Tickets for Roxanna Ward’s “tour de force” at No Square Theatre are on sale now 

No Square Theatre is presenting Roxanna Ward, a continuation of Roxanna’s “tour de force” performed early last year with special guests Lisa Koch and Vickie Shaw. The performances will take place on Fri, Jan 26, and Sat, Jan 27, at 7:30 p.m. The final show will be on Sun, Jan 28 at 6:30 p.m. 

Roxanna is one of Laguna’s best-loved divas, working the kinks out of life with piano, vocal styling, and her signature sense of humor. A cabaret-comic extraordinaire, her blend of piano bar and comedy caused one reviewer to observe, “It’s as if Bette Midler and Steve Allen had a love child.” 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Irene Young

Laugh with Roxanna Ward

Lisa Koch is an irreverent Seattle singer/comedian, Koch (“Coke”) is a deliciously twisted mix of comedy, theater, and demented songs. She has four solo recordings, is one-half of hilarious sketch-comedy duo, Dos Fallopia (“My Breasts Are Out of Control”), and is an alumnus of cult quartet Venus Envy (“I’ll Be A Homo for Xmas”).

She has shared the stage with a diverse group of artists, including Steve Martin, Dave Brubeck, Janis Ian, The Indigo Girls, Holly Near, and Kate Clinton. 

Koch is proud to report that one of her songs has actually been sampled by Jay-Z. “Hearing Seattle’s Lisa Koch is one of life’s wickedest pleasures, her brand of absurd confessional comedy is clearly resonating with millions of fans,” says Curve Magazine. 

Vickie Shaw’s beautiful Southern Style belies her sharp-edged wit and hilarity. She says things no one else can say because she says them so nicely. Audiences love her humor, not just because she’s funny but because it’s all true. 

With her stories about her wife Sgt. Patch, tales about her kids and grandchildren, and life in Texas with its ups and downs, Vickie has been featured on various television shows, Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen, WE TV, Wisecracks Specials on LOGO as well as two other comedy specials on LOGO-”You Can’t Take the Girl Out of Texas” and “Vickie Shaw Live - Sick and Wrong Tour.”

She has started in the Award Winning Movie, “Laughing Matters More.” She also just released her third DVD, “I’m Not Your Role Model.”

General admission is $25, and VIP seats are  $35 on the floor. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.nosquare.tix.com.


LAM presents Reilly Rhodes talking about his book on Winslow Homer, followed by book-signing

The Laguna Art Museum will present Reilly Rhodes discussing his book Winslow Homer from Poetry to Fiction—the Engraved Works followed by a book signing. The event will take place on Thurs, Jan 25 at 6 p.m. Admission is free and advance tickets are recommended.

The art of Winslow Homer, who arguably is the most renowned and best-loved artist of the period, is exquisitely illustrated with didactic interpretation and accompanied by never before published or exhibited period photographs. 

The artist skillfully captured a cross section of American society in his highly accomplished monochromatic engravings during the pre-war years, the Civil War and the following decade that tell a story of triumph and tragedy in American history.

For more information or to reserve a seat, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Twice monthly LOCA art workshops make positive changes in students at Wayfinders Youth Shelter

Much to the appreciation of attending students at the Wayfinders Youth Shelter, LOCA conducts art workshops twice monthly at the shelter in Laguna Beach. The shelter offers services to runaway, homeless and at-risk youth. Residents follow rules, have chores, meals, study periods, supervised outings, visitations, curfews and intensive counseling for personal growth.

The teens typically stay two to four weeks as they make positive changes in their lives. LOCA’s art workshops are a highly valued part of shelter programming. 

LOCA Arts Education is a nonprofit coalition of art educators, professional artists, and advocates interested in art education for people of all ages. They have been serving the community for over 20 years. 

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Mosaic at Wayfinders Youth Shelter

Among the instructors is painter Elizabeth McGhee, who teaches workshops monthly. “A favorite project is Treasure Boxes, which are old cigar boxes decorated with acrylic paint,” she said. “I was surprised to find some students wanted to leave the outside plain. They told me they only want to work on the inside - the part which is private, and this makes sense to me in this setting,” McGhee continued. “They painted the inside black and added meaningful color splatters,” she said.

“I remember when I was young, that most academic classes focused on general learning, but art classes were so personal to me. That I could create something really individual left me with a great sense of pride. That’s what I hope to inspire here,” McGhee said.

LOCA notes its appreciation of the financial support provided by the City of Laguna Beach Community Assistance Grants, the Laguna Beach Board of Realtors, and Ebell Club for its programs at Wayfinders Youth Shelter.

For more information on Wayfinders Youth Shelter, go to www.wearewayfinders.org.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Hundreds of Pageant hopefuls look to 

find their day in the sun – or actually “Under the Sun”

By SUZIE HARRISON

Over the weekend, hundreds of people went to the Pageant of the Masters casting call, hoping to get a part in this summer’s show, “Under the Sun.” People of all ages, shapes, and sizes showed up to be one of the 500 volunteers needed each summer. The only requirement is the ability to stand still for 90 seconds.

Cast hopefuls went to the different stations to get their pictures and measurements taken, to see if they would measure up, not in the metaphorical sense, but in the actual sense of being the right measurements to be placed in one of the Pageant’s world-famous “living pictures,” a one-of-a-kind production where art comes to life. 

Ava Abeyta, 13, was being measured by third year volunteer Reesha Meacham when I spoke with her about her Pageant aspirations. Abeyta had a perpetual smile on her face, excited about being in the Pageant and going through casting call.

Abeyta has been “in a horse race” and also “with a queen”

“I have been doing this for eight years but I have only been cast in four,” said Abeyta. “There was one that I was in a couple of years ago and I was like in a horse race or something like that. I was also in a piece with a queen and two apprentices and that was cool. And I was a little girl in a family scene when I was five or six years old. So it has been really cool.”

