Masterstrokes: Selections from Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Signature Members

Kathleen Dunphy, Pacific Grove Morning (2007)

October 31, 2010-February 6, 2011

Masterstrokes: Selections from Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Signature Members was curated by Jean Stern, Executive Director of The Irvine Museum. In the first museum exhibition based on the signature members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, Jean Stern curated the best of the best works from the group that helped to lead a national renaissance in landscape painting. The exhibition consisted of 21 works by Laguna Plein Air Painters Association signature members.
Masterstrokes was generously supported by Tatiana and Jean Gaulin.

Featured Artists

Ken AusterJacobus BaasJohn Budicin
Marcia Burtt

Saim Caglayan

Kathleen Dunphy

Michael Gibbons

Carolyn Hesse-LowJeff HornPo Pin LinKim Lordier

David Lussier

Ronaldo Macedo

Jennifer McChristian

Jesse PowellCamille PrzewodekIan RobertsRay Roberts

Michael Situ

W. Jason Situ

David Solomon

“I am hoping that viewers will see that many of the artists in the exhibition are truly marvelous painters,” said curator Jean Stern.  “I would like viewers to look through the artists’ eyes and see that beauty exists throughout our community, if one takes the time to truly look at it. I think that, as a community, we should support our artists, not only by attending exhibitions, but also by purchasing works that speak to us. A beautiful work of art has merit that does not fade with the passage of time, and good art is a great way to enrich the quality of life for all of us.”
The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) was formed in 1996 by five Laguna Beach artists: Ken Auster, Jacobus Baas, Cynthia Britain, Saim Caglayan, and John Cosby. Along with other organizations in California, like the Oak Group (Santa Barbara) and the California Art Club (Pasadena), LPAPA called for the return of traditional forms of painting, principally landscape painting. From the start, these organizations quickly generated interest in the areas where they were formed, and that interest spread rapidly to other parts of the country. Largely trained by luminaries within their ranks, these artists are inspired by the early twentieth-century landscape painters of California, including Anna Hills, Maurice Braun, Edgar Payne, Granville Redmond, and William Wendt.
Late nineteenth-century American painters were strongly influenced by French Impressionism, and impressionist techniques continued to be favored by landscape artists well into the first three decades of the twentieth century. As an expression of their alignment with the aesthetic concerns of these early twentieth-century American painters and their reverence for French Impressionism, the artists adopted a derivation of the term en plein air (“in the open air”) as a descriptor of their practice.
LPAPA was one of the key organizations on the West Coast to spark a renewed interest in painting landscapes out of doors, which has grown significantly and is supported by collectors from all parts of the country. One part of its mission is to enhance the visibility and livelihoods of its artists through the prestigious, annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational. When an artist achieves elite status, that member is then recognized as a signature member. Currently there are thirty two signature members and 325 regular members in LPAPA. Jean Stern, executive director of The Irvine Museum, selected twenty-one works from the ranks of LPAPA’s signature members for Masterstrokes.