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 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. Palouse Plein Air is brought to the community by a partnership between the City of Moscow Arts Department and the University of Idaho College of Art + Architecture, with support from the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

SAVE THE DATE! Palouse Plein Air 2024

Artist Registration: April 25 - September 5
Painting Period: September 9 - 17
Artwork Drop-off: September 18
Exhibition: September 19 - October 4
Reception: September 19 from 5 - 7 p.m.                                                                             Location:    Third Street Gallery, 206 E. Third Street, Moscow, ID 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., M-F

Palouse Plein Air celebrates 15 years Palouse-region landscapes in 2024! Registration will open in late April for the event that takes place in September. Artists 18-years-of-age and older from across the nation are invited to participate. 

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2023 Palouse Plein Air Awards

1st Place: Ramie Erickson, Wheat Fields of Kamiak
2nd Place: Tom Groesbeck, Fall Color
3rd Place: Tim Cawley, Fair

Best Palouse: Val Pate, Steptoe Butte Late Afternoon
Best Downtown: Sydney Speck, Riverview
Best Historical: Jamie Sugai, David’s Deconstruction
Best Lil’ Painting: KJ Elmose, Little Angels

Student Awards: 
Kelsey Harrington, gold as the night goes on
Olivia Pham, Trafic Trafiky

Honorable Mentions:
Paige Shumway, Too Green
Marcelle Moe, Summer Stroll

City Purchases: 
Ashleigh Streiff, Morning Greeting The Hello Walk
Rose Graham, South Moscow
Daryl Baird, Viola, Idaho – Wellesley & Hwy 6 Looking West
Daryl Baird, Viola, Idaho – Wellesley & Hwy 6 Looking East

2022 Palouse Plein Air Awards

1st Place: Michael J. Lewis, West Whitman Hay AQI 156
2nd Place: Sydney Speck, Sonia’s Taco Truck
3rd Place: Maggie Keefe, Hay bales
Best Palouse: Nicole Monosky, For Kay
Best Downtown: Tara Oar, Hidden City  
Best Historical: Elizabeth Harwood, Elephant Tree
Best Watercolor: Ashleigh Streiff, Light through the Brambles
Student Awards: 
Megan Wood, Midnight Stroll
Sam Chadwick, Smoke Rings and Tree Rings
Honorable Mentions:
John Larkin, Blue Spruce
Tim Cawley, Half Mast Flag
City of Moscow Purchase Award: Amalia Fisch, Tekoa Morning 

2021 Palouse Plein Air Awards

1st Place: Emma Woolstenhulme, Complementary sunset
2nd Place: Michael J. Lewis, Hay Waves
3rd Place: Deon Douglass, Wanderer
Best Palouse: Kitty Bendixen-park, View from Prune Orchard Road
Best Downtown: Rob McPherson, Crybaby Café  
Best Historical: Matthew Brehm, Forney Hall, University of Idaho
Best Sky: Virginia Shawver, Sheep Creek
Student Awards: 
Sam Chadwick, Mountain View Road
Seth Thomas Spencer, Construction past the Arboretum Barn
Honorable Mentions:
Carol Maddux, Palousey
Lindsey Davis Johnson, For Penny
City of Moscow Purchase Award:
Ed Robinson, Palouse Evening

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 Palouse Plein Air Awards

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