Everything You Need to Know, Part 1

Join the Facebook Page

If you haven’t done so already, join the PACE Attendee Facebook page to get to know your fellow PACE-ers and meeting new friends.

CLICK HERE to join, you’ll be asked to enter the email address you used to register for the event (does not need to be the one you use for Facebook), and a code which is PACE.

Traveling with Paint Supplies

If you plan to paint with us, you will need paints and supplies. Most, if not all, of what you’ll need can be purchased in our giant Expo Hall once you arrive — easels, panels, paint, brushes, and pretty much everything you’ll need. If you are planning to bring your own supplies, here is some helpful information:

The following is important if you are traveling via commercial airline:

The TSA will not allow solvent in carry-on or checked baggage. Solvent will be available for purchase at the event from Cheap Joe’s, BLICK, Jade Rabbit, and Bristle Magic, or at local art stores. **You must dispose of your own solvent.** Bring a vessel to store solvent while you’re in North Carolina. Do NOT pour solvent down the drains. Also, please be cautious with wet paint in your hotel room, and do not clean brushes in sinks. Any cleaning fees will be billed to you.

The following items must be checked and cannot be in carry-on baggage:

  • Tube paints
  • Mediums for oils, acrylic, and watercolor
  • Palettes with paint on them
  • Containers carrying paint out of the tube
  • Sharp tools like knives, palette knives, razor blades, or scissors

The following items may be carried on:

  • Brushes
  • Easels in backpacks
  • Tripods
  • Clean palettes
  • Pan watercolors
  • Pastels
  • Canvases, panels, and paper
  • Drawing materials (pencils, pens, charcoal, erasers, conté)
  • Sketchbooks
  • Paint cups, trays, and empty vessels for water and solvents
  • Viewfinders
  • Headlamp for outdoor nocturne painting (if you’d like to attend a nocturne session)
  • Bottles of ink (3 oz. or under only)
  • Camera
  • Hand wipes/paper towels
  • Notepads
  • Plastic gloves (for those who use them)

Here’s a Travel Sticker you can download, print, and tape to your paint supplies. 

Shipping Items to Yourself

Another option is to ship your items to the hotel ahead of time — this will work only if you are staying at the convention hotel, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. The hotel staff have asked that if you intend to ship items to yourself, DO NOT mention PACE on the label (or it may get delivered to us and misplaced among all of our convention boxes).

Please use this address:
Cherokee Tower, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
777 Casino Dr.
Cherokee, NC 28719
Hold for (name of guest, arrival date)
1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc.


  • Casual and Comfortable: Feel free to wear casual and comfy clothing — outfits you don’t need to fuss over. This will free up your mind so you can soak up everything PACE has to offer.
  • Along with our recognizable blue shirts, the majority of our staff and volunteers will dress casually … jeans or casual pants, etc. You’re welcome to do the same.
  • Shoes: Please bring and wear sturdy, comfortable shoes for both inside and outside activities. Achy feet and blisters tend to spoil the fun. We suggest hiking shoes with a good tread and grip for the paint-outs. 
  • For paint-out sessions, wear only sturdy, closed-toe shoes such as hiking or running shoes.
  • Layers: The weather can be unpredictable. Bring layers of clothing that you can easily put on or remove throughout the day whether you’re inside or outside.
  • Special Clothing: Plan for rainy, stormy weather, as well as snow. It’s still springtime in the Smoky Mountains. 
  • Party Clothes: Casual clothes are fine. If you’d like, bring something fun to wear to the closing party — it’s going to be DISCO THEMED.
  • Hats: To help lessen direct exposure to the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat. Another great option is a hat with back-of-the-neck protection.
  • Sunscreen: Bring your own sunscreen and keep it with you at all times.
  • Bug Protection: Bring your own bug protection products for paint-out sessions. We never know if it will be “buggy.”

GPS Address

The hotel is pretty spread out, with multiple entrances.  PACE is taking place in the Convention Center in Cherokee Tower at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. The best address to use in your GPS is Cherokee Tower, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, 40 Convention Center Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719. If you select a different hotel location, you may end up at the wrong side of the hotel.

DO NOT use this address to ship items to yourself. Please see Shipping Items to Yourself above.

