Competition artists must work en plein air on both competition days, August 10 and 11, 2019.

Registration process

  1. Artists register in person at the Varley Art Gallery on August 10, 2019, between 7 AM and 7 PM
  2. When registering, artists bring a maximum of two blank supports (canvas, paper, board, etc.) that
    they plan to submit for competition, to be stamped by the Varley staff.
  3. Artists return their stamped supports/works in progress to the Varley by 7 PM on August 10 for
    overnight storage at the Varley
  4. On August 11 artists pick up their stamped supports/works in progress from the Varley Art Gallery 
     anytime from 7 AM to 3 PM.
  5. Artists submit their stamped, completed works by 4 PM on Sunday, August 11, 2019.


A suggested donation of $10 with funds going to the Education Department at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham will be collected when artists register on August 10, 2019.


Artists are responsible for supplying all their own art materials.
Acceptable media for the competition include paints (acrylic, oil, watercolour, ink etc.) as well as drawing media (charcoal, conté, gouache, graphite, pastel, etc.).
Photography, digital media and lens-based art are excluded from this event.


Artists will work on supports (canvas, paper, board, etc.) no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches.

Where to Paint

The Varley Art Gallery En Plein Air Competition’s physical boundaries have been established to focus on the historic architecture of Unionville and the natural beauty of Toogood Pond Park. Artists may paint on Main Street Unionville at any point from Highway 7 north to Carlton Road, in the courtyard of the Varley Art Gallery and at any safe location in Toogood Pond Park.

Competition Themes/Categories

Works entered into competition should fall into one of the following four broad themes/categories:

  1. Walking down Main St., Unionville
  2. Toogood Pond Park – Flora and Fauna
  3. How I Varley 
  4. Water, Colours 

Artists may submit a maximum of two works in total for the competition, but the two works may not be of the same theme/category.