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.
"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."
It fulfills its mission through mentoring, scholarships to emerging artists and by forming alliances with complementary arts organization such as LAM.
Among the artists showcased Saturday: Ken Auster, Richard Abraham, Greg LaRock, Daniel Aldana, Michael Alten, Calvin Liang, Ebrahim Amin, Ronaldo Macedo, Doug Martin, Roger Dale Brown, Jennifer McChristian, Larry Moore, Jim Lamb, Jeff Yeomans, Marcia Burtt, Jim Wodark, Eric Neubert, Paul Kratter, Nancy Bush, Niles Nordquist, Thomas Kitts, Michael Obermeyer, Larry Cannon, April Raber, Jill Carver, Camille Przewodek, Greg Scheibel, Rick Delanty, John Kilduff, Julia Seelos, Kay FlierlCQ, Doug Stotts, Joe Forken, W. Jason Situ, Hai-Ou Hou, Jeff Sewell, Fred Hope, Michael Situ, Carolyn Hesse-Low, Randall Sexton, Kirk McBride, Debra Groesser, Robert Watts and Caglayan.
Awards were presented to participating artists Bryan Mark Taylor, John Burton, Gavin Brooks, and Joan LaRue.
The Collectors Choice Award went to Taylor. Burton was the Artists' Choice winner. Brooks won the Southwest Quick Draw Award. La Rue was honored with the Edward. H. Boseker Award.
Most, although not all, of the participating artists are members of LPAPA.