Valdese, NC – The Town of Valdese, Friends of Valdese Rec, and the Rock School Arts Foundation welcome you to join us for the 2024 Valdese Plein Air Fest!

First, a little about Plein Air. Plein air, pronounced “plehn air,” is a French term that translates to “open air.” It refers to the act of creating art, particularly painting, outdoors, directly in the natural environment, rather than in a studio or from reference photographs. It’s a perfect fit for Valdese, a picturesque small town in the foothills of Western North Carolina, nestled between Mineral Springs Mountain and Lake Rhodhiss. Known for celebrations, Valdese also features beautiful parks, a quaint walkable downtown, and a truly unique heritage showcased in a variety of attractions.

Applications For Valdese Plein Air Fest 2024 Now AvailableApplications available June 1st – August 1st

Artist Check-In and Canvas Stamping

August 31, Time: 9am to 1pm

Location: Old Rock School, 400 Main Street West, Valdese, NC 28690,

Artists check-in and bring the surfaces they will use to paint on during the week for stamping. Only stamped canvases will be admitted for judging and sale. A check-in packet will include information about Valdese, Valdese Lakeside Park and the beauty and vitality of our foothills home.

Artwork Submissions:

September 6, Time: 10am to 3pm

Location: Old Rock School, 400 Main Street West, Valdese, NC 28690

Artists bring their final works (some of them will still have wet paint!) to the Rock School, where they will be checked in, labeled, hung and prepared for the exhibition, reception, and awards ceremony on Saturday.

Wet Sale & Reception

September 7, Time: 4pm to 6pm

Location: Old Rock School, 400 Main Street West, Valdese, NC 28690

This is the big day! Be sure to purchase your reception tickets early for this 4pm to 6pm event at the Old Rock School. The evening features the work of the plein air artists, a wet paint sale, the awards for winning entries, and a wonderful selection of hors d’oeuvres. This is a ticketed event and all attendees must purchase a ticket to be admitted. Tickets go on sale July 1st, 2024 via the event website: