Light Studies


By Rita Goldman

Maui plein airThe twenty-six artists who participate in the 2010 Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational will travel here from the four corners of the United States—from Maine, Florida, California and Washington State; from middle-of-the-country Minnesota and Missouri; and from five Hawaiian Islands. They’ll travel light, but with impressive credentials. Their award-winning work is exhibited in respected galleries and museums. Some have taught at the university level, some have been featured in publications like Southwest Art, American Artist, Sunset and Maui No Ka ‘Oi—a proud sponsor of this event.

They’ll travel light—as plein-air painters metaphorically do, racing against the passage of time and the shifting sunlight to capture the out-of-doors. From February 13 through 19, you can watch them paint on location around the island, alone, or in competitions like the Kickoff Paint Out at Fleming Beach and a Quick Draw at Lahaina Harbor.

The paintings they create will be on view at the Village Gallery for an equally evanescent time: Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20. Friday, you can meet all the artists when Maui No Ka ‘Oi hosts a gala reception from 5 to 9 p.m.

Beyond the caliber of talent the Invitational brings to Maui each year, what makes us such proud sponsors is how much the organization behind the event, Plein Air Painters of Hawai‘i, gives back to the community. Proceeds from art sales have bought art supplies for schools and funded scholarships for students. In 2009, the organization paid professional artists to give plein-air demonstrations at Maui schools and talk to the youngsters about careers in art.

“We tell them that art isn’t just what’s hanging up on Front Street,” says Lahaina artist Ronaldo Macedo, a founding member of Plein Air Painters of Hawai‘i. “You can have a career in fashion illustration, medical illustration, automotive design, interior design. . . . Kids who grow up here and haven’t traveled don’t know the possibilities.”

For a list of participating artists and a schedule of events, visit


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