Outdoors, from observation, and in natural light

The Adirondack region has long been known as a wonderful, wild vacation retreat and the inspiration for numerous artists, writers, and musicians. The plein air painters who come and take part in this event know that very well, which is what attracts them from all over the country. The Adirondacks is the largest protected area east of the Mississippi, yet it's still within a day's drive of most of the major cities of the Northeast. There are mountains, lakes, rivers, bogs, forests, farms, and small communities — a full variety of subject matter for artists. 

Held annually the 3rd week in August, fifty juried artists have four-and-a-half days to paint outdoors in the scenic wonders of the Saranac Lake area.

Not a painter? Not to worry. Spectators are encouraged to check out the creative process while enjoying the classic Adirondack surroundings.

Adirondack Plein Air Festival Events by Day

Monday, August 15 - Meet the Artists Reception

Artist Check-In and "Meet the Artists" Reception, 7 - 9 p.m. at the Hotel Saranac @ 100 Main St. Saranac Lake.


Tuesday, August 16 - "Paint the VIC" Day

Artists painting on the trails at the Paul Smith’s College VIC, 10 - 5 p.m. Located at 8023 State Route 30 Paul Smiths, NY 12970


Wednesday, August 17 - "Paint the Adirondacks" Day 

Artists free to paint anywhere; pick up maps of painting locations at the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery @ 52 Main St. Saranac Lake.


Thursday, August 18 - “Paint the Town” Day & Silent Auction

Artists will be painting in the Village of Saranac Lake; Silent Auction of donated paintings set up at 5 p.m. at the Artists Guild. Also a 3rd Thursday ArtWalk evening from 5 - 7:30 p.m.


Friday, August 19 - "Paint the River" Day and Preview Party

Artists will be at the Saranac Lake Fish & Game Club for the morning.
"Special Preview Party", from 6 - 9 p.m., Harrietstown Town Hall,@ 39 Main St. Refreshments, Awards. Admission: $20.


Saturday, August 20 - “Quick Draw” Competition and "Show & Sale" 

Quick Draw Competition 9 - 11 a.m.
Show & Sale noon to 5 p.m., both are at the Harrietstown Town Hall. Free admission.


For full event details visit: https://saranaclakeartworks.org/plein-air/schedule/

Sponsored by Saranac Lake ArtWorks. 


Plein air artwork on display inside the Saranac Lake Town Hall.
Close-up of a main painting an image of the Town Hall at an easel, with the hall in the background.
A person in a straw hat paints at an easel in a park, surrounded by greenery.
​​A woman paints at an easel at the shore of Lake Flower during the Plein Air Festival, one of the Adirondack art shows in Saranac Lake