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10th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival

  • artists at work outdoors
  • plein air festival logo
  • man painting on a dock
  • overhead view of a large gallery space
When: Event has passed. Watch this page for updates.

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Adirondack Plein Air Festival held in Saranac Lake, NY. The brainchild of area artist Sandra Hildreth, this event has grown from 27 regional artists, a 3-day weekend, and little to no sales, to a highly acclaimed, week-long, national event that attracts artists from all over the country and has generated over $40,000 in sales in just 24 hours!

Today, nearly 100 artists apply and 50 are selected to participate through a thoughtful review process.

This year, the Adirondack Plein Air Festival will be held from August 13 to the 18. There are five days of painting, a Nocturne Contest, a “Meet the Artists” Reception at the Hotel Saranac, the “Paint the Town” Silent Auction, a “Quick Draw” Competition, a Special Preview Party and Awards Presentation, culminating in a huge Show & Sale on Saturday, August 18 at the Harrietstown Town Hall.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks is the primary sponsor of this event, with Hildreth as the key organizer for the full ten years. She is retiring after the 2018 event, but ArtWorks will continue to maintain and operate the event under the umbrella of BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake. A special exhibit that is being planned for 2018 focuses on the five original artists who have attended all ten of the Adirondack Plein Air Festivals.

“10 Years of Plein Air” will be on display in the Great Room gallery at Paul Smith’s College VIC for the month of August through Labor Day weekend. The five artists who hold this record are Jacqueline Altman of Lake Placid, Nancy Brossard of Lake Clear, Tarryl Gabel of Poughkeepsie, and Diane Leifheit of Gabriels. Works of organizer/artist Sandra Hildreth will also be included as she has managed to paint in all ten festivals in addition to managing them (though she has never competed for the awards).

For all ten years, the VIC has hosted the first day of Festival painting as a way to introduce the artists to the Adirondack landscape.

Other major sponsors of this annual arts event include the Adirondack Artists Guild which has served as headquarters for the “Paint the Town” Silent Auction, Adirondack Health, and the Town of Harrietstown. In addition, support has come from Adk., Rice Furniture, the Saranac Lake Central School District, the Village of Saranac Lake, Cape Air, Eric Rhoads, Plein Air Magazine, North Country Public Radio, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, ROOST, the Adirondack Almanack, Local ADK, Adirondack Carousel, Adirondack Life, the Adirondack Motel, Bookstore Plus, Community Bank, and so many more local and national businesses and supporters.

The Adirondack Plein Air Festival event schedules will be available at the Adirondack Artists Guild at 52 Main Street in Saranac Lake.

More details are available online at:

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