New River Gorge Plein Air Artist Registration 2016
New River Gorge Plein Air Artist Registration 2016

New River Gorge Plein Air Artist Registration 2016

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Fayetteville, West Virginia 25840

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Come and Paint with us this October in Fayetteville, WV!

NRG Plein Air is a festival of outdoor painting in the beautiful New River Gorge (NRG) region of Southern West Virginia. This region is known for its world-class rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and rich history of coal mining, railroads, and the Civil War. The dates of NRG Plein Air coincide with Bridge Day, an event that draws about 80,000 visitors annually to watch B.A.S.E. jumpers leap from the famous New River Gorge Bridge, the world’s third longest single-span bridge.

There will be oranized events for artists including a group Paint-Out, a painting demo given by award-winning West Virginia painter Lynn Boggess, and a Quick-Draw competition. The Quick-Draw will to be held in downtown Fayetteville, amidst other Bridge-Day activities, including the annual chili cookoff and Bridge Jam bluegrass festival. Artists will be given 2 hours to paint, after which the paintings will be displayed on their easels and prizes will be awarded for best paintings. 

In addition to organized events, we will provide artists with a hand-drawn map of suggested painting locations within a 40 min. driving radius of the small outdoorsy town of Fayetteville, WV. Please see our Facebook an Instagram pages to see the many beautiful painting opportunities this region has to offer.

This will be the first year of what will be an annual event and is the first plein air festival in the state of West Virginia, so artists and art lovers are encouraged to come and join us in celebrating the beauty of this unique region through art! If you are an artist, please register for the event by clicking the Register Button below. If you are an art lover, please make sure you check out our Quick Draw event in downtown Fayetteville on October 15th! 

Tentative Event Calendar 

 As this is the first year, we are still working out the details and logistics, but the general event is as follows:

  • Thursday Evening (7pm-8pm) - Artist arrival and orientation. For those who are new to the area, this will give you an opportunity to get oriented to the region and the happenings of Bridge Day. A map of painting locations in the surrounding area and a detailed event program will be provided at this time.

  • Friday (Oct 14) All-Day:  Group Paint-Out and painting demo by Lynn Boggess. Location TBD. This will likely be about half the day (e.g. 9:30-noon) at one location that will have many different painting opportunities. This will be a great opportunity to socialize with the other painters and paint enjoy the unique beauty of Southern West Virginia. Lunch will be provided.

  • Saturday (Oct 15 - Bridge Day) (tentatively 2pm-4pm; judging at 4:30pm): Quick Draw Competition in downtown Fayetteville. Artists will be given 2 hours to paint within a 2-block radius of the Courthouse in downtown Fayetteville, WV. There will be 1000's of tourists in and around Fayetteville for the Bridge Day events and thus many opportunities for the public to engage with artists and our event. Artists will then gather with their paintings on easels for a public judging and display. 

Painting Opportunities in the New River Gorge Region

Although NRG Plein Air 2016 consists of only the events outlined about, we strongly encourage artist to take full advantage of the many painting opportunities in this spectactular region.

We will provided artists with a custom map of the many beautiful and interesting landscapes, historical sites, and architecture around Fayetteville and the surrounding areas. This includes the New River Gorge itself, described as the Grand Canyon of the East Coast, with its many stunning overlooks, miles of multicolored sandstone cliff lines and the mighty New River winding through the nearly 900-foot deep gorge. There's also the impressive New River Gorge Bridge, the third longest single-span bridge in the world. This region is rich with historical structures, including old coal mines, railroads, Civil War battle sites, and the well-preserved ghost town of Thurmond. The Glade Creek Grist Mill is perhaps one of the most painted and photographed mills in the US; chances are you’ve seen it in a calendar or on a stamp at some point. Plus, there are numerous waterfalls, cliff-lined Summersville Lake, small coal-mining towns with unique architecture, bridges, and railroads. 

October in the NRG region is generally characterized by little rain, few insects, and pleasant fall temperatures (not too cold, not too hot), and possibly the beginnings of some fall color. 

Other Fun Things to Do in Fayetteville 

The Quick-Draw competition coincides with Bridge Day, the largest event of the year in West Virginia, which draws 1000’s of visitors to watch B.A.S.E. jumpers leap from the New River Gorge Bridge and parachute safely to an open landing spot on the river bank 876 feet below. The Bridge is just a 10-min walk from Fayetteville, so it is worth walking over and checking out this once-a-year spectacle!

There are a number of other events in downtown Fayetteville, including a Chili Cookoff and Bridge Jam, an outdoor bluegrass music festival.

 NRG Plein Air is partnered with Bridge Jam, a 2-day outdoor bluegrass festival that will take place Friday evening and all day Saturday at the Cascade Festival Grounds in the Heart of Fayetteville. Bridge Jam has graciously offered one free ticket to the show (normally $30) to each participating artist!

Registration Eligibility

Registration is open to all artists 18 years and older. Artists may work in any painting medium including watercolor, oil, acrylic, soft pastel, etc. This year's event is open registration, but is intended for artists with substantial plein air painting experience. 

Awards and Freebies for Artists

Exact prizes are TBD, but thus far we have a few hudred dollers in gift certificates for painting supplies, subscriptions to PleinAir magazine, and a few freebies that we'll keep secret for now ;-)  Also, each artist will get a free ticket to Bridge Jam (normally $30). Free camping will also be available at the Bridge Jam venue, but artists also have the option to be hosted in private homes (see below). 


This event is a fundraiser for the Fayetteville Arts Coalition, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. If any sales are made or paintings are commissioned during the Quick-Draw competition, we ask that 30% of the sale be donated to the Fayetteville Arts Coalition. This will be on the honor system.

Housing for Artists

Fayetteville is full of friendly people who would love to host artists in their homes! When you register, please send an email to telling us whether you need housing, your planned arrival and departure dates, and any special accomodations you require (e.g. no cats, no stairs, etc.). If you choose not to stay in a private home, do be aware that hotels and campgrounds fill up quickly due to Bridge Day, so book early!


The best way to contact the organizers by email at or by phone at 412-576-zero five six seven. 

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Fayetteville, West Virginia 25840

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