2021 Red Wing Arts Plein Air

Derek Davis, center, won the 2021 Best of Show. Left is Emily Guida Foos, the executive director of Red Wing Arts. To the right is Scott Lloyd Anderson, the 2021 Plein Air judge. 

The 16th annual Plein Air returns to Red Wing this month. The event brings artists to the community from around the region to paint recognizable Red Wing “en plein air,” meaning approximately “open air” in French.

Red Wing Arts’ Plein Air event is about the unique area that is the gateway to the Driftless Region. Nationally renowned plein air painter, Joshua Cunningham once reflected, "for landscape painters this place is special. Whether we are painting by the Mississippi River, back in a valley around Hay Creek, on the sidewalk in the beautiful downtown, or from the top of Barn Bluff, this place challenges and inspires us."

Plein Air events 

June 11-25: Artists Paint Red Wing. Best time of day to locate painters is early morning and early evening. Some featured locations: He Mni Caŋ-Barn Bluff, Main Street, historic neighborhoods, river overlooks.

June 11, 1-2:30 p.m.: Kick-off event at the Depot Gallery. Artist Talk featuring Fred Somers and Kami Mendlik.

June 17, 5-9 p.m.: Group Paint at Frontenac State Park. Watch artists paint the iconic scenery.

June 18-25: Competition week in Red Wing. Artwork is due at Red Wing Arts on or before 12 p.m. on June 23.

June 21, 7-10 p.m.: Summer Solstice nocturne paint at Memorial Park. Watch artists paint the evening vista views.

June 22, 6-9 p.m.: Group Paint at Central Park. Watch artists paint during the Red Wing Arts Concert in the Park featuring the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band.

June 24, 6-9 p.m.: First glimpse and awards reception. Tickets are $50. The event at the Red Wing Depot Gallery will be a night of music, hors d’oeuvres, wine and fine art. Meet the artists and be the first to experience and buy this year’s plein air paintings. Starting at 7 p.m., this year’s judge, Bob Upton, will present the awards, recognizing the best work created during the week. Award winners include Best of Show, Second Place, Third Place, Best Sense of Place, Best Collection and more! Enjoy time in the gallery to purchase paintings before the exhibition opens to the public.

June 25

  • 9-11 a.m.: Watch artists complete a painting from start to finish during the fast-paced event in Levee Park. Awards at 1 pm. At the same time there will be a free kids paint. Try your hand at painting plein air around the Depot. For kids of all ages - and kids at heart.
  • 1-3 p.m.: Open house reception. View and purchase artworks from Plein Air Artists. Free and open to all.

June 25-Aug. 7: Exhibition on view in the Depot Gallery.

For more information and tickets to the First glimpse and awards reception, visit redwingarts.org.

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