LeFleur’s Bluff State Park to host 43 Painters for 2nd Annual Plein Air Painting Competition


Celebrate Mississippi’s natural beauty by joining us at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park on April 13, 2024, for the En Plein Air Paint Competition! This event, brought to you by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and Pacesetter Gallery, will showcase 43 talented Mississippi artists as they paint scenes of their choosing throughout LeFleur’s Bluff State Park. The public is encouraged to come out to enjoy the park, meet the artists, and watch as paintings of cypress trees, wooded areas, and wildlife come to life through oil, watercolor, acrylic, and pastel mediums.

Watch artists paint live at the park from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., then end the day at Pacesetter Gallery for the En Plein Air Wine and Cheese Opening. From 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., guests will have the opportunity to view the pieces from the day, interact with the artists, and view the winning pieces judged by renowned Mississippi artist and judge Bill Wilson selects the winners. Artists are competing for the chance to win monetary prizes, awards, and recognition in Mississippi Outdoors Magazine.

Visitors have the opportunity to purchase artwork throughout the day from beloved Mississippi artists like Ellen Langford, Rowan Bird, Carol Roark, and more. Sales are available from the first stroke of the brush to after the pieces are complete, but sales are first come first serve so do not miss out.

“Everyone who came out to the event last year loved being present as the art came to life and enjoyed spending time with talented Mississippi artists. Our mission at Pacesetter Gallery is to connect the public with Mississippi artists and help collectors, new and seasoned, find inspiring original art to enjoy. We are excited to see what the artists create! Plan to come out with family and friends for a truly memorable day,” states Keri Davis owner and artist of Pacesetter Gallery.

“To me, Plein Air painting is a way for me to express what I see, feel, and hear, right on the canvas in hopes that the viewer will feel the freshness and be involved in the scenery.”, states participating artist Karen Bennett. Karen Bennett is an award-winning artist from Kokomo, MS, with multiple works featured on HGTV’s Hometown. Her work can be found in Mississippi galleries and she works primarily in plein air.

“My love for Plein Air painting comes largely from my experiences painting with Wyatt Waters, and from having the chance to paint on Horn Island, as Walter Anderson did. It also is rooted in my own experiences growing up. As a family we camped, backpacked, and spent a lot of time observing and enjoying nature. Painting “en plein air” is not just capturing an image, but it is catching the experience of being in the environment; the sun or shade, the heat or cold, the wind or calmness in the atmosphere, you are translating those experiences in color and line and texture.”, states artist Wes Arrington. Wes Arrington has been studying and painting in watercolor for 30 years and resides in Brookhaven, MS.

Participating Artists include:

Professional Division Justin Selway (Canton), Joanne Bell Harrill (Canton), Allison Kelly (Jackson), Chelsea Young (Jackson), Ellen Langford (Jackson), Rowan Bird (Jackson), Wes Arrington (Brookhaven), Carol Roark (Enid), Kayla Walker (McComb),Susan Wellington (Flowood), Troy Hill (D’Iberville), Karen Bennett (Kokomo), Katy Nave Kemalyan (Starkville), Debbie Myers (Oxford), Linda Peters (Oxford), Pam Locke (Oxford), Daniel C. Ethridge (Meridian), Cary Haycox (Meridian), Robin Cumberland (Meridian), Judy B Nail (Greenwood), Gayle Quick (Richland), James Wagner (Columbus), Andre Ray (Columbus), Margaret Mayer (Madison), Katelyn Harbaugh (Madison), Sam Clark (Madison), Feixue Yang (Madison), Bryan Peters (Brandon), Andrew Mize (Brandon), Carissa Mitchell (Union Church), Sam Bishop (Clinton), Emma Knowles (Clinton-Mississippi College scholarship recipient), Mark Millet (Ridgeland)

Amateur Division Janice Kraft (Canton), Bill Westling (Perkinston), Nathalie Pettit (Ocean Springs), Gloria Jones (Madison), Phil Pringle (Madison), Mary Keith (Madison), Lewis Griffin (Hattiesburg), Cynthia Baugh (Jackson), Kay Meadows (Brandon), Bonnie Atkinson (Brandon), Payge Smith (Brandon)