Two artists participate in an outdoor painting event at T.C. Steele State Historic Site in Brown County, Indiana. Photo by Rodney Margison

Two artists participate in an outdoor painting event at T.C. Steele State Historic Site in Brown County, Indiana. Photo by Rodney Margison

The public is invited to the 29th annual Great Outdoor Art Contest on Saturday, Sept. 9 at T.C. Steele State Historic Site. The event honors the birthday of T.C. Steele, born Sept. 11, 1847. The “en plein air” (in open air) art competition is open to emerging and well-known artists of all ages.

The Great Outdoor Art Contest is the cornerstone event in Brown County Art Colony Weekend, a Nashville art weekend community event in partnership with the Brown County Art Guild.

“We want the Great Outdoor Art Contest to be the Paint Out event for newcomers to the plein air community, while still retaining its appeal for established painters and longtime friends,” said Cate Whetzel, T.C. Steele State Historic Site program developer.

Prizes for all first place winners and People’s Choice awards include gift certificates for art supplies from Jack Richeson & Co, Inc., Blick Art Materials and Pygmalion’s Art Supplies, along with Peter Pan tickets from Cardinal Stage Company.

Great Outdoor Art Contest judges include Dale Popovich of Highland, Indiana, Maggie Rapp of New Harmony, Indiana and Bob and Ellie Haan of Lafayette, Indiana. Popovich will give a plein air watercolor demo painting trees at 10:30 a.m. and Rapp will demonstrate use of oil paints to capture a floral arrangement at noon. Both demonstrations are included in the cost of standard site admission for visitors and are included in the contest registration fee.

Amanda Webb Band will perform next to the formal garden at 2 p.m. Hotel Nashville will begin serving lunch at 11:30 a.m. and Salt Creek Brewery will serve beer in the beer garden.

Adult categories include oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media and drawing. Children ages 12 and younger, as well as teens, may enter any media. The first place winner and the people’s choice winner will be displayed at the Brown County Art Guild in downtown Nashville.

Early bird registration is available with a discount offered through Aug. 31. Regular registration rates will apply Sept. 1 through 9. After Sept. 1, adult registration will be $15 and children and teens registration will be $10, with one dollar off for The Friends of T.C. Steele State Historic Site members.

All Great Outdoor Art Contest entries must be created the day of the contest at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site or in Brown County. The site will open at 7 a.m. the day of the contest and artists must have their blank canvases or pages stamped prior to beginning their work. The judging of the artwork will begin at 2 p.m. There will be a $3 parking fee for the general public.

For more information on this event or to register, please visit