Photography by Eric Stoner
Each year Laguna Beach, famous for its renowned artist colony history, turns into an outdoor studio with the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational. This year, Laguna Art Museum and the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) joined forces once more for the 14th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational October 14-21, a landscape painting festival focused on the community, the environment, and art education.
The event showcased forty of the nation’s top plein air landscape painters, who competed for prestigious prizes and participated in the week-long festivities—including public paint outs, environmental awareness activities, and educational events for kids, art students, and adults.
The Invitational was celebrated by a Collectors’ Soirée on October 20 that was attended by more than 300 supporters and artists at Laguna Art Museum, marking a tradition of landscape painting in Laguna going back to the formation of the local artists colony in the early twentieth century.
San Clemente artist Rick Delanty sold the most in terms of dollars, and Hiu Lai Chong from Rockville, MD sold the most paintings with seven. Five of the Kids’ Paint Out paintings sold, with proceeds benefiting the school of the participating student.
During the Soiree, artists John Burton from Carmel received the most awards with three, and Billyo O’Donnell of Eureka, MO won the $5,000 LPAPA Best in Show, the event’s top prize.
In addition to being a community festival, the event is also a fundraiser for the non-profit organizations Laguna Art Museum and LPAPA. This year the event raised more than $198,000 from ticket and artwork sales. Proceeds will benefit the two non-profits as well as the participating artists.