Internationally acclaimed artists capture the natural beauty, character and local culture through the plein air tradition.

A Plein Air Event Like No Other

Now in the 13th year of documenting the landscape and culture of the last vestige of authentic "Old Florida,”  Forgotten Coast en Plein Air, America's Great Paint-out, is among the world's most prestigious plein air events. Artistic excellence and the production of investment quality art continues to be the trademark of this 10-day festival. As the event moves into its second decade, organizers are honing what makes the Forgotten Coast event exceptional. “With plein air events popping up all over the country, we realize the importance of focusing on quality and relevance. We have developed a three year program, transcending typical event content to focus on the reason why plein air painting is important, as well as how the process and the paintings contribute to a region’s resilience,” states Event Chair Joe Taylor.

May of 2018 will focus on the built environment. This human-made space in which people live, work, and recreate will showcase architecture, streetscapes, working waterfronts and historic sites. While each year will have a programmatic focus for the purpose of examination in the series of lectures, presentations and discussions, the collectors can be assured that the paintings will be a superb mix of subject matter and styles.

The invitational features 20 internationally acclaimed artists, as well as, six "Florida's Finest en Plein Air" artists honored as Plein Air Ambassadors, and the Plein Air Academy's Master Artist Faculty. Expanded exhibits, a Collectors' Forum, distinguished guest speakers, and surprises that will be fresh and new to the plein air community are all in the making! Book your reservations early for the best rates!

2018 Commemorative Collector's Guide

Artist Residencies

Plein Air artists spend time in advance of the event to study and capture the culture of the region. 

Master plein air artists returned to Florida’s Forgotten Coast earlier this spring for a series of artist residencies focused on capturing the culture and stories of the region. Their paintings will provide a catalyst for discussions and education about life here.

January 2018, James Richards examined churches in "Built on Faith."  

March, John P. Lasater records boat building. Pictured is "The Song has Found a Tale," Luther Hatfield chats with mentor Bobbie Shriver in his workshop.

April, Morgan Samuel Price captured  Shrimpers, their boats and stories along the coast. This is the Rolling Stone in Apalachicola.


The 2018 Quickdraw will be held on May 5, 2018, at 10:00am, on Cape San Blas. The event features a wide range of exceptional subject matter sure to challenge and delight all artists. 

Artists may choose from pristine beaches of the Gulf side of Salinas Park, the wild waves of the "Stump Hole," sunny beach homes, or the quieter St. Joseph's Bay side of the Cape.   All completed work will be displayed after the Quickdraw for judging and sales. Enjoy live music and great food from one of the excellent cafes located within a short distance from the festivities.

Nationally known artist, Lori Putnam, will be the Quickdraw judge this year. Lori is a long-time favorite of the Forgotten Coast collectors. Her work will be shown in a special "Judges Exhibit"  at the Mexico Beach Visitor Center during Forgotten Coast en Plein Air.

The Florida's Finest / QuickDraw Exhibit Reception will be held that evening at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and the Arts in historic Apalachicola.

Click Here to Register

Student Art Day

High school students in the area look forward to Student Art Day, where students chosen by their teachers are paired with professional artists for a morning of painting and instruction.  

This experience of one-on-one work with an artist is unforgettable for the youth of our community, and is part of our mission of arts education through this event.  Students are supplied with a canvas, paints, and brushes, and are allowed to choose their subject with their artist for the morning.  This year's Student Art Day is May 9th at the Mill Pond in Apalachicola. Paintings are displayed at the Wet Room the remainder of the week, so come see what our young people are doing!

Students, please contact your art teacher or principal for details!

Small Painting Sunday

Looking for just the right painting at the end of the week?  Our focus on the final Sunday of the event is on Small Paintings, at tempting price points!

Small Painting Sunday was such a success in 2017, we will be doing it again in 2018. Small Painting Sunday ends the 10-day event with a bang!  Artists will be asked to create and display special "small works" on the final Sunday of the event.  Canvases capturing the essence of the area in a smaller format--and at excellent price points--give everyone a chance to go home with a beautiful work of art.  Small Painting Sunday gives collectors a last opportunity to see the 2018 body of work and select final purchases. Join us at the Wet Room to see the new offerings of Small Paintings on Sunday, May 13, 2018.

Painting Stations

If you are not a plein air painter, how would you like to be coached by a professional! Would you like to create your own plein air painting?

Forgotten Coast en Plein Air has committed to everyone having a chance to join in the excitement of plein air painting. Even if you have never put paint to canvas, here is the opportunity.  Plein Air Painting Stations will be set up in each community throughout the 10 day event. A schedule will be posted soon outlining locations and times to sign up for a session to paint your own painting. In addition, there will be "community canvases" where you can walk up and paint on your own!  You will have a chance to be "coached" by one of six plein air artists representing Florida's incredible plein air talent.

Book your session now

Florida's Finest en Plein Air

Now in the third year, this special exhibition and Ambassadors program highlights the modern plein air movement in the State of Florida 

Began as a special feature of our 10th Anniversary Celebration, Florida’s Finest en Plein Air is an exhibition of paintings produced in Florida by Florida plein air artists. This exhibition was first juried by Morgan Samuel Price and was showcased in the Ried Avenue Gallery in Port St. Joe for the 2016 event. This year, 6 new Ambassadors will join the exhibition and the collection will be shown at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art.

The exhibit features a special presentation of work by Morgan Samuel Price as the original Juror; work by invited artists from Florida, past Ambassadors and featured work by the 2018 Florida's Finest Plein Air Ambassadors. The exhibit showcases the plein air paintings from Florida's great wealth of painting talent. This year's exhibit will be at the historic Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art on Water Street.

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