Catalina Island News

Meet the Final Four Artists Participating in Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show

Catalina Island Conservancy

Over the last two weeks, we have introduced you to six of the 10 plein air artists who will be featured at the Catalina Island Conservancy’s Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show on Oct. 23. This week, please meet four more of the nationally recognized artists who have spent time on the Island creating art for the event: Debra Huse, Kim Lordier, Ron Rencher and Matt Smith.

In a unique use of art for conservation’s sake, the Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show features only works depicting Catalina Island — from Avalon to Two Harbors, with a special focus on the lands stewarded by the Conservancy — the wild side.

Debra Huse, is new to the show this year but has been coming the Island for 30 years. She urged others to “learn about the history of the Island and this incredible resource that luckily is being lovingly preserved from development, destructive animals, humans and invasive bugs and plants where possible to be shared with generations to come.”

“Catalina Island is so diverse and beautiful; it is an honor to paint,” she said. “The history of endemic bugs, butterflies, birds, trees, foxes, plants that are only on Catalina Island has deepened my fascination.”

Huse has a studio in Newport Beach, and she is a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society, Laguna Plein Air Painters and Pastel Society of America. She was a 2015 Featured Artist in Art of the West magazine, ranked as “Three to Watch” in Fine Art Connoisseur and was featured in Plein Air Magazine. The plein air impressionist has received numerous awards, including the LAGUNA Plein Air, Sonoma Plein Air and Maui Plein Air in 2015.

Returning to the show this year, San Francisco native Kim Lordier has received recognition for her landscapes at major plein air events, international magazine competitions, national pastel society shows and museum exhibitions. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Fine Arts Connoisseur Award of Excellence at the California Art Club’s 103rd Annual Gold Medal Exhibition. Lordier is a Signature Member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters and the Pastel Society of America, as well as a Distinguished Pastelist in the Pastel Society of the West Coast and Artist Member of the California Art Club.

Ron Rencher, spent his post-collegiate years tending to his family’s Utah ranch before focusing on his art. The artist worked in watercolors in and around Zion National Park with excursions to the Grand Canyon and the Indian Country of Northeastern Arizona. He works primarily in oils now, which he believes are more conducive to plein air. Rencher teaches workshops throughout the country.

Artist Matt Smith has spent most of his life in Arizona, where he has a deep attachment to the Sonoran desert and lives with his wife Tracy, also a painter. Smith, a Signature Member of the Plein Air Painters of America, can often be found painting plein air in areas as diverse as southern Arizona to the Canadian Rockies, the California coast to the Colorado Rockies. The artist studied traditional landscape artists during his academic career at Arizona State University and has painted in Europe.

To see and purchase the works of these artists, please join the Catalina Island Conservancy on Oct. 23 at Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show at Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Balboa. Proceeds from the event are used used to support the Conservancy’s conservation, education and recreation programs.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 562-437-8555 ext. 1239.