Mountain Maryland Plein Air
For 12 years, the Mountain Maryland Plein Air Competition & Exhibition has served Western Maryland as its premiere plein air event, bringing artists from across the United States to the heart of Appalachia for a week of artistry and beauty.
After more than a year of waiting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 11th Annual event took place in 2021, with a modified schedule and an array of new and creative efforts. This extraordinary program concluded with record-breaking attendance, sponsorship and sales!
We are pleased to announce we will be moving to a bi-annual schedule, with the next Mountain Maryland Plein Air Competition to take place in June 12-17, 2023.
Call for Entry
The call for entry closed on February 28, 2023, with 70 entrants from across the United States. See our Artist Class of 2023 here!
What is the MMPA?
Plein Air painting has been around for hundreds of years...why? There are few things as inspiring as taking brush and canvas outdoors, capturing the beauty of whatever may be happening in a given moment. Evidence of this early movement are rooted in Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and the Barbizon School.
The movement has grown, and today there are plein air competitions all around the country, showcasing some of the finest artists in this genre.
What makes these competitions special is the format - artists arrive in a location, many of which they have never been, and scout out places to paint, rain or shine. They paint continuously over a period of time, only unveiling their completed works at the conclusion of the competition. It is fast, requires tremendous discipline and artistry, and separates the casual artist from those who can dream, paint and complete works in a brief period.
For 12 years, the Allegany Arts Council has hosted its own Plein Air competition, and it’s not just for the artists. The 12th MMPA is a week-long series of events and activities for painters and those interested in collecting, observing or trying their hand at plein air painting themselves. And what better time after two years of a global pandemic to get outdoors and appreciate the beauty of our surroundings?