Transportation to and from the Hotel

We are encouraging all attendees to join the Plein Air Convention Attendees Facebook group and arrange rides with other attendees to and from the Asheville, NC, airport. Otherwise a car rental or Uber/Lyft ride will be necessary. Asheville Airport staff suggest heading first to the Guest Services desk to see if there is anyone else heading to PACE. You could also look out for other PACE-ers  at the RideShare area at the airport. 

If you’re not already part of the Facebook Group, click here to get added, and use the code PACE.


There is a ample free parking at the hotel.  Valet parking is complimentary for guests staying at Harrah’s. If you would like to self park but want to drop your luggage off at the lobby, the Bell Hops can assist you.

Registration/Convention Check-In

Follow the convention signs inside the hotel to pick up your registration bag and badge.  The Registration Desk will be open as follows:

Sunday, May 19                     Monday, May 20

1pm – 8pm                                  6am – 8:30pm

From Tuesday on you can pick up your registration materials at the Help Desk in the Convention Center.


If you pre-ordered PACE merchandise, you can pick up your items at the Bag Pickup Station on Monday. 


When you arrive and check in for the convention, you’ll get a bag full of goodies along with a raffle ticket. Fill that out and place it in the labeled box BEFORE the start of the convention.

Giveaways will be held when everyone is together in the Main Hall, before presentations, and during Home Room. If you have any questions about where to drop off your raffle ticket, stop and ask at the Help Desk, or any of the staff or volunteers can direct you.

You MUST be present at the time to win giveaways.


Your badge IS YOUR TICKET! Your badge is what will get you into all the demos, so be sure to have it with you at ALL TIMES! Some attendees take it off and hang it on their hotel room door so they don’t forget it when they leave. You will not be allowed into the event without your badge.  You’ll also need your badge to get into the Oconaluftee Indian Village for free and to get your reduced-rate Grounds and Garden ticket at the Biltmore Estate.


Keep your program with you, and write your name on it! We do NOT have extra programs, so you’ll be out of luck if you lose yours.

Your program has all the information you need for the event including

  • A map of the convention site
  • Maps of the paint-out sites
  • An agenda of the entire event
  • Bios for each of our faculty artists

Help Desk

Have a question? Need help with something? The friendly staff at the Help Desk will be ready to answer any and all of your questions throughout the week. Look for the big sign that says “HELP DESK.” The Help Desk also serves as Lost & Found, so if you lose or find something, head to the Help Desk. The Help Desk can also help you arrange rides to the paint-outs if you do not have a car and did not buy a bus ticket.


Convention staff are also ready to assist and will be clearly visible in royal blue shirts. Please don’t hesitate to ask a staff member, volunteer, or Help Desk staff for any assistance you may need.

Pre-Convention Activities (Additional Fee Required)

This year for the first time, we have four pre-convention workshops for you to choose from.  As of this writing, there are still a few seats left for the pre-convention events. Additional fee required. Please click the link for more details and latest availability information.

Amit Kapoor – Watercolor
Monday, May 20 from 7am to 2:30pm
Click here for more information

Joe Paquet – Oil
Monday, May 20 from 7am to 2:30pm
Click here for more information

Aaron Schuerr – Pastel
Monday, May 20 from 7am to 2:30pm
This will be a hands on workshop, with opportunity to paint.
Click here
here for more information. 

Basics of Plein Air, with Carrie Curran, Scott Boyle, Laura Pollak, Robert Masla, and Barbara Tapp
Monday, May 20 from 7am to 2:30pm
Click here for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: If you’d like to attend one of the pre-convention workshops, please register ahead of time. If you wait until you arrive in North Carolina, seats may not be available.

Art Show & Sale

This is a great chance to view and buy paintings by faculty members and fellow convention attendees. If you’d like to sell your artwork in the show, find all the details here.

If you purchased/reserved an easel for the Art Show, you should bring your painting to the Art Show desk in the Convention Center foyer. One of our team members will check it in and place it in the gallery. The gallery desk will open on Sunday, May 19 at 1pm and will close on Thursday May 23 at 1pm.

Many faculty artists will make their demonstration paintings available for sale via the Art Show & Sale. Please do not approach artists directly to purchase.

PleinAir Store

While at the convention, visit the PleinAir Store. We’ll be offering instructional videos at discounted, convention-only prices. In addition, you can purchase shirts, hats, and products such as books and art tools offered by some of the faculty artists. We offer limited stock on all items, so if you like it, buy it before it sells out.

