Joe Anna Arnett, "Heisler Afternoon," oil, 8 x 16 in.

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) continued the tradition of celebrating the plein air legacy of Laguna Beach by presenting their 22nd Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational October 3rd – 11th. Faced with the Covid 19 restrictions, LPAPA was determined to not only survive the pandemic, but also to find creative ways to sustain the nonprofit. By doing so, they were able to help their artists with a bit of re-imagining and a lot of pivoting from a physical event to an all virtual event LPAPA embraced the difficult task.

More from the organizers:

When LPAPA was informed a physical event wasn’t going to be a possibility this year they immediately reached out to the 25 artists who had already been invited to participate in the invitational and asked them if they would transition from a physical event to a virtual event, with each and every one of them saying they would be up for the challenge. LPAPA had a plan in place and with the support of the City of Laguna Beach and their ever faithful sponsors, put the plans into action.

LPAPA knew that “the show must go on,” and became determined to not let the artists, the collectors and the town down. And so, history was made by presenting LPAPA’s first virtually inspired invitational.

The tradition that was started in 1999 with the first Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational continued virtually, enabling everyone to enjoy the many events so loved by all but in a safe and socially distanced environment. This year 25 of the top plein air artists from across the United States joined LPAPA virtually. Each participating artist painted from a collection of photos taken exclusively for this year’s event from around Laguna Beach and surrounding communities capturing the breath-taking ocean vistas, historic neighborhoods, rolling hillsides, and lush gardens of our beautiful region.

Carl Bretzke, “Main Beach Tree Silhouette,” oil, 16 x 20 in.
Cindy Baron, “Morning Sparkle,” oil, 10 x 20 in.

Invitational Events included the Quick Draw Competition, Live Online Art Talks with Artists and Experts, and it was all capped off with a unique an entertaining Gala Art Show and Sale. Over $38,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to the artists, with the top prize being the highly coveted $7,500.

The 2020 Best in Show judges were Jonathan Burke, President of the Laguna College of Art + Design, Kathleen Dunphy, LPAPA Signature Artist, and Eric Rhoads, Chairman and CEO of Streamline Publishing

Participating Artists: Joe Anna Arnett, Cindy Baron, Carl Bretzke, Saim Caglayan, Bill Davidson, Rick J Delanty, Don Demers, Jed Dorsey, Bill Farnsworth, Mark Fehlman, Kathleen Hudson, Debra Huse, Calvin Liang, Daniel Marshall, David Marty, Jim McVicker, Terry Miura, Michael Obermeyer, Jason Sacran, Anthony Salvo, Aaron Schuerr, Jeff Sewell, Michael Situ, Barbara Tapp, Michele Usibelli

Bill Davidson, “Laguna Lights,” oil, 12 x 16 in.
Saim Caglayan, “Split Rock Glow,” oil, 11 x 14 in.

Top prizes include:
Best in Show – Don Demers for “Laguna Breakers”
Award of Excellence – Cindy Baron for “Morning Sparkle”
Distinctive Merit Award – Carl Bretzke for “Main Beach Silhouette”
Kinsman Family Foundation Award – Michele Usibelli for “Main Beach Afternoon”
The Irvine Museum Award – Joe Anna Arnett for “Heisler Afternoon”
The UCI Institute & Museum of California Art Award – Bill Farnsworth for “Surfin Safari”
The Ovation Award – Michael Obermeyer for “Crystal Cove Glow”
Artist Choice Award – Kathleen Hudson based on body of work
Collectors Choice Award – Jeff Sewell based on body of work
Architectural Award – David Marty for “Serenity at the Mission”
Artistic Palette Award – Daniel Marshall for “Main Beach Weekend”
Kinsman Family Trust Award – Debra Huse for “Sunset Surfer”
Director’s Choice Award – Michael Situ for “Street Light”
Revelite Lynn Burke Memorial Award – Jason Sacran for “Subtlety of Dusk”
Southwest Art Quick Draw Award – Jim McVicker for “At the Beach”
Plein Air Magazine Award – Bill Davidson for “Laguna Lights”
Fine Art Connoisseur Award – Jed Dorsey for “Masterpiece”
OutdoorPainter.com Award – Saim Caglayan for “Split Rock Glow”

Jed Dorsey, “Masterpiece,” 12 x 16 in.
Don Demers, “Laguna Breakers,” oil, 10 x 16 in.

LPAPA’s Signature Artist, Joe Anna Arnett, was recognized with LPAPA’s 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award for her extraordinary body of work and the contributions she has made to the art community. Longtime friends of LPAPA, Carole Urie-Chickering and Bob Chickering were acknowledged for their support and commitment to the arts with the 2020 LPAPA Lifetime Member Award.

This year has definitely been unique and with that in mind LPAPA presented a 2020 LPAPA Special Lifetime Achievement Award to Eric Rhoads – Chairman & CEO of Streamline Publishing, Home of PleinAir & Fine Art Connoisseur Magazines for his extraordinary commitment to the art community and the artists during the pandemic with free educational videos, conversations and just plain inspiration through his 230+ daily morning talks.

LPAPA’s mission, as a nonprofit art organization, is dedicated to preserving Laguna’s rich artistic legacy established by these early Plein Air Artists – who we honor today with our mission and dedication to the plein air painting tradition in Laguna Beach, across the nation, and around the world.


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