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The Plein Air Festival and Competition at Central School Project 
Thursday Oct 12  - Sunday Oct 15, 2023


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

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 $800 in prizes. On the final day artists gather for the judging at Central School Project 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.

BISBEE PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL 2023 at Central School Project

Thursday October 12 – Sunday Oct 15, 2023

Supported by the Bisbee Foundation and Community Foundation of Southern Arizona and Arizona Commission on the Arts

All Artists must pre-register through Eventbrite!



Early Bird registration (until September 12th) $30

Registration after September 12th $35

Cochise College Students $20

Event registration through Eventbrite

If you cannot register online, email us:


Painting Competition Rules and Regulations

A Change in 2023: We are limiting the number of painting entries to 3 this year. However, you may get as many canvases stamped as you would like


CANVAS STAMPING REQUIRED: Artists may stamp as many canvases as they wish, but can enter only up to three pieces of work to be judged in the competition and sales area.

All canvas stamping is done at RedBone, a vintage clothing store at the corner of Subway Street and Shearer Ave.

The 2023 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 must provide their own paint kits and sturdy easel(s) for display during judging and will be responsible for the safety of their paintings.

Framing is suggested, but not required. Easels for display help too, but are not required.

Wet Paint Gallery Show (after judging)

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

Artists may paint anywhere in Bisbee, which includes Warren, Lowell, San Jose, et cetera.

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


Painting Competition Prizes and Schedule



$800 in Cash Prizes: 1st $300 | 2nd $200 | 3rd $100 | People’s Choice $100 | 2 Runner ups $50.00 each

All registered artists are entered into a door prize drawing this year!

Jurors to be announced.


Canvas Stamping:

Thursday October 12th from 8 am to 6 pm

Friday October 13th from 8 am to 6 pm

Saturday October 14th from 8 am to Noon

All canvas stamping is done at RedBone, a vintage clothing store at the corner of Subway Street and Shearer Ave

Artists Painting - Thursday October 12 – Saturday October 14th 'til 2 pm

Friday 6:00 - 8:00 pm Artist meet and greet at Central School
Friday 8:00 pm Nocturne painting. Meet at Sam Poe Gallery on Subway Street

Saturday 10:00 -
Noon Artists! Drop in at Grassy Park gathering and relaxed art-making with Sam Woolcott
Saturday 1:30 pm Artists may start bringing their paintings to Central School to register them for the competition please get here by 3 at the latest
Saturday 3:00- 4:00 pm Artists leave the building for judging. We will have refreshments outside for you!
Saturday 4:00 pm The show opens to the public. Vote for People’s Choice Award.

Saturday 5:00 pm Awards Ceremony at Central School
Gallery open until 6:00 pm Buy the paintings of Bisbee!
Sunday October 15, 11:00- 1:00 pm  Casual artists Critique and another opportunity to buy the art at Central School


Bisbee Plein Air Festival

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