2021 Plein Air Festival


July 24–31, 2021

Exhibition August 1–October 10, 2021

Open To Artists Of All Skill Levels From Beginner To Professional

Paint Southern California in the open air in one of only 14 designated California Cultural Districts

Oceanside offers gorgeous coastlines, charming cityscapes, peaceful lagoons, rolling hills with lush flora and fauna, and the historic Mission San Luis Rey, among other visual splendor to capture on canvas or media of your choosing. Plein air painting is a painting completed in the field, on location, and “in the moment.” All skill levels are encouraged. Any artist may participate–they do not need to be members. However, members of OMA’s Artist Alliance group receive a discount on registration rates.

Click here to register online or call (760) 435-3731.

Check-In And Canvas Stamping

Beginning the week-long celebration of outdoor painting, artists make their first stop at OMA for canvas stamping and to pick up their welcome packet, including a full festival itinerary, tips for how to explore Oceanside, and information showcasing local businesses. 

Paint Out, Workshops, And Artist Talks

Artists at any level of experience are invited to come to the burgeoning coastal city of Oceanside to paint Southern California in the open air. To explore a variety of styles and techniques that draw from the rich traditions of plein air painting, artists will also have the opportunity to join a variety of art workshops and artist talks with featured artists Mark Fehlman, Danny Griego, Margaret Larlham, and Shuang Li.

Quick Paint Challenge

Open to all ages, this fun, high-energy event brings together both artists and spectators for a two-hour burst of creativity highlighting some of Oceanside’s most iconic outdoor locations. With the task of completing a painting in a single sitting, Quick Paint artists are challenged to grab a brush, set up an easel, and paint en plein air for all to see.

Awards Celebration And Art Sale

Celebrate the culmination of OMA’s inaugural Plein Air Festival and the opening of an exhibition of artwork by participants with an awards presentation, silent auction, and highlights from the week. We are making plans for the event to be even more accessible to art lovers near and far!

Juried Exhibition

This will be a rare opportunity to view and collect artworks from prominent plein air painters at pricing that is approachable for collectors at any level.

Registration Dates
  • Opens March 1
  • Ends Thursday, July 29 at 5:00pm 
Check-In And Canvas Stamping

All participating artists must check-in and have the surface on which they would like to create artwork stamped prior to beginning their artwork in order to participate in the competition. Get here early so you have more time to paint!

  • Welcome packs and schedules will be provided at check-in.
  • Artists will be asked to accept the rules and guidelines upon check-in.
   Check-In And Canvas Stamping Hours
  • Saturday, July 24, 11:00am-5:00pm
  • Sunday, July 25, 11:00am-4:00pm
  • Monday-Thursday, July 26-29, 11:00am-5:00pm
Registration Includes
  • Entry of up to two paintings into the awards competition and exhibition jurying.
  • Each painting entered into the competition may be listed for sale during the Awards Celebration and Art Sale.
  • Artwork accepted in the exhibition will be offered for sale via an online platform throughout the exhibition.
  • A 25% discount off festival-related workshops, artist talks, and lectures.

Registration Fees

Fees increase on July 1, so register early.

March 1–June 30

Standard $55
OMA Artist Alliance* $45
Student** Free

July 1–29

Standard $75
Artist Alliance* $65
Student** Free 

*OMA Artist Alliance members—your membership must be current.
**A valid student ID must be presented upon arrival at OMA for festival check-in.

Awards for Best In Show ($2,500), Second Place ($300), and Third Place ($200) will be announced.

Further awards and prizes, including a student award category, to be announced.

Plein Air Festival schedule and events. Contact Katie Dolgov with any questions. 

july, 2021

sat24jul11:00 am5:00 pmCheck-In And Canvas Stamping2021 Plein Air Festival11:00 am - 5:00 pm

sun25jul11:00 am4:00 pmCheck-In And Canvas Stamping2021 Plein Air Festival11:00 am - 4:00 pm

mon26jul11:00 am5:00 pmCheck-In And Canvas Stamping2021 Plein Air Festival11:00 am - 5:00 pm

mon26jul6:30 pm8:00 pmPaint Out: Sunset Sonatas On The Strand 2021 Plein Air Festival6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

tue27jul11:00 am5:00 pmCheck-In And Canvas Stamping2021 Plein Air Festival11:00 am - 5:00 pm

tue27jul2:00 pm4:00 pmPaint Out: Quick Paint Challenge And Art Sale2021 Plein Air Festival2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

wed28jul11:00 am5:00 pmCheck-In And Canvas Stamping2021 Plein Air Festival11:00 am - 5:00 pm

wed28jul6:30 pm8:00 pmPaint Out: Nocturnal Notes2021 Plein Air Festival6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

thu29jul10:00 am12:00 pmPaint Out: Farmers Market2021 Plein Air Festival10:00 am - 12:00 pm

thu29jul11:00 am5:00 pmCheck-In And Canvas Stamping2021 Plein Air Festival11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Download all events as ICS file

