SEPTEMBER 22-25, 2021

Jon Crane Gallery | 256 Main Street

Hill City, SD

Join us on the last weekend of September when we gather to paint the beautiful Black Hills! This is the weekend of the famous Custer State Park Buffalo Round-up. The Hills are packed with visitors from around the state and the country. This area offers intimate scenes of ancient granite, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, prairies, meadows, aspens, lakes, streams, wildlife, the Mickelson Trail, and history. This year’s event offers $2200 in artist awards. For detailed information and instructions, please refer to the prospectus and artist registration form above.

The Hill City Arts Council envisions the community of Hill City as a community embracing the arts. Its mission is to nurture and support the arts and humanities as well as helping to boost the creative economy by offering arts and music events to show their motto is “Small Town, Big Art!”

The Black Hills Plein Air Paint Out is organized by the Hill City Arts Council.


1. We are excited to announce our new sales venue, the Jon Crane Gallery in the heart of downtown Hill City at 256 Main Street.  Jon Crane Gallery has graciously offered the use of their beautiful building for our Plein Air Headquarters.

3. Black Hills Plein Air Paint Out dates: Wednesday, September 22 – Saturday, September 25, 2021

4. Entry fee: $100. The roster of participating artists will be filled in the order registration forms and fees are received.

5. Rules for your paintings

A. Each artist is assigned a panel space on which his/her paintings will be hung. Twelve (12) spaces measure 30”W by 80” H. Other spaces measure 48”W. These spaces will be randomly assigned to participating artists.

B. Previously Completed Paintings (Homework): To encourage more sales and to show our artists more effectively,artists are asked to bring 2 previously completed studio or plein air, framed paintings (16″x20″ or smaller) plus 1 previously completed, framed miniature (36 sq. in. or smaller) for display. They will be hung starting Wednesday morning, Sept. 22. ‘Homework’ paintings will be replaced as event plein air paintings come in, one for one, with all ‘Homework’ being taken down by 3pm on Friday. The juror will then have only event plein air selections to judge. Use discretion regarding the size of the work brought from home so that all your paintings will fit into your space. Sales commission fees and framing rules apply to all paintings.

C. Event Paintings: All BHPAPO event paintings must be painted “en plein air” (outside) in the Black Hills of South Dakota and completed during the dates of the event. These will be the only paintings eligible for awards.

D. Your paintings will be offered for sale to the general public beginning Wednesday, Sept. 22 until Saturday, Sept. 25, at 3pm at our venue on Main Street.

E. Artists will not be able to check out until the end of the wet sale at 3pm on Saturday, Sept. 25. We want to maintain a full gallery to encourage as many sales as possible.

6. Blank canvas panels must be stamped at artists’ check-in. The canvas must be blank but may be tinted. The stamp must be visible on the backs of the finished painting when framed.

7. Canvases/papers must be free of images prior to stamping…no false fronts, no digital prints to be painted over. No paintings from photographs, no entries produced using manipulated photographic processes, computer enhanced imagery, or other non-plein air methods will be permitted.

8. No “gallery wrap” canvasses are permitted. (Wet paint on the edges makes for difficult handling.) No saw tooth hangers or “eye” screws allowed. All paintings must be properly framed with D-rings with a wire on the back of the painting. Work that does not meet these standards will not be hung.

9. Papers for watercolor, pastel, and other drawing mediums must also be stamped at artists’ check-in. Stamping must be visible when artists bring their finished work to be hung at the venue. Works on paper can be loosely framed so the backs of the papers can easily be checked for proof of stamping. Then the ar$st can complete the framing. …… Or……the paper can be mounted on rigid supports before artists’ check-in and stamping. The stamp would then be easily seen when the finished work is hung at the venue with less disruption for framing.

10. Artists receive 70% of the selling prices of their paintings that sell at both the wet sale and the quick draw auction. The Black Hills Plein Air Paint Out receives 30% from sales from the wet sale. 30% of the selling prices of quick draw auction paintings sold will be donated to a Hill City charity.

This is an open plein air event. It will be limited to 25 artists. Artists registering after the limit is reached will be put on a waiting list.

11. Sales are handled by the BHPAPO cashiers at the sales venue and not the artist. If a buyer purchases artwork off the easel at the time of painting, the artist must notify BHPAPO of the transaction and give said payment to the BHPAPO cashier for proper accounting and disbursement. Artwork sold off the easel is not eligible for award consideration.

