Palouse Plein Air

September 9-16, 2021

Palouse Plein Air is an annual painting competition that takes place every September, with events including painting workshops and a juried exhibition at Moscow’s Prichard Art Gallery. Artists are on-site painting scenes throughout Latah, Nez Perce, Whitman, and Benewah counties. 

Important Dates

September 8
Registration Closes

September 9-16
Painting Period throughout Latah, Nez Perce, Whitman, and Benewah counties

September 16
Artwork Drop-off at Prichard Art Gallery from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Juror Lecture on the UI Campus beginning at 7 p.m. 

September 17
Juror Workshop (Location TBD) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Reception & Awards at the Prichard Art Gallery from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

September 17 to October 17
Exhibition open at the Prichard Art Gallery 


Palouse Plein Air is a painting competition open to all artists 18 years of age or older. All painting media are eligible for competition, including gouache, watercolor, acrylic, oil, and pastel. 

Registration and Fees

$25 per participant or $20 per student participant (18 and older)
Online registration and complete guidelines for the event are available at:

Meet the Juror: Jared Shear

Jared Shear_HeadshotJared was born in Missoula, Montana in 1976. He received a degree in Animation from the Art Institute of Seattle in 1997. Shear has exhibited in various gallery and museum shows throughout the northwest, including exhibitions at the LCSC Center for Arts and History, and a solo show at the Missoula Art Museum. His work has also been featured in Artist & Illustrator magazine and Spectrum. Shear lives and works in Thompson Falls, MT with his wife and children.

About Palouse Plein Air

Historic Moscow, Idaho and the beautiful Palouse are the perfect destination for plein air artists, and the annual Palouse Plein Air painting event connects artists with the region’s landscape and arts culture.  French for “open air,” the phrase “plein air” (pronounced plen-air) describes the act of painting outdoors. The outdoor experience on the Palouse is particularly rich, as its rolling hills, rivers, mountains, fields, farms, and homes tell the long history of the landscape.

Guided by the vision of the Moscow Arts Commission and University of Idaho art professor Aaron Cordell Johnson, Palouse Plein Air began in 2010, and the event continues to grow. A collaboration of community partners makes this growth possible; the City of Moscow, the Prichard Art Gallery, and the University of Idaho College of Art + Architecture work together to make a great event for artists and art lovers alike. 

2020 Palouse Plein Air Awards

1st Place: Denise Gilroy, Sunlit Marsh
2nd Place: Bobbi Kelly, In the Arboretum
3rd Place: Carol Maddux, Fields of Smoke
Best Palouse: Jean Arnold, East View
Best Downtown: Sharon Macy, Support your Police: City of Moscow Police Department
Best Historical: Cathy Gottschalk, Farm Life
Best On-Site Photos of Artwork: Pam Rogers
Student Awards: 
Kelsey Grafton, Moscow Farmers Market - Through the Rain
Emma Woolstenhulme, Smokey Rolling Hills
Honorable Mentions:
Ed Robinson, Autumn Haze
Virginia Shawver, Sun Through Smoke
City of Moscow Purchase Award:
Meg Antkowiak, Evening at Idler's Rest
Kelsey Grafton, Moscow Farmers Market - Through the Rain

2019 Award Winners

1st Place: Gail Johannes, Rolling Hills of the Palouse
2nd Place: Julie Rumsey, Where the Wind Blows
3rd Place: Larry Arbour, Old Road Rails
Changes to the Rural Landscape: Kelly Knouff-Burk, Steptoe Battlefield Rosalia, WA
Best Palouse: Amalia Fisch, Rosalia Bridge
Best Downtown: Sharon Macy, Moscow Idaho 1887
Best Historical: David McGranaghan, Silos, Moscow, Idaho
Honorable Mentions:
Jan Vogtman, Beulah Road
Simon Tate, Lone Pine
Amalia Fisch, Virgil Phillips Farm Park
Victoria Lock, Lunch Conference
Student Awards:
Hailey Smith, Downtown Pullman I
Maria Marx, Foothill Road 
Micaela Petrini, Out of Potlatch
Emma Woolstenhulme, Clearwater National Forest
City of Moscow Purchase Award:
Kelly Knouff-Burk, Moscow City Hall
Pat Tremaine, County Line