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Cape Ann Plein Air
Cape Ann Plein Air 2020

Cape Ann Plein Air 2020 is going to be a 12-month effort this year! October 2020 is a virtual week, and May 23-30, 2021 will be our regular CAPA Week. If you are accepted into CAPA 2020, you will be participating virtually in October 2020 and in the flesh in May 2021, here on Cape Ann. Confused? Please keep reading:

Cape Ann Plein Air 2020


We have been hard at work figuring out how best to move forward with CAPA2020 in these uncertain times. Paramount in our considerations is the health and welfare of our participating artists, our housing hosts, the viability of being able to gather in large numbers and being able to host a meaningful and fun week-long event that will benefit artists and art lovers alike. We don’t want to lose momentum by completely cancelling this year, so we have created a 2-pronged, hybrid-approach, beginning this October and spanning the next 12 months, culminating with a full CAPA Week in May 2021.


 The following plan is being put in place:


1.    Our slate of artists will be juried in beginning on May 30th, with the announcement of the 31 artists coming in early June. These artists, accompanied by the four returning award winners, will be our slate of artists for 2 major events: October 3-11, 2020 and May 23-30, 2021. These artists will be our artists for both the October and May events. 


2.    Virtual CAPA Week, October 4-11, 2020: The first prong is CAPA week in October, which will be celebrated as a virtual online program. Planned activities may include a virtual art sale, daily online special features of our artists, on-line demos, lectures and more. If actual events are allowed by then, it is anticipated that we may offer live demos during the week and a day-long Quick Draw for local Cape Ann area artists on the weekend. We want to make CAPA2020 in October as packed full as we can, and more ideas are in the planning stages. You will not be coming here in October! You will be coming in May, 2021. October's virtual week will not supplant an actual, physical CAPA Week, which will be held in May, 2021.


3.    Actual CAPA Week, 2021: CAPA 2020 will be held during the week of May 23-30, 2021. We fully anticipate being able to hold all the events we are known for, including an Artist Welcome party, dinners, demos during the week, a Gala art sale on Friday, May 28th with 2 days of art sales following the Gala and a Quick Draw on Sunday, May 30. 

The application deadline is extended to 11:59PM, May 29,2020. If you haven't applied yet, now's the time! We are working creatively to maximize safety, participation and engagement. The October timeframe is just too iffy, and I have heard from so many of you who were fearful about travel, staying in a home, and being able to safely socially distance while still having a full CAPA experience this fall.

Prospectus Cape Ann Plein Air Competition and Festival October 4 -11, 2020 


For nearly two centuries, Cape Ann, Massachusetts has been a destination for some of the finest painters who paint en plein air. Cape Ann Plein Air will host its fifth annual week-long plein air painting celebration in October 2020 when the famous Cape Ann light shines at its very best. A 501c-3, and organized by representatives from various local arts organizations, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and art lovers from across the area, CAPA will bring together 35 of the finest artists in the nation to compete for over $20,000 in prizes and awards while raising awareness of all that painting en plein air is today. A portion of CAPA’s proceeds from the sale of art will go to the Cape Ann Community Foundation, a regional nonprofit which offers financial support through grants and scholarships. 

We are so grateful to our talented juror and judge for 2020! They are professional plein air artists with a wealth of talent and experience between them. 

Online Juror: Cindy Baron, Competition Judge: Hiu Lai Chong, 


Geographic area 

Cape Ann, Massachusetts: Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea. 


We will do our best to provide complimentary lodging in private homes for artists from outside the area. Discounted lodging in local hotels and inns may also be available. More information will be provided upon acceptance and details will be posted on the website. 

Application Process & Fees 

There will be 31 artists juried into the event. Additionally, the top 4 CAPA 2019 prize winners are invited back (first, second, third from the Gala Competition, first from the juried QD artists) for a total of 35 participants. There will also be 10 alternates chosen and ranked by the online juror. 

Entries will be processed by no deadline extensions!
The non-refundable fee of $50 is payable when you apply online using a credit card or Paypal. Unpaid applications will not be considered for selection. 

