Plein Air Guidelines

Inspired by the Annenbergs’ Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art collection and bordered by the majestic San Jacinto Mountains, the gardens bloom with texture, color, and life, making the landscape a perfect picture to paint, sketch, or photograph.

During regular opening hours, visitors are invited to create their own work of art inspired by the gardens from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Artists may paint, photograph, and sketch the beauty of the desert landscape and surrounding mountain range. Guests are to provide their own materials, situate themselves away from the Center, and not block pathways. Painters are to tarp their area before beginning. All artists are asked to please not dispose of waste, including paint water, in the gardens or restrooms.


Sunnylands allows Plein Air art during all open business hours without a reservation.

Please be aware that gathering for outdoor painting or group painting classes are not permitted due to Sunnylands and COVID-19 policies.


Permission to use Sunnylands Center & Gardens as a creative Plein Air venue indicates your agreement to the following guidelines. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in loss of access to the Center & Gardens for this purpose.

  • You are free to paint/sketch/photograph during Center & Gardens public hours.
  • All artists must check in at the Center & Gardens reception desk.
  • Sunnylands does not provide any art supplies/materials.
  • Artists must be able to transport supplies. You are prohibited from using Sunnylands carts under any circumstances.
  • Artists using paints or other mediums that may discolor the ground must use drop cloths without exception.
  • Liquids may not be disposed of in the Center or gardens under any circumstances.
  • No art may be sold on the premises.
  • Commercial photography is prohibited. Photographers please refer to our photo policy.
  • Set-up on paths must allow for easy access for walking and assisted walking devices.
  • Set-up in plant beds is prohibited.
  • Camera tripods and any other art medium activity are not allowed inside the Center building, within 15 feet of the outdoor café area, in vehicle traffic pathways, or while sitting on the U.S.-China Friendship Bench. All other outside benches are available for use.
  • Leaving your site unattended is at your own risk.
  • Due to the unique mission of Sunnylands, public access may be prohibited during high-level retreats.