top artists converge in lahaina: maui plein air painting invitational runs february 14-22

02_MPleinAirBeginning February 14, for the tenth year in a row, the 9-day Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational will bring together top plein air artists from Hawai‘i and the mainland to capture Maui’s Upcountry vistas, pristine beaches, majestic mountains, and historic towns.

This event, unique to Maui, brings together 25 of the finest plein air painters from Hawai‘i and the U.S. Mainland to compete, reconnect and create original works of art. The public can experience the island captured on canvas as participating artists paint on location with works honoring Maui and its culture. All events will be held in Lahaina or Kapalua.

What is “plein air”? The term plein air, a French phrase meaning “in the open air,” has long been associated with painting done outdoors directly from nature. This style of painting is often traced back to its first followers in 17th and 18th century Rome, followed by the French Impressionists in the mid to late 19th century, and then to the California Impressionists in early 20th century America. From the beginning, the purpose of the plein air movement was to develop a deeper understanding of nature through close observation and study and to learn how to accurately represent the appearance of landscapes under the ever-changing elements of light, atmosphere, and weather.

“It’s hard to believe the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational is in its 10th year. Having been involved from the beginning, it has been wonderful to see how the event has evolved from an informal idea to Maui’s destination art event that people plan for every year,” said Lois Reiswig, President of the West Maui Cultural Council.

“The success of this annual event is directly attributed to the caliber of artists,” said Lynn Shue, owner of The Village Galleries. “Their paintings pay witness to Maui’s history, capturing the beauty and lifestyle that makes our island home unique. Not only are these artists exceptionally talented individuals, they have a genuine aloha for our island.”

Local artists participating in this year’s event from Maui and Hawai‘i are George Allan, Carleton, Betty Hay Freeland, Ronaldo Macedo, Macario Pascual; Michael Clements; Mike Carroll of Lanai City; Pierre Bouret of Hanalei, Kauai; Jenifer Prince of Princeville, Kauai; and Mark Brown of Honolulu.

Prominent artists hailing from the U.S. Mainland are Ken Auster and Jacobus Baas of Laguna Beach, CA; Joshua Been of Colorado, Hiu Lai Chong of Rockville, MD; Debra Huse and Greg LaRock of Newport Beach, CA; Jim McVickder of Loleta, CA; Billyo O’Donnell of Eureka, MO, Mary Pettis of Taylors Falls, MN; Lori Putnam of Franklin, TN; Dave Santillanes of Fort Collins, CO; David Savellano of Alameda, CA; Randall Sexton of Vallejo, CA; Brian Stewart of St. Paul, MN; Keith Wicks of Sonoma, CA.

“Many of these artists are returning favorites of collector’s from around the world,” said Event Coordinator Una Somerville. “However, each year there are new accomplished plein air artists invited to participate and it is always fun to see their take on Maui’s extraordinary beaches, landscapes and historical sites.”

The events listed here are FREE (unless indicated ‘fee applies’) and open to the public, a full schedule of events is planned starting on February 14 and ending on February 22.


Saturday, February 14 • 7:30am – 12pm
Kick off Paint Out

Lahaina Jodo Mission and vicinity (Mission grounds, Baby Beach, or Mala Wharf). Artists begin the event at the mission and create freshly painted works of art that are displayed for sale from 11am until noon.

Monday, February 16 • 6 – 8:30pm

Jean Stern, Executive Director of The Irvine Museum in California, will once again conduct a popular, free lecture at the Pioneer Inn in Lahaina from 7 – 8pm. In conjunction with the lecture, an Artist’s Mini-Paintings Silent Auction (25 paintings) will be held from 6 – 7pm with final bidding following the lecture from 8 – 8:30pm.

Tuesday, February 17 • 4pm
Montage Kapalua Bay Sunset Paint Out

Artists will gather at Montage Kapalua Bay from the famous Kapalua and Namalu Bays to find inspiration from the sunset, beach scenes and panorama island views of Lanai and Molokai.

Friday, February 20 • 9 – 11am
Pioneer Inn Lahaina Harbor Quick Draw

This event attracts hundreds of onlookers each year. Each artist will have just two hours to complete a painting. The public will have an opportunity to watch a painting being created from start to finish. The weeks’ fresh works (100 paintings) will be unveiled in a show on Friday evening, February 20, at The Village Gallery, 120 Dickenson, Lahaina.

Friday, February 20 • 5 – 6pm
Whole Foods Market Collectors’ Hour (fee applies)

Held at The Village Galleries, 120 Dickenson Street in Lahaina, this event provides an opportunity for art collectors wishing to buy paintings priority viewing prior to the reception. Price of ticket ($100 per person) can be applied toward purchase of paintings that evening.

Friday, February 20 • 6 – 9pm

The general public is invited to the Friday night Gala Reception from 6 – 9pm. Three paintings from each artist, plus the Quick Draw paintings will be unveiled and awards will be presented.

Saturday, February 21 • 9 – 11am
Coffee and Pastries with the Artists

The artists will replace paintings sold on Friday night, and the public will have a final opportunity to purchase works from the event at The Village Gallery in Lahaina.

Sunday, February 22 • 9am – 9pm
Plein Air Finale Sale

This is the public’s last chance to view and purchase paintings.

Workshops (fee applies)

The Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational will also host three workshops with participating artists.

  • 3-day Pre-Event Workshop with Brian Stewart will be held February 10-12 (fee applies).
  • Post-Event Workshops (3-day and 2-day) with Dave Santillanes will be held on February 23-25 and February 26-27 (fee applies).

For more information please visit or call 214-5294.

A portion of the art sales will go toward art scholarships and art programs on Maui.

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