When I asked why she wanted to be part of the Pageant she lit up even more.

“It brings history. It fills me with joy when I see it. When I see all the paintings come alive in a couple hours it’s really cool,” Abeyta said. “I get to spend time with my family too.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Suzie Harrison

Ava Abeyta, 13, hopes to be in this year’s Pageant

She said she knows a lot of people who come back every year to be part of the renowned show, now in its 85th year. 

As for the process during casting she explained, “They do all your measurements. They take your photo. And they know your age, so then when you get to the painting that they select you in, they know right off the bat exactly where you’re going to be, and what you’re going to do.”

Bryan Chapman was busy measuring Pageant hopefuls along with his wife Reesha, who just finished with Ava. 

Now in his third year in the Pageant, Chapman decided that he wanted to be a part of it when his wife saw the Pageant a few years back and was inspired to volunteer, wanting to be a part of the magic she saw on stage.

“We decided that we would just come and try out at the same time, and I ended up getting in a piece my first year, and she was put in wardrobe and we’ve been doing it ever since,” Chapman said.

He was Captain Clark in the Lewis and Clark piece his first year and he also played Bartholomew in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, the iconic closing piece in the Pageant. 

Being promoted to Jesus “felt pretty crazy”

“And last year, I was promoted to Jesus in the Last Supper,” said Chapman.

He said it felt pretty crazy to become the new Jesus. “I got to know the guy who retired, who played Jesus the year before, my first year,” Chapman said. “It was interesting seeing the dynamic, how everyone reacted to him and just how everything worked. And then to be put in that position it felt there were big shoes to fill.”

Walking around the casting areas it’s fun to see families together, friends and neighbors, just all the camaraderie.

Holly Hooper, 8, was there with her neighbors Ferne Ames, 12, and Ames’ mother, Sylvia Ames.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Suzie Harrison

Sylvia Ames, neighbor Holly Hooper, and her daughter Ferne Ames enjoying the casting process

Hooper was new to the pageant scene. It was her first time tying out and she seemed pretty happy. I asked her if the experience has been kind of fun and exciting.

She gave me a definitive, “Yes.” She hasn’t seen the Pageant either but her sister and neighbor Ferne Ames have been in the Pageant.

“I have been in the Pageant once,” said Ferne, “When I was four years old. I don’t know what it was called.”

Her mother, Sylvia Ames, said her daughter was in it in 2010.

“I haven’t tried to be in the Pageant because we moved away. And we’ve just moved back to Laguna,” Ferne and Sylvia explained together.

Excitement and fun are main reasons to participate

“It feels exciting. A lot of my friends do it and it’s just fun, getting to be in it,” Ferne said. 

Her mom said, “I’ve only been a substitute in the Pageant, but my two older kids have been in it for many years. So we’re excited to be back.”

I asked why she wanted to get her family involved in the Pageant.

“Just to give back to the community. It’s fun to live in Laguna and participate in this wonderful event that’s so unique,” Sylvia said. “My older kids love looking back and saying they were a part of it.”

Dr. Tom Lochner was vying for his 14th year in the Pageant. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Suzie Harrison

Volunteers John Brant, Fran Brant and Julie Kirchen measure Dr. Tom Lochner

“I like being in it because of the people. There are so many nice people involved. There’s a really nice sense of community,” Lochner said. “I am not a churchgoer, that’s not for me, so this is another way to get that sense of community. You make friends and you see them year after year.”

Fran Brant, a 17-year volunteer in makeup, chimed in, “Everybody is here because they want to be. It’s a volunteer thing. So if you’re going to be miserable you don’t come here. Everyone is happy. It’s like a reunion every year, and every year we meet new people to add to our list of good friends. It’s wonderful. It really is.”

“It’s like summer camp for adults. You don’t see people all year long, but you come back in the summer and see them again,” said her husband John Brant, 14-year volunteer.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Suzie Harrison

Rachael Dyrnaes being measured by volunteer Deanne Zinn at her first casting

In the headdress area, I found Rachael Dyrnaes, 12, and her father supporting her as she got measured. 

“I haven’t been in the Pageant before, but the [casting] process is quick and cool,” Dyrnaes said. “I wanted to come, and I wanted to try it because a lot of people have seen it, and I wanted to see how it is and what it’s like being on stage.”

Until next time…so much Pageant hope and excitement, so little time!


Laguna Art-A-Fair seeks artists for 2018 Fine Art Festival with home design feature, Jury Day, Feb 11

In 2018, Laguna Art-A-Fair marks its 52nd year in scenic Laguna Beach Canyon.  The juried fine art exhibit provides opportunities for 120 established and emerging artists to present their works to thousands of art lovers each summer. 

Jury Day for the 2018 festival is Sunday, Feb 11, at Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club (1085 Laguna Canyon Rd), when applications and submissions can be hand delivered between 8 and 11 a.m. Digital submissions must be posted by Fri, Jan 26. 

Laguna Art-A-Fair is a nationally recognized fine art exhibition featuring original works across all mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, pencil, drawing, mixed media, photography, ceramics, wood, glass, jewelry, gourds, leather, sculpture and digital art. 

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

A night at Art-A-Fair

Run as an artist cooperative, Art-A-Fair participants produce the annual exhibition in various volunteer positions with a goal to enhance art appreciation by presenting a broad spectrum of visual arts at the annual Art-A-Fair, and through ongoing outreach programs. 

This year’s Laguna Art-A-Fair, known as the Gem in the Canyon, will present a new feature connecting fine art with luxury home design. Festival promoters Gina Waggener and Jo Beth Prudhomme partnered with interior design expert Nancy Vengoechea of Vengo Design International to showcase an expansive new luxury home display area and home design-related workshops to help festival goers envision fine art in their own homes. 

