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Quick Draw


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Quick Draw- September 28, 2024

Join Friends of the Smokies for a Quick Draw Competition and Art Sale in Knoxville, TN.


Competition Rules

  1. BOUNDARIES:  Artists may paint in the location of their choosing within the downtown Knoxville area.
  2. SET UP: Artists may choose their site and set up equipment before the competition officially begins at 9:00 a.m.  A registration table will be manned beginning at 7:30 a.m. where artists must have blank canvases stamped and pick up their title & price label.
  3. START:  Artists begin to create en Plein Air at 9:00 a.m. at which time a horn will be blown.  The artists must start with nothing pre-painted or pre-drawn and create the Quick Draw artwork only during the Quick Draw time frame. Mediums accepted are watercolor, oil, pastel, and acrylic.
  4. STOP: All artists must finish creating their artwork by 11:00 a.m. at which time a horn will be blown.
  5. FRAME:  Each Quick Draw painting must be framed or matted prior to the exhibit for ease of handling.
  6. EXHIBIT AND JUDGING:  Between 11:00-11:30 a.m., all artists bring completed artwork, along with their personal easels, to the stage at Market Square.  Event staff will assist the artists in setting up their easels and artwork for the Quick Draw Exhibit.  Judging will begin at 11:30 a.m. with prizes awarded at 12:00 p.m.  All artwork will remain until the exhibit ends at 1:00 p.m.  and must be removed from Market Square.  Plein Air in the Smokies is not responsible for any equipment or art left after 1:00 p.m.
  7. SALE:  Each Quick Draw artwork must have a title and price, and is required to be available for sale.  Friends of the Smokies will take a 45% commission from each work that sells, and monetary transactions will be handled by event staff.  Credit cards and cash will be accepted.  For sales $600 and over, the artist must provide social security number or Federal EIN to Friends of the Smokies.

Quick Draw Rules and Agreement

I understand and agree to abide by the rules above.  I am entering this event and painting at my own risk.  Plein Air Smokies/Friends of the Smokies will not be responsible for any injury or damage which may occur during this event.

Presented by:

September 21-28 2024

‘Plein Air Smokies,’ will once again bring 20 nationally acclaimed artists to paint “en plein air” (outdoors) throughout the national park. Artists will be 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 will be available for sale at a Collectors Soirée on Sept. 27th in Downtown Knoxville at Regas Square Events. Proceeds benefit Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Whether you’re a first-time art buyer or a long-time collector, this event has something for every Smokies enthusiast.

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2024 Plein Air Smokies Artists

For the 2024 event, artists were selected through a juror process. Over 100 artists across the country applied and 18 were selected to join last year’s Best in Show and Quick Draw winners, for a total of 20 participating artists.


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!

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.

Neal Huges paints at Plein Air in the Smokies 2022
Neal Huges paints at Elkmont during Plein Air in the Smokies 2022.

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.


Sponsorship Opportunities!

Sponsorship provides recognition for your support of Friends of the Smokies and offers additional benefits. Learn more about the benefits each level of sponsorship provides.

If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Lauren@friendsofthesmokies.org