Saim Caglayan – Chairman, Founder
Saim Caglayan was born in 1949 in Istanbul, Turkey. He received his BA in Sculpture in 1974 from CSULB and taught art in California Community Colleges for 25 years. Saim and his wife resided in Laguna Beach from 1974 to 2002. In 1996, he founded the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. In 2002 he built a house in Kauai and became bi-coastal. His love of plein air painting helped start the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational, Borrego Springs Plein Air Painting Invitational, and Kauai Outdoor Painters Association. His sense of art is one of reflecting the power, beauty, tranquility, and mystery of our planet earth. Learn more at lpapa.org/saim-caglayan/.
Toni Kellenberg – President & Director of Social Media
Toni Kellenberg is a LPAPA Artist member and joined LPAPA's board of directors in 2013, and has served as President since 2014. She has been a LPAPA volunteer since 2007 and has served on the Invitational Planning Committee since 2013. As LPAPA's social media director, Toni works across all social media platforms to connect LPAPA, and its Members, to the global art community. As President, Toni's focus has been to grow membership, raise awareness of LPAPA's mission, and gain support to sustain LPAPA's future. Toni was honored with the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts Art Star Award for Arts Leadership in 2019. She, along with her husband Steve and daughter Katy, live in Laguna Beach, and have a passion for land conservation and collecting plein air art. Toni welcomes feedback, please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celeste Gilles - Vice President
Celeste Gilles has served on LPAPA’s Invitational Planning Committee since 2013, joined the Board in 2014, has served as Director of Community Relations, and in 2021 succeeded Mary Linda Strotkamp as LPAPA's Vice President. Celeste is passionate about art and how it relates to our community, she is a LPAPA Artist Member and a devoted collector, committed to LPAPA's future. She graduated from the University of Southern California, and has been selling luxury real estate along the Orange County Coast for over 20 years. Celeste, along with her husband and two sons, and like those early California painters, loves to enjoy the surf, sun, and outdoor sanctuary that is abundant in Laguna Beach.
Cheryl Kinsman – Treasurer
Cheryl Kinsman, a Certified Public Accountant, is a former Laguna Beach City Council member who believes strongly in service to Laguna Beach. Cheryl is a passionate collector of plein air art. She lives with her husband Michael and two sons, Joshua and Nicholas, in South Laguna.
Harry Bithell – Secretary
Harry Bithell specializes in Laguna Beach homes for sale and the Orange County real estate market. He has been on LPAPA's Board of Directors since 2011, and he and his wife Suzi are passionate plein air art collectors. In addition to serving on LPAPA's board of directors, he volunteers with the Laguna Beach Rotary and helps to present their annual car show.
Debra Huse - Emeritus Board Member
Debra Huse is a Signature Artist Member and founder of the Huse Skelly Gallery in Balboa Island, CA. She has been a LPAPA member since 1998, and originally joined the Board in 2013; she currently serves as an Emeritus Board Member, bringing her LPAPA history and wealth of knowledge to the board to help guide LPAPA into the future. She enjoys working in oils, painting on location, teaching, and participating in many plein air events across the country. Debra Huse has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine, Plein Air Magazine, and Art of the West Magazine. Learn more at DebraHuse.com.
Tom Lamb - Board Member
We are delighted to welcome Tom Lamb as our newest member of LPAPA's Board of Directors as of November 2021. Tom and his wife Vickie have been long-time LPAPA supporters and plein air art collectors. Tom is an aerial, architectural, landscape and ethnographic, panoramic, and interpretive fine art photographer based in Laguna Beach, California. You will find his Fine Art Carpets, based on his aerial landscape photography, on display at the LPAPA Gallery. Learn more at LambStudio.com
Elizabeth Pearson - Emeritus Board Member
Elizabeth Pearson was one of the early members of the Board of Directors of LPAPA, serving on the Board for 18 years. She is now a valued advisor as an Emeritus Board Member. A 12-year Laguna Beach city council member, Elizabeth served three terms as the City’s Mayor. She was also well known as an arts advocate on City Council. Elizabeth has served on the Board of Directors of the Laguna Art Museum and served on the Laguna Beach Live! board for 16 years. She served for 5 years as the President and CEO of Pacific Chorale, the resident choir of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and prior to that was the Development Director of the Laguna Playhouse. Currently, she is a consultant to non-profits and companies/organizations that need help working with governmental agencies.
Jeff Pierce - Board Member
Jeffrey A. Pierce, MBA is Vice President/Investments at Stifel. He began his career in 1980 with San Francisco-based Sutro & Co. His love of art began during this period while visiting the Lower Nob galleries along Sutter Street. In 2013, LPAPA board member Mary Linda Strotkamp introduced Jeff to the organization. Since that time, the Hansen/Pierce Wealth Management Group at Stifel has been a sponsor of the annual LPAPA Plein Air Painting Invitational. Jeff holds a BS from Arizona State University and a MBA from the Paul Merage School at the University of California, Irvine.