UC Luxury Real Estate (uclux.com), a division of Union Choice Enterprise, will offer advice on how redesign increases home values and options for utilizing home equity for improvements.

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

2017 Art-A-Fair in full bloom

As there are no residency restrictions, all fine artists are welcome to participate in Laguna Art-A-Fair. Prospective artists must submit three original works of art within the same medium. A registration fee of $40 per medium is required, and separate booth fees are determined upon selection. Submitted work must be picked up between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 11, and artists will be notified of their selection that day.

Laguna Art-A-Fair Preview Night is June 27, and the festival is open to the public from June 29 through Sept 2. Festival grounds are shared with the award-winning restaurant Tivoli Too! located at 777 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Applications and other details are available at www.art-a-fair.com/call-for-artists-2.

For more information, call (949) 494-4514 or visit www.art-a-fair.com.


JoAnne Artman presents Saddle Up II featuring Billy Schenck: “Sometimes comical, sometimes profound” 

JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Billy Schenck, capturing the persevering nature of the myths and dreams of the Old West for their Winter/Spring series. Galloping horses, blood orange sunsets, dusty cowboys - you can almost feel the rising heat from the sun-warmed earth. Billy Schenck has a definitive flair for highlighting the drama and evoking the action of classic Westerns along with their corresponding mythology. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

“He’s Kidding Right?” by Billy Schenck

Schenck’s work is not only cinematic in scope; it is also grounded in technique and style. His iconic, reductive approach is reminiscent of the color planes used in early computer graphics, establishing a visual dialogue between the straightforward subject matter and the more nuanced space of the rendering. The textual element of the comic book-inspired word bubbles is of equal importance to the meaning of each piece, often serving to either undermine or establish the guiding ambitions of the characters’ psyche.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

“Scorpion III” by Billy Schenck

In subject, Schenck goes for the iconic imagery of the Wild, Wild West - cowboys and Indians, sunsets and gunfire. Many of the scenes are a cheeky look at both the history of the American Frontier, as well as the established perceptions through the lens of contemporary popular culture, with a heavy dose of exaggerated passion and romance. The scenes pictured are at times comical, and at others, profound. Schenck plays up the ambiguity between his villains and heroes, underscoring the duality of human nature, a central theme in his work. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

“#12” by Billy Schenck 

Billy Schenck works and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Schenck’s artwork is in over 48 museum collections, including Smithsonian Institution, Denver Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Albuquerque Fine Arts Museum, and the New Mexico Museum of Art.

For more information on this series, visit www.joanneartmangallery.com.


Exhibition blurs boundaries of Realism & Impressionism: until 1/15 at Vanessa Rothe Fine Art

“Realism without Borders,” an exciting fine art exhibition, blurs boundaries combining Realism and Impressionism, both historical and contemporary, in a bold bi-coastal traveling exhibition that is the talk of the art world. 

The exhibition will run until Jan 15 at Vanessa Rothe Fine Art, located at 418 Ocean Ave.

What started out as a group of artists and art historians who shared a strong common vision for art, has now become a successful International traveling exhibition of museum quality fine art works - Realism Without Borders – the gallery notes.

Exhibiting, side by side, Soviet and historical works along with contemporary works by Russian, Ukrainian, American, French, Swedish, Italian, Chinese and English artists, Realism Without Borders aims to connect two centuries and two continents via the commitment to realist painting traditions. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

Pensive in Blue by Vadim Suvorov 

From Lomakin to Gladchenko, Suvorov to Kovalenko, Westerberg to Lipking, Rothe to Krimon, this exhibition will unite historical works with contemporary International artists who have studied the same rooted fine art techniques and are working in similar styles today. 

This unique exhibition will allow collectors a rare chance to view and compare works from America, Europe and Russia, and to purchase items for their own fine art collection. Works will range from small affordable gems that make excellent gifts, to large scale museum-quality works of fine art. 

Curated by Vanessa Françoise Rothe, Realism Without Borders brings high quality fine art work to Orange County.  RWB is flourishing with many successful national exhibitions and over 30 Invited core contemporary artist members. 

This diverse and talented group of painters from around the globe have had impressive traditional training from such schools as the renowned St. Petersberg Academy of Arts, ( Repin Institute), Penza Art Institute, The Kharkov Art Institute, The Florence Academy of Art, Laguna College of Art and Design, University of Laval, The Academy of Art in San Francisco just to name a few. The artists have shown in top exhibitions worldwide from St. Petersberg, to Paris, to Los Angeles, and have impressive exhibition resumés as well as strong bodies of work. 

The collection ranges from classical academy works to painterly Impressionist pieces where many works boasts a combination of the two in the same canvas.  

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

NYC by Jeremy Mann 

The international group of classically trained representational artists believes in the successful combination of objective traditional realism combined with expressive and personal subjects, and the work often boasts a broad range of tight to painterly styles and strokes. The new works being created follow the strong realist techniques of Russia’s Levitan landscapes, as well as others that mimic the loose and layered visual brushwork of California Impressionist Edgar Payne. 

Artists from all over the globe can now share their images of work thru social media and are influencing one another across borders. This exhibition celebrates those blurring of boundries of borders, in both the literal sense and the works. 

“We share an admiration of both ‘Realist’ and ‘Impressionist’ art, and many of our artists in fact combine these styles in order to make strong appealing works of art.” says Rothe. “The viewers will see similar works and styles being created from opposite ends of the globe, finding unity in the works, and likeness in the art that is being created.”

The collection of about 100 works at any given time, is always changing as works are being sold and new works created. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

Lipstick by Aaron Westerberg 

Realism Without Borders also believes firmly that art is for the people. Their aim is to have a traveling exhibition in order to touch a wide and diverse audience and bring the work to the eyes of collectors and students alike. RWB realized that they did not want to reduce themselves to just one geographical area or gallery. 

