In 2013, LPAPA, the Laguna Plein Air Painter's Association began offering a multi-faceted Plein Air Art Program to local grade schools. The purpose of this program: not only to introduce plein air painting to kids but also to teach the importance of providing children with an art education. You can learn more about this program called, "The Plein Air Project" in this wonderful film.
I have become involved in being an artist mentor for the past few years, and it has been a very rewarding experience on so many levels. During the Laguna Plein Air Invitational, a group of artist mentors instruct local school children in creating their first plein air painting.
About 50 kids gather at Heisler Park in Laguna Beach, where they are separated into small groups.
Each artist guides them to small groupings of easels set up on the cliffs of the breathtaking views above the ocean. With our own easels set up, we start the lesson with a quick demonstration, while talking and encouraging students every step of the way.
The end result is a large group of very proud and happy kids, who not only get to take home their very first plein air painting, but also a goody bag filled with brushes, paints and their very own easel.
The true gift is the feeling that we, as artists and educators, are offering a gift to the next generation of emerging artists. The gift of knowledge, of experience, and confidence to allow their own creative spirits to shine.