By Deep Waters (The Gravel Pit), by William T. Turman 


June 22-24th  

The 2023 Swope Art Museum William T. Turman Plein Air competition is open to all painters and is an Indiana Plein Air Painters Association (Link to affiliated event. All works must be painted during the event period, June 22 – 24, and must be created in Terre Haute and Vigo County, Indiana. 

 Qualified entries are eligible for up to $5000 in purchase and cash prizes! 

Enter online until June 21, mail-in form with payment received by June 16, or in person during the event at the Swope June 22 – 24. 


If you are a Sustaining Member or above of the Swope Art Museum, you receive free entry (five finished pieces) to the William T. Turman Plein Air Competition, as well as all the benefits associated with that level, including reciprocal benefits at over 1,500 cultural institutions nationwide. To see a full summary of benefits, visit our membership page.

Already a Sustaining Member or above? Email to redeem your entry. 


Purchase an individual entry $40

To mail in your entry, download our printable brochure here. 



(Summer Swells, by John DenHouter) 

Our juror for the plein air competition and Swope exhibition is John DenHouter. DenHouter taught design, drawing, and painting at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville for 25 years. He is a long-time plein air painter, and recently exhibited his plein air paintings of the St. Louis Metro East area in an exhibition at the Swope, entitled, Heavy Light. A plein air painting workshop with John DenHouter is offered June 1-2, 8:30 – 2:50. Register here!



A limited number of dormitory accommodations are available on the Indiana State University campus in downtown Terre Haute. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact To find other lodging accommodations, please visit the Terre Haute Conventions and Visitors Bureau’s website.



  • This call is for all painters working in 2D media, limited to oil media (traditional and water-mixable), wet media (acrylic, watercolor, and gouache), and dry media (pastel).  
  • A $40 non-refundable entry fee is due upon registration. Registration for the competition is included in the $125 Sustaining level Swope membership or above.  To review the many benefits, including five free entries in the Wabash Valley Exhibition go to If you are a Sustaining level Swope membership or above, please email to redeem your entry. All supports must be stamped at the Swope Art Museum.  
  • Painting supports must be blank or a toned ground to be eligible for registration, exhibition, and awards. Present painting supports at the Swope Art Museum for the registration stamp June 22 – 24, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.   
  • Paintings must be completed in Terre Haute or Vigo Country and must be painted at least 80% en plein air. 
  • Paintings selected by the juror for awards and exhibition at the Swope Art Museum must be ready to hang with wire and or D-rings. No saw-tooth hangers, please! 
  • Hanging Hardware Specs
  • Paintings may be offered for sale to the public at the conclusion of the jury process. Juror selected and award-winning paintings will be included in an exhibition at the Swope Art Museum July 14 – August 20. Paintings not selected for purchase awards may be sold but must remain with the museum until after the exhibition ends. Pick-up artworks during museum open hours August 22 – 25.  
  • Paintings included in the companion exhibition at Arts Illiana: Salon des Refusés are subject to a 30% commission if sold. All eligible submitted artworks not selected for the Swope exhibition may be included in the Arts Illiana: Salon des Refusés, July 14th to September 15th.


All painting supports must be stamped and registered to be eligible for exhibition and awards!  


Want a jump start on finding the perfect painting location? Check out these curated albums that feature spots around Terre Haute and Vigo County: 

Photos Curated by Brendan Kerns

Swope Art Museum Painting Locations Album


If you have questions, please contact us at


Big thank you to this year’s sponsors:






Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce
Arts Illiana
Epic Insurance
Greg Gibson
Gary Morris
Indiana Plein Air Painters Association
Brendan Kearns
Eileen Prose