If you were out and about this past week, you probably saw some 50 artists from 13 states painting Laguna's landscape in town and in the canyons and hills. All this activity was part of the 12th Annual Plein Air Invitational sponsored by the Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. (LPAPA). You may have even taken the opportunity to see the fruits of their labor at the Saturday night soiree and auction and public sale on Sunday.
While we were delighted at the quality and beauty of this year's efforts and the artists clearly enjoyed Laguna hospitality and atmosphere, our artist members and LPAPA face tough challenges in these trying times. These challenges threaten the plein air painting heritage that created and made Laguna Beach the community it is today.
Maintaining our artists' financial balance is more challenging than ever. The cliché "starving artist" has never been so apt for many of our members. As art sustains and nurtures community, especially the heart and soul of Laguna Beach, the diminution or loss of a vibrant arts scene would be a tragedy of major proportions. This must be avoided. LPAPA is addressing this head-on.