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Saranac Lake ArtWorks
2021 Adirondack Plein Air Festival

Exhibition Details


Due to uncertainty about the Covid situation this summer, we are extending our registration deadline to June 1, to allow artists to have more time to make decisions about traveling. We are also continuing to work on finding affordable lodging options for artists as well as finalizing plans for our Show & Sale - whether it will be an outdoor or indoor event. But rest assured, we will do our best to make it a fun and fulfilling event for all participants and visitors. No matter what - we will have some form of a plein air festival in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains! Feel free to contact us with questions.


2021 marks the 13th anniversary of the Adirondack Plein Air Festival. Come spend a week in the Adirondack Park, surrounded by the picturesque scenery that inspired the Hudson River School painters! Sponsored by Saranac Lake ArtWorks, the event is centered in the historic mountain village of Saranac Lake, New York, centrally located in the High Peaks area of the Adirondacks. There are 5 days of outdoor painting, a Nocturne Contest, a “Paint the Town” Silent Auction, a Special Preview Party, a Quick-Draw Competition, and a huge Show & Sale. Artists will have a full choice of wild mountain, lake and river landscapes, rustic lodges and farms, and historic buildings in the villages. The Awards Juror will be award-winning artist Charles Newman, a nationally recognized oil painter. He will also be offering a 2-day pre-festival plein air workshop on Aug 14-15, 2021 (details on our website).  



Registration will be open to all plein air artists.



Registration will be $40 and must be accompanied by the submission of 3 images, all plein air paintings.



There will be three event selection jurors (to be determined), all accomplished plein air artists.


All of the specific event information will be provided to selected artists and is available on our website:



All sales will be handled by Saranac Lake ArtWorks. Participating artists are asked to provide one small, unframed painting for the “Paint the Town” Silent Auction. This is a fund-raiser and part of the proceeds are donated to a program of our choice and 50% is returned to the artists.


For all other sales, the Quick Draw Competition, Nocturne Contest and the Show & Sale, Saranac Lake ArtWorks will retain a 30% commission. Artists who “sell off the easel” will submit the 30% commission via cash or check to Saranac Lake ArtWorks, Attention: Treasurer.


Artist commissions will be remitted within one week after the final Show & Sale. 



Saranac Lake ArtWorks has a list of area motels, B&B’s, and rentals on their website.  Artists must provide their own transportation to and from Saranac Lake, NY. More information on possible lower-cost housing opportunities may be available as we get closer to the event.  Contact ArtWorks with questions.



A total of over $5000 in awards will be given out, in cash and merchandise.


Calendar - Timeline of events

  1. Open 2/1/21, Close 6/1/21- Open/close date for submitting their work online. 
  2. TBD - Notifications sent out date 
  3. TBD - Deadline for receipt of signed Artists agreements and W-9 forms.
  4. Aug 16 - Artist Check-In & Surface Stamping, 10 am - 7 pm. Painting may begin 
  5. Aug 16 - 7 pm – (Tentative due to Covid-19 uncertainties) Reception planned for artists & nocturne painting opportunities.
  6. Aug 17 - Painting at the Paul Smith’s College VIC
  7. Aug 18 - “Paint the Adirondacks” Day - artists’ choice; maps with suggested locations available.
  8. Aug 19 - “Paint the Town” Day - artists paint in the historic Village of Saranac Lake, providing 1 small, unframed painting for the Silent Auction
  9. Aug 20 - “Paint the Saranac” Day - painting the mountain views along the Saranac River.
  10. Aug 20 - 2 pm - all framed paintings due; artists hang own work on assigned walls in sales venue 
  11. Aug 20 - 4 pm - Jurying
  12. Aug 20 - 6 - 9 pm: Special Preview Party and Awards presentation 
  13. Aug 21 - 9 - 11 am: Quick Draw Competition, downtown Saranac Lake
  14. Aug 21 - 12 - 5 pm: Show & Sale 
  15. Aug 21 - 5 pm - Exhibit and event ends; artists remove work.


Covid-19 Preparedness:  Depending on the progress we make with Covid-19, plans are subject to change. All participants will be asked to comply with current CDC and New York State guidelines for health and safety.  If we are prevented from having an in-person event due to worsening conditions, the event will be changed to a virtual Show & Sale with selected artists painting anywhere within the Adirondack Park.  



By signing the agreement to participate in the 2021 Adirondack Plein Air Festival, you give permission to Saranac Lake ArtWorks to use photos of you and your work for publicity and promotional purposes and you agree to the 30% sales commissions as described above.  You also agree to provide a completed W-9 to Saranac Lake ArtWorks prior to the start of the show.

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