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Best of Plein Air named

In The Arts

August 05, 2010
  • Jim Ryan of Laguna Playhouse.
Jim Ryan of Laguna Playhouse. (Hand In, Coastline…)

Best of Plein Air named

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. recently held an opening reception and awards ceremony for their sixth annual "Best of Plein Air" show at The Esther Wells Collection, where 60 of the 200 paintings entered by LPAPA members were on display for purchase.

As a juried exhibition, first place went to Julia Seelos, second place to Walter Porter and third place to Niles Nordquist. Thomas Kitts received honorable mention.

Seelos and Porter have been invited to participate in the 12th annual Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational in October, held in cooperation with the Laguna Art Museum.

Playhouse's Ryan honored

The Laguna Playhouse, which has celebrated its 90th year, also celebrated another milestone when it honored Production Manager Jim Ryan at the opening night of "Life Could Be a Dream" in July for his 35 years of service to the Playhouse.

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Ryan came to the Playhouse in 1975 as an actor, and later served as director, set designer and carpenter before eventually becoming production manager. He has overseen the production elements of countless plays, and watched thousands of actors ply their craft on the sets that Ryan and his production team so meticulously created.

"Nobody will ever know more about The Laguna Playhouse than Jim does — he has tape measures that are older than most of the people who work here now," said Artistic Director Andrew Barnicle. "When I first came to The Laguna Playhouse in 1991, we had a small staff of 10 people, including Jim. He successfully and smoothly segued from the old glory days of a premier amateur organization to the union rulebook and complicated budgeting of the professional LORT theater that the Playhouse has grown into."

Barnicle went on to recall the memories of Ryan standing on the roof of the theater with a hose during the fire of 1993, ready to defend his beloved Moulton Theatre.

"He even scraped out the gutters at five in the morning after a massive rain storm. But a regular part of Jim's day has been to stop in at rehearsals, often with wide-eyed and unabashed joy, because the art of creating theater mesmerizes him. He always has a sense of eager pride when he watches a Laguna Playhouse production. He's welcome in my rehearsal room any time."

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