Convention Orientation/Friend Finder (No additional fee)

Conventions can be a bit overwhelming, and we want to help you start having fun from the moment you arrive! Not just for first-time convention attendees, this orientation session is for everyone!

Join us on Monday May 20 at 2:45pm for this short orientation session. Your friendly hosts will show you how to find information in your souvenir program, navigate the schedule, locate the different rooms and stages for presentations, how to shop in the Expo Hall, and, very importantly, directions to the restrooms.

If you have a non-painting friend or partner traveling with you and they’d like to meet some other non-painters to golf or hike or just hang out, bring them with you to the Orientation.

We’ll play a fun game, give away some cool prizes, then walk to the Main Stage for the Opening Ceremony with all of the new friends we just made.

Opening Ceremony

The doors will open at 3:45pm, and the official Opening Ceremony begins on Monday, May 20 at 4pm sharp in the Main Hall.

As you enter the Main Hall, please find seats toward the front and in the center of the room. This way, as your fellow attendees enter the room, they won’t have to crawl over you to find a seat. We have a jam-packed opening ceremony, and you won’t want to miss a minute of it!

Cocktail Party

The Cocktail Party will begin right after the Opening Ceremony. Be sure to look in your registration bag for a complimentary drink ticket. After that, there will be a cash bar. Light food will be served. Casual dress is appropriate!

Everything You Need to Know, Part 2

Join the Facebook Page

If you haven’t done so already, join the PACE Attendee Facebook page to get to know your fellow PACE-ers and meeting new friends.

CLICK HERE to join, you’ll be asked to enter the email address you used to register for the event (does not need to be the one you use for Facebook), and a code which is PACE.

Text Alerts

You can receive important messages and updates about PACE via text message. If you used your cell phone number when you registered, we have added you to the text alert system automatically. If you used a landline or are not sure which number you used, go to pacealerts.com to add yourself. You can opt out at any time. Message and data rates may apply.

Health and Safety

Please stay safe and healthy while at PACE. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Emergencies: If you experience or witness an emergency, please call 911 immediately. If you’re unable to make the call, ask someone to call on your behalf.
  • After calling 911, call our volunteer first aider, Davis Perkins, at 415.519.3125.
  • Alert a staff member or volunteer to further assist you and to guide emergency responders to the scene.
  • For minor issues, the Help Desk will have basic first aid supplies available.


A full agenda can be found here. Please note, faculty, times, dates, and venues may be subject to change. Changes will be announced from stage and via text alerts.

Go at Your Own Speed

With captivating content offered from early morning until late evening, our goal is to keep you as busy as you want to be. Attend as much or as little as you wish. Arrive at, and leave, paint-outs when it suits you. The convention can be both exhilarating and exhausting, so pace yourself at PACE!

Floating to Different Rooms

You are encouraged to visit any stage at any time. We have Water Media and Pastel stages, the Main Stage (mostly oil demos), a smaller Demo Stage, and another stage in the Expo Hall.


  • You paid to attend the Plein Air Convention, and those who did not pay will not be allowed to enter.
  • Entry requires a badge that will be provided at check-in, and there will be security checks at the doors. Please do not encourage friends to “crash” or sneak in; we are charged for every person who enters. We don’t like being in the position of having to turn people away. Thank you.
  • Keep track of your badge. If you give it to someone else or lose it, we cannot replace it. If we find you’ve given your badge to someone to get in and you’ve requested a new badge, you will be evicted from the convention without refund and will not be allowed to attend future conventions. Unfortunately, this harsh practice has become necessary.
  • There will be Badge Checkers stationed at all demo room doors, and they will not allow anyone without a badge to enter.

Your badge gets you into everything except the Pre-Convention Workshops, each of which is optional and requires an additional fee. Other than these four optional events, there’s no need to register for any other workshops or sign up for anything special. Just show up and enjoy!

Recording Demos

Please do NOT video or Facebook Live any sessions. Doing so could get you evicted from the convention. Photos are acceptable at all times. Use #PACE24 when posting on social media. Be sure to get your photos with your favorite faculty in front of the PACE backdrop, and have your photo taken in front of our Smoky Mountains backdrop.


There will be food provided at the Cocktail Party on Monday evening and a stand-up breakfast from 7:30 to 8am in the Expo Hall on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  

There are numerous restaurants at the hotel, and there will be grab-and-go options available to you on site as well.

