Carmel Art Festival

May 19-21, 2023

Carmel-by-the-Sea highlights its artist colony origins with the 26th Annual Carmel Art Festival. Centered around the visual arts, the festival features sculptures, a juried plein air painting competition, art activities for children, live performances and more. In addition, galleries throughout Carmel will hold receptions and demonstrations during the Carmel Art Festival.


The heart of the Carmel Art Festival lies at Mission Street between Ocean Avenue and 6th. Listen to live musical performances and scope out unique art pieces all weekend long. Visit the information tent for a schedule of gallery events and to purchase a Carmel Art Festival poster.

Plein Air Competition

Sixty plein air painters will converge on Carmel from around the nation for the Carmel Art Festival. These painters will take their watercolors, pastels and oils to locations around the Monterey Peninsula on Thursday and Friday to create their paintings, which will be officially judged and awarded on Saturday. On Saturday and Sunday, these paintings will be exhibited at and around Mission Street.

Quick Draw Competition

Winners of the Plein Air Competition will progress to the Quick Draw Competition on Sunday, in which they will create a new painting. Carmel Art Festival attendees will have the opportunity to purchase these works of art at auction while the paint is still wet on the canvas!

Own a Plein Air Painting

Don't miss the plein air painting silent auction on Saturday, your chance to take home a piece of fine art created during this event! Visitors can bid on paintings beginning on Saturday. The live auction begins when bidding closes.

This isn't your only chance to buy a plein air painting. On Sunday, the juried artists of the Carmel Art Festival will exhibit other plein air paintings for sale along Mission Street in Carmel. And don't forget the Quick Draw Auction on Sunday, your chance to buy a piece of art immediately after the artist has created it!

Carmel Art Galleries

A score of individual galleries in Carmel will also hold receptions and demonstrations throughout the Carmel Art Festival. Past events have included live sculpting; demonstrations of woodsculpting, painting, drawing, and highlighting; lectures on artistic techniques; and opportunities to meet fine artists at intimate gallery receptions. Pick up a schedule of events at the Information Tent on Mission Street between Ocean Avenue and 6th.

Carmel Art Festival Hotels

Several hotels are conveniently located in Carmel-by-the-Sea and Carmel, many of which are walking distance to the event.

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