Catalina Island News

Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show Showcases Plein Air Artists

Catalina Island Conservancy

We introduced you last week to three of the plein air painters who will be featured at the Catalina Island Conservancy’s Sixth Annual Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show on Oct. 23. This week, we would like to you to meet three more artists: Kathleen Dunphy, John Cosby and Don Demers.

Each will be among the 10 plein air painters, who have spent time on Catalina capturing the Island’s conservation in their works for the show. All are plein air artists, which is a French term that translates as “in the open air.” It means these artists paint nature while they are in nature.

Dunphy is making her first appearance at Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show and said during her visit to the Island’s wildlands that she felt as if she “had stepped back in time as traces of human impact on the land dropped away.”

Although I’ve only been to Catalina twice, this magical Island has cast its spell on me,” she said. “On my first visit, I mainly painted Avalon and its immediate surroundings. But this year, the Conservancy members showed me a whole other facet of the Island. I got a feel for the untamed part of Catalina.”

Dunphy has received numerous honors, including being recognized as one of the Top Ten Emerging Artists by American Artist magazine in 1998, just two years after she began painting fulltime, and important juried shows in California, Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Maine. She received Best of Show from the American Impressionist Society; an Award of Excellence from the Oil Painters of America, and 10 California Art Club Gold Medal Shows.

Dunphy has achieved Signature Status with the Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, Laguna Plein Air Painters and Artists for Conservation. In 2013, she was elected to join the prestigious Plein Air Painters of America as one of the only 35 Signature Members.

Like Dunphy, returning artist John Cosby is a Signature Member of the Plein Air Painters of America. The San Clemente artist is a founding board member of the Laguna Plein Art Painters Association and a Signature Member of the California Arts Club, as well as a founder of the Laguna Beach Painting Invitational held in Laguna Beach each year.

Internationally recognized, Cosby’s works are owned by important collectors worldwide and can be found in numerous private, public and corporate collections, including The Irvine Museum’s Permanent Collection. Cosby has been honored with numerous awards throughout California, including the 2009 Collector’s Choice Award, Laguna Art Museum and First Place in the Plein Air Invitational in Paso Robles.

Don Demers is also a Signature Member of Plein Air Painters of America. He began his career as an illustrator and his work can be found on many book covers, as well as national publications including Readers Digest, Field & Stream and National Geographic.

Demers’s illustrations have been recognized by the Museum of American Illustrations four times. Since expanding into fine art, Demers has also become an elected member of the Guild of Boston Artists. He has won a record 17 awards at Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition in Connecticut, including the Rudolph J. Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award in 2006.

To meet these artists and see their works, please join the Catalina Island Conservancy on Oct. 23 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Balboa. Proceeds from the event are 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.