Contact:  Sharbie Higuchi

Director of Marketing & Public Relations


For Immediate Release:


Vinita Voogd and Susan Cox Garner Awards from the

National League of American Pen Women

November 5, 2008 - Laguna Beach, California – The National League of American Pen Women - Laguna Beach Chapter is proud to honor Vinita Voogd, Mission Viejo resident and eight-year Festival of Arts exhibitor, and Susan Cox, Laguna Beach resident and eleven-year Festival of Arts exhibitor, for significant contributions in the arts.

“I was thrilled to receive a Certificate of Achievement in Printmaking from the Laguna Beach Branch of the National League of American Pen Women,” Voogd says. “At first, I couldn’t believe it. But, the greatness of the honor really sank in when I attended a High Tea hosted by the Laguna Beach Branch, to celebrate my contributions through printmaking!”

Formed in 1897, The Leagues’ roster includes such stellar names as Eleanor Roosevelt, Pearl S. Buck, Mary Pickford and Georgia O’Keefe. Supporting excellence in writing, music and the arts, The League awarded a one-year complimentary membership to Voogd and Cox.

“Although I never imagined such an honor would come my way,” Voogd continues, “art was part of my life from an early age. My maternal grandfather was an engineer and loved to draw. I used to sit on his lap for hours, just drawing. This gave me the skills to compete in rigorous On The Spot theme painting competitions for kids in New Delhi. I won an award every year, from the age of six through high school.”

Even though Voogd who once served as President of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society uses western themes, she is still surprised to discover colors from her childhood in her works. Often, she completes an art piece, only to exclaim, “Oh! That reminds me of the colors in my mother’s sari.” Today, Voogd’s works grace both corporate and private collections, and she credits The Festival of Arts with supporting her success. “The League found me at The Festival,” she concludes. “I am humbled and honored and very grateful to The Festival for promoting fine art in Laguna Beach!” 

Not to be outdone, renowned oil painter Susan Cox received a Certificate of Achievement in Painting from the National League of American Pen Women-Laguna Beach Branch. An admirer of Ken Auster’s unique style, Cox loves oils because of the luscious feel of the paints. “The League gave me an award for my body of work, not for a specific art piece,” she says. “It was a rare privilege and one I will cherish forever.”

Shy as a child, Cox began to draw because of the positive attention she gained from her peers. Drawing led to a fascination with the arts that eventually blossomed into a passion for oil painting.

“Developing artistic skill requires a delicate balance,” Cox continues. “Oil on canvas appealed to me because of the challenging nature of the medium. It’s addicting! Although my artistic talents were put on hold for many years due to parental responsibilities, my love of the medium is deep and meaningful.”

During a stint of plein aire painting in the Napa Valley, Cox was drawn to the atmosphere of local French bistro restaurants. Attracted by the lighting, motion, interaction with people and long white aprons, she replaced her ambitions to paint landscapes with the charm, color and form of restaurant interiors.

“I started painting during my parenting years in England, but didn’t pursue it until we moved back to America,” she says. “Oil painting is a tough medium to learn, but it has endless possibilities and will keep me busy for the rest of my days.” 

Always alert to discover women who have demonstrated creative talents in art, letters, and music composition, The League regularly evaluates artists at The Festival of Arts. “Our representatives went to The Festival and reviewed the artists,” says Bernice Schachter, President of the Laguna Beach Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. “Their work was diversified and contemporary, and was judged by the high caliber of the final product. With a Master of Arts and experience on the Arts Council of Laguna Beach Museum, I uphold the high standards of The League during judging.”

Susan Cox and Vinita Voogd’s artwork will be on exhibit (and for sale to the public) at the Festival of Arts - California's Premier Fine Art Show, in Laguna Beach, from July 5 through August 31, 2009. The Festival of Arts, a prestigious juried art exhibition, is Southern California’s oldest and most respected outdoor art show. Each summer the works of over 145 accomplished artists are showcased to the public in a six-acre art haven. For more information, call 949-494-1145.

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Editor’s Note: Digital images available upon request.

Cut line for photos: 1. Vinita Voogd demonstrates her printmaking techniques for visitors at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach.


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