Southport Plein Air Festival

The Southport Plein Air Festival is a truly unique experience! An annual event jointly hosted by Up Your Arts and the City of Southport, this festival aims to bring regional talent (and interested visitors!) to our scenic coastlines in celebration and in hopes of capturing the true essence and beauty of the city.


En plein air is a French term meaning
“in the open air.”

In France in the 1800s, the plein air movement gained popularity. With the ability to store paint in tubes, artists were able to go out into the open air to paint the landscapes around them in natural lighting. Today's plein air enthusiasts borrow from that movement to bring artists around the country to beautiful, inspirational places to paint and celebrate.

Since Southport is, in our totally unbiased opinion, one of the most beautiful and paintable places on earth, Up Your Arts is proud to partner with the City of Southport to present the annual Southport Plein Air Festival.

The Southport Plein Air Festival is an event that features something for everyone. Not only are there an incredible variety of locations for artists to paint our amazing landscapes throughout Southport, we also host a public reception for them with great food, live music, and painting demonstrations; sponsor Kids' Plein Air activities that feature creative performance artists for public enjoyment.

The event culminates in our famous Wet Paint Sale where you can buy amazing artworks created during the event by participating artists.

2022 Southport Plein Air Festival

PleinAir 2022 (art by Lyudmila Lucy Tomova)
Original Art by Lyudmila Lucy Tomova, 2021 People's Choice winner

May13-14, 2022

Up Your Arts and the City of Southport are thrilled to welcome artists back to our beautiful town for the 2022 Southport Plein Air Festival. Turn out in previous years has exceeded our imagination and we are ready to do it again -- two full days, May 13-14, 2022, rain or shine!

2021 Southport Plein Air Festival

PleinAir 2021 (artist Rena Powell)
Original art by Rena Powell, 2019 People's Choice winner

June 18-19, 2021

After 15 months sheltering in place from a global pandemic, coming out into the sun for the 2021 Southport Plein Air Festival was quite literally a breath of fresh air! And boy, did this festival deliver! With nearly 50 artists and hundreds of friends, family and spectators descending on Southport, the 2021 Plein Air Festival was an event to remember!

Plein Air Facebook Group

Talk to Plein Air artists and learn about Plein Air events across the state in our facebook group. Join today!

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