Columbia Center
for the Arts

215 Cascade Street

PO Box 1543

Hood River, OR 97031


Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2012

Special thanks to our sponsors:
sponsor logos

Dr. Scott W. Edgar, DMD

Additional thanks to:

Doppio Coffee   •  Full Sail Brewing Company   •  Mike's Ice Cream
Robert Joki / Sovereign Gallery

Now in its eighth year, Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2012 in the Columbia River Gorge, is a series of art events featuring the art and literary works of accomplished painters and writers. At the heart of the event is a five-day Paint-Out and Write-Out where works of art and writing are created at various outdoor locations in and around the Columbia River Gorge—the nation’s first designated National Scenic Area.

Works of art will subsequently be available for viewing and sale during a month-long art show at Columbia Art Gallery.

Artists, writers, and art lovers all get opportunities to share in the fun.

This year, acclaimed plein air artist Randall Sexton will be the juror for the show. Randall is an acclaimed Plein Air painter. Randall is a nationally known for his use of color and expressive brushwork in his oil paintings of “everyday” scenes.

Randall will be hosting a day long workshop Thursday, September 6, 2012. For more information, visit: Plein Air Workshop

Multiple events associated with the show are listed below.

Paint-Out: Aug. 31 - Sept. 4

Sunrise to Sunset

  • Friday, August 31: The Gorge White House Hood River Valley, OR
  • Saturday,September 1st: Mills Private Residence Hood River Valley, OR
  • Sunday, September 2: Sakura Ridge Bed & Breakfast Hood River Valley, OR
  • Monday, September 3: Waterfront Park Hood River, OR
  • Tuesday, September 4: Downtown Hood River Hood River, OR

Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2011

Artist Reception: Friday, Sept. 7

Meet the Artists!

  • Join us on Friday, September 7 from 6 - 8 pm for the opening of the show. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be announced at 6:30pm.

Art Show: Sept. 7- Sept. 30

Artists Have Been Juried In

As in previous years, all art in this show is created by artists who have undergone a rigorous "jury" process, where artist samples are judged by experts. If you're looking for great art related to the Columbia River Gorge, by exceptional artists, in many cases at reasonable prices, then this is the art show for you!

2012 Northwest Plein Air Artists:

Celeste Bergin
Don Bishop
Brooke Borcherding
Diana Botkin
Brenda Boylan
Greg Caudell
Jackie Clark
Janice Druian
Nathalie Equall
Aimee Erickson
Scott Gellatly
Bonnie Griffith
Rachel Harvey
Norma Holmes
William Hook
William Hoshal
Amanda Houston
Eric Jacobsen
Aaron Johnson
Christine Knowles
Mark Larsen
Karen Lewis
Gretha Lindwood
Sergio Lopez
David McBride
Michael Orwick
Anton Pavlenko
Cathleen Rehfeld
Rowena Sandford
Bill Sharp
Kat Sowa
Eric Voigt
Yer Vue
Janice Wall
Karen Whitworth

Plein Air Painting Workshop: Sept. 6

Taught by Randall Sexton

Plein Air Writing: Sept. 9

Public Reading

  • Plein Air Literary Works will be presented at a public reading in the Columbia Center for the Arts theater at 7pm



As in previous years, prizes and awards will be given to the artists. This year, prizes will include:  

1st Place • 2nd Place • 3rd Place • 4 Honorable Mention • Best River • Best Waterfront • Best Sky • Best Farm Scene • Best Mountain • Vintner’s Pick • Best Western • Artists’ Choice •  People’s Choice


In the Columbia River Gorge

A Paradise for Painters and Writers

The Pacific Northwest, and in particular, the area in and around the Columbia River Gorge, is Plein Air Painter Paradise. It's no surprise that each year at this time, artists and writers gather here to take in the stunning beauty of its black basalt cliffs, ribbon-like waterfalls, and lush fir forests.

The town of Hood River itself is nestled along the Columbia River, and sits between the two snow capped volcanoes Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams ... making it not only an ideal, but also inspirational, host town for guest artists.

A National Scenic Area

Notably, in November 1986, Congress recognized the unique beauty of the Columbia River Gorge when it made it the nation's first National Scenic Area.

In addtion, In 2009, in its sixth annual survey of "Destination Stewardship," National Geographic rated Hood River as one of the top ten scenic areas in the world, on a par with the Bavarian Alps!

Comments from Some Previous Year's Artists

I enjoyed meeting and painting with other artists while visiting areas that offered unlimited possibilities for new paintings.

—Larry Johnson

The Columbia Art Center has done an amazing job creating an event that gives the Columbia River Gorge national visibility as a destination for plein air painting. This event gets better every year!

—Scott Gellatly

This event is always incredible, From the beauty of the area to talent that shows up to capture it. Not to mention the outstanding job everyone involved puts forth. I look forward to this paint out as the highlight of the my year. "Thank you Columbia Art Gallery"

—Mike Rangner

The artists who turn out for the annual PNWPA event interpret the grandeur of the entire Columbia River Gorge in only paint and canvas! It’s breathtaking to see the new paintings fresh off the easels. Each year this event/exhibit reminds artists and art appreciators of the pride we all feel for our beautiful surroundings.

—Celeste Bergin

The PNWPA competition is the premier juried plein air event in the state, with nationally recognized judges and top notch gallery presentation. It is the only event of it's kind I attend in Oregon, and ranks with others I compete in out-of-state...

—Eric Bowman

My experience with the 2009 NW Plein Air show was a joy from start to finish—from the kickoff party at which I met such talented artists, to the preview show at which I sold work done during the paint-out week. Great show; fabulous location!

—Rachel J. Harvey

Visit Our Blog

See more pictures of last year's event and learn about the participating artists: Pacific Northwest Plein Air blog.