Wyoming Arts Council

Arts in the Parks

The Wyoming Arts Council partners with Wyoming State Parks to hold various arts activities in Parks across the state. Plein Air in the Parks is an annual event that pairs talented artists with beautiful locations. This painting competition is open to artists of all ages and offers cash awards.

2018 Plein Air in the Parks at Sinks Canyon.

Plein Air in the Parks 2020: Buffalo Bill State Park

Registration for the 2020 Plein Air in the Parks is now open for youth and adult categories online here. Early bird registration is available until August 24 and is $35 for artists. A reduced rate for college students is available for $15.00 and a youth division rate for those under the age of 18 is available for $5.00.

Plein Air in the Parks is a collaborative weekend event presented by Wyoming State Parks, the Wyoming Arts Council, and the Cody Country Art League. Taking place August 27-30 at Buffalo Bill State Park, artists can look forward to a weekend of outdoor, on location plein air painting with an art show, sale, and reception that offers cash prizes to top participants. Artists will have the option of selling pieces produced at the event during the reception.

Rules and Guidelines

For information about Cody, visit the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce and for more information about arts activities, visit the Cody Country Art League website. For information about Buffalo Bill State Park, including camping information, visit wyoparks.org.


Registration includes up to two entries in the judged competition. Mediums may include Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel, Graphite, or other medium. Registration is available online: https://2020pleinairintheparks.eventbrite.com/ 

  • Early Bird (through August 24) – $35
  • Regular and Walk Up (August 27 – August 30) – $50
  • College Student (must present valid ID at stamp-in) – $15
  • Junior Divisions – $5
    • Youth Division (age 12 and under)
    • Teen Division (ages 13-18)


Cody Country Art League (836 Sheridan Ave.) & Buffalo Bill State Park (4192 Northfork Highway)

  • Thursday, August 27, Noon-5 pm (It is recommended that artists check in at the Cody Country Art League on Thursday.)
  • Friday, August 28, 9 am – 5 pm
  • Saturday, August 29, 9 am – 5 pm


  • Authentication stamp must be visible on the back of artwork. The entire back of the entry must be visible at submission.
  • Entries must be created in the pure intent of outdoor, on location, plein air painting. At least 75% of the painting must be produced outdoors in the spirit of plein air within the bounds of Buffalo Bill State Park.
  • Entries produced using manipulated photographic processes, computer enhanced imagery or other non-plein air means will not be accepted.
  • Registered artists and event attendees agree to respect public lands by following the use regulations and any verbal, written or posted rules of the various land management agencies (i.e. obtaining necessary use permits, staying on designated roads and trails, etc.).
  • Up to two (2) stamped entries may be entered into the competition.
  • Artist name, artwork title, medium, age (for youth divisions), and date should be legibly printed on the back of submitted artwork or on a label affixed to the back.
  • Artist name, signature, or other identifying mark should not be included on the front of the artwork. Judging will be done anonymously.
  • All entries must have wire or other hanging hardware on the back. The maximum size of the artwork, including framing, should not exceed 30” X 36.”
  • It is not required that artwork be framed, however it is highly recommended that pastels, drawings, watercolors, and other works on paper be presented under glass for their protection.
  • Artists agree to allow Arts in the Parks (State of Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources) permission to use images of their artwork for educational, promotional, and other non-sales purposes.
  • Registrants (or parents/guardians) will be asked to sign a photo release form at stamp in.


Artwork entered into the competition may be listed for sale at the reception and award ceremony. During the reception, artists can sell additional works created during the event but not entered in the competition. Artwork need not be framed. Sales are processed by the staff during the event. A 25% commission will be retained. This includes any sale of artwork generated during the plein air competition, including direct sales facilitated by artists. 15% of the commission will be donated to Cody Country Art League to support the Art for Life Program. 10% of the commission will be put toward the Plein Air in the Parks program for future events. Cash prizes and checks for the sale of artwork are mailed after the event.


This year’s jurors are Sue Simpson Gallagher, owner of Simpson Gallagher Gallery in Cody, and Erin Johnson, artist and owner of Gestalt Studios at the Power Plant in Powell. Judging will be done anonymously. During judging, participating artists and the public will not be permitted into the Sheep Mountain Day Use Area where work is displayed. The judging panel is comprised of artists or those with an arts background, representatives from the community, and individuals familiar with Buffalo Bill State Park. Checks for cash award prizes will be mailed after the event. The below cash awards will be given.

  • Best of Show Cash Award – $1000.00
  • 2nd – $500.00
  • 3rd – $250.00
  • People’s Choice Award – $250.00

Junior Division Awards

  • Youth (12 and under category and Teen 13 to 18 category to be judged separately)
    • 1st Place – $50 cash award
    • 2nd Place – $35 cash award
    • 3rd Place – $20 cash award

Contact: Taylor Craig