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Plein Air Painters and Laguna Art Museum Split Up

The group will move to the Aliso Creek Inn for its annual Invitational.

Submitted by the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association:

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) has secured a new home and permanent venue for the presentation of art members’ work and the renowned Plein Air Invitational at the Aliso Creek Inn.  Under pending new ownership, the Inn will be extensively updated, allowing for expanded and highly upgraded exhibition space in the Inn’s meeting rooms.

“After 13 years of collaboration with the Laguna Art Museum, LPAPA now has the opportunity and challenge to host one of North America’s premier plein air art events as an independent entity, one of the key objectives of LPAPA’s Strategic Plan,” said Greg Vail, president of the art organization which promotes contemporary California impressionist artists, whose forebears founded and created the iconic cultural legacy of Laguna Beach.”

Vail added “that staging the Invitational in majestic natural setting of Aliso Canyon—the “Yosemite” of Laguna Beach and the location of the area’s original homestead built by the Thurston family, the ancestors of current Laguna Mayor Kelly Boyd--is a perfect match and inspiration for the plein air genre.”

With the challenge and opportunity of the Aliso Creek Inn venue, Planning for the 2013 Invitational has begun in earnest and will require even more support than in past years from the community and synergies with other non-profit organizations and volunteer groups.  “We have a big job ahead of us,” said Vail. “But with vigorous help from our supporters, we can get there.”

"It is my belief that we need to honor our plein air arts heritage and continue to support Laguna's current-day plein air painters," said Elizabeth Pearson, one of LPAPA's earliest supporters and the catalyst who originally brought LPAPA and the Laguna Art Museum together which resulted in the creation of the Invitational collaboration.  "As a tourist-based economy, the Invitational is important for many reasons,   including bringing national acclaim to the city as an arts colony."  

At the news of the Laguna Art Museum's decision to discontinue the collaboration, Pearson said, "Laguna is a small community with many arts groups - too small not to collaborate and work together to celebrate all the arts that make Laguna the special place that it is. It just made sense to me that the museum--which was founded with plein air artists--would partner, on an ongoing basis, with our current day plein air painters, represented by LPAPA.   While I am disappointed at the Museum's choice to break from our local Plein Air artists' group, I believe that when one door closes, another one opens.  I look forward, as I'm sure most of the community does, to continuing to support our modern-day plein air painters and LPAPA.”

LPAPA, founded in 1996 by local landscape artists, builds upon and promotes the renowned landscape painting heritage of Laguna Beach. LPAPA serves its members regionally, nationally and internationally through events, programs and education. It also enhances the visibility and livelihoods of its artists through the prestigious Plein Air Invitational and other programs. LPAPA provides professional development and business management education to its members and enhances its mission through alliances with complementary arts organizations. They also provide mentoring by signature members and scholarships to emerging artists.

Artists, students or patrons of the arts interested in further information or membership in LPAPA can visit their website at: www.lpapa.org, or call (949) 376-3635.

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