Hey readers, I want to make sure you ink in this event – The Plein Air Invitational – in Laguna Beach, beginning Sunday, Oct 9th at Heisler Park.

The Laguna Art Museum’s Annual Plein Air Invitational is one of the most prestigious events in North America’s art world. We bring in more than 50 of the country’s top plein air (“outdoor painting”) artists and ask them to do a series of fast, 2-hour paintings throughout the week in a competition-like setting. The event is one cool deal for Laguna Beach as it so beautifully exemplifies our grass roots art colony beginnings with artists everywhere, dotting the landscape, painting their version of what they see just beyond their easels.

This year, the event has been massively expanded to get the Laguna Beach community more involved. Here’s a quick rundown of the schedule, starting with the first big event:

Sunday – 11:00 a.m. – Heisler Park Quick Draw Paint Out – every artist will choose a favorite spot in Heisler, set up shop and start painting (quickly). While they’re focused and intent, they also are extremely friendly and welcome questions as they paint. Free to public.

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. Meet & Greet Artists’ Reception at the Laguna Art Museum. Free to public.

On Monday, the Plein Air artists fan all over Laguna Beach to begin painting work of their choosing. You’ll see them everywher (sometimes in very incongruous settings), so keep an eye out.

Monday – the Silent Auction begins at the Laguna Art Museum and lasts all week long. If you see a particular piece coming to life, be sure to hoof it down to the museum that day to bid on the piece. Final bidding concludes Saturday night.

Monday , 10:00 a.m. – Heisler Park – Kids’ Paint Out, elementary thru high school students. Free to public, and their work will also be available for sale.

Monday , 7:00 p.m. – Laguna Art Museum – Environmental Awareness Panel Discussion, with reps from Crystal Cove Alliance, Laguna Canyon Foundation and Surfrider Foundation.

Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. – Tours/hikes begin, taking interested  viewers up to various Plein Art artists who are painting in the Laguna Canyon wilderness. The tours are FREE but you MUST CALL to RSVP at 949-497-8324.

Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., Art Lecture with Mr. Jean Stern – The Exec Director of the Irvine Museum pops in to the Laguna Art Museum to do a lecture on developing a critical eye for art. Here’s where you learn how to select a work of art, even if you’re an Average Joe with no art history or art classes to your name.

There’s more (so much more) in the week’s schedule ahead, but I figure this is enough to get you started on this fun, rare week ahead. I’ll look forward to seeing you out and about!



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