Alternatives - Community Life For People With Disabilities

2nd Annual Blackstone Valley Plein Air Art Competition: Call for Entries!

September 26, 27 & 28*

Alternatives is delighted to announce the 2nd Annual Blackstone Valley Plein Air Arts Competition. The three-day event will take place in the historic Blackstone Valley, around the village of Whitinsville and the town of Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Considered to be the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, the area offers a mix of historic buildings and open landscapes that will provide contestants with painting subjects reflective of the history, culture and beauty of this New England region.

Though the competition is still months away, we’re calling all artists now!

Mike Rogan for mail

Last year’s winner, Mike Rogan, with his first prize painting.

Submission Requirements:

1. Three images of recent work

2. A bio and CV

3. A non-refundable $35 entry fee

Please click here for the entry form.

The deadline for entry is July 31!

Contest rules:

1. Artists must have their panels or canvases stamped at the time of registration. No painting will be considered without an official Blackstone Valley 2014 registration stamp.

2. Paintings are to be done in oil, watercolor, acrylic or alkyd.Paintings are to be done entirely on location. No studio work will be considered.

3. Judgment of the juror is final.

4. Alternatives reserves the right to use images of artwork and photos taken of artists working for promotional purposes. All work will be credited to the artist.

5. Employees of Alternatives and their subsidiary organizations are ineligible for entry.

6. Alternatives will charge the artist a 40% sales commission on works sold in the gallery or auctioned at our reception. Artists will set the minimum bid for the auction.

7. Artists who participate in the event are encouraged to attend the reception. The reception is free to artist participants.

How the competition works:

During the contest periods Saturday and Sunday morning, artists will have the opportunity to paint in various locations as they choose. On Sunday, after the main contest concludes and artists submit their work, there will be a ‘Quick Draw Contest’ where artists will have only 3 hours to complete a plein air painting on site. View a full schedule of events here.

Acclaimed artist T. M Nicholas will be joining us to judge the work as cash prizes will be awarded to three winners in the main competition and one winner for the Quick Draw Contest. You can visit T.M. Nicholas’ website and view his work here,

View some the sites that inspired last year’s artists here! These and new sites await this year’s participants.

*After the contests, paintings entered for consideration will be on view and available for purchase at Alternatives’ Heritage Gallery. A public gala and auction to celebrate the event will take place Sunday, October 5, 2014, one week after the contest concludes.  A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit Alternatives’ programs for individuals with psychiatric or developmental disabilities.

Check back often and join the event on the ValleyCAST Facebook page for updates and details as the competition approaches.

 Plein Air in the Press:

Central Massachusetts event lets artists help people with disabilities, Plein Air Magazine

Valley painting competition produces gallery of orginal art, Yankee Shopper

Barre man wins Blackstone Valley Plein Air Arts Competition, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Award-winning artist returns to alternatives to give back , Blackstone Valley Tribune