Plein Air

Paint It! Ellicott City 

Arts Council

 July 5-9, 2018


Artists from around the region will take to the streets of Ellicott City beginning July 5 to participate in the Plein Air Paint-Out event, Paint It! Ellicott City. En Plein Air, meaning “in the open air,” is the technique of painting outdoors, directly from life. Often, groups of plein air artists will gather within stated boundaries for a “paint-out.” The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC), Visit Howard County, and the Ellicott City Partnership are presenting the paint-out weekend that culminates in an exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts (HCCA).

Be a part of Plein Air 

Pull out your sketchbook or set up your easel alongside other artists and paint the town en plein air! Paint one or all three days of the paint-out and display your artwork on reception night at the Howard County Center for the Arts. Following that the artwork will travel to the Howard County Arts Council. 

A popular feature of the event is the Quick Draw competition – open to both juried and Open Paint artists – in which artists take a plein air painting from start to finish in just two hours. A pop-up exhibit and sale of work completed during the Quick Draw is fun for spectators and artists alike.

Members of the public are encouraged to walk the streets during the event to watch the painters create their renditions of the scenic landscapes of Ellicott City. The Paint It Plein Air closes with a free reception held at HCCA with music, food and refreshments and it is where you can buy your favorite piece!


Thursday July 5, 6-7:30pm, Howard County Arts Council, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City

Artist Registration and Welcome Reception: Artists will have an opportunity to network and to have their canvases stamped. The Arts Council/Howard County Center for the Arts will serve as the event headquarters and will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday should you need additional canvases stamped.

Friday, July 6-Sunday July 8, all day

Paint-Out: We have extended the paint-out boundaries to include the entirety of both Ellicott City zip codes, 21042 & 21043. We encourage artists and spectators to visit some of our recommended sites (including Centennial ParkClark’s Elioak Farm, the Hollofield Area of Patapsco Valley State Park, and the Shrine of St. Anthony) and or to explore hidden corners of Ellicott City on your own!

Open Paint-Out registration & information: Fri 10am-8pm; Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 12pm-4pm, Howard County Arts Council

Monday, July 9, 6-8pm, Howard County Arts Council

Opening reception for exhibit of juried artists' work and temporary exhibit of Open Paint-Out artwork, including juror awards presentation. During the reception, the Arts Council will offer space to local artists and arts businesses, including those directly impacted by flooding, who would like to set up a table for sales, with portions of proceeds going to our Re-CREATE: Ellicott City Artist Relief Fund.

July 9 - August 17, Howard County Arts Council

Paint It! Ellicott City 2018 exhibit of juried artists' work on display in Gallery I. One wall in the gallery will be reserved to include work for a benefit exhibit to benefit the Re-CREATE fund. The benefit show will feature a collection of work donated by artists who have participated in Paint It! during previous years, or who have painted Ellicott City on their own. This year's juried artists will also have an opportunity to participate in the benefit show. Artists participating in the benefit exhibit will be asked to donate 50% of the proceeds of work sold to the Re-CREATE fund. HCAC will not take a commission on work from the benefit exhibit.

To register for the open paint artist registration click here. To learn more about this and other HCAC programs call 410-313-ARTS or

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Be sure to also check out A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Patapsco Female Institute this weekend as well! Put on by The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, this is the perfect way to round out this weekend.

Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 6pm. Sundays are Family Fun Days, with kid-friendly activities including face-painting and costume dress-up before the show.
The ticket tent and gates open 90 minutes before the performance for picnics, festival-style-fun for all ages, and preshow events.

DAYS and HOURS: For performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, gates will open at 6:30pm and the show will begin at 8pm. For performances on Sundays, gates will open at 4:30pm and the show will begin at 6pm. 

PICNICS: Picnics are welcome. Wine and beer are allowed in the park. Open seating under the stars: Use our folding chairs or your blanket, space permitting. No pets or grills, please. For park details and weather policy, visit:

 On Sunday July 8th (the final day of painting) Fairy Fun Day for our 6pm showing of Midsummer. There will likely be many people in costumes floating around the PFI, plus themed activities, include a watercolor station, and face painting.

Adults $33 - $45
Seniors $29 - $38
Students (ages 19 – 26) $19
18 years and under have free admission with the purchase of an adult ticket (two free kids’ tickets per paid adult ticket, by reservation)

Artists painting in the Ellicott City's Historic District may stop by the museum to cool off, get a bottled water, and restrooms. This is also a lovely area to set up an easel and paint! 

Friday and Saturday: 1:00PM-5: 00 PM

Sundays: 1:00PM-5:00PM


8328 Court Avenue, Ellicott City, MD 21043

Parking is available at the Circuit Court House parking lot.


Plan your overnight stay here


Need To Know HOCO