2019 Monuments and Canyons Plein Air Invitational!

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

2019 Monuments and Canyons Plein Air Invitational Schedule of Events:

Event Dates: September 30th – October 6th

Wednesday, October 2nd: 8:30a.m. – 11a.m. – Group paint out at Saddlehorn picnic area in Colorado National Monument. This is a great chance for the public to meet the artists!

Thursday, October 3rd: 8:30a.m. – 11a.m. – Group paint out at Devil’s Canyon in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Another chance to meet the artists

Friday, October 4th: 5p.m. – 8p.m. – Members and sponsor preview night, and awards ceremony. Exhibit location: Carlson Vineyards Tasting Room, 545 Main Street, Grand Junction, CO. Free admission for all sponsors and members of the CNMA and CCA. Non-member tickets $30 at the door.

Saturday, October 5th: 10a.m. – 5p.m. – Exhibition open to the public.

Sunday, October 6th: 10a.m. – 2p.m. – Exhibition open to the public. @2p.m. exhibition closes.


The 2019 Monuments and Canyons Plein Air Invitational is almost here! 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.

2019 Monuments and Canyons Participating Artists:

Joshua Been – Salida, CO – www.joshuabeen.com

Lyn Boyer – Durango, CO – https://lynboyer.wordpress.com/

Maggie Cook – Grand Junction, CO – www.maggiecook.com

Loren Eakins – Grand Junction, CO – http://loreneakins.com/index.html

Monica Esposito – Whitewater, CO – http://monicaespositoart.com/

Kadin Goldberg – Laurel, MT – https://www.kadingoldberg.com/

Doug Graybeal – Carbondale, CO – https://douggraybeal.com/

Bonnie Griffith – Meridian, ID – https://bonniegriffith.com/

Brad Holt – Cedar City, UT – http://jbradholt.com/

Susie Hyer – Evergreen, CO – https://susiehyerstudio.com/

Chris Kolupski – Rochester, NY – https://chriskolupski.com/

Kathleen Lanzoni – Boulder, CO – http://kathleenlanzoni.com/

Nancy Lewis – Palisade, CO – https://nancylewisart.com/

Marko Marino – Grand Junction, CO – https://markomarino.com/

Susan Mayfield – Salida, CO – http://susanmayfield.net/

Jason McCullough – Wheat Ridge, CO – https://www.jasondmccullough.com/

Mick McGinty – Gilbert, AZ – http://mickmcgintyfineart.com/

Rachel Pettit – Tooele, UT – https://rachelpettit.com/

Brian Proud – Nashville, TN – https://brianproudart.com/

Kari Ganoung Ruiz – Interlaken, NY – http://www.kariganoungruiz.com/

Scott Ruthven – Fort Collins, CO – https://scottruthven.com/

Jason Sacran –  Arkansas – http://jasonsacran.com/

Jane Seglem – New Castle, CO

Lily Shanabarger – Fruita, CO

Paula Swain – Salt Lake City, UT – https://paulaswainart.com/

Susan Thiele – Montrose, CO – https://www.susanthiele.com/

Melanie Thompson – Richland, WA – https://melaniethompsonart.com/

Anita Winter – Centennial, CO – https://anitawinter.com/

2019 Sponsors

Judge announced for the 2019 Monuments and Canyons Plein Air Invitational!

This year’s Plein Air Invitational will be judged by Colorado artist Dan Young.

Dan Young was born in Denver, and grew up in western Colorado. “ Camping and fishing through out the Rocky Mountains as a child, has been a strong influence on me and my work,” Young stated. He attended Colorado Institute of Art, hoping to find a direction in art. After graduation he moved to Dallas to pursue the commercial art field. Even with a successful Illustration career, the landscape was always calling him back. In 1989, he returned to Colorado to begin painting full time. Young enjoys painting the rural life of the west, the ranches that dot the mountain valleys and river bottoms. He states,“ Though I’m a landscape painter, I like introducing hints of man’s presence in the landscape. Sometimes I feel I’m in a race to paint a disappearing way of life. It’s hard to watch so many of the family farms and ranches being swallowed up by development.”
Young clings strongly to the importance of painting from life. He feels painting from life was the most important stepping stone for his career. Most days you can find him painting along a backroad or beside a mountain lake.

  • Artist Dan Young

    Photo by Plein Air Magazine

  • Dan Young painting en plein air

    Photo by artzline.com

  • Artwork by Dan Young

  • Artwork by Dan Young

  • Artwork by Dan Young

  • For more of Dan’s work, please visit his website: www.danyoungstudio.com

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