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Paint The Foothills

Alberta Culture Days 2021

September 11, 2021 @ 9:00 am - September 12, 2021 @ 4:00 pm

We are excited to be an official Alberta Culture Days 2021 Celebration Site, as we share the joy of creating art en plein air (outdoors, in the moment)! This year’s plein air party will include the launch of our annual juried plein air exhibition In The Open Air, Plein Air Art Sale, Plein Air Paint-Out (complete with lots of picnicking!) and 2nd Annual Plein Air Competition, as well as a number of Plein Air Art Workshops, for a range of skill levels!

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate Alberta’s Month of the Artist, Alberta Culture Days and the autumn beauty of our SW Alberta foothills!

Event Schedule

Art Shopping: Plein Air Art Sale

The Plein Air Art Sale will take place between 9 am and 5 pm on Saturday September 11 and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday September 12. We will have a variety of plein air art pieces (both unframed and framed) available from the artists entering this year’s competition. Pieces will be available to take home immediately after purchase.

Many of the competition pieces will also be available for purchase, beginning at 10 am on Sunday September 12th. These pieces, however, won’t be available to go home until after the Awards Ceremony, which takes place at 3 pm that day. Our Gallery Shop will be able to hold purchased pieces for pick up at a later date, if needed.

Our juried plein air exhibition pieces are also available to purchase and available to take home after the exhibition wraps up on October 24th.

Paint Out & Picnic

Want to paint out but not join in the competition? That’s A-OK; you are invited to make art en plein air anytime we are open over the weekend. We also encourage families to bring their kids out to make art outdoors!

Remember to bring your own art supplies and anything you need to be comfortable (appropriate clothing, chairs or picnic blankets, food and drink) while outdoors on our 80 acres. Please: no dogs, no smoking, no biking on our paths, no alcohol.

In The Open Air Opening Reception & Plein Air Competition Awards Ceremony

Our annual juried plein air exhibition launches over the ‘Paint The Foothills’ weekend and we encourage our accepted artists, their friends and family, our competition artists and the general public to join us outside at 3 pm on Sunday September 12. We’ll be officially launching the exhibition (which will be open in the Gallery from 9 am on Saturday morning) and presenting the Plein Air Competition Awards. 

Information for Artists – Plein Air Art Sale & Plein Air Competition

We’re very pleased to have registered this event as part of the International Plein Air Painters’ Worldwide Paint Out. All artists are invited to paint out on our 80 acres any time during the event (and any time we are open, year-round).

We will also be holding a Plein Air Competition and Plein Air Art Sale, and invite artists (members and non-members alike) to participate ($30 +GST registration fees applies). Get complete details about the competition and sale. Registration deadline is 4 pm (MDT) on Thursday September 9, 2021.

All registered artists receive a 15% off coupon for in-person purchases at Swinton’s, through September 10, 2021. Courtesy of Swinton’s.

Complete Details for Artists

Update: we will now be accepting walk-in registrations for the competition, between 8 am and 2 pm on Saturday September 11, 2021. Registration cost is $31.50 ($30 + GST), payable upon registration.

Competition Prizes

Free September Plein Air Workshops

Thanks to funding from Alberta Culture Days, we are able to offer a number of free plein air (aka creating art outdoors, in the moment) workshops during September 2021. Art supplies are provided too!

Spaces are very limited so we ask that you: (a) sign up for just one free workshop to allow others to enjoy them as well, (b) let us know ASAP if you can’t make the workshop you signed up for so we can give your spot to someone else and (c) ensure you show up for your workshop, as planned. Thanks for helping us bring affordable art experiences to as many people in our community as possible!

All free workshops are currently full, but we have waitlists set up online, via the ticketing page for each.

More Workshops Taking Place Over This Special Weekend (Fees Apply)


Thank you to our 2021 Major Events Sponsor: The Edward by Section23 Developments and the following event sponsors: Alberta Culture DaysSwinton’s and Calgary Arts Development.




Calgary Arts Development logo


September 11, 2021 @ 9:00 am
September 12, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
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Leighton Art Centre
282027 144 Street West
Foothills, Alberta T1S 0Y4 Canada
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