Show/Hide

⚠ Alert ⚠

COVID-19 Community Updates and Resources

Click here for more information.

Prairie Plein Air - Prospectus

The Village of Schaumburg in conjunction with Blick Art Materials announces the 10th Annual Prairie Plein Air Competition and Show in Schaumburg, Illinois. Plein air artists are invited to use their vision and talents to capture picturesque vistas of Schaumburg’s diverse, award-winning lifestyle. Schaumburg, a community of approximately 75,000 residents 30 miles northwest of Chicago, offers a myriad of inspirations for plein air artists, from modern skyscrapers to quaint 19th century buildings, cozy suburban homes to log cabins, bustling commercial street scenes to the stately Veterans Gateway Memorial clock tower, beautifully landscaped public parks and gardens to the wild flora of Spring Valley Nature Center, a majestically ‘steepled’ mid-19th century church to a 21st century minor league baseball park, suburbanites sitting pond side watching swans at the municipal center grounds to docents dressed in traditional costume harnessing draft horses at Heritage Farm, and much, much more!

Registration Online or by Mail

Entry fee is $30 (non-refundable)

Artists must complete and submit the online registration form. The completed entry form and the entry fee must be submitted to the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts by 5:00 p.m. April 10, 2020 (online and postmark deadline). See entry form for fee payment information and mailing address. A 2.25% processing fee will be added to all credit and debit card payments with a minimum fee of $1 for each transaction. This fee will apply to all payments made for credit or debit card payments for accounts with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. These fees are paid directly to the credit and debit card companies and are not collected by the village.

Painting/Drawing Rules

We reserve the right to reject any art that does not meet our expectations or conform to the norms of the community. Art not adhering to our rules and restrictions will not be considered for admission and hanging.

Paintings/drawings are to be executed “en plein air,” i.e., outdoors, from direct observation of the subject matter (working from photographs is not allowed). Ninety percent of a painting/drawing must be completed on-site, allowing for minor adjustments to be made in the studio.

Artwork may be done in any painting/drawing medium (e.g., acrylic, gouache, ink, pastel, tempera, watercolor, mixed media, et al).

Artwork (unframed) size must not exceed 20” in any direction.

Artwork may be done of any subject matter within the boundaries of Schaumburg (see map for boundaries and suggested areas of scenic interest).

Competition May 13 - May 23, 2020

Painting/drawing days - begin on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, and end on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Artwork may be done at any time during those dates. This two-week window is intended to accommodate artists’ schedules and weather conditions.

Stamping - Prior to painting, artists must bring their blank canvas/board/paper to the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts located at 201 Schaumburg Ct. in Schaumburg, where a staff member will stamp and authenticate the artist’s canvas/board/paper. This may be done during the revised Wednesday, May 13 - Saturday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 20 - Saturday, May 23 from 10 am - 7 pm stamping and artwork drop-off period. Please call Roxane Benvenuti at 847-923-3605 when you arrive in the Prairie Center parking lot turnaround area by the east side door of the building and she will meet you by your vehicle. Only paintings/drawings with this stamp will be accepted. Artists may have several blank surfaces stamped, or may return and have additional blank surfaces stamped, however, only one artwork may be entered for judging and display.

Art Submission

Art Drop Off - Your completed paintings/drawings may be turned in to the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts during the same time frame of Wednesday, May 13 - Saturday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 20 - Saturday, May 23 from 10 am - 7 pm. Please note - the last drop off date is Saturday, May 23, 2020, by 7 pm.

Framing - All submitted work must be framed and ready to hang with a taut wire - saw-tooth hangers are not allowed. Artists must affix to the back of their work the artist’s name, artwork’s title, the location of the subject, painting‘s selling price or indication it is not for sale (NFS).

Competition Prizes

All submitted work will be judged prior to the show, awarding prizes of 1st Place $300 and $100 Blick Art Materials Gift Certificate, 2nd Place $200 and $100 Blick Art Materials Gift Certificate, 3rd Place $100 and $100 Blick Art Materials Gift Certificate, and three Honorable Mention prizes of $50 each and Blick Art Materials Gift Certificate.

Show, Reception and Sale

All submitted work will be displayed in the Herb Aigner Gallery inside the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts building June 1 through June 23, 2020 if the building is open to the public by June 1. If not, a virtual showing will be posted online.

The May 21 Plein Air reception was canceled this year and June is still uncertain if gatherings will be allowed.

Artists may choose to make their artwork available for sale. Artist contact information will be made available to potential buyers. All sales are between the artist and the buyer. No commission will be taken.

Art Pickup

All artwork must be picked up between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, Thursday, June 25 or Friday, June 26. The Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Artwork not picked up by the deadline will be donated unless other arrangements are made. Artwork may not be picked up prior to Tuesday, June 23 since the show is advertised that it is displayed through June 23, 2020.