EVENT SCHEDULE: Feb. 8 - May 15: Artists applied to the Festival. June 1: Juried artists notified via email to applicants. July 1 - Sept. 6: Juried artists paint outdoors around Harford County until Thursday, Sept. 16. Sun., Aug. 1: Tickets on sale for the Collector's Preview Party and Awards Ceremony. Entries accepted for the 2021 Quick Draw Thurs., Sept. 16: Nocturne Paint-Out, watch our juried artists paint along Main Street, Bel Air, by the light of the moon, street and shop lights, starts at 6:30 pm, sponsored by the Town of Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission. Fri., Sept. 17: Join us at the Bel Air Armory for the Collector's Preview Party and Awards Ceremony,6:30pm. Sat., Sept. 18 - Public exhibition and gallery sale at the Bel Air Armory, 10am - 5pm. Sat., Sept. 18 - Quick Draw Competition, Havre de Grace, juried, community, & youth artists, co-sponsored by the Havre de Grace Arts Collective. Wed., Sept. 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, & Sun., Oct. 10 - Public exhibition at The Liriodendron Mansion, Bel Air. Sept. 19 - Nov. 20 - Online Exhibition and Sales.
AWARDS JUDGE FOR FESTIVAL VALERIE CRAIG Valerie Craig has drawn and painted nearly all of her life. Known for her impressionist approach to color and light, Craig uses oil and watercolors to capture her subjects, including urban and rural landscapes, still-life, and sometimes figures in the landscape. Like most artists, Craig continues to be a student of art, always reaching for a higher level of excellence, while discovering and expressing her own voice.
In 1998, Craig left her career in nursing administration to pursue her passion for painting on a full-time basis. She feels that her best expressions happen when she is on location where she can directly sense the mood and atmosphere of a particular scene. Whether painting vast open areas or intimate spaces, capturing the nuances of light and color is best accomplished through close observation and careful study.
Captivated by the landscape, Craig paints out of doors whenever she can and often completes larger canvases in the studio. Craig travels extensively, painting in Ireland, France and throughout the United States. She teaches workshops and seeks inspiration and opportunities to paint in the field. She values her teaching and administrative experiences as having increased her perspective as an educator and artist. Craig has been invited to be the juror for Plein Air competitions and professional arts' organizations.
Honors include: Best of Show, American Impressionist Society National Small Works Show 2021; Award of Excellence, National Oil and Acrylic Best of America 2021; Judge's Award, Olmsted Plein Air 2020; Second Place, National Plein Air Salon; Artists Choice, Ireland's Art in the Open 2017; Gold/Mayor's Choice Award Ireland's 2013 Art in the Open; Grand Prize American Women Online Juried Competition; Best in Show, Wayne Plein Air 2011; Second Place, Plein Air Easton 2011, Artists' Choice Award, Plein Air Easton 2010. Valerie lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania with her husband Peter and their dog.
Plein Air paintingis derived from the French phrase "open air" and means that the painting is done outdoors. Plein air painters create art "from life" while on-site at an outdoor location, instead of painting from photographs. This is a juried competition, meaning that the artists apply to be accepted into the competition to submit plein air paintings for awards judging.
Be a Sponsor! Join these generous organizations in supporting the Harford Plein Air Festival. Click the button below to find out how to become a sponsor.