Rothe notes “Since we wanted to reach a vast array of people, RWB is really a travelling exhibition that is able to exhibit at galleries, fine art clubs, art schools, and museums worldwide.” 

The current RWB collection will exhibit over 60 works by 30 top International artists featuring RWB newest French artist member Nicolas Martin. Participating artists include: Nick Alm, Grigory Ananiev, Mia Bergeron, John Burton, Michelle Dunaway, Michael Klein, Alexander Kremer, Olga Krimon, Sergey Kovalanko, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, Joshua La Rock, Jeremy Mann, Nicolas Martin, Dimitri Motov, C.W Mundy, Robert Pilsbury, Ray Roberts, Vanessa Rothe, Valery Schmatko, Vadim Suvorov, Aaron Westerberg, and Daniil Volkov. 

Historical Artists Include: Oleg Lomakin, Eric Borodin, Boris Gladchenko, Boris Gratchev, Edgar Payne, Yuri Podlaski, Erik Rebane and Vladimir Telegin. 

The exhibition will include a collection of rare small gems from the Thomas Marano collection available for resale with works by: Juliette Aristides, Casey Baugh, Daniel Graves, Jeremy Lipking, Jeremy Mann, Ted Minoff, Julio Reyes, Aaron Westerberg, and Vincent Xeus.


Dawson Cole Fine Art’s holiday special event and toy-drive benefits the Boys & Girls Club in a big way

During the past month, Dawson Cole Fine Art shared their philanthropic spirit and holiday cheer by hosting a special event benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. 

On Dec 7, Rich and Ariane MacDonald from Dawson Cole Fine Art welcomed guests at their gallery to join a festive evening with small bites and delicious desserts from Broadway Restaurant, followed by a special performance from dancers at the Festival Ballet Theatre who performed vignettes from the Nutcracker and offered a photo opportunity with guests.

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

(l-r) Rich MacDonald of Dawson Cole, Andrea Randle, BGCLB Philanthropy Director, Danielle Brown, BGCLB Member

The gallery offered an amazing opportunity drawing where guest could win a one-night stay at the Ritz Carlton of Laguna Niguel, a gift bag by Dr. Obagi, and tickets to see the Nutcracker at the Irvine Barclay Theater, among other gifts. Sales from the opportunity draw benefited the programs offered to kids attending the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. 

Prior to the event, Dawson Cole Fine Art asked attending guests to help support the Club by providing an unwrapped toy or new article of clothing for a boy or girl to help families who needed a helping hand this past Christmas. The Club was amazed at how many toys were donated to them at the special event. 

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Festival Ballet Theatre dancers

“We are very grateful for the all the support and tremendous commitment Dawson Cole Fine Art has provided to our Club during the month of December and beyond,” said CEO Pam Estes of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. 

She added, “The wonderful toys that were donated from our heart-warming Laguna Beach locals and surrounding areas bought so much joy to children of families who were in need of help during this holiday. We’d like to especially thank Rich and Ariane Macdonald for putting on this joyous event and making a positive impact on our youth who are our future.” 

Established in 1993, Dawson Cole Fine Art specializes in Contemporary and Modern sculpture, drawings, prints, and unique works on paper by American and European Masters. With a special concentration in Contemporary, Early Modern and West Coast Regionalism, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Jian Wang, Tom Betts and Jim Lamb. 

Dawson Cole Fine Art is located at 326 Glenneyre. 

For more information, visit online www.dawsoncolefineart.com

For further information on the Boys & Girls Club, go to www.bgclagunabeach.org


Mark Towns’ Latin Jazz sounds kick off Laguna Beach Live! Winter Series at [seven-degrees]

Laguna Beach Live! kicks off its popular Jazz Wednesdays Winter series at [seven-degrees] on January 17 with the Latin Jazz sounds of Mark Towns. The straight ahead jazz concerts continue every two weeks through April 11.

Submitted photo

Mark Towns

January 11 welcomes a terrific young cellist Nicholas Mariscal at the Laguna Art Museum. This series on the second Thursday of every month showcases classical music and is free with museum membership or with museum admission. 

New program is designed to increase music appreciation

The group’s newest program, Live! Music Insights, is designed to increase music appreciation through dialogue and demonstration.  The next event will be on January 8 in a private home in Laguna featuring Philharmonic Society of Orange County President and Artistic Director John Mangum and Pacific Chorale soprano Chelsea Chaves presenting “The Song Goes On: from Art Song to Broadway and Beyond.”

For more information, to make reservations, or to buy tickets, please visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call 949-715-9713.


Three fascinating plays are coming up during the first quarter of 2018 at the Laguna Playhouse 

The Laguna Playhouse is offering a variety of fascinating plays to start the year off just right. These shows are classics, something you don’t want to miss. 

Charlotte von Mahlsdorf in real life

The play I Am My Own Wife premieres Jan 10-28. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, I Am My Own Wife tells the true and fascinating story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf who survived the Nazi regime by keeping a secret. This provocative and bold production is highly engaging for ages 16 and up.

Secondly, Melanie Griffith will star in The Graduate, which will run from Feb 21- March 18. The coming-of-age classic boldly celebrates a May-Dec romance in 1960’s California in which the future can be summed up in one word: Plastics.

Hershey Felder as Tchaikovsky in last year’s production at the Playhouse

And Hershey Felder’s Beethoven will take place from March 16-27. The brilliant Hershey Felder brings Ludwig van Beethoven to life through the eyes of a Viennese doctor who, as a boy, spent Beethoven’s last years by the Maestro’s side. This intense, illuminating, and unforgettable journey through time will immerse you in the astounding life of the Maestro and his genius that transcended it all.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


Gallery Q celebrates art as LOVE and calls for entries for Love Letters exhibit by Jan 11 

There’s still time to enter artwork into Gallery Q’s first exhibition of the 2018 season – Love Letters.

