With fresh artwork displayed on its walls, the Laguna Art Museum was the site of the third annual Plein Air Painting Invitational Gala Dinner and Collector Preview that drew 400 guests and netted more than $300,000.
The event capped a weeklong competition among 50 artists from throughout the nation.
Gala-goers were able to purchase the works of painters who included Peggi Kroll-Roberts, first-prize winner with her serene and colorful interpretation of a woman taking a "Nap on Laguna Beach," and William S. Jennings, Peter Alexander, Michael Obermeyer, Jove Wang, John Cosby and Mark Kerckhoff.
Jennings, who lives in Sedona, won an honorable mention with his portrayal of a classic beach cottage at poetic Crystal Cove. (Residents were asked to move out of the state-owned property earlier this month.)
"The cove is the last of those little '40s beach communities--a piece of charm that, when it's gone, it's gone," Jennings said at last weekend's benefit.
The Laguna Beach invitational, sponsored by the museum and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn., was a first for artist Charles Muench of San Jose. "I've felt like a kid in a candy store," he said. "Everything is so gorgeous in Laguna."
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