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Plein Air 

William T. Turman Plein Air Competition 

Welcome all painters!  

The 2023 Swope Art Museum William T. Turman Plein Air competition is open to all painters and is an Indiana Plein Air Painters Association 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. 


This outdoor painting event is a tribute to William Turman, a preeminent plein air painter. Turman was the second director of the Swope Art Museum, and Chairman of the Indiana State University Art Department for 40 years. Turman was part of the rich history of Indiana landscape painters including T.C. Steele, William Merritt Chase, and William Forsyth. 


Qualified entries are eligible for up to $5000 in purchase and cash prizes. Swope members at the $125 sustaining level or above are entitled to free entry in the competition. Non-members pay $40.  

Enter online until June 21, mail-in form with payment received by June 16, or in-person at the Swope June 22 – 24. Access online entry and link to membership here: ----- 


All painting supports must be stamped for the competition and awards. Bring blank supports to the Swope Art Museum, 25 South 7th Street, Terre Haute, Indiana from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM June 22 – 24 to be eligible for awards.   


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. 


Sign up for the plein air painting workshop to be held at the museum June 1 – 2. The workshop is from 8:30 AM until 2:50 PM both days and will be led by John DenHouter. For more information about materials and to register, please follow this link: Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot now! 


A limited number of dormitory accommodations are available on the Indiana State University campus in downtown Terre Haute. Please find information on reserving rooms here: Reserve your room early—space is limited! See more options listed

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