Artists are invited to express their deep affection or experience of love in its many facets. As inspiration, think about your work as a love letter to your subject matter. It can be a sunrise, the outdoors, a significant other, a pet, favorite author, an inspirational leader, a cherished heirloom or simply your morning coffee. Artist statements about why their work is a love letter are also encouraged.

Submitted photo

“My love is like a [pink, pink] rose” – with apologies to Robert Burns

 Gallery Q will be accepting artwork on Thurs, Jan 11 from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. and also from 5 – 7 p.m. All media is welcome and accepted — paintings, mixed media, photographs, jewelry, sculptures, textiles or ceramics. There is an entry fee of $25 per piece and a special discount for those 65+ who qualify. Additional entry pieces are $5 each — limit three. 

Visit www.susiq.org or the Susi Q front desk (380 Third Street) for guidelines and an application form.

Artists’ Reception takes place Friday Jan 26 from 5 – 6:30 p.m.

A free Artists’ Reception with beverages and light refreshments will take place on Friday, Jan 26 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. The exhibit will be on display from Jan 15 through Feb 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Gallery Q is located in the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Senior Center at 380 Third Street. Many of the art pieces in the show will be available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Laguna Beach Seniors. 

For additional information, visit www.susiq.org or contact Laurie Smith, Arts Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Gallery Q, located at the Laguna Beach Community and Senior Center, is a public exhibition space dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the talent of emerging, semi-professional, and professional artists of all ages in Orange County. Five shows per year honor local artists and are kicked off with a public art reception.


Future sculptors create miniature sea lions with ceramics expert Jan Sattler at PMMC on Jan 13

LOCA arts education offers the opportunity for children and adults to create a sculpture of a sea lion during a workshop at Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) on Sat, Jan 13, from 9 – 10:30 a.m. After the workshop, attendees go on a docent led tour of the center and relish a close-up view of seals and sea lions. 

Following the tour, ceramics expert Jan Sattler will lead a sculpture class. She will show participants how to create a miniature sea lion (to take home) in four easy steps. 

Click on photo for larger image

Finished sculptures from PMMC workshop

Jan Sattler has been working in clay for over 40 years and has studied with several professional clay artists in both MN and CA.

LOCA Arts Education is a nonprofit coalition of arts educators, professional artists, and advocates interested in arts education for people of all ages. They have been serving the community for 20 years.

All supplies are included, free on-site parking.

Fee: $15 for Children aged six to 18, $20 for adults, children must be accompanied by an adult.

PMMC is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd, 949-494-3050.

To register, go to www.locaarts.org/event/art-and-sea-lions-9


Laguna Playhouse TheatreHope offers imagination passport to many during the holidays

Laguna Playhouse TheatreHope program provides hope and holiday cheer to many in need of a smile during the holidays. TheatreHope was created last spring in response to Project Hope Alliance’s desire to find meaningful activities for homeless and displaced kids in need of respite from the surroundings of the crime infested hotels in which they live. It provides the magic of theatre to homeless or food insecure families, kids fighting terminal illness, veterans and their families, and individuals with disabilities.  

Using hope as the motivator to increase self-sufficiency and an optimistic outlook on life, TheatreHope brings various groups to the Playhouse for an uplifting performance.  Attendees have an opportunity to interact with the cast and ask questions. Often lunch is included.  

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Playhouse’s TheatreHope provides the “magic of theatre” to those who need an escape from the harsh realities of life

For many in the audience, this is their first exposure to live theatre.  “We are so grateful for this partnership and bringing the world of theater to our wonderful kids,” said Jennifer Friend, executive director for Project Hope Alliance. “The theater provides an imagination passport for children that elevates their dreams to what is possible like nothing else.” 

 Groups that attended the holiday performance of “Aladdin and His Winter Wish” included Project Hope Alliance, Goodwill OC’s Community Services Program, Kids Konnected program for those recently affected by cancer, Glennwood Housing, and Boys and Girls Club of Tustin and Laguna Beach. The program will offer theatre experiences for 2,000 participants this year and provide transportation if needed.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Cast of Aladdin

 “We are very thankful for the support of funders such as S.L. Gimbel Foundation and the Peter and Ginny Ueberroth Family Foundation for making this program possible and providing hope and holiday cheer for kids and their families this holiday season,” said Doug Vogel, director of development for Laguna Playhouse.

TheatreHope is just one of the many programs Laguna Playhouse supports. Laguna Playhouse educational programming includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the region that offer a curriculum-based professional theatre-touring program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for literature, history and performing arts curriculum.

 Serving more than 80,000 patrons each season, Laguna Playhouse has been recognized in 2016 and 2015 as one of Orange County Register’s “Best of OC” in the category of Live Theatre. 

For more information, go to www.lagunaplayhouse.com


Limited engagement of I Am My Own Wife opens at Laguna Playhouse on Jan 14 starring John Tufts

Laguna Playhouse announces the fourth show in its 97th season, I Am My Own Wife, written by Doug Wright and directed by Jenny Sullivan and starring John Tufts. I Am My Own Wife begins previews on Wed, Jan 10; will open on Sun, Jan 14, at 5:30 p.m. and will run through Sun, Jan 28.

 “We are so fortunate to start 2018 with this exquisite play and extraordinary performance,” comments Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard. 

Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, playwright Doug Wright began a conversation with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric 65-year-old German transvestite who, against all odds, navigated a path between the Nazi’s and East German Secret Police — in a pair of high heels. Wright uses more than 30 characters—all played by a single actor—to piece together Charlotte’s controversial life.  A profound story of survival and inspiration. This provocative and bold production is highly engaging for ages 16 and up.

 Adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham “I Am My Own Wife is a remarkable piece of theatre and even more so that the story is true, and still has so much relevance today. Our subscribers and audiences are in for an unforgettable experience.” 

John Tufts, star of I Am My Own Wife

 John Tufts, who stars in I Am My Own Wife, has had an extensive career in the theater, film and television: 12 Seasons with the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Hal/Henry V in Henry IV pts. 1, 2, and Henry V, The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, The Cherry Orchard, Into the Woods (also Wallis Annenberg Center in LA), Film/Television: “Bad Teacher,” “Fashions for Men” (PBS), “Danger of a Broken Car,” “BAQ-132.”  He also received several awards: the Indy Award for I Am My Own Wife; Wall St. Journal Best of 2016 for Tug of War; Arthur Kennedy Award for Acting. 

 The Director Jenny Sullivan has previously directed at Laguna Playhouse: Year of Magical Thinking, Love Loss and What I Wore, and Steel Magnolias. She has also directed at Acorn Theatre in NYC and The Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills and many prestigious theaters across the country.She has appeared in film: Access All Areas and The Next Best Thing (in which she directed her father Barry). 

 Doug Wright, the playwright, wrote the book for the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid. In 2004, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award, a GLAAD Media Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama League Award, and a Lucille Lortel Award for his play I Am My Own Wife. His stage work has been produced all over the world. Mr. Wright was recently cited with an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Tolerance Prize from the KulturForum Europa. He lives in New York with his partner, singer/songwriter David Clement.

Jenny Sullivan, Director, returns to Laguna Playhouse 

This season is generously underwritten by The Hale Family.  Additional Season Sponsors are South Coast Plaza, Haskell White, Surterre Properties, Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders, Gelson’s, and Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin.

 Performances will be Tues – Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Thurs and Sat at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 1 p.m. There will no performance on Thurs, Jan 18 at 2 p.m. There will be an additional Sun performance on Sun, Jan 21 at 5:30 p.m. 

Special Post-Show Audience Talk Back Performance on Sat, Jan 20 at 2 p.m. & Special “Pride Night” Performance on Sun, Jan 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $45 - $70 and can be purchased online at the website below or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices subject to change.

 The box office is open Mon – Sat: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until show time on performance days); Sun: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

 For more information on all shows, programming and for a complete biography of the talented actor, director, and playwright, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.  

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Still life with the Masters: Do you have what it takes not to twitch for nearly two minutes?

Ever wonder what it would be like to step into a famous piece of art? If you can stand still for 90 seconds, you could experience just that by volunteering for the renowned Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach - “where art comes to life!”  

In preparation of the 2018 show, Under the Sun, the Pageant is looking for men, women and children to volunteer. People of all sizes and ages are needed to be cast members in the world’s most famous presentation of tableaux vivants.
 

Casting call will be held at the Irvine Bowl Park (650 Laguna Canyon Road) during the following times: Friday, Jan 5, and Sat Jan 6 from 7 – 9 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan 7 from 2 – 5 p.m.

Casting call is for everyone “Under the Sun”

Casting call is a fun experience for all involved. Prospective volunteers will be measured and photographed, enjoy refreshments and meet the behind-the-scenes Pageant staff. No theater experience is necessary. The only requirement is the ability to stand still and have fun.

“Over 500 volunteers, both onstage and behind-the-scenes, are needed to put on the show,” said Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy. “Everyone has a great time backstage and many return year after year to take part in this one-of-a-kind performance. The Pageant just simply wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers!”

Pageant volunteers are also needed for positions in the wardrobe, make up, and headdress departments, as well as cast area coordinators and refreshment servers, among other positions.

Students can earn credits toward community services

Volunteering for the Pageant is a great way to spend your summer and it is common to have several generations of the same family volunteering for different aspects of the show. Additionally, by volunteering for the Pageant, students can earn credit towards community service requirements.

Next summer’s performances of the Pageant of the Masters will run nightly at 8:30 p.m. from July 7 to Sept 1. Call (949) 494-3663 for additional information. Ticket prices range from $15 to $240. Tickets are on sale now by calling 1-800-487-3378 or online at www.PageantTickets.com

The Festival of Arts is a non-profit organization that produces the Festival of Arts and the Pageant of the Masters. Proceeds support the arts in Orange County.


Tickets for Roxanna Ward’s “tour de force” at No Square Theatre are on sale now 

No Square Theatre is presenting Roxanna Ward, a continuation of Roxanna’s “tour de force” performed early last year with special guests Lisa Koch and Vickie Shaw. The performances will take place on Fri, Jan 26, and Sat, Jan 27, at 7:30 p.m. The final show will be on Sun, Jan 28 at 6:30 p.m. 

Roxanna is one of Laguna’s best-loved divas, working the kinks out of life with piano, vocal styling, and her signature sense of humor. A cabaret-comic extraordinaire, her blend of piano bar and comedy caused one reviewer to observe, “It’s as if Bette Midler and Steve Allen had a love child.” 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Irene Young

Laugh with Roxanna Ward

Lisa Koch is an irreverent Seattle singer/comedian, Koch (“Coke”) is a deliciously twisted mix of comedy, theater, and demented songs. She has four solo recordings, is one-half of hilarious sketch-comedy duo, Dos Fallopia (“My Breasts Are Out of Control”), and is an alumnus of cult quartet Venus Envy (“I’ll Be A Homo for Xmas”).

She has shared the stage with a diverse group of artists, including Steve Martin, Dave Brubeck, Janis Ian, The Indigo Girls, Holly Near, and Kate Clinton. 

