Information for Participating Artists


Important Update on canvas Stamping Locations:

Construction on underground utilities took us by surprise on Tuesday morning! The trenches in front of the Pacific Gallery are formidable, not a swath of sidewalk remains, and the Gallery will remain closed all week. Here’s the information on the new locations for canvas stamping:

Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 8:30-10 am Capitola City Hall at  420 Capitola Avenue. We’ll be in the community room next to the downstairs foyer. We’ll have coffee and snacks to help you get off to a good start!

Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 11 am – 5 pm David Lyng Real Estate at 301 Capitola Avenue. Many thanks to Vicki and the staff there for helping out!

Thursday the 3rd and Friday the 4th, 9 am – 5 pm David Lyng Real Estate at 301 Capitola Avenue.

On Saturday the 5th, 8:30 am – 2 pm we will have a pop-up tent at Esplanade Park, as planned.

You can help us have a great turnout at the event!
Electronic postcards and marketing materials for your use are available here.
Please download graphics as needed to invite people on your mailing lists to the event!

Google Map of suggested painting spots can be found here.  PDF version here. The map includes Parking Lots, Restrooms, Check In Locations, and Exhibition Location.

Welcome to Capitola Art & Cultural Commission’s second annual Capitola Plein Air juried competition, exhibition and sale!  We are delighted you will paint en plein air all around Capitola November 2nd-5th, 2016, and compete for the blue ribbon on Sunday, November 6, 2016.

SCHEDULE (updated 10/29/16)


  • 5 – 7 pm Pacific Gallery, 321 Capitola Ave. Check in, pick up your name tag, and we will stamp your canvases.


  • Painting begins at sunrise on Wednesday.
  • Welcome Table, canvas stamping, and snacks available 8:30-10:00 am at Pacific Gallery, 321 Capitola Ave. (831) 476- 3855
  • After 10 am, Pacific Gallery will be open to the public, so you may need to wait if the owner, Joyce, is helping customers. Please be patient. You may have canvases stamped any time during business hours 10-6.
  • Metered parking is on the street near and in front of the Pacific Gallery.
  • 5-6 pm, professional division artists are invited to the Artist Mixer at The Shadowbrook Restaurant, 1750 Wharf Rd. RSVP is required, and the $5 fee is payable at Tuesday or Wednesday check-in. The mixer is your opportunity to meet the other artists, set up carpools and group painting plans, or talk to others about ideal painting locations. We regret that space is limited, and is limited to the first 40 artists who register and pay the $5.

Thursday, november 3

  • You may have canvases stamped during business hours (10-6) at Pacific Gallery.


  • Media Day! To participate, set up your easels 9-11 AM on the wharf, or at the Esplanade
  • You may have canvases stamped during business hours (10-6) at Pacific Gallery.

This is the only mandatory painting day

  • 8:30-2pm Check in and Canvas Stamping Welcome Table location at Esplanade Park (look for our balloons).

Please check in even if you don’t need any more canvases stamped.  We would like to know where you think you might be painting. 

Please hand out event postcards to interested people who find you painting, and invite them to the exhibition.

Painting time is complete at sundown, Saturday.


8:30 – 10 am:  Artists check in, set up and display works for sale at New Brighton Middle School Performing Arts Center. Please park in the lot on Washburn Avenue, and bring artworks in through the rear entrance.

You may hang up to three finished pieces for judging on your designated 36″x 80″ panel.

10-11:00 am: Judging

11:00 Doors open to the public, art sales and pop up art-making begin. After judging is complete, you may hang additional works for sale, provided you do not extend beyond the edges of the display panel.

3 pm: Awards presentation. People’s Choice  and other special award winners will be announced.

11-4 pm: Jazz ensemble performs live, while pop up art-making and fine art sales continue. Artists, or their proxy, must be present to make sales. Capitola Plein Air is not responsible for sales. A bag lunch will be provided to facilitate your presence at the event.

4-5 pm: Artists load out unsold works.

By participating in Capitola Plein Air, you agree to the following rules and conditions:

