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Our Laguna: Landscape painters feted at soiree

October 21, 2010|By Barbara Diamond
  • Participating artists for this year's plein air Invitational at Treasure Island, Sunday.
Participating artists for this year's plein air… (Coastline Pilot )

Art work produced during the annual Plein Air Invitational and exhibited at the Laguna Art Museum sold Saturday for $142,000.

Proceeds were split between the museum, the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. which sponsors the invitational and the artists.

"This event involves so many parts of the community, put together with the tradition of the art colony," LAM Director Bolton Colburn said. "It is great way for the community to get involved in art."

The museum, originally founded by local artists as a sales gallery for their works, is a major collector of plein air art.

LPAPA, as members are wont to call the association, pronouncing it "Lapapa," was founded in 1996 by artist and board member Saim Caglayan, who participated in the invitational.

"I am pleased with the entire community support," Caglayan said. "But look who is on our board—the mayor."

He credited Elizabeth Pearson with helping to gain community recognition for LPAPA.

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"I introduced him to the museum and that is how this event came about," Pearson said. "I can't believe how much color there is in the show, considering the weather we have had."

Other board members include attorney Tim Carlyle, former Mayor Cheryl Kinsman, Jeff Horn, Mary Linda Strotkamp, Ron Marshall, and Ward C. Blackburn. Pearson and Randy Higbee are ex-officio members. Warren Cook is a financial advisor.

Greg Vail was elected president of the association in the spring of 2009, the first non-artist ever selected to head the group. He also credited Pearson for his participation.

"My connection with LPAPA began as a result of a casual conversation with Elizabeth," Vail said. "I mentioned that my wife, Lynn, and I owned a small collection of plein air paintings related to our family experiences in the 30 years we have lived in Laguna."

Although not a painter, Vail decided his background in landscape architecture, sustainable land development, conservation and real estate connected him to motivations that inspire plein air painters.

"Besides, I love landscape paintings," Vail said.

LPAPA's mission is to build on and promote the renowned landscape painting heritage of Laguna Beach.

"The association enhances the visibility and livelihoods of it artists through the prestigious Plein Air Invitational and other programs," according to the mission statement. LPAPA provides professional development and business management education to it members."

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