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By Breeana Greenberg

As the visiting tall ships enter the Dana Point Harbor for the Ocean Institute’s 38th annual Maritime Festival next month, 10 Plein Air painters will set up easels to capture the city’s charm throughout the festival weekend.

The Dana Point Art Alliance is partnering with the Dana Point Sister Cities to present the inaugural Plein Air art event at the festival, running from Sept. 9-11.

Artists Rick Blake, Toni Danchick, Rick Delanty, John Eagle, Rich Flynn, Jason Hanck, Steve Kell, David Kizziar and Kevin Shortwil will paint or draw on location, capturing a variety of Maritime Festival attractions.

Ten Plein Air painters will set up easels to capture the various aspects of Dana Point’s charm throughout the Maritime Festival weekend from Sept. 9-11. Photo: Courtesy of Rick Delanty

“We thought, what a great opportunity to have local or Southern California artists that do Plein Air go around documenting this event,” Karin Schnell, a member of the city’s Arts and Culture Commission, said.

Though neighboring Laguna Beach and San Clemente both host annual Plein Air events, this will be Dana Point’s inaugural occurrence presented by the Dana Point Art Alliance.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase all the beautiful spots Dana Point has to offer, I just love watching the process as an artist myself, so I’m excited to see that,” Arts and Culture Commissioner Ashley Keene said.

The Maritime Festival will offer a variety of events, from cannon battles to mermaid swim shows, giving the artists a range of subjects and landscapes to paint.

“I’m sure each artist sees a different area that draws them to it, their different subject matter, they have different preferences,” Keene said. “It’s just a cool opportunity for the community to see the process of their art and to see the finished product.”

The Maritime Festival Plein Air event is a chance for the Dana Point Arts Alliance to “test the waters” for a larger Plein Air event that the organization hopes to launch in spring 2023.

“We’re planning a really big event next spring where it’ll be definitely painting all over Dana Point,” Schnell said.

The Plein Air event will culminate with an exhibition opening and art sale at Gallery Dana Bay, located at 24682 Del Prado Ave, Suite 100, Dana Point, on Sept. 23 from 5-8 p.m.

From Sept. 9-11, “the artists will have the opportunity to paint on location during the Maritime Festival,” Schnell said. “Then they will have some time to touch them up, make them really great and wonderful, and we’re going to have an exhibit and sale of the artwork.”

The exhibition will run through Oct. 9 and concurrently hold a silent auction.

“To me, it’s exciting for the final event, when we do that and show all of their artwork, is the fact that it’s all here in Dana Point,” Arts and Culture Commissioner Nancy Jenkins said. “How many times I can go get an ocean view painting in my house … but it’ll be nice to see just all Dana Point.”

Breeana Greenberg

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at

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