Anthony Salvo - Board Member
Anthony Salvo is a LPAPA Signature Artist Member and multi-year Invitational participant. Anthony has been an avid LPAPA supporter and Mentor Artist. He joined the Board in 2021. Anthony has lived in Southern California since the age of 12. That’s when he discovered oil painting. Always drawing and painting as a young child he knew that art would be his vocation. With an impressive art background spanning over many years, Anthony enjoys plein air landscape painting as well as studio painting. He attended Art Center College of Design where he graduated with honors, receiving a BFA in Graphic Design and Packaging.
Jeff Sewell - Director of Education
Jeff Sewell is a LPAPA Signature Artist Member and multi-year Invitational participant. He joined LPAPA's board of directors in 2013 and currently serves as its Director of Education. Jeff was instrumental in developing LPAPA's Plein Air Project, a four-part youth education program designed to integrate with 4th Grade studies of California history. Jeff was recognized for his support of LPAPA and service to the community with LPAPA's 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Learn more at JeffSewellArt.com.
Mary Linda Strotkamp – Board Member
Mary Linda Strotkamp and her husband Jay both grew up in Laguna Beach, where she studied fine art both privately and at Laguna Beach High School. After receiving an art Scholarship from the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, she majored in art at U. C. Berkeley. While raising her four children in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she continued her passion for art as a student, painter, teacher, docent, and collector. After returning to Laguna Beach in 2000, she and her husband became active in the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. She has served on the Board since 2008 and served as Vice President until 2021 when she passed the baton to Celeste Gilles. Mary Linda and Jay Strotkamp were presented with LPAPA's "Lifetime Member" award recognition in October 2015.
Tracie Sullivan - Board Member
Tracie Sullivan, an Orange County native who graduated from USC with a bachelors degree in fine arts and art history, is co-owner of Risk Information Inc., a conference and newsletter company based in Dana Point. Tracie has served on LPAPA’s Invitational Advisory Committee since 2017. Tracie, her husband Brian and their three children have always been passionate about the arts, and Tracie and Brian have long been avid collectors of plein air art, especially local Laguna Beach artists.
Jean Stern - Artistic Advisor
A recognized authority on California Impressionism, Art Historian Jean Stern has extensive experience in the field as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher. He has been the executive director of the Irvine Museum beginning with its inception in January 1993, and now as the Emeritus Director, having established a national presence for The Irvine Museum in the fields of California Art and History through a noteworthy international series of books, exhibitions, lectures, articles, and video documentaries. He has written or contributed to over twenty-five books on California art. He is an artistic advisor to LPAPA's Board of Directors.
Rosemary Swimm - Sr. Executive Advisor
Rosemary Swimm held the role as LPAPA's Executive Director beginning in 2009. Her current role is as LPAPA's Senior Executive Advisor and, with her extensive history and expertise, continues to help us grow LPAPA into the future. A career woman, with over forty years of professional experience that includes, sales, managerial, creative, and accounting skills. She has owned and operated two successful business-to-business companies, organized large-scale events for arts organizations and nonprofit foundations, and has expertise in sales and direct marketing. A hands-on, no-nonsense professional with effective communication skills and broad knowledge of the arts in both the retail and institutional world. Rosemary is the proud recipient of the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts 2014 Art Star Award for Arts Leadership. You can contact Rosemary at email@example.com.
Bonnie Langner - Executive Co-Director
Bonnie joined the LPAPA management team in June 2019 as an Administrative Assistant, and quickly grew into the role of Executive Assistant and as of January 2023 holds the role of Executive Co-Director helping to grow LPAPA into the future with a focus on Administration and Member Relations. Her background is in the fashion business with experience in all kinds of retail from Specialty to Department Store. Her time as a Buyer gave her the chance to be creative and sharpen her business skills. In fashion wholesale she worked with small boutique owners in the Art to Wear business. Bonnie is extremely proud of her 3 grown children, that she raised in Laguna Beach, who are quite creative themselves. Feel free to reach out to Bonnie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the LPAPA Gallery at (949) 376-3635.
Dora James - Executive Co-Director
Dora joined the LPAPA management team in February 2023 as Executive Co-Director helping to grow LPAPA into the future with a focus on Programs and Gallery Relations. Dora brings with her an extensive background and expertise in all aspects of art gallery and museum functions, with a focus on exhibition curating, installation design, and art research. Working in the museum, art gallery, and with collectors, she feels fortunate to have developed her knowledge of historical and contemporary art and artists, and values the interpersonal relationships she has with artists, patrons and collectors. Feel free to reach out to Dora directly at email@example.com, or call the LPAPA Gallery at (949) 376-3635.