Koch is proud to report that one of her songs has actually been sampled by Jay-Z. “Hearing Seattle’s Lisa Koch is one of life’s wickedest pleasures, her brand of absurd confessional comedy is clearly resonating with millions of fans,” says Curve Magazine. 

Vickie Shaw’s beautiful Southern Style belies her sharp-edged wit and hilarity. She says things no one else can say because she says them so nicely. Audiences love her humor, not just because she’s funny but because it’s all true. 

With her stories about her wife Sgt. Patch, tales about her kids and grandchildren, and life in Texas with its ups and downs, Vickie has been featured on various television shows, Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen, WE TV, Wisecracks Specials on LOGO as well as two other comedy specials on LOGO-”You Can’t Take the Girl Out of Texas” and “Vickie Shaw Live - Sick and Wrong Tour.”

She has started in the Award Winning Movie, “Laughing Matters More.” She also just released her third DVD, “I’m Not Your Role Model.”

General admission is $25, and VIP seats are  $35 on the floor. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.nosquare.tix.com.


Laguna Playhouse TheatreHope offers imagination passport to many during the holidays

Laguna Playhouse TheatreHope program provides hope and holiday cheer to many in need of a smile during the holidays. TheatreHope was created last spring in response to Project Hope Alliance’s desire to find meaningful activities for homeless and displaced kids in need of respite from the surroundings of the crime infested hotels in which they live. It provides the magic of theatre to homeless or food insecure families, kids fighting terminal illness, veterans and their families, and individuals with disabilities.  

Using hope as the motivator to increase self-sufficiency and an optimistic outlook on life, TheatreHope brings various groups to the Playhouse for an uplifting performance.  Attendees have an opportunity to interact with the cast and ask questions. Often lunch is included.  

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Playhouse’s TheatreHope provides the “magic of theatre” to those who need an escape from the harsh realities of life

For many in the audience, this is their first exposure to live theatre.  “We are so grateful for this partnership and bringing the world of theater to our wonderful kids,” said Jennifer Friend, executive director for Project Hope Alliance. “The theater provides an imagination passport for children that elevates their dreams to what is possible like nothing else.” 

 Groups that attended the holiday performance of “Aladdin and His Winter Wish” included Project Hope Alliance, Goodwill OC’s Community Services Program, Kids Konnected program for those recently affected by cancer, Glennwood Housing, and Boys and Girls Club of Tustin and Laguna Beach. The program will offer theatre experiences for 2,000 participants this year and provide transportation if needed.

 “We are very thankful for the support of funders such as S.L. Gimbel Foundation and the Peter and Ginny Ueberroth Family Foundation for making this program possible and providing hope and holiday cheer for kids and their families this holiday season,” said Doug Vogel, director of development for Laguna Playhouse.

TheatreHope is just one of the many programs Laguna Playhouse supports. Laguna Playhouse educational programming includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the region that offer a curriculum-based professional theatre-touring program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for literature, history and performing arts curriculum.

 Serving more than 80,000 patrons each season, Laguna Playhouse has been recognized in 2016 and 2015 as one of Orange County Register’s “Best of OC” in the category of Live Theatre. 

For more information, go to www.lagunaplayhouse.com


Laguna Beach Live! Looking back to 2017, and looking forward to jazzing it up in the new year

An abundance of Jazz overtook the town during the past year. Laguna Beach Live! presented some spectacular events during 2017. In Nov, Live! at the Museum featured Artisan Guitar Ensemble for an amazing evening of chamber music in their monthly music series, a collaboration with the Laguna Art Museum. The trio also visited the Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club earlier in the day.

The appearance of the trio made a strong impact on the young audience. Boys & Girls Club staff member Caitlin Reller reports, “The positive change I have noticed with members as a result of participating with Laguna Live is their ability to be in a moment with peers enjoying music and also responding to the music with drawings and paintings. I have also observed their ability to respect performers is improved by asking questions, listening during the performance, and showing admiration to the performers.”

Laguna Beach Music Festival hosted a home salon in anticipation of its annual festival in Feb. Featured artist, Elizabeth Zharoff, has been described by the press as “a powerhouse of sound…whose glorious high notes defy imagination.”

In Dec, Live! presented Quarteto Nuevo, a unique and lively world/classical/jazz quartet at LAM, thanks to funding from the Assistance League of Laguna Beach, City of LB, Applied Medical, and Laguna Live!  Members, the group, also performed at the Boys & Girls Club in the afternoon at no charge.

And now, looking ahead, Laguna Beach Live! offers yet another year of amazing Jazz programs. One of the premier events will be the 2018 Laguna Beach Music Festival, which takes place from Feb 7-11. It’s a multi-day celebration, featuring outstanding concerts at the intimate Laguna Playhouse, dynamic community engagement programs, and the exciting Festival Prelude opening party, which features Grammy-nominated tenor Nicholas Phan as guest artistic director.

Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series kicks off Jan 17 with Mark Towns Latin Jazz, featuring Diana Purim, daughter of Brazilian Jazz legends Flora Purim and Airto Moreira.

Mark Towns appears on Jan 17

Mark is one of the world’s leading exponents of guitar-based instrumental Afro-Cuban Jazz, composing and performing music which blurs the lines between Latin Jazz, Flamenco Jazz, Salsa, Funk and Fusion. 

The series continues every two weeks through April 11.

The following is a schedule of upcoming events:  Jan 31, Straight Ahead Jazz with legendary Rickey Woodard Quintet; Feb 14, Valentine’s Day Piano Jazz with Grammy-Award winning pianist Bill Cunliffe Trio with special guest vocalist; Feb 28, Iconic Jazz, an All-Star Tribute to Dizzy and Ella feat with vocalist Maiya Sykes and Trumpeter Bijon Watson; March 14, Modern Jazz featuring acclaimed saxophonist Tom Luer’s Project Popular; March 28, Guitar Jazz with the critically acclaimed New West Guitar Group, April 11, Modern Jazz with internationally-renowned Pianist Josh Nelson presenting “The Sky Remains.”  

