Plein Air


Fall is the perfect time to explore your artistic side
while enjoying the Garden.

Bring your art supplies to the Garden this September and October and capture your favorite Garden scene. From pencils and pastels to oils and watercolors, all mediums are welcome. Then enter your art for a chance to be a part of our juried Plein Air Exhibition this December.

We will have guest artists on select Sundays from 3 pm to 5 pm in the Garden sharing some Plein Air techniques.

Sunday, September 12 -  Carol Roark - Carol loves the outdoors, light, color, and living on her horse farm at the edge of the Mississippi Delta. Her passion for the Mississippi landscape and her love for painting plein air are expressed in her artwork. Currently, she is the President of Memphis Germantown Art League and is a member of several art organizations.

Sunday, September 19 - Jacque' Sligh - Jacque' lives in Collierville and is a frequent visitor at Memphis Botanic Garden where she enjoys painting outdoors with her friends.  Many of her paintings have been displayed in group exhibitions in our gallery.  We welcome her back for a second year as a guest plein air artist on September 19.

Sunday, September 26 - Ann Brown Thomason - Educated and trained as a physician, Thomason, for the most part, is a self-taught artist. Now retired from medicine, she paints and participates in local and Forgotten Coast artist organizations, shows, and exhibits. She draws much of her inspiration from water, skies, sunsets, daybreaks, and storms. Thomason is an active member of several local arts organizations, and her work can be seen in the virtual gallery at WKNO and on the walls of the Central Library in Memphis.  

Sunday, September 26 - Plein Air for Kids in My Big Backyard with Terri Scott of The Art Project - Plein Air for Kids Activity in My Big Backyard on September 26 will be led by Terri Scott of The Art Project. Scott is an illustrator, character designer, and art teacher. As a freelance illustrator for seven years, she has created content for local clients such as Church Health Reader, Overton Park Conservancy, Spay Memphis, and WKNO. She also teaches art to children for local art studios. 

Sunday, October 10 - Wes Ashworth - Wes Ashworth was born in Memphis and moved to Collierville in 1980. Wes’ mom was an accomplished oil artist, and his dad was a civil engineer. Under his mother’s tutelage, Wes developed a love for oil painting but followed his father and became a professional civil engineer. Recently, Wes decided to devote more time to painting. He enjoys painting from nature and painting scenes and people that intrigue him.

Sunday, October 17 - Katie Lindsey - Katie Lindsey returns this year as our guest artist on October 17.  Her work is admired by fellow artists, friends, and visitors to the Garden. In November, Katie along with two other artists will display many of her paintings in an original show in the Visitors Center.  

Sunday, October 24 - Matthew Lee - Matthew Lee is well-known for his plein air paintings of familiar locations in the South. When he paints in nature, he becomes immersed in the sounds, smells, and the changes in light and atmosphere. He takes in all these elements and tries to capture that moment of time in a painting.   

Free with Garden admission.

Tips on avoiding “Plein Errors” – keep the sun off the paper, clip paper to the easel, don’t forget water, weigh down the easel, wear a hat, bring your bug spray, and have fun! 


Plein Air Exhibition at the Memphis Botanic Garden

Deadline: November 1 at noon

The Memphis Botanic Garden is seeking artwork of the Garden in all its forms for our upcoming Plein Air Exhibition. This juried exhibition will be on view from December 4-30, 2021.

There is no fee to enter, and all entries are welcome--from beginners to experts, even children! Artwork must depict a scene from the Memphis Botanic Garden. 

Our jurors will select up to 50 pieces to include in the exhibition with prizes awarded. We will notify the artists via email that are selected by November 12.

If selected, artwork must be delivered to the Memphis Botanic Garden between November 27 and December 1 during our regular business hours, 9 am-4:30 pm. Artwork must be framed or on a gallery-wrapped canvas. All pieces need to be wired on the back for hanging. Artwork will be on display December 4-30, 2021. Art can be priced to be sold (MBG will keep a 30% commission) or simply displayed for viewing

Any artwork that is not sold should be picked up January 4-6, 2022. 

Click Here to Submit Your Work


What is Plein Air?

En Plein Air is a French expression meaning “in the open air”, and refers to the act of painting outdoors with the artist’s subject in full view. Plein air artists capture the spirit and essence of a landscape or subject by incorporating natural light, color, and movement into their works.


What are the best spots in the Garden to paint?

A few of our favorite spots include the Red Bridge in the Japanese Garden, the pond in the Pollinator Garden, and the Blecken Pavillion

Are supplies included?

No, supplies are not included. Artists will need to provide their own supplies.

Do I have to pay for admission?

Yes, if you are not a member of the Memphis Botanic Garden, daily admission fees apply.

There is no fee to submit your artwork for consideration for the Plein Air Exhibition.

Still Have Questions?

Email for more information.

Learn more about what to expect during your visit to the Garden at

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Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Have a question?

Daily Garden Admission

Adults $10.00
Seniors (62 & over) $8.00
Children (2-12) $5.00
Children (under 2) FREE
Members FREE
* Handicapped Accessible

Group Visits



We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)

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