Plein Air ‘Quick Draw’ Art Event

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Quick Draw Competition & Art Sale


Presented by:

As part of the week-long “Plein Air Smokies” event, Friends of the Smokies hosted a Quick Draw Competition and Art Sale in Maryville, TN. The art festival was an ‘en plein air’ (outdoor painting) competition, exhibit and sale, and was open to any registered artist over the age of 14.

2023 Plein Air Smokies Judge:
Marc Hanson

Quick Draw Awards:

1st Place, Open Division: Susan Duke Waters
2nd Place, Open Division: Donna Brumbergs
3rd Place, Open Division: Alex Eisenzopf

1st Place, Invited Artist Division: Charlie Hunter
2nd Place, Invited Artist Division: John Guernsey
3rd Place, Invited Artist Division: Shelby Keefe

Event Details

Approximately 60 artists blanketed the streets of Maryville as they competed for thousands of dollars in prizes.  Following the 2-hour painting period (9:00-11:00 a.m.), the artists returned to the Amphitheater at Jack Greene Park with their freshly-painted works of art to be judged by Marc Hanson, the Plein Air Smokies competition judge.  All Quick Draw paintings were available for purchase.

Artists painted in two groups.  The invited group included the 20 artists invited to paint in the Smokies throughout the week.  The open group consisted of all other artists over 14 years of age who were registered for the Quick Draw. 

About Maryville, Tennessee

The Quick Draw art event will be held in Maryville, Tennessee, which is situated between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville. Maryville is located in the foothills of the Smokies where Chilhowee Mountain rises prominently to the south. Chilhowee’s eastern flank – known locally as “The Three Sisters” – is visible from almost anywhere in the city.

The Maryville Greenway follows along picturesque Pistol Creek and through downtown Maryville. 

Maryville’s Greenbelt Pavilion in Jack Greene Park along Pistol Creek

Plein Air Smokies 2023 logo

Plein Air Smokies,’ once again brought 20 nationally acclaimed artists to paint “en plein air” (outdoors) throughout the national park. Artists were positioned across the park throughout the week, with locations such as Cades Cove on Monday and Elkmont on Tuesday and Wednesday.

These one-of-a-kind paintings were available for purchase first at the ticketed Collectors Soiree Sept. 29, then at the public sale Sept. 30. Proceeds benefit Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). 

Proceeds Benefit Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Proceeds from the event will help fund several projects and programs that support the park’s efforts to preserve the historic and natural resources of the Smokies while providing a safe, enjoyable experience to millions of annual visitors.

Christine Lashley paints in Cades Cove during Plein Air in the Smokies 2022
Christine Lashley paints in Cades Cove during Plein Air in the Smokies 2022. Cades Cove will be a painting location for the invited artists during Plein Air Smokies 2023.

What is ‘Plein Air’ Painting?

Plein Air painting, in its strictest sense, is the practice of painting landscape pictures outdoors. The purpose is to create intense impression of the open air (French: “en plein air”) in a landscape painting.

En plein air painting was essential for the Impressionist Movement to take place. Impressionism is the painting of what the artist interprets as taking place at a certain place at a certain time. It is the changing of the shadows, the shimmering of the water and the movement of people. Impressionists start and finish their paintings outdoors to be able to depict what they would later be so famous for – capturing their impression of life.

Plein Air In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

National Parks provide an inspiring place for artists to paint ‘en plein air.’ Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), located in Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina, is “world-renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture.” It is America’s most-visited national park. Weather and light composition can change rapidly in Great Smoky Mountains National Park so painting outdoors will be a challenge for the artists. Join us for the adventure as these world-renowned Plein Air artists travel to our beloved park to capture the energy and soul of the Smokies!  

How To Become A Sponsor

For information on becoming a Friends of the Smokies sponsor of Plein Air in the Smokies, email Lauren@friendsofthesmokies.org.