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En Plein Air – Call for artists

May 17 @ 8:00 am - August 15 @ 5:00 pm

 En Pleir Air Competition

Call for artists

Supported by the Kleinburg BIA and Ontario Plein Air Society

Competition Dates: August 24 & 25, 2019

Application Deadline: Thursday, August 15, 2019 by 5 pm

Contest Description

The McMichael is inviting artists to participate in the special installment of the McMichael En Plein Air Competition celebrating the legacy of the Humber River, that in 2019 observes the 20th anniversary of its designation as Canadian Heritage River. Taking advantage of the gallery’s grounds, the picturesque village of Kleinburg, and the adjacent Humber River Valley, artists are invited to respond to the natural and cultural heritage of the river in two medium categories:

  1. Acrylic/oil on canvas or panel
  2. Works on paper

Awards and Exhibition

Up to three artists from each category will be named First, Second, and Third Prize winners through a jury comprised of the gallery’s curators, educators, and associate community artists.

A special Young Artist Award will be given at this year’s competition within the 18-25 age category.

A special First Choice Award will be given by the jury, and a People’s Choice Award will encourage visitors to participate and to choose their favourite work by casting their ballots in each category. Artists/participants will be encouraged to compete for the Kleinburg Village Urban Scene Prize.

All of the awarded works will be on view in the McMichael’s Creative Learning Gallery in the Fall 2019.

Artists are responsible for art supplies used during the competitions, such as materials and easels.


General Information

The artworks produced during the competition will belong to the artists. The McMichael reserves the right to use image(s) for documental and promotional purposes.

The artists will be responsible for art supplies used during the competitions such as materials, easels, etc.  Once artists are selected, specific work dimensions will be shared.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection will cover exhibition costs (framing, exhibition panel, labeling and production of promotional material), and opening reception expenditures.

Submission Requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Artist Statement describing your current artistic practice and Artist Bio (150 word maximum)
  • CV detailing your training/education and any related experience with full contact information including phone number, email address and postal address (2 pages maximum)
  • JPG images of recently completed work; 72 dpi, 1024 X 768 pixels, label image files with a number, your name and title of piece preceded by En Plein Air_ (ex. En Plein Air_01_JohnSmith_BirchTrees).

Only email submissions will be considered. Include all documents and images as attachments (no zip files). The subject line of your submission must read “McMichael En Plein Air Competition.” Email submissions to competitions@mcmichael.com by Thursday, August 15, 2019 by 5 pm.



Participants must be practicing artists, aged 18 years+, specializing in landscape and/or urban scene genre.

Please note that the McMichael’s grounds provide several fully accessible places and facilities. However, access to some areas is not wheelchair accessible.

Selection Process

The selection/advisory committee is comprised of practicing artists, McMichael art educators, curators, and members of the Kleinburg BIA. The committee will review applications and select artists specializing in acrylic/oil, and artists in each of the drawing and watercolour categories. Selections will be made based on the merit of presented artworks and how well they align with the competition character as well as the ability of the applicant to complete the project.

Only selected participants will be notified by August 22, 2019 by email. Those not selected are still invited to set their easels on the McMichael grounds and participate in other weekend activities.


Insurance and Publicity

McMichael is covered under the Ontario government’s protection program for claims by third parties for bodily injuries, property damage, and personal injury liability.

The selected applicants will be required to sign a release form for the use of images in promoting the McMichael En Plein Air Competition.

Proudly Supported By:

Ontario Plein Air Society


May 17 @ 8:00 am
August 15 @ 5:00 pm
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10365 Islington Ave
Kleinburg, Ontario L0J1C0 Canada
1(905) 893-1121


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