2019 Colorado National Monument Plein Air!

Pictured above: Artist Joshua Been of Salida, CO paints Independence Monument. Photo courtesy the artist.

The 2019 Colorado National Monument Plein Air Invitational will soon be getting a new name! This year the Colorado National Monument Association is partnering with the Colorado Canyons Association to expand the area which participating artists will be able to explore and paint. Now artists will be able to paint in multiple locations including Dominguez-Escalante canyons, McInnis Canyons and Rabbit Valley in addition to the Colorado National Monument! Click the CCA logo above to be sent to their site.

Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) fosters community stewardship, education and awareness of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Areas (NCA’s) in western Colorado.  CCA connects our community to local public lands by providing outdoor programs for over 3,000 students on land and river each year. Other award-winning work includes riparian restoration, citizen science, and interpretation in and around our three NCA’s.

The 2019 CNM Plein Air Invitational call for entry is now open!  This year’s event will run September 30th – October 6th. This year we have some BIG announcements and changes that will benefit the event for years to come.  To submit your entry for consideration to participate in this show, click on the link below!

Artist Submissions

The 2018 Colorado National Monument Plein Air Invitational is in the books.

This year was exceptional as far as weather goes.  It rained for nearly three days straight, but when it wasn’t raining, conditions were spectacular. It did not hamper any of the artists, and they took advantage of the breaks in the weather.  They collectively produced more work this year than last year’s event, and sold more work the first evening alone, than last year’s entire exhibition.  We at the CNMA are grateful to all of the artists that participated in this event and braved the crazy weather, and especially to the wonderful purchase award sponsors and members of the community that came out to add to, or start their collection of original artwork.

Our judge for this year’s event was artist David Grossmann.


The judge’s awards for the 2018 Colorado National Monument Plein Air Invitational are as follows:

1st Place Award (sponsored by Alpine Bank): Joshua Been of Salida, CO for his piece titled “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere”

2nd Place Award (sponsored by Quick Temps, LLC): Doug Graybeal of Carbondale, CO

3rd Place Award (sponsored by Hot Tomato and Kannah Creek Brewing): Michael Wyszynski of Norwood, CO

Artists’ Choice Award (sponsored by Blick Art Materials): J. Brad Holt of Cedar City, UT

People’s Choice Award (sponsored by Blick Art Materials): Joshua Been of Salida, CO

All photos taken by our insanely awesome event volunteer Christine Gearhart.

Now that this year’s event has come and gone, we will be starting our discussions about how to make next year’s event even better.  The Colorado National Monument is an undiscovered gem, that we in the grand valley call our backyard.  It is with great excitement that we should share this special place with artists that can translate the beauty into something we can cherish forever.


2018 Participating Artists

Jody Ahrens, CO


Mark Akins, CO


Joshua Been, CO


Maggie Cook, CO


Mary Pat Ettinger, CO


Kadin Goldberg, MT


Bonnie Griffith, ID


Doug Graybeal, CO


J. Brad Holt, UT



Nancy Lewis, CO


Susan Mayfield, CO


Mark Marino, CO


Jason McCullough, CO

Charles Morris, CO


John Phillips, CO


Mike Simpson, CO


Richard Szkutnik, CO


Susan Thiele, CO


Michael Wyszynski, CO


We are beginning to plan our 2019 Colorado National Monument Plein Air event.  If you are interested in being involved, we are actively seeking volunteers, event sponsors, purchase award sponsors and host families for participating artists.  Please contact our art coordinator John Lintott, email: jlintott@coloradonma.org if you would like to help!

2018 Sponsors:

Chuck and Robbie Breaux