The Northport Arts Association is celebrating its ninth Plein Air Paint Out & Wet Paint Sale (July 23 and 24 from 6–8 p.m.). Fifty artists will paint throughout the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, capturing the beauty of the village, beaches, orchards, vineyards and more landscapes and landmarks.

Photo by Northport Arts Association

Tickets are available online through Online tickets are $10 (plus processing fees) or $15 at the door. Artists that are painting throughout the area will have a limited number of $5 off coupons to give to people interested in coming to the receptions. The coupons are only good for at-the-door tickets. The artists’ unique, local, freshly painted masterpieces will be available from 6–8 p.m. at the Northport Arts Association, Village Arts Building, 301 N. Mill St. Northport After the Paint Out and in-person sales on July 23 and 24, there will be an online gallery exhibit from July 25–31. 

In 2013, when Gene Rantz organized artists to come to Northport and paint au plein air, it was the beginning of a weekend tradition of outstanding creativity. The Paint Out started with a small number of artists and the sale of freshly painted artwork in a tent in Haserot Park. The plein air event was a hit and over the next three years more artists joined in. Then in 2016, it was held at the Willowbrook Mill in Northport. Local eateries donated unique dishes, the Willowbrook was packed with guests, and the artwork was almost a sellout.

In 2016, Bill and Nina Collins built and established the Village Arts Building which became the home of the Northport Arts Association. In 2017, Gene Rantz and John Mitchell promoted the first Plein Air Paint Out Exhibit and Wet Paint Sale at the Village Arts Building. The Northport Arts Association hosted 40 artists and filled the walls with original paintings.

Today, Northport’s Plein Air Paint Out continues to be a popular event in Northern Michigan. This year, the Arts Association is looking forward to seeing artists that have been painting at the event over the years return and excited to meet new artists as well. Their participation and the purchases of their artwork help support the operation of the Northport Arts Association. View a list of participating artists at

Photo(s) by Northport Arts Association