Plein air artist Chis Sheppard painted at Arches National Park during Plein Air Moab in 2016. The weeklong Red Rock Arts Festival is a new incarnation of Plein Air Moab that will feature land-inspired art workshops, lectures, performances, demonstrations and art experiences that explore many mediums. [Photo courtesy of Plein Air Moab]

Are you a painter, an artist or an art lover? Do you feel awe just looking at Moab’s landscapes? Interested in exploring different art forms while connecting with the land? Have you ever participated in a plein air painting festival? This is your chance.

The Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC) is launching the first-ever Red Rock Arts Festival this weekend.​ The festival, which celebrates land-inspired art, is a new incarnation of Plein Air Moab and will take place from Saturday, Oct. 7, through Saturday, Oct. 14.

In addition to the continuation of past Plein Air activities, the festival features a schedule of new events and opportunities, including land-inspired art workshops, lectures, performances, demonstrations and art experiences that explore many mediums throughout the week.

The MARC staff is collaborating with local nonprofits, businesses and individuals to offer a diverse variety of programming.

The weeklong festival will culminate with the Red Rock Street Fest on Saturday, Oct. 14, from noon to 9 p.m., on 100 North in front of the MARC, 111 E. 100 North.

A classic block party in conjunction with October’s Moab ArtWalk will feature live music, with East Forest as the headlining act. There will also be an eclectic mix of artisan vendors, including Moab Made; nonprofit groups; and food trucks, with a showing by Yummy Town and the Food Tank; as well as a community celebration, do-it-yourself crafts and more.

The Red Rock Arts Festival’s plein air competition will offer participants a chance to see artists in action and then to purchase their original artwork. Painters work to capture the surrounding landscape and can often be seen along roadways, trails and even the streets of downtown Moab any time between Oct. 7 and Oct. 14.

Artists compete for big prize money, inspire and learn from one another, while doing what they love – painting.

Artists’ styles vary from the detailed to the expressive. Some artists prefer bold colors; others use a muted, almost monochrome palette. Some artists lean toward the realistic while others try to capture mood, feeling, or something a bit more elusive.

Art collectors can expect to find art for anywhere between $20 to $1,500; each artist sets her or his own prices. Any art lover can expect to find variety at Plein Air Moab, as more than 300 pieces of artwork go on sale starting on the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 9.

All levels of artists are welcome. Details and registration information are available at:

When: Saturday, Oct. 7, through Saturday, Oct. 14

Where: Locations vary

Cost: Free events; art sale prices vary

Information:; 435-259-6272

For more information, go to:, or contact MARC Director Meg Stewart at 435-259-6272, or