artist information
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general information

Artists 18 years or older are eligible to register for the River Towns Plein Air 2022 Competition and Exhibit.  Application constitutes agreement that images may be used for web and print promotional purposes.  

DISCLAIMER:  None of the involved groups (including Marietta Art Alive!, the Marietta Community House, the Borough of Marietta, and Rivertownes PA USA) are responsible for personal injury and illness  or damage/loss/theft of artwork that may happen during the entire event.    Artists must provide their own insurance coverage if desired.  In addition, artists are responsible for their own personal safety during the event.  Applying for the event constitutes the artist's agreement with all rules and statements made here.


All applicants must:​

  • complete application form online from January 3 through February 28, 2022.

    • Upload two photos of work completed in last two years.  Graphics must be between 1M and 5M in size.  Files must use naming format with artist name and title of work: "LastnameFirstnameTitle.jpg".  At least one of the paintings must have been completed En Plein Air.

    • pay a $30 non-refundable application fee.



From the entire pool of applicants, our Juror of Selection will review and select 30 artists to participate as “Juried Artists” in the River Towns Plein Air 2022.  Artists will be notified of their juried status and asked to confirm that they plan to participate in the event within 7 days of notification.  From the remaining non-juried applicants, 30 more artists will be asked to participate as “Open Artists”.  These slots will be offered to artists in the order that they are received.  Open artists must confirm that they plan to participate within 7 days of notification.  A maximum of 60 artists will participate in the River Towns Plein Air 2022 event.  Artists who are not chosen as a Juried Artist and not offered an Open Artist slot will be placed on a "Waitlist" should any openings arise.



Information for the Quick Draw event can be found here.

Rules of the competition

MEDIA:  Any medium used to create 2-dimensional art--oils, acrylics, watercolors, pencil, pastel, and charcoal are permissible.  Other materials and mediums may be acceptable with permission of the Plein Air committee.


PLEIN AIR DEFINITION: All paintings must be completed “en plein air” described as painting in the open air, working directly from the landscape or scene as it appears at that moment, without the aid of photos or cameras or more than a few marks afterward in the studio.  Porches, gazebos, and pavilions can be used as shelter while painting; artists are responsible for gaining necessary permissions.



Click to Download PDF Maps

Google Map of Painting Sites

SUBJECT MATTER:  Subject matter is anything observed while standing within the confines of the River Towns Plein Air Paint Out Area shown in the maps above .  Designated sites were selected with the Susquehanna River in mind, but we encourage artists to paint the beautiful architecture, street scenes, wildlife, people, etc., that also can be found in this area.  Check out our site gallery.



Artists must have all their surfaces stamped prior to using them in the competition.  At the time of stamping, the surfaces must be blank or primed with a single color.  All artwork submitted to the final show must bear the "2022 River Towns Plein Air" ink stamp on the reverse in plain view at the time of acceptance.  Volunteers will be available at MH Studio & Gallery/MAA, 42 W Market St, Marietta PA to stamp surfaces on the dates/times below:

  • Monday, April 18, 2022:  8AM-11AM and 6PM-8PM

  • Wednesday, April 20, 2022: 8AM-11AM and 6PM-8PM

  • Saturday, April 23, 2022: 8AM-10AM

  • Monday, April 25, 2022:  8AM-11AM and 6PM-8PM

For additional dates/times, text 717-314-9551 and the committee will try to accommodate.​



Submit painting details as you go, as many as you like.  Go to each time you complete a painting.  The information gathered here will be used to create labels for the final show.  Deadline for submission is April 27, 2022, at 8PM.

With each label submission, you should see the message “Thanks for submitting!  Add another.”  You will also receive an email confirmation.  Reply to the email with any corrections prior to the above deadline.


At the end of the paint out period, artists may enter as many pieces of work that will fit in a display area that is as follows:

Juried Artists

6 ft. wide X 6 ft. high.  Artists may submit up to two paintings for the juried awards and an additional painting for each special category award (Best Columbia Scene and Best Painting from John Wright Property), up to a total of four submissions.

Open Artists

3 ft. wide X 6 ft. high.  Artists may submit one painting for the open awards and an additional painting for each special category award (Best Columbia Scene and Best Painting from John Wright Property), up to a total of three submissions.

