Artists Invited to Participate in the Second Annual Emery County Plein Air Festival


Press Release

A grand prize winner will be featured in Plein Air Magazine.

Sweeping landscapes, twisting slot canyons and ghostly monuments of rock are only a fraction of the secrets hidden in the San Rafael Swell. In its inaugural year, the Emery County Plein Air festival attracted artists from all over the state who explored these hidden gems and brought them to life through art under open skies. Now in its second year and looking to grow, the festival hopes a grand prize worth over $2,000 will attract even more talented artists to the region.

Plein air is a centuries-old artistic practice made famous by French Impressionists during the 19th century. The idea is to work beyond a studio, in the open air, influenced by the light and color of your immediate surroundings. The unique landscapes throughout Emery County inspired Jackie Nelson, office manager at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum and longtime resident of Green River, to create a Plein Air festival in Emery County.

“There are just so many scenic and interesting corners of this part of the state,” said Nelson. “It seemed like the perfect fit for this type of event.”

The idea is simple: between May 31 and June 10, artists get their canvas stamped at the Powell Museum in Green River or the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale. Artists use those canvases to paint anywhere in Emery County and submit their work for display on or before June 10. One grand prize winner will be selected and their painting will be highlighted in Plein Air magazine, a value of more than $2,000.

From the wonders of the Swell, the solitude of the Book Cliffs, the boulders of Joe’s Valley, and the scenic beauty of the Green River artists will find that the boundaries of Emery County offer a wealth of subject matter.

Completed art will be on display at the Powell museum beginning June 13 and will end with an artist reception on June 15. For more information, interested artists should visit or contact the John Wesley Powell River History Museum.

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