Laguna College of Art and Design bestows degrees on 123 students - largest graduating class in its history

LCAD Class of 2016

As of Monday, May 23 at 5 p.m., 123 students became graduates of Laguna College of Art and Design’s (LCAD) class of 2016. President Jonathan Burke with James R. Mellor, chair of the board of trustees conferred undergraduate degrees in Animation, Design and Digital Media, Drawing and Painting, Game Art and Illustration. Peter Zokosky, chair of LCAD’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs in Drawing and Painting, conferred four graduate candidates earning MFA degrees in painting and two post-baccalaureate certificates. 

LCAD’s class of 2016 is the largest graduating class in the College’s history. It is also the college’s most diverse student group.

“During rehearsal I asked the graduating seniors if they were first generation or second generation from another country. Thirty-eight of our undergraduate senior class told me they or their families were from around the world,” said Hélène Garrison, PhD, dean and vice president of Academic Affairs. “It is telling the wide reach of Laguna College of Art and Design and its influence on art, design and entertainment throughout the world.”

She listed the countries: Armenia Georgia, Brazil, Britain, Chile, China, Cuba, El Salvador, France, Iceland, India, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, Tonga, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Elizabeth Turk, a celebrated sculptor and accomplished photographer and videographer delivered the keynote address. Turk has won several awards and grants, including: a MacArthur Genius Grant, and the Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation Fellowship, both in 2010; a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in 2011; and a Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award for Artistic Achievements from Arts Orange County in 2012. 

Turk commended students for their imaginative and eloquent Senior Capstone projects, citing Neal Wojahn’s persistence in earning his Bachelor of Fine in Game Art over the course of 13 years. 

“Thinking about this moment for all of you is humbling. The years, the resources you have committed, I wonder what words will do that effort justice,” she said. “All of us who create chase our curiosity, our passion, our crazy ideas, expose our vulnerabilities are undeterred by failure. We turn impossible into possible and this inspires everyone around us. This is success.”

Sigmundur Thorgeirsson, who received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration with an Entertainment Emphasis, was LCAD’s 2016 Student Commencement Speaker. He thanked his family for traveling from Iceland to see him graduate.

“I learned firsthand how hard-working and creative LCAD students really are,” he said. “In my major I took a class in almost every department. In Animation and Game Art, I saw students bring their creations to life. In Fine Arts, I saw paintings that left me breathless, in Illustration, students were creating whole worlds from stories and in liberal arts, I watched students become thinking artists. LCAD is a great school.”

See CAP’s ‘Contemporary Abstraction’ at Wells Fargo    


“Contemporary Abstraction,” which opened May 2 at the Banking on Art Gallery at Wells Fargo Bank, is CAP’s newest juried exhibit showcasing the works of Kate Cohen, Halverson Frazier and Fred Hope. This juried show presents some of the current directions that the genre of Abstract Art is moving, from the viewpoints of these well-established artists.

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“Dilly Dat,” Kate Cohen, 30” x 28,” Mixed Media on Paper

A mixed media artist, Cohen layers her work with acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel, oil, ink and varnish, experimenting as she goes to see the results. Her works start from something that may catch the corner of her eye; something that keeps nudging her on until she allows it to become a vision that can be put into reality. Then it is a matter of ‘what if’ that drives it. 

Cohen’s latest series includes “Explanation of the Doodle,” combines the playfulness of whimsy and the beat of urban slang, utilizing her layering and strong love of lines. “Waka Boo evokes a feeling of lightness and freedom; and “Dilly Dat” offers a sense of energy and high activity with the line work and swaths of color that fill the image. 

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“Teutonic Depths,” Halverson Frazier, 3’ x 3,’ Oil

Frazier works from the perspective of memory and metaphor. His work brings in a sensorial response as well as a visual one. Using a fine glaze technique, he builds transparent layer upon layer giving an atmosphere quality to each piece. 

