Show Preview | Laguna Beach Plein Air

Laguna Beach, CA
Various locations, October 6-13

Jove Wang, Laguna Beach Coast Highway, oil, 18 x 24.

Jove Wang, Laguna Beach Coast Highway, oil, 18 x 24.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Fifty top artists, seven days of painting en plein air, and a very special milestone set the stage for the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational in Laguna Beach, CA, this month. The paint-out kicks off on Saturday, October 6, and culminates in a ticketed Collectors’ Gala at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, at the event’s new home, the Festival of Arts. Located in the heart of the city’s arts district, the venue is “absolutely beautiful,” says Laguna Plein Air Painters Association executive director Rosemary Swimm. “It’s the perfect place to host a plein-air event. It’s all outdoors, with amazing state-of-the-art canopies that protect the artworks from the elements while allowing the perfect amount of light in.”

Established in 1999 to honor and carry on Laguna Beach’s illustrious plein-air heritage, today the invitational is one of the most prominent plein-air events in the country. This year, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, “we are going back to our roots,” says Swimm. The event, which normally brings together 35 artists from California and beyond, features a cadre of 50 talents this year, including Jacobus Baas, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, and 12 other artists who took part in the very first invitational. Other artists among the group include top sellers from last year’s show, including watercolorist Daniel Marshall, and two brand-new participants, Daniel Mondloch and Durre Waseem.

Between October 6 and October 12, many artists set up their easels in downtown Laguna Beach and along the town’s shimmering, seven-mile stretch of sand and surf. Others make a beeline for the neighboring hills and canyons to capture the scenic views there. Art lovers can watch the artists at work and then purchase their fresh creations at numerous events scheduled throughout the week, including a Quick Draw on Sunday, October 7, at Heisler Park. There, beginning at 9:30 a.m., the artists race to complete a finished piece in two hours. All works are then framed and displayed for sale at Festival of Arts from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Of course, the major highlight of the event takes place the following Saturday at the Collectors’ Gala, where each artist presents three of his or her best paintings created during the week for judging. (Works pictured here were created at last year’s show.) Other fresh plein-air pieces and up to six paintings from each artist’s personal collection are also on view. In addition to having first dibs on artworks, gala attendees are the first to learn the award winners before the show opens to the public at 10 a.m. on Sunday, October 14.

Numerous Best of Show winners from years past grace the event this year, including Arizona artist George Strickland, who garnered the inaugural Best of Show prize in 1999. Looking back, he remembers his award-winning painting well. “It was a street scene with a public-works area in the front,” he says. “In the background was this neighborhood that was lush and green and full of life. Opposites like that are good to get ahold of.” At this year’s show, the Arizona artist plans to paint at least a few coastal scenes before moving on to more “subtle” charms around Laguna Beach. “I’m really glad that [LPAPA] has picked up the baton and carried on the plein-air tradition,” says Strickland. “These events introduce people to our kind of artwork, which needs to be seen, and they highlight a community’s great visual assets. To have a show like this brings it all to the forefront.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
949.376.3635
www.lagunapleinair.org

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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