MARCH 7, 14 & 21, 2020
Artist Allowance: $200 & any sales of completed works
Entry Deadline: Sunday February 16, 2020 at 11:59 PM
Digital Portfolio of applicable competed works in PDF format
Download a PDF version of this Call for Artists here – Urban Plein Air at The Market Call for Artists


THE BLOCKS in collaboration with the Rio Grande Winter Market are activating the Rio Grande Depot on three Saturdays – March 7, 14 & 21 – with the spontaneous and participatory nature of Plein Air (outdoor) painting. This project invites audiences to engage with participating artists and get a view into their process of completing a painting, providing the opportunity to see live art. We will work with a curated team of 5 artists to demonstrate their painting skills to the public. 

THE BLOCKS are seeking portfolios from local artists to participate in this three-day Plein Air event. Selected artists will be responsible for completing two 12” x 12” canvases (canvases will be provided for selected artists) and will then be given the opportunity to sell their work during the Rio Grande Winter Market. This call is open to all professional artists, students and amateur artists residing in Utah. Those new to the public art process or artists working outside of the traditional Plein Air process are also highly encouraged to apply.


THE BLOCKS will provide selected artists with two 12” x 12” canvases to complete during the two painting days (March 7 & 14) as well as a drop cloth. Artists will be responsible for providing all other materials they might need (easel, painting/drawing materials, etc.). There will be pre-approved painting/drawing locations in and around the Rio Grande Depot for artists to choose from. These locations will act as general vantage points for their compositions and subjects (the venue, vendors, patrons and goings-on at the Rio Grande Winter Market). Selected artists will also be expected to have their works available for sale at the market after completion (March 14 & 21).


March 7 – Artists will be painting during market hours (10 AM – 2 PM)

March 14 – Artists will be painting during market hours (10 AM – 2 PM) and have the opportunity to sell their completed work from the previous week at a designated booth

March 21 – Artists will have the opportunity to sell their completed works from the previous weeks at a designated booth


The Rio Grande Depot is a historical building requiring a restriction on mediums that can be used for this project. Please consider the following when applying: Selected artist may not use spray paints and other mediums that may have overspray.


The selection committee will be comprised of THE BLOCKS staff, Downtown SLC Farmers Market staff and community members. This committee will select 5 artists based on the provided portfolios of previous work. Once selected the artist will be provided with detailed information about the project.


Innovative, playful and original work
– Demonstrates skill and understanding of the painting process
– Previous experience working in Plein Air settings is a plus, but not required

– Submission of a portfolio in the requested PDF format


Total compensations for each selected artist is $200 plus 100% of any sales and is inclusive of artist fees and some related expenses for completion of the project. THE BLOCKS is responsible for the costs associated with event promotion and management as well as providing two canvases for each selected artist.


Please send your portfolios in PDF format by
Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 11:59 PM
to the attention of Cassandra Yerkes / cassandra@downtownslc.org / 603.562.8995

Urban Plein Air is a project of THE BLOCKS. THE BLOCKS is a collaborative initiative between Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County to establish downtown Salt Lake City as a cultural core of the Intermountain West through the promotion of cultural and artistic experiences, bolstering audiences and supporting our creative community.


The Downtown Farmers Market presents the Winter Market between November and April to offer Utah residents more year-round opportunities to access fresh local goods from local purveyors.

Hosted in the historic Rio Grande Depot, this market allows growers to extend the season, and features fresh vegetables from late season harvests and area greenhouses. Like the summer markets, it also offers the best of the region’s grass-fed meats, dairy, honey, eggs, baked goods, and seasonal offerings for the holidays.