Plein Air Festival members receive 25% off registration for these festival-related programs as well as early access to sign up through April 30 before they open up to the general public on May 1 . Space is limited, so register early for your favorites.

july, 2021

mon26jul9:00 am12:30 pmWorkshop: Capturing The Character Of Indigenous Plants In Plein Air PaintingWith Plein Air Festival Featured Artist Margaret Larlham9:00 am - 12:30 pm

wed28jul9:00 am12:30 pmWorkshop: Exploring Watercolors And Luminous LandscapesWith Plein Air Festival Featured Artist Shuang Li9:00 am - 12:30 pm

thu29jul7:00 pm8:00 pmSmallTalk: Plein Air Painters Roundup, SoCal EditionWith Plein Air Festival Featured Artists7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

fri30jul7:00 pm8:00 pmLecture: Painting En Plein Air With Jean SternWith Plein Air Festival Juror Jean Stern7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Download all events as ICS file

  • Artwork in any media is allowed—non-traditional is encouraged!

  • Contact Katie Dolgov at OMA to discuss your non-traditional submissions (media other than painting, drawing, or sculpture).
  • Artwork may be in any style (Impressionism, Realism, Abstract, etc.).
  • There is no limit to the number of surfaces you may have stamped.
  • Artists may only choose two works to submit for awards and jurying.
  • Every artist will receive two stickers in their welcome pack to accompany their artworks for submission. Carefully print the artwork title and price on the label for each piece submitted. These will be used as the wall labels, so confirm all information is legible.
  • Artists may sign the front or the back of their artwork.
  • Artists must wear identifying badges while painting. Badges will be provided in your welcome pack.
  • There is no defined painting area. However, at least one artwork must be painted in Oceanside. (A map of iconic locations is provided in the artist welcome pack.)
  • 2D work is required to be framed and ready to hang when it is delivered to the museum.
  • Maximum 2D size: 24" x 36" not including frame.
  • Maximum 3D size: 24" x 24" x 24".
  • The sale price should take into account a 50% commission to OMA.
  • Sales tax of 8.25% will be added to all art sales.
  • Artwork does not need to be marked for sale, NFS is allowed.
  • It is suggested that you bring all the supplies and frames that you will need.

This challenge offers artists a chance to show off their range of creative skills including drawing, composition, color theory, etc., under demanding time constraints. Additional information will be made available.

By registering, artists acknowledge and authorize the use of photos taken throughout the event, which may include artists and their artwork, for promotional use online and in printed materials for future events.

Artists acknowledge and agree that Oceanside Museum of Art will retain 50% of the sale price of individual art sales generated during the event. 

Frequently Asked Questions 
Can I participate in plein air workshops and attend lectures even if I am not registered for the festival?

Yes, anyone can participate in OMA's programs. Festival registrants may receive discounted registration fees on some festival-related programs. Workshop participation is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

If my artwork is chosen for the exhibition, does it need to stay in the exhibition if it sells? 

Yes, all artwork chosen for the exhibition must remain at the museum until the exhibition closes on October 10.

Can I get my substrate stamped before the competition starts? 

No. Stamping begins at 11:00am on July 24, 2021.

Are there limitations on where I may paint?

There is no defined painting area. However, at least one artwork must be painted in Oceanside. (A map of iconic locations is provided in the artist Welcome Pack.)

How do I get my artwork back at the end of the exhibition?

Artwork may be picked up on Thursday, October 14 and Friday, October 15 from the museum. Shipping can be arranged for artists who do not live within driving distance of the museum. If artwork sells from the exhibition, the buyer will be responsible for arranging transportation. Further details for artwork return will be shared with exhibiting artists within the weeks after the exhibition opens. Dates are subject to change.

May I sign my artwork?

Yes, you may sign your artwork on the front or back.

Is there an age restriction to participate?

All ages are welcome and encouraged.

I need to cancel my registration for the festival or a program.  May I have a refund?

Refunds are not available for the registration membership fees or program fees associated with this festival. If you are unable to attend the festival or program you registered for, the fees will become a tax-deductible donation to the museum.

What kind of student ID will be accepted for free registration?  

Students will need to present a valid high school or college ID for the Spring, Summer, or Fall 2021 term when they check-in for the festival at OMA.

What if I have a question that is not answered here?

Click here to email Katie Dolgov with any further questions.

Featured Artists

Mark Fehlman
Danny Griego
Margaret Larlham
Shuang Li

Exhibition Jurors

Scott Prior and Jean Stern with OMA executive director Maria Mingalone

Awards Judge

Jean Stern


For More Information

More details will be published soon. For urgent inquiries, click here to email Katie Dolgov.

Check back often for any adjustments due to COVID-related restrictions.