Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Beach, California



First Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational Competition


In the grand tradition of the Impressionists who brought their easels and palettes to Laguna some 100 years ago, and the master artists who founded the Laguna Art Museum 81 years ago, plein air artists packing paintbrushes will again capture the area's scenic canyons, beaches, and overlooks July 12­18, 1999. Hosted by the Laguna Art Museum and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, the week-long Plein Air Painting Invitational Competition will match the artistic skills of 50 of America's leading Impressionist painters from across the nation as they vie forprize monies totaling $20,500.

The public is encouraged to watch artists at work throughout Laguna Beach from Monday, July 12, through Thursday, July 15. Artists will be stationed at Main Beach at Broadway and Pacific Coast Highway, Heisler Park starting at Cliff Drive and Pacific Coast Highway, and Laguna Wilderness Park off Laguna Canyon Road as well as other scenic locations. The public can also attend the many events featured as part of the competition.

Paintings will be on exhibit and available for purchase at the Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive at Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

The three jurists for the competition are: John Asaro, teacher and panter, well-respected by his peers and the public, Roy Rose, collector and art historian for over 30 years, and Jean Stern, author of numerous publications on art, executive director of the Irvine Museum.

According to Committee Chair, LPAPA member, and participating artist John Cosby, "Excitement about the entire week schedule of activities has been building since the early planning stages. This very public series of events will demonstrate how a tradition that helped establish Laguna Beach as an art colony almost 100 years ago continues to thrive today. This competition will provide the public an unprecedented opportunity to watch the contemporary counterparts of Edgar Payne, Anna Hills, Granville Redmond, and William Wendt as they create paintings collectors will prize." (right: Matt Smith painting in Laguna Canyon, left: unidentified artist painting en plein air. photos by John Hazeltine)

Says Laguna Art Museum Director Bolton Colburn, "We are very pleased to join LPAPA in hosting the first of what we are sure will become one of our most popular annual events. We are also proud to support contemporary artists who follow in the stylistic footsteps of the early Laguna Beach Impressionists who founded this institution 81 years ago."

Twenty-one out-of-state artists from eleven states include: Kenn Backhaus (Hartford, WI), Scott Burdett (King, NC), Mary DeLopyht-Arendt (Scottsdale, AZ), Walt Frazier (Charleston, SC), Robert Gamblin (Portland, OR), Michael Gibbons (Toledo, OR), Albert Handell (Santa Fe, NM), Gregory Hull and William S. Jennings (Sedona, AZ), Frank LaLumia (Santa Fe, NM), Jim Lamb (Issaquah, WA), Jean Legassick (Carson City, NV), Bob Lemier (Phoenix, AZ), Michael Logan (Bainebridge Island, WA), Kevin Macpherson (Taos, NM), C. W. Mundy (Indianapolis, IN), William O'Donnell (Eureka, MO), Jean Perry (Tucson, AZ), Matt Smith (Scottsdale, AZ), George Strickland (Parker, CO) and Curt Walters (Sedona, AZ). (left: list of participating artists, graphic courtesy of First American Trust)

The week-long series of events is sponsored by First American Trust, the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort, and David Wilhelm & Culinary Adventures Inc. (Subsequent events photographed on Sunday, July 18: left: Cynthia Britain with a canvas soon after sold to a patron of the Laguna Art Museum's exhibition and sale; right: Michael Gibbons and paintings created during the competition, plus a replica of the cash award presented to him by the jurors. photos by John Hazeltine)

Originally published 7/13/99 and republished 7/19/99.

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rev. 10/18/10

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