  1. You may paint any subject from any location, outdoors, within Capitola city limits. See map for some suggested locations.
  2. All entries into competition must be painted outdoors, within these hours:
  • Sunrise on Wednesday, November 2nd to sundown, Saturday, November 5th.
  • Saturday, November 5th is a MANDATORY painting day, 10am-2 pm.
  1. Works in any medium are welcome in the competition and exhibition/sale on Sunday.
  2. All works competing in the professional division must be signed, framed and wired, with a maximum, unframed canvas size of 24×24. (Artists working in oils are encouraged to utilize floater frames if needed, no gallery wrap will be accepted.) No sawtooth hangers, please. The display area allotted to each artist is 36″x80.” Framed works must not extend beyond the edges of the display area.
  3. All works displayed must have been painted during the event.
  4. Amateur division artists will follow the same guidelines as professionals, but will display one or two framed paintings on their own easel. Amateurs are defined as artists who have earned less than $500 from the sale of artworks in their lifetime. Professional artist may not compete in the amateur category. Amateurs may sell their work.
  5. The registration process is juried, and artists work will be reviewed to confirm professional/amateur status.
  6. Artists may paint anywhere within the city limits of Capitola.
  7. When you check in on the painting days, we will stamp your canvas and give you an event name tag.  Only stamped works created during the event will be accepted into competition and exhibition. You may stamp as many blanks as you think you will paint during the weekend, but only a maximum of three entries will be accepted into the competition, per entrant.
  8. All paintings displayed between 10-11 am will be considered part of competition. They must be completed, framed, signed, and displayed at the panel provided by 10 AM on Sunday, November 6.
  9. By participating in the competition, you give your permission for the city to use images of you or your work in promotion of this or subsequent Commission or City events .


Professional Division
1st Place: winning entry will be purchased for $1,500, added to the City’s public art collection, and may be featured in subsequent promotion for the event.
2nd Place: winning entry will be purchased for $800, and added to the City’s public art collection.
Honorable Mentions: Ribbon only
People Choice and others: TBD

 Amateur Division
1st place: $100 cash prize
Honorable Mention: ribbon only


  1. The commission on sales is 30%, with artists retaining 70% of sale price.
  2. Artists are responsible for all transactions, record keeping, and  sales tax, and commissions will be payable after the close of the exhibition. More details will be provided at exhibition check-in.
  3. All artists may sell their works, provided they were painted during the course of the event. Artists may also sell artwork at their painting site, and will be subject to the 30% commission. Please be honorable about sales made on painting days. Works sold before Sunday exhibition are not eligible to compete for a prize.
  4. The display wall for each artist at the sale is 3′ x 6′-8″.  All works displayed at Sunday’s sale must be framed, and must not extend beyond the edges of the display area.
  5. All paintings on display must be available for purchase.


IMPORTANT NOTE: While we wish we could provide alternate transportation solutions for artists, at this time we have no shuttles, or carpools arranged for the event. Artists are responsible for all transportation, movement of supplies and artworks, and parking.

  • On exhibition day, plenty of parking is available at New Brighton Middle School Performing Arts Center. Volunteers will be nearby to help out with unloading on exhibition day, but having a helper with you is not a bad idea.

As for parking on painting days:

  • Capitola recently added more than 220 parking spaces in the new Beach and Village Parking Lot 2 (lower), located behind City Hall at 420 Capitola Avenue.  Access to Beach and Village Parking Lots 1 & 2 (Upper and Lower) is on Capitola Avenue, Bay Avenue and Monterey Avenue.
  • Long term parking (up to 12-hour) is available at the Beach and Village Parking Lots 1 & 2 (Upper and Lower) and on Cliff Drive west of the Village. On Saturdayprofessional division artists may park with the free parking pass provided. The passes are valid only at the Beach and Village Parking Lots 1&2. They are not valid for any metered parking spaces. Do not lose your parking pass; it is not replaceable.
  •  All other times and locations, plan on paying for parking at the pay stations. The rate for these spaces is up to $1.50 per hour.  Vehicles may be cited if they remain in the same space longer than posted hours, regardless of payment for more time.  Vehicles must be moved to another space to avoid ticketing.
  • Seasonal residential parking enforcement ends September 20th, so free parking will also be available in many neighborhoods surrounding the village. Please be respectful of residents.
  • The pay stations accept cash ($1.00 & $2.00 Bills Only), debit cards and credit cards, and operate everyday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

PUblic restrooms

Restrooms are available at City Hall,  Esplanade Park, and the wharf. See map.


The Best Western Plus in Capitola is offering reduced rates to our artists. Call the hotel for a reservation, and mention you are a participant. The reduced rate Sunday to Thursday is $114.79, lowered from $139.99. Friday and Saturday it is $139.99, lowered from $169.99.

1435 41st Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
Phone: (831) 477-0607

General info about other lodging options can be found here.

About the Art & Cultural Commission

The Capitola Art and Cultural Commission also produces other cultural events, such as the Twilight Concerts, Summer Movies at the Beach, and the Art & Music at the Beach Series. They instigate the call for all new works in the City’s Public Art Collection, and recently released a free iOS app that provides information about local historic sites and public art, the “Capitola Self-Guided Tour of Public Art and Historic Sites,” available at the Apple app store.  More info at