Sitting Up Nights

Lots of the fun at PACE is sitting up late, talking to old friends and meeting new ones. This is your chance to get away from your busy life, cut loose, and have fun. There might even be some musicians jamming in the hotel lobby!

Next Year’s Convention

  • On the last day of PACE, we’ll reveal where we’re planning to meet up next year.
  • Hold the dates of May 19-23, 2025 on your calendar now.
  • When we make the big announcement, you’ll be offered a very special registration price for next year’s PACE. This price will be lower than we’ll ever offer it again.
  • You’ll get that special price only if you sign up on the day of the announcement (or before the end of the current convention).
  • Because we want current attendees to have the first chance to register for next year at the special price, we’ll only offer this deal one time.
  • The majority of people at PACE sign up for next year’s event, so we encourage you to really think about it now so you don’t miss your chance to be one of the very first artists to register for next year and get in at the lowest price.
  • Remember, you must turn in your registration form by the end of the convention, no exceptions. Please check the dates in advance so you can hold your seat. Though these seats can be canceled, if you cancel and change your mind, you’ll have to pay the current rate if you sign up again.

Closing Night Party

Thursday, 8:00pm. Save some energy from the afternoon paint-out at Darnell Farms and come along to the great closing-night party, which will be held in the Main Stage Room. This year’s theme is Disco — casual attire is welcome, or feel free to dress up!

Everything You Need to Know, Part 3

Daily Painting

One of the great experiences of the Plein Air Convention is the time we’ll spend outdoors painting in and around beautiful Smoky Mountains.

  • Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity by keeping detailed notes during the sessions and presentations each day. Once out on location, try the things you’ve learned. Putting new knowledge and skills to work immediately is the best way to make rapid improvements in your work.
  • Please note that painting locations are for Plein Air Convention attendees only via special permits and permissions, at great expense in some cases, so please do not invite non-attendees to paint at these locations. Badges may be checked.

Paint-Out Schedule and Locations

Tuesday, May 21
Great Smoky Mountain National Park – 4:00PM to 7:00PM
There is very limited parking at the Park. Please consider carpooling.

 Wednesday, May 22
Oconaluftee Indian Village & Cherokee Botanical Garden 4:00PM to 7:00PM

Thursday, May 23
Darnell Farms 2PM to 6:00PM
Please don’t head to the Farms before 2pm as they have an earlier event and will not be ready for us before 2pm.

Friday, May 24
Biltmore Estate 9AM to 4PM
We are not permitted to paint on the front lawn between the House and the Fountain – refer to the program in your registration bag for more details.

The Biltmore Estate

On Friday, May 24 we will paint all day at the Biltmore Estate. We have negotiated a special entry fee of $55.64 for a Grounds & Garden pass, which gives you daytime access to 8,000 acres of gardens and grounds, including the formal and informal gardens, all the hiking and biking trails, Antler Hill Village & Winery with a complimentary wine tasting, a limited complimentary shuttle service and free parking.

If you bought a PACE bus ticket that includes May 24, a Biltmore Grounds and Garden pass is included in your bus ticket price.

If you’re traveling to the Biltmore on your own, you can either purchase a ticket when you arrive at the Entrance Gate, or get your ticket in advance, you can do so by calling the Biltmore Call Centre on 800-411-3812, option 1.

If you know that you would like to visit the House or see the Chuiley exhibition, you can also upgrade your ticket by calling the same number.

You must tell them you are a part of the  Plein Air Convention to get the discount.

If you are not sure about your plans for that day right now, you can upgrade your grounds and garden pass onsite on Friday, but please note both Biltmore House and the Chuiley exhibition are subject to availability for day-of tickets and we strongly suggest that you book in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.

Transportation to Paint-Outs


  • You could buddy up with someone who has a car. If you’re bringing a car, and you’re willing to offer a ride to a fellow artist, let the Help Desk know.
  • If you do need a ride, go to our Help Desk and request a ride IN ADVANCE.
  • PACE Bus ticket sales have closed
  • Parking everywhere is difficult — another reason car pools are helpful.

Field Painters

  • During the paint-outs, many of our stage faculty and additional “field instructors” will be set up and painting, too. You can observe them, ask questions, and even ask for help with your own painting. 
  • You can spot the field instructors by their gold-colored hats and bright flags.
  • If you’d like help from a field instructor, find the “Faculty Stop Here” card that will be in your convention bag. Wave that card so roaming faculty members know you’d like some help. Don’t clip it to your easel because it may get overlooked.