Art historian, Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational judge to present free lecture on art appreciation

Judging the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational since its inception in 2006, author and art historian Jean Stern has witnessed the annual event’s progression of artistic talent firsthand.

As the Associate Director of UC-Irvine’s Museum Collection and Institute of California Art, Stern has earned a reputation as a celebrated authority on California Impressionism. And he’s equally impressed with the quality of work submitted by Maui artists in this year’s MPAPI, acknowledging that it’s “some of the highest caliber genre art in the U.S.”

“Whoever wins the Best in Show will have stiff competition,” he was quoted as saying in a press release. “And my task to pick the winner will be all the harder.”

As he does each year around this time, Stern will present a free college-level art appreciation lecture from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Pioneer Inn at Lahaina Harbor.

The presentation, titled “Painting Everyday Life: The History of Genre Development,” will coincide with a silent auction from 6 to 7 p.m. of mini-paintings created by Maui plein air artists.

The silent auction and Stern’s art appreciation lecture are part of the weeklong MPAPI during which 24 award-winning en plein air landscape artists paint more than 200 original oil, pastel and watercolor scenes depicting Maui’s stunning beauty.

The public is invited to watch at the following paint-out events: Lahaina Harbor/Pioneer Inn on Feb. 16; Montage Kapalua Bay on Feb. 20 and Ka’anapali Beach/Royal Lahaina Resort on Feb. 22. During the paint-outs, artists complete their pieces in under four hours and exhibit the artwork for sale immediately.

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