On Jan 8, at 7 p.m., Music Insights, The Song Goes On: From Art Song to Broadway and Beyond. This event will feature dialogue and demonstration by John Mangum, president and artistic director of the Philharmonic Society and Chelsea Chaves, Pacific Chorale Soprano. It will be held at a private home in LB. Tuition is $30. Due to limited seating, call or email if attending: 949-715-9713.

For tickets to Jazz events, go to https://lagunabeachlive.tix.com/


FOA Permanent Art Collection selections on show at City Hall until Jan 19

The Festival of Arts presents “Selections from the Collection” at Laguna Beach City Hall now through Jan 18. Pat Sparkuhl, Curator of the Festival’s Permanent Collection, selected works illustrating the diversity of the artists and artwork from early 1900’s to present day. The exhibition will be on display through Jan 19.

The exhibition incorporates art by Kathy Jones

Comprised of pieces from the Festival of Arts Permanent Art Collection, the display features early Laguna Beach paintings from the early 1900s as well recent acquisitions by the Festival of Arts. “Selections from the Collection” showcases both classical and contemporary works in a variety of media. 

Artworks include “Homework” by Kathy Jones, “Mandala” by Mariana Nelson, “Queen of Hearts” by Vinita Voogd, “To His Glory” by George Gibson, “Saddleback” by Frank Cuprien, “Color Symphony” by Joane Cromwell, and the newest addition to the Festival’s collection, “Lighter than Air” a photograph by Jacques Garnier.

The Festival’s collection, made up of over 1,150 pieces, is composed of an eclectic mix of two-dimensional and three-dimensional work that date back to the early 1900s.

The Festival of Arts Permanent Collection, expanded annually through purchases and donations, includes painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, glass, photography, mixed media, furniture and jewelry that reflect the uniqueness and diversity that is synonymous with the Festival of Arts and the region surrounding it.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

The art of discovery comes naturally to Casey Parlette of Parlettei Jewelry

By SUZIE HARRISON

Known for his gorgeous sculptures of sea life, Laguna Beach artist and lifeguard Casey Parlette has fine-tuned the art of discovery. Influenced by his Southern California roots and surroundings, the true naturalist continues to exemplify his passion for the ocean in a new line of wearable sculptures, Parlettei Jewelry.

With the help of his wife, Gina, who works on the business and marketing side, Parlettei Jewelry was recently launched in mid-October.

“This jewelry has been an awesome thing. And it all started with a sculpture project that I had where I was using titanium. Titanium has a lot of interesting properties and sculpturally it has a lot of things that apply,” said Parlette. “One thing that’s really neat that it does, when you apply heat to it; it changes color. And color with titanium, it doesn’t erode or react, so the color stays that way.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Casey Parlette’s Tide Pool Kraken sculpture, unveiled in June at Heisler Park

With a torch in hand, Casey demonstrated his magic.

“We have some really cool techniques for making some really interesting textures, patterns, designs and the colors that are all put in with heat,” Parlette said. “You can go almost full spectrum, you can get gold, pinks and greens, purples and blues and things like that.”

I marveled as he transformed a piece of titanium into a gorgeous bracelet.

“All the texture, with the sculpture work I do, I like natural colorations and natural textures. So with all the hammering and blacksmithing with jewelry, it’s actually wearable sculpture,” Parlette said. That’s the way we look at it – a small piece of wearable sculpture. You still have that handmade touch to it and you have those tactile texturing from the hammering.”

“The pieces are pretty cool on their own without knowing the process, but I think when people find out a little bit more about the process, they’re like wow, that’s pretty cool,” Gina said. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Suzie Harrison

Sculptor Casey Parlette demonstrates the sculpting process of his new line of jewelry, how he brings out the color and shape the pieces

He said a lot of people think the pieces are painted, but it’s actually the color he’s created by heating the titanium. 

“Basically, you’re painting it with heat,” he said moving the blowtorch back and forth. “And see you paint the color onto it. See you can go through, different blues; there’s a spectrum.” 

“I have been working with titanium for quite a while and again for the jewelry. You have something that doesn’t ever tarnish, you can get a myriad of different colors and spectrums and different things. The thing that’s cool is even though this is blue, in different lightings, it looks different,” Parlette said. “And depending on what’s around it gets reflective by different things. So different times of the day, different lightings, and different angles of light, the color is represented differently. It has some really interesting qualities.” 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Suzie Harrison

The Parletti family

Once the color sets in it’s permanent and will not fade.

“For me, part of the whole thing with the jewelry is to make something like you find when you’re walking down the beach, you find some cool little shell or you find some cool little thing like that, something that’s got that feeling of discovery,” Parlette said.

“That’s why our tagline is ‘The Art of Discovery’ because this is pretty unique jewelry,” Gina said. “They’re all a little bit different, all original and unique.” 

“Doing the jewelry and the sculpture both it’s fun. It’s great.  It’s all in the same family, you know, it’s all an artistic sculptural pursuit, really,” Parlette said. “The jewelry is kind of fun because it’s unlike a sculptural piece that can take months and months to get done. The jewelry I can have an idea and I can make it and have a finished product; it’s a quick rewarding thing. There’s a lot of fun things about it for sure.” 

For sales or information, please visit www.parletteijewelry.com.

Until next time…so many exciting Parlettei Jewelry pieces, so little time!


Plein air painters are plainly loving these stunning colors on a Laguna winter’s day

Photos by Scott Brashier

Jesse Fortune

Marissa Head

Click on photos for larger images

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillepsie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

Email: Lynette@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc

949.715.1736