12. Nocturnes can be painted the evenings of Wednesday and Thursday in any Black Hills location. An artist may paint as many nocturnes as he/she wishes, but only one may be submitted for Best Nocturne judging. Event rules governing plein air painting and framing apply. Nocturnes need to be checked in by 3pm Friday for judging.

13. Entrance to Custer State Park requires a park entrance fee. A temporary 7-day pass is $20 per vehicle, obtained at any of the park entrances. A park entrance fee is not required the day of the Buffalo Roundup.












(Other awards may be added as we gain sponsors)

1. Paintings need to be checked in by 3 pm, Friday, Sept. 24, at the Jon Crane Gallery on Main Street, to be judged for awards. Event paintings completed after that time can be hung Saturday morning for any possible Saturday sales and are not eligible for awards.

2. The same painting could receive two awards if one award is a best of day. The same artist cannot win both Best of Day awards.

3. Nocturnes will hang on a separate panel for judging.

4. Miniatures will hang on a separate panel for judging. An artist may paint as many miniatures as he wishes, but only one miniature per artist may be submitted for Best Miniature judging. Miniature images must be 36 square inches or smaller, framing not included. “Homework” miniatures are not eligible for awards.


Wednesday, Sept. 22:

1. 8am to 5pm: registered artists’ check-in and panel stamping, location to be decided.

 a. Blank panels/surfaces must be stamped.

 b. Receive your artist’s registration packet and welcome bags containing information, name tag, painting price tags, and suggested sites to paint.

c. Check in your Previously Completed Paintings (Homework) brought from home for immediate display.

2. Optional group painting TBD.

3. Paintings to be considered for Wednesday’s Best of Day Award need to be turned in by 5pm at the venue.

4. ARTISTS’ MEET AND GREET at 5pm location TBD

Thursday, Sept. 23:

1. Artists check-in and registration continues at the venue. Homework paintings can also be checked in.

2. Group painting at a location yet to be determined.

3. Paintings to be considered for Thursday’s Best of Day Award need to be turned in by 5pm at the venue.

4. Gallery Talk: 7pm location TBD

5. Thursday’s Hill City Gallery Walk to be determined.

Friday, Sept. 24:

1. The check-in process for BHPAPO Event paintings must be completed by 3pm to be considered for awards. Plan accordingly for checking in your work. Doors will close to artists and the public at 3pm.

2. The wet sale venue will be closed to the public from 3 to 6:30pm.

3. Private Sponsor Reception from 5:30 to 6:30pm, invitation only. This is not open to artists and the general public.

4. Artists’ Reception and Awards is from 6:30-8:30pm and is open to everyone.

5. Ballots for the People’s Choice award will be distributed among those attending the Artists’ Reception on Friday evening. Artists cannot vote for People’s Choice award. Artists will receive Artists’ Choice ballots. Balloting will end at 7:15pm.


Friday, September 24, 2021 is the day of the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. hHps://$cle/custer-state-parkbuffalo- roundup . The Roundup is over by 11:30am. Large traffic jams are common. Time driving from the roundup grounds to Hill City can take at least 2 hours.

Saturday, Sept. 25:

1. Surfaces for the Quick Draw need to be stamped at the venue from 8am-9am.

2. Quick Draw: 9:30–11:30 in Hill City

Disclaimer: In light of the possibility that Covid 19 is still a factor Sept 22-25 2021, the HCAC and BHPAPO reserve the right to make any necessary changes to the format and schedule for the BHPAPO event in order to protect the health and safety of Artists, viewers and buyers. We will work to inform the Artists as soon as possible about any changes we find are necessary. It is our hope that the virus will no longer be an issue at that time.

3. Best Quick Draw Award ($100), chosen by a juror, is announced at 12 noon.

4. The live auction of Quick Draw pieces begins immediately following the announcement of the Quick Draw award. The auction is open to the public.

5. Proceeds from quick draw are distributed as follows: the artist is paid 70% of the selling price of the painting and 30% will be donated to a charity to be determined.

6. All plein air paintings continue to be available for sale throughout the day on Saturday from 8am to 3pm at the Jon Crane Gallery.

7. Artists check out all unsold pieces at 3pm. No early artist check-outs. We want to maintain a full sales gallery as long as possible.

For additional information or questions please contact:

Jan Humphrey, Hill City Arts Council, Phone: 605-574-2166 email:

Black Hills Plein Air Paint Out Photo Gallery