All submissions must bear the RTPA 2022 canvas/paper stamp marking.  This will be confirmed at time of acceptance.

All artwork must have been created on-site within the River Towns Plein Air Paint Out Area or a Designated Painting Site from April 18-27, 2022 to be eligible for entry into the show and for awards.  Artists are free to paint any time of day or night during this period.

All artwork must be professionally framed or gallery wrapped.  If pieces are gallery wrapped canvas, the sides must be painted and finished neatly.  All work must be wired for hanging.  Artwork that is unfinished or unprofessional in appearance may be disqualified from the judging and exhibition.

EXHIBIT AND DISPLAY SET UP:  The RTPA committee will provide display panels for use at this show.  Location for the show and sale will be at Studio 264, Marietta Community House, 264 W Market St., Marietta, PA. 

Organizers will make every effort to ensure patrons are a sufficient distance from the displayed artwork. The exhibit building will be locked overnight. Two or more volunteers will be on hand during the exhibit hours to ensure the safety of artwork.   ​

SALE OF ARTWORK:  All artwork must be for sale. A 30% commission will benefit the Marietta Community House and Rivertownes PA USA, both non-profit 501(3)c organizations. Artists receive 70% of amount received for their paintings.  A PA sales tax of 6% will be collected at the time of sale. Rivertownes PA USA is responsible for the payment of PA Sales Tax. 

JUROR:  The Juror of Selection and Awards for River Towns Plein Air 2022 is Lou Schellenberg.  Lou Schellenberg has been painting landscapes for decades dividing her year between Pennsylvania, Maine and Nova Scotia. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania to teach she studied art at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and earned her MFA from the University at Albany, NY.  Lou is Associate Professor of Art Emerita, Elizabethtown College, where she taught painting and drawing.

Over her career, Lou’s work has been included in many gallery and museum exhibitions including The Lancaster Museum of Art, The Demuth Foundation, PA, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, The Woodmere Museum, PA, The Fitchburg Art Museum, MA, The Biggs Museum, DE, and The Art Institute of Boston.  Awards include a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Fellowship and First Place Award Art of the State: Pennsylvania. Her plein air paintings and commissions are in many private and public collections across the US and in Canada. Her most recent commission was for LL Bean, Freeport, Maine.


Lou’s paintings emphasize color and structure and often include architectural elements. She currently serves on the board of directors of The Mount Gretna School of Art, an intensive landscape painting program. Her work is represented by Lancaster Galleries, PA.



ARTIST Schedule of Events

January 3, 2022-February 28, 2022 by 8PM    

  Application period for River Towns Plein Air 2022

March 15, 2022            

  Notification of Juried and Open Artists

April 18-27, 2022

 Canvas Stamping/Goodie Bag pick up - 42 W Market St, Marietta

     Monday, April 18 (8AM-11AM and 6PM-8PM)

     Wednesday, April 20 (8AM-11AM and 6PM-8PM)

     Saturday, April 23 (8AM-10AM)

     Monday, April 25 (8AM-11AM and 6PM-8PM)

     For additional dates/times, text 717-314-9551

April 18-27, 2022       

  Artists paint in River Towns Plein Air  Paint Out Area or Designated

  Painting Sites - See Map:  River Towns Plein Air Area

April 23, 2022            

   8AM-10AM - Anyone who wants to participate may register for
   $10. Registered artists check in.

   10AM-12Noon - Registered artists paint in designated Quick Draw


   Noon-1PM - Deliver framed/gallery wrapped artwork by this time
   to the Premier Linens parking lot, 271 W. Market St., Marietta, for

   2PM - Presentation of Quick Draw Awards

April 27, 2022 by 8PM            

   Artist deadline for entering and submitting online label information

April 28, 2022           

  10AM-2:00PM - Artists scheduled to turn in artwork for judging and


April 29, 2022            

  4PM-5PM - Awards presentation indoors at Marietta Community House.  Awards will also be posted on our website and Facebook pages by 4PM.  Artists will be notified by email.

 April 29-May 1, 2022    

  Public exhibit:  Fri 5PM-9PM; Sat 10AM-5PM; Sun 10AM-4PM

May 1, 2022            

  4PM - Artists pick up unsold artwork

May 2, 2022           

  10AM-Noon - Artist scheduled for pick up of unsold artwork