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Lahaina painter inspired to bring plein air event to Maui

By Staff | Dec 1, 2011

Ronaldo Macedo of Lahaina paints on location at the 13th annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational.

LAHAINA – Lahaina artist Ronaldo Macedo recently made an impressive showing at the 13th annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational, claiming his first-ever award at this prestigious national event.

Macedo won the Quick Draw award, given by Southwest Art Magazine. The painting was titled “Best Day Ever.”

Macedo was one of three Hawaii artists in this national event, and the only one representing Maui.

This is the eighth year Macedo has been invited to the Laguna Invitational, a nationally recognized event that

inspired Maui’s own plein air invitational.

In 2001, California painter John Cosby and Lahaina painter Macedo brainstormed the idea of holding a plein air event on Maui similar in format to the Laguna Beach Invitational.

The event would be the first of its kind in Hawaii and would unite many of the islands’ and Mainland’s most accomplished plein painters into one event.

The public would be able to watch 25 artists working on location and then experience the unveiling of 100 paintings created during the week, which they could also purchase.

Macedo and Kauai painter Saim Caglayan founded Islanders-Hawaii Plein Air Painters, which served as the main coordinating arm for the event.

In 2004, after considerable planning, they implemented a test run with a few Maui artists. The feedback was tremendous.

Two years later, Lahaina’s own Theo Morrison contributed her own enthusiasm and business acumen, along with a key group of dedicated volunteers, and the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational was well on its way to becoming an island tradition, offering a one-of-a-kind art experience for visitors and residents alike.

Today, visitors as far way as Michigan and Canada, as well as local art enthusiasts statewide, have made this event an annual tradition.

For Lahaina resident Barbara Gustafson, who has attended the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational since it began, it’s an event not to be missed.

“Each year during event week, my daughters come from the Mainland to celebrate my birthday, and we always attend the Maui Plein Air festivities,” said


“These accomplished artists are stimulating and interesting, the atmosphere is filled with creative energy, and when the event culminates with 100 paintings unveiled, it simply takes your breath away. I’ve

purchased a painting every year,” she said.

On Feb. 18-25, 2012, the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational will celebrate its seventh year. A total of 25 Hawaii and U.S. Mainland plein air painters will be participating in the various activities, and hundreds

of residents and visitors are expected to attend and enjoy watching these artists painting on location.

“The Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational adds a surge of vitality to Lahaina’s vibrant art scene,” said Morrison, executive director of Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

“These paintings by world-class artists intrigue, delight and amaze us while recording images of

Lahaina’s history of 2012.”

“It’s extremely gratifying to see how far this event has come and its impact on our art community,” said Macedo.

“Painting on location is one of the purest forms of recording the culture and landscape of a particular place.

Our hope is that this event will continue to bring attention to our island’s breathtaking natural beauty and will inspire a new generation of plein air artists in Hawaii.”

For more information on the 2012 invitational, call Rhonda Pang at (808) 298-9119 or visit www.MauiPleinAirPainting.com.