Our Juries
Maestro Luca Battini
Maestro Luca Battini is one of the few artists reinvented renaissance techniques in a contemporary style. He has been trained in all of the major classical techniques (fresco, drawing, oil painting and egg tempera) at the school found by great Maestro Pietro Annigoni. With over 15 years as a professional painter, his talent goes beyond simply reproducing traditional art, to use time-honored methods as the basis for a new mode of realistic expression.

While the models belong to the present day, in the context of his creations they become simultaneously a part of the past and the present. This dual spirit molds his pieces; imbuing each of them with the artistic heritage of Italy while giving fresh inspiration for powerful expression in brilliantly realized objects of art.
Of his passion for art, he states: "I love to think of my painting as something deeply attached to my Tuscan land and its traditions, through a process that brings humankind to its deepest roots, preserving and handing down this ancient knowledge, telling the beauty in our time, everywhere in the world through the ancient techniques; this is the object of my artistic production. "
A nationally recognized authority on California Impressionism, Mr. Stern has extensive experience as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher. He is the Director of the Irvine Museum Collection at the University of California, Irvine, Institute and Museum for California Art. In over twenty-five years at The Irvine Museum, he established a national presence through a noteworthy series of books, exhibitions, lectures, articles and video documentaries. In his career, he has presented over 250 lectures and judged and juried nearly 100 art competitions.

Mr. Stern has presented tours and lectures on California Art in numerous museum including the International Cultural Center, Krakow, Poland; Mona Bismarck Foundation in Paris, France; National Academy Museum in New York; Terra Museum in Chicago; Los Angeles County Art Museum; San Diego Museum of Art; Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Gibbes Museum in Charleston; Brigham Young University Museum; Autry National Western Heritage Center; The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and many others. He was a consultant to and appears in IMPRESSIONS OF CALIFORNIA, a PBS documentary video series on art in California, and on PLEIN AIR: PAINTING THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE, (PBS 2007).
In 2017, Mr. Stern received the prestigious CHEVALIER OF THE ORDER OF ARTS AND LETTERS by the French Ministry of Culture. He has also been presented with three LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: by the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association in 2013; by the Plein Air Painters of America in 2014; and by PLEIN AIR MAGAZINE in 2014.