In Halverson’s “Transposition Series,” he uses this technique and skill in creating layers that, rather than build up upon one another, seem to reveal or expose the under layers, as rock formations do in nature. Using tonal shifts between and within layers, along with texture, Halverson gives the feel of time long gone by.

In “Teutonic Depths,” Halverson said that the painting is based on the existence of the Silfra Crack in Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park, where divers can actually touch the American Plate and the Eurasian Plate at the same time. The feeling of being in the quietness and vastness of the underwater world is apparent.

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“Monolith Series #023,” Fred Hope, 24” x 48,” Oil

Hope’s “Tidal Zone” and “Monolith” series draw from Nature, memory and imagination. Growing up on Corona del Mar Beach, he experienced the light, colors and the effect of the natural elements on his surroundings. He has also been working with Wayne Thiebaud during the last four years to push and expand his exploration of abstraction.

Based on his experiences and memory, and his work with Thiebaud, Hope approaches his work without reference of planning, but instead uses intuitive paint handling, a free-form way of pushing the color around and watching the results. This method frees up his mind and allows him to further experiment getting deeper into abstraction, letting the paint do the talking. Using rich strokes and thick application he finds that oil allows him to create a sculptural feel to the surface, giving a dimension to the subject.

“Abstraction Study,” from his “Tidal Zone” series, is a piece that came from his free-form method. In this piece, he feels it shares his memory of the beach through the color and light that emanates from the canvas. In “Tidal Zone Series #196” there is thicker paint with texture and finer strokes, giving the feel of peering into a tide pool and seeing the many layers of rock and sand created over time.

“Monolith Series #023” focuses on a single rock. A simple yet complicated image, showing striations of color, and contour of shape caused by the elements of Nature and time. 

The exhibit runs through mid-August at The CAP Gallery, Banking on Art, located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Ave. The exhibit runs through mid-August. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is free to the public. Visit for information.

Ed. Note: Artist Fitz Maurice has set out to paint live at all of the US National Parks. She will be submitting her stories from the road to StuNewsLaguna from time to time. 


Saguaro National Park: a drawing and painting quest

Story and photos by FITZ MAURICE

I had a lot to learn about the Sonoran Desert life and the iconic saguaro cactus since I had not drawn them before. For me, as an artist, I need to understand how things are structurally underneath the surface, and why they are that way before I can properly draw them convincingly.

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Fitz Maurice on her quest to paint in all the US National Parks, here in Saguaro

Realizing that the ultimate scene of Saguaro National Park was obviously the saguaro cactus in its element, I read, explored and examined first hand all I could about the life and growth of these wood-skeleton desert trees. They are remarkable up close as they throw up their arms to greet you – but watch out for their prickly spines! The largest cactus in the US, the Saguaro live up to 200 years, can grow up to 60 feet high and can weigh up to an amazing 5000 pounds when they are full of water inside. Saguaro cactus provide food and housing to many of the desert wildlife and if that’s not enough, they bloom with flowers on the top of their arms.

After exploring the highlights of this national park, it was easy to find the ultimate scene and start drawing. 

The drawing is the backbone of the painting, literally.  The oil paint hangs on the skeleton structure of the drawing, so the drawing needs to be strong and compositionally correct to support the passion of paint! This is why I spend so much time on creating the drawing. This is when all the decisions are being made.

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“Saguaro National Park, Arizona” oil painting by Fitz Maurice

The foreground of this composition portrays an exquisite relationship, as the Palo Verde Tree is protectively nursing the young “spear” saguaro. 

The primary focus points to the mature classic saguaro cactus, whose fifth arm is growing, indicating that it is nearing 200 years old. Other indicative Sonoran Desert plant life, such as the prickly pear cacti, cholla, and ocotillo are also represented in the painting.

If you want to understand an artist, look at their drawings. When I was in Rome, my eyes feasted on the original drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. I grew as an artist just being near such greatness!  

