Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui Plein Air Feb. 13 Through 20 in Lahaina

January 20, 2016, 1:20 PM HST
* Updated January 20, 6:07 PM
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Betty Hay Freeland near Montage. Courtesy photo.

Betty Hay Freeland near Montage Kapalua Bay. Courtesy photo.

The Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational is hosting 25 acclaimed professional artists in Lahaina through Feb. 20.

Famous plein air artists from Hawaiʻi and the US Mainland will work outdoors and on location to create works of art in two to four hours—a process open to the public at several Lahaina locations during Presidents’ Week.

These artists compose sketch and apply oils, watercolors or pastels to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces.


“Girl from Guizou” by Mian Situ. Courtesy photo.

“Girl from Guizou” by Mian Situ. Courtesy photo.

“Girl from Guizhou”


New to the event this year is Mian Situ from California. Artistic depth and versatility are his hallmarks. Besides his powerful landscapes that often depict historical events, Situ also excels at capturing the proportions and movement of human anatomy in his figurative and portraiture. Artists and enthusiasts on Maui have a unique opportunity to see this master in action. A native of Guangdong (Canton), China, Situ will interpret Mauiscapes and Maui people going about their daily chores. His deeper-toned impressionistic style creates poignant faces that pull at the heart.


”We are honored to have Mian participate in our invitational,” said Maui Arts League President Lois Reiswig. “Maui art lovers will be thrilled to see his intense and elegantly detailed artworks.”

Situ received his bachelor and baster of fine arts degrees from the Guangzhou Institute of Fine Art. His accolades are too numerous to print. Recent works with western historical themes have won Mian national acclaim, including the coveted “Award for Excellence” for Master Signature members of the Oil Painters of America, for his painting, “Helping Hand.”

John Lasater painting en plein air. Courtesy photo.

John Lasater painting en plein air. Courtesy photo.

An early career with Hallmark Cards honed Lasater’s drawing and design skills for the time when he would strike out as a full-time painter and art instructor with a studio in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. His 2015 honors alone include “Best in Show” in the Sedona Plein Air Festival and 10 other national awards. Both Southwest Art and Plein Air Magazine have featured his artworks.


Lasater co-founded The American Artists’ Association with a mission to promote art to communities currently indifferent to fine art. He and Todd A. Williams created “24 Paintings in 24 Hours,” an event that partners with galleries in art-starved areas to stage a 24-hour plein air marathon, where Lasater creates 24 new plein air paintings in 24 straight hours.

 “All Aboard” by Hiu Lai Chong. Courtesy photo.

“All Aboard” by Hiu Lai Chong. Courtesy photo.

Hiu Lai Chong paints in oil and enjoys using colors and brushstrokes to express mood and feeling of her subjects. Her paintings have won numerous awards and are shown in museums across the country. Hiu Lai returns to Maui from Maryland to best her fabulous 2015 rendition of a Lahaina sugar cane train locomotive, All Aboard, which won “Best in Show.”

She trained at Navarre College in Hong Kong, followed by a bachelor of fine arts degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2012, she was featured in Plein Air Magazine and won the “Collectors’ Choice Award” at the Laguna Plein Air Invitational. She also took first place in Southwest Art Magazine’s 2014 “Artistic Excellence Competition.” Chong is a member of the Oil Painters of America, Portrait Society of America and the Washington Society of Landscape Painters. She is a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists.

A few lucky Maui artists will attend Chong’s sell-out workshop the week before the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational, learning how she captures mood and movement by applying vivid colors with sensitive brush strokes.

Betty Hay Freeland. Courtesy photo.

Betty Hay Freeland. Courtesy photo.

One of the grand dames of Maui art, Native Hawaiian Freeland brings to the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational her presence, grace and deep reverence for her cultural traditions. Her sun-kissed, wind-blown landscapes show an uninhibited familiarity with the ʻāina (land). Her gift is touching the intrinsic properties of nature, giving her important value as she chronicles passing eras in Hawaiʻi.

After Punahou School and the University of Colorado, Freeland continued her art studies in New York City. She returned to Maui in 1961 to raise a family and pursue her art. From her one-person exhibits to her current prestige as a nationally and internationally acclaimed artist, Freeland has been a role model for young Hawaiians and all who wish to pursue careers in fine arts.

Freeland’s imagery has become synonymous with Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiʻi Convention and Visitors Bureau and many Maui businesses seek her paintings to promote the Islands. Her paintings adorn local resort hotels, travel brochures, calendars and product packaging.

Visit for dates, art viewing and purchasing opportunities.

For other requests, email [email protected] or call Una Somerville (808) 214-5294.

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