Plein Air at the Fair Contest

Capturing the iconic images of the California State Fair

Both novice and experts alike are invited to capture the iconic images of the California State Fair! Come create a painting “en Plein Aire” – a French term literally translated as “In Open Air.”

Top three paintings at the end of the weekend will be awarded first, second and third place cash prizes and displayed for the duration of the fair.

This contest is open to California residents, adults and those who have reached 13 years of age as of January 1, 2020.

Paint Out Weekend: July 25 – 26, 2020

How to Enter

Plein Air Adult Winners

  • 1st Place: Suzanne Goodwin – “Fair Critters”
  • 2nd Place: Kristian Matthews – “Spirit of the Fair”
  • 3rd Place: Sowmya Gabe – “Carnival”

Plein Air Youth Winners

  • 1st Place: Angela M. Chow – “Spring Lake”
  • 2nd Place: Talon Pham – “Fair”
  • 3rd Place: Angela M. Chow – “Robert J. Field”
Past Results Archive

Emily Reed

Fine Art Coordinator

(916) 263-3000

Competition Dates

The 2020 CA State Fair & Food Festival has been cancelled, including our events and competitions, due to safety concerns regarding COVID-19.

We are planning to make the 2021 CA State Fair & Food Festival the best one yet and we hope that you’ll enter next year’s competition! The 2021 competition dates will be announced later. Please check back soon.

2021 Dates Details
TBA Entries Open registration online
TBA Plein Air Entry Close online at 6:00 pm & entry fees must be paid
TBA Painting is done around the fair grounds
TBA Completed paintings submitted to building #7 by 4 pm
TBA Judging & Award 6:00 pm
TBA Plein Air Artwork can be picked up