Print your receipt for your records. Submit 3 color images of plein air work from 2017 to present in jpeg format, RGB color. For best results, make sure each image is 72 dpi and at least 1920 pixels on the longest side. 

Help in photographing your work and properly sizing your images can be found at: 

If you need help entering your images or are unable to, please contact or call 949-287-8645. 

Eligibility: 18 years and older. 

DEADLINE 11:59 PM EST May 29, 2020: No Extensions! 

Jurying process 

Selected artists will be notified by email by approximately June 10th, 2020, and the list will be posted on the Cape Ann Plein Air website shortly after selection. 


Anticipated Event Awards (subject to change) 

1st Place $6000 2nd Place $4000 3rd Place $2000 


Board Prizes: 2 @ $500 each 


Best Americana $500 


Best Use of Perspective $500 


Best Use of Light $500


Best Nocturne $500


Best Marine $500 


Best Maritime Activity $500 


Vanishing Landscape $500 


People’s Choice $500 


Quick Draw Awards 


First, second and third for CAPA 2020 artists; first, second and third for general participants. 


General Information:
Jan – May 29: Submit works online. Deadline 11:59 PM (midnight)PST May 29, 2020. 

June 10 approx: Email notifications and posting to CAPA website and Facebook.

Sun Oct 4: Arrive on Cape Ann, check in with accommodation host. Discounted hotels will be available for housing needs before Oct 4 and after Oct 11. 

Sun Oct 4: Registration and substrate stamping, location TBD. Please bring one plein air painting not to exceed 12”x16” excluding frame, for display for the week of CAPA 2020. 

Sun Oct 4, 6-8pm: Welcoming reception, location TBD. 

Oct 4-9: Artists paint en plein air in Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the-Sea. 

Fri Oct 9, 10am-4pm: Drop off three (3) paintings for exhibit and awards consideration at Rockport Art Association, Rockport. Image size excluding frame not to exceed 20"x 24". Up to three (3) three additional paintings may be brought in as backup for paintings to be sold. 

Gala with judge’s presentaton of awards, sales at RAAM. 

Sun Oct 11: Quick Draw and Sale: Location TBD (no fee for CAPA 2020 applicants). Prizes will be awarded. 

Special events, demos, workshops: details to be announced on full calendar at

Participation in the Awards Gala and Quick Draw is required. Artists are expected to stay for the duration of the event. 

Artwork submitted for exhibit and awards must have been created en plein air, within the four Cape Ann communities, and without the benefit of photography, between 10.4 and 10.9.2020. 

The mediums of oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pastel are acceptable for this event. 

Artists are responsible for framing all submitted artwork and bringing it to the display location. Frames must be in good condition, wired in the upper third of the frame and completely ready for hanging. No saw-tooth hangers. All works on paper must be protected. 

All paintings must have the Cape Ann Plein Air 2020 stamp on the substrate. 

All exhibited artwork must be for sale. Artists set their own prices. 

All sales transactions are processed by Cape Ann Plein Air. 

A 40% commission on all sales is retained to benefit CAPA and partner arts organizations. 

Unsold paintings are the responsibility of the artist.

Questions contact:
Susan Gould Coviello, Executive Director, CAPA2020
978-837-8273 or 



REGARDING JURY NOTIFICATIONS: Notifications are sent through ConstantContact from To ensure receipt of this notification, please add to your contact list, or safe senders list. 

On the day of notification, you can do the following, but you will also receive an email notification, sent from Constant Contact, that will state the same.

1. Go to and log in using your email address and password. 


2. Right above where you just logged in, click "Your Artist Profile." You are now in your account! 

3. At the bottom of your screen under "List of shows that jury by artists' work as a whole (like a Plein Air show)," you will see the show name and to the right of it you will see your jury results. It will say either, "You were accepted, click to read the letter," or "You were not accepted, click to read the letter," or "You were accepted as an Alternate, click to read the letter." 

4. While you are in your account on, click "Personal Info" and make sure your name, address, phone number, and email address are up-to-date. 

NOTE: Please be sure to read your letters in their entirety. Most acceptance letters will ask you to RSVP or will have special instructions you must follow. 

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