Registration now open for Dover Days Plein Air Competition

Events to take place April 27 through May 5
January 13, 2013

The Dover Days Festival will host its second annual expanded Plein Air Competitions starting Saturday, April 27, and running through Sunday, May 5, on The Green and in Dover's historic district. The competitions offer $2,000 in cash and prizes and are open to all artists 18 years of age and older. "Plein air" is a French phrase meaning to paint on location, in the outdoors in plain air.

"The Dover Days Festival is pleased to offer an expanded event in 2013, which coincides with the 80th anniversary of Dover Days," said Lorraine Dion, festival coordinator. In addition, artists will have the opportunity to participate in a show and reception Wednesday, May 1, at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, along with free admission to a meet and greet for artists with Colonial portrait painter Gilbert Stuart, portrayed by a historical interpreter from the American Historical Theatre.

The Plein Air Paint Out will take place from 9 a.m., Saturday, April 27, through noon, Wednesday, May 1, throughout downtown Dover’s historic commercial district, which includes two historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Artists may choose to paint anytime within the historic district during the April 27 – May 1 competition. Cash and prizes totaling $1,000 will be awarded.

An optional Plein Air Quick Draw event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, May 5; $1,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded. Artists will have the opportunity to participate in a gallery show of their work at the Dover Art League. Registration for the Paint Out is $25 per person and $20 for the Quick Draw competition, or register for both at $35 and save $10.

“One of the options for those participating in the Quick Draw component on May 5 is to paint in gardens of historic homes included on the Dover Days Garden Tour,” said Dion, who also noted the expanded competition is being made possible by a partnership with the Biggs Museum of American Art and a grant from the Kent County Fund for the Arts. In addition to the competition, an arts education component will be provided for disadvantaged children to learn more about plein air painting. Their work will be exhibited during the Dover Days event.

Special lodging rates have been secured at a nearby suites hotel for out-of-town artists. To register or for more information, go to For more information, call Kent County Tourism, 302-734-8309 or 800-233-5368.

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