While the plein air movement is not new to either Maryland or the east coast of the United States, the idea of having an outdoor painting competition where artists were instructed to paint within the confines of a particular location during a set period of time was rather new to the Mid-Atlantic region. Paint Annapolis was one of the first competitive events of its kind with many imitators that followed this successful model for bringing artists and patrons of the arts together to share in the spirit of the energy and vibrancy of outdoor painting.
In 2003 the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association (MAPAPA), was formed to provide a corporate structure as a not-for-profit entity and a base of operation to launch Paint Annapolis. The founding members of MAPAPA envisioned a painting competition that would be confined to a sector of downtown Annapolis to explore in paint, the special colonial architecture, marine atmosphere and overall energy of Maryland’s capitol city and home to both families, business, colleges and maritime activities.
The founding members of MAPAPA along with volunteers gave structure and direction to both the plein air painting group and to the premier of the Paint Annapolis painting competition. The rules would be simple. Artist selected by a juror would paint for 3 days and on the 4th day, (Sunday) an exhibition of 2 works from each artist would be shown at a gala reception and exhibition at Maryland Hall, a creative arts center in Annapolis, Maryland. The reception designates the start of a one month exhibition and sales period for the paintings completed during the Paint Annapolis competition.
Over the years since the first Paint Annapolis was held in September 2003, the competition has expanded to an extent. The juror is now invited not only to serve as a judge, but also to provide a lecture, and in some cases, a workshop for artists.
The Paint Annapolis event is now hosted by Maryland Federation of Art and is the work of a large number of volunteers who make the competition and painting sales and exhibition possible. For details and instructions on how you can apply to be a potential participant in the Paint Annapolis competition see the Maryland Federation of Art website.
MAPAPA is proud to have been the catalyst for the creation of the Paint Annapolis competition and continues to support the event through applying for city based grants funding, a contribution from the membership of MAPAPA and by providing volunteer assistance before and during the event.