawling staircases, vintage streets, industrial mining remnants, and colorful homes set amidst the scenic Mule Mountains to compete for $800 in prizes. You also have the opportunity to sell your Festival pieces to the public at the Wet Paint Exhibition and Sale. Start painting any day you wish with the festival dates, there are no requirements for start day.



 Jurors pop up show with artist meet and greet, nocturne painting on Subway, Fast draw and Paint in Grassy Park, Painting the view of Mexico San Jose Peak events: (1 for registrants and 1 for kids) at Bisbee Library Annex in San Jose, and our wet paint sale, informal critique session.


The Delta variant is highly contagious so we need everyone to be vigilant with masking and social distancing.



$800 in Cash Prizes   1st  $300 | 2nd $200 | 3rd $100 | 2 Runner ups 50.00  

 A quick Draw and Paint in Grassy Park with surprises for all who participate!

Judging, Awards and Exhibition/ wet paint show to be held at Central School Project (not Grassy Park)


Registration & Canvas Stamping at Sense of Place Gallery, 63C Brewery Ave

Wed Oct 6- Fri Oct 9, 8 am – noon and Sat Oct, 10 8-10 am    

Online registration (preferred) is available at

or MAIL TO Central School Project PO Drawer H, Bisbee AZ 85603, or dropped off at Sense of Place Gallery, 63C Brewery Ave

Rules and Regulations

The 2021 Bisbee Plein Air Festival is open to any artist who paints using the plein air technique in oil, watercolor, acrylic, gouache, pastel, or other non-digital media.

All paintings entered in the competition/sale must be done “en plein air” (in the open air where the artist has no control of light or weather) during the event dates in Bisbee city limits. All canvas/paper/boards must be stamped PRIOR to painting. NO unstamped art will be accepted.

Artists may stamp as many canvases as they wish, but can enter only up to four pieces of work to be judged in the competition and sales area. Framing is suggested, but not required.

Artists must provide their own paint kits and sturdy easel(s) for display during judging and will be responsible for the safety of their paintings.

The sales commission is 35% to the Plein Air Fest and 65% to the artist for all sales made during the public receptions.

Central School Project, Bisbee After 5, and associated volunteers assume no responsibility for loss or damage to any work, display or person.

Artists may paint anywhere in Bisbee, which includes Warren, Lowell, the pit, San Jose, et cetera. On Saturday, we request artists paint in Old Bisbee for Wet Paint Sale visibility. 

Masks and distancing are required in group settings.

2021 Bisbee Plein Air Complete Festival Schedule:

October 6- 10 -   Artists Painting


REGISTRATION & STAMPING Sense of Place Gallery, 63C Brewery Ave.

WED - FRI, 8 am - 12 pm and SAT, 8 am - 10 am


2:30 pm View of San Jose Peak in Mexico Painting

Library Annex, 519 W Melody Ln. (San Jose District)


1 pm - 3 pm

Kids Paint - Free materials provided

Kids Age 8 & Up Paint

San Jose Peak View with Carol Chandler at Library Annex, 519 W Melody Ln.




6 pm - 8 pm

Parking lot reception

Jurors’ Show Opening and registered artist meet and greet (subject to change or measured indoor attendance)

Central School Project Gallery,

43 Howell Ave.



8 pm

Nocturne Paint, Subway St.

Sam Poe Gallery, 33 Subway St.


Saturday October 9

10 -11 am Quick Draw & Paint-off in Grassy Park with Sam Woolcott- all that participants get suprises!


Saturday October 9

 2- 3 pm   Artists Check-in their paintings and set up work at Central School 43 Howell Ave

for Judging and Exhibition (Indoors or outdoors TBD)   

  3 – 4 pm - Artists leave CSP for judging time


 4- 5 pm People’s Choice voting

 5 pm Awards Presented

 Sat   Oct 10, 6pm - 8 pm Bisbee After 5 Artwalk, Main St.

Sunday, Oct 10   11-1 pm - Exhibition and Sale continues- and our casual Critique session!



The Bisbee Plein Air Festival traditionally has been held the 2nd week of October. It is produced in partnership by Central School Project and Bisbee After 5.

Artists come to paint Old Bisbee’s historic architecture, sprawling staircases, vintage streets, industrial mining remnants, and colorful homes set amidst the scenic Mule Mountains to compete for $700 in prizes. On the final day artists gather for the judging downtown where the art lovers can view and  purchase the work right off the easel. Each year we also have workshops, activities, and exhibitions held in conjunction with the competition.