In 2017, we created the Boulder Plein Air Festival (BPAF.) The Festival requires application and jury review and is open to artists from around the U.S. Artists selected through our jury process  \come to Boulder County to paint and compete for notoriety, cash awards and the opportunity to market and sell the art produced during the Festival. BPAF strengthens the national reputation of our area as an arts destination and celebrates the beauty found throughout Boulder County.



COVID-19 has made planning events and reserving spaces for events like ours somewhat challenging. We are working hard to confirm details and will add them as soon as we are able to. Open Studios is gathering artists from around Colorado to participate in this event in beautiful Boulder County. Please check this page often for new information as it is added.



We are excited to launch this new, inclusive plein air event in 2021. This year’s event is open to any artist from Colorado, age 15 and older, and to alumni of Open Studios’ past Boulder Plein Air Festivals. Registration is required. All participants may submit up to three pieces painted during the week to be eligible for awards. All submissions will be shown in the Event Exhibit and digital files can also be submitted for a special online gallery. There will be no application or jury process for this event. Artists of any skill level are invited to register and participate.

Plein Air Event Schedule

  • June 4-5:  Plein Air Workshop with Lyn Boyer (limit 15 participants)

  • June 6:  Private Portfolio Review Sessions (only seven sessions available)

  • June 6, 11am – 2pm:  Meet & Greet for registered artists and sponsors – location TBD. Canvases and art papers will be stamped at this event. No artwork will be accepted for the Event Exhibit that does not show this year’s Event stamp. If you cannot attend the Meet & Greet, please email us – – to make other arrangements.

  • June 6-10:  Artists may paint any scene in Boulder County at any location on your own (observing applicable rules and regulations.) Open Studios is also arranging staff and volunteer-attended, paint outs in mountain parks, downtown Boulder and more locations. Registrants will receive updated information as soon as details are available.

  • June 11, 9 am:  Artwork drop-off & consignment for Event Exhibit. Each registered participant may consign three paintings created during the week.

  • June 11, 6-8:30 pm:  Exhibit Opening & Reception – location TBD

  • June 11– 30:  Plein Air Event Exhibit and Sale. Details TBD.


2021 Boulder County Plein Air Event Registration: $75.  REGISTER HERE.

Current Open Studios Artist Members receive a $10 discount.   $25 Student rate is available.

Scholarship inquiries welcome / 303.444.1862



NEW! PLEIN AIR WORKSHOP JUNE 4-5:  Painting with Cars, $475

Led by award-winning artist and teacher Lyn Boyer (fifteen spaces available)

Lyn’s workshop will use lowrider art cars/show cars as subject matter, set against historic urban and mountain backdrops. She welcomes artists at any skill level and guarantees that each participant will receive an equal amount of individual time with her. Participants may work in any visual art medium – oil, acrylic, watercolor, even markers! – you must come prepared to take instruction in a medium with which you have facility. That is, do not use this workshop as a time to learn to use a new medium.


2-day Workshop - Painting with Cars - with Lyn Boyer. Registration: $475, boxed lunches included. If you register for both the 2021 Boulder County Plein Air Event and the Workshop, you will receive an $85 discount.  REGISTER HERE.

Lyn teaches workshops around the country, judges and juries shows, and is dedicated to passing the torch through teaching all ages and skill levels. She travelled to Cuba in 2018 specifically to paint the remarkable vintage cars still on the island.  Her second art instruction video, Wheels & Steels - Capturing the Beauty of the Automobile, is in the planning stages with Plein Air Magazine and Liliedahl Art Videos . Having grown up in Detroit, the daughter of an automotive designer, Lyn has had a life-long love of automobiles. Listen to Lyn’s Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads of Plein Air Magazine – “What to Paint and Why” 

"As a student and mentee of Lyn's, I can't recommend learning with her highly enough. Lyn passes along a polished approach to plein air with steps for confidently working through each painting experience from start to finish. Every artist will learn something valuable in working with Lyn, and she'll certainly leave a lasting impression with her warmth and talent for teaching."  Lindsay Jane Ternes, plein air artist and Open Studios Member, Boulder Plein Air Festival award winner 2018 & 2019


PORTFOLIO REVIEW SESSION - one hour with Lyn Boyer:

June 6th, 9:00 - 5:45  $150 (seven available)

Are you ready to up your game as a professional artist? Getting objective opinions about your work and the way you present it will help you with galleries and collectors. Here's what Lyn has to say about these career-changing sessions:

"I will tailor your portfolio review specifically to you and your needs.  Bring your questions, ideas for what you most want from our hour together and your goals. Every skill level is welcome from beginner to professional.  Please bring a minimum of three images in any medium. One piece representing the level you feel you are comfortable with and can paint at consistently. One piece that you had difficulties with that you didn’t know how to resolve. And, the final piece representing what you feel is your best work, where all the stars aligned, but you have difficulty painting consistently at that level. Looking forward to our time together!" 


These sessions begin at 9:00 am. We will assign a time to you when you register for your session, but please email us if there is a time you are not available for your session.


In 2020, we hosted a variety of social distance-appropriate plein air paint outs. The Dakota Plein Air Challenge brought a variety of artists to northwest Boulder to paint various views of the foothills. These works were on exhibit as a Window Gallery in the Dakota Ridge clubhouse at Laramie & Ralston. We held a Plein Air Paint Out on the golf course during our first annual All FORE! Art Golf & Art Benefit. Finished work was displayed and sold at the Art Reception following the golf tournament. Results of the Boulder Valley Ranch Paint Out sold well at our Nobo POP Gallery in the fall. All of these pieces can be viewed and purchased in our online Shop. Use the button below to check them out:


© 2020 Open Studios


T: 303-444-1862

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