I draw in charcoal, which is both commanding and forgiving. At first I sketch in what my focus is – what I most want to bring attention to. Then I build the rest of the composition around that primary focus. A strong drawing is the beginning of a powerful painting. When the drawing has everything in its proper place, it creates a dynamic composition that pulls the viewer into that world. 

Then it is time to create in color. Color is about the vibration, heat, emotion, and passion of the subject being portrayed. Painting with colors at the end of my brush is intensely exciting for me. There is no more thinking or mind involved. In fact, it is all about leaving reality behind and being willing to transcend beyond comprehension. I feel I am submitting to the Spirit – the higher being inside me that naturally resonates with the ultimate. This connection allows me to manifest the ultimate imagery.

It’s exciting when I’ve surprise myself after finishing a painting. I can see that it took on its own life because I was not limited it by my own preconceived ideas. I let the painting show me how it was to manifest. When I create this way it is thrilling – like letting go of the reigns of a horse and letting it take you there!

  To see some of the newest National Park Paintings created on the quest, go to Woods Cove Art Gallery, 1963 S. Coast Hwy.


FITZ Maurice has been on a quest to paint ‘live’ in every national park in America. She is now in her fourth year. Totally committed to help promote and protect the parks, the artist is traveling by truck and trailer to each park. Hiking, kayaking and horseback riding in search of the ultimate scene, she’ll finally set up with portable easel and oil paints. FITZ sets out to capture in paint the wonders that make each national park a treasure to Americans and all the people of the world.To see her National Park Paintings visit:

Helen Lundeberg Retrospective at LAM ends May 30

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Laguna Art Museum’s exhibit, Helen Lundeberg: A Retrospective. The last day to see the exhibit is May 30. Helen Lundeberg: A Retrospective surveys Lundeberg’s career systematically, beginning with her landmark Post-Surrealist paintings of the 1930s. With her teacher and later husband, Lorser Feitelson, she organized the Post-Surrealist group, the first of its kind in the country, and wrote its manifesto. Though exploring psychology and personal expression, the Post Surrealists aimed to bring a greater sense of order and control to European Surrealism and originally styled themselves New Classicists. 

Helen Lundeberg

The Red Planet, 1934

Oil on Celotex - 30 x 24 inches

Collection of Rick Silver and Robert Hayden III

By the late 1950s, Lundeberg was working on a larger scale. She simplified her style into broad, flat areas of color and, though never a pure abstractionist, played a key part in the “hard-edge” tendency in mid-century painting. Bringing de Chirico-like ambiguities of space to architectural and landscape compositions, she preserved the enigmatic mood of her earlier, surrealistic imagery.

The exhibition follows upon an upswing in Lundeberg’s reputation. She is the subject of a substantial monograph by Suzanne Muchnic, published in 2014, and has been included in some recent international exhibitions—notably In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico, as well asat the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City in 2012-13. Ilene Susan Fort, Gail and John Liebes Curator of American Art at LACMA is a guest-curator. A fully illustrated catalog with essays by Dr. Fort and art historian Michael Duncan, accompanies the exhibit.

Residents of Laguna Beach enter free through the end of this exhibition on Monday, May 30, in gratitude for the City of Laguna Beach’s recently approved Matching Grant Program. Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive. For more information, call 494-8971 or visit

Buyer and Cellar opens at Laguna Playhouse June 4

Inspired by Barbra Streisand’s, “My Passion for Design,” Buyer and Cellar will open for a limited engagement at Laguna Playhouse on June 4. Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham was thrilled to announced the sixth and final show in the Laguna Playhouse 2015-2016 season, Emerson Collins starring in Buyer and Cellar, written by Jonathan Tolins and directed by Larry Raben. The production has been called, “Irresistible, delicious and wickedly funny,” by The New York Times.

Emerson Collins

“To quote Barbra Streisand, ‘Hello, Gorgeous!’  When I first saw this production, I knew that our subscribers and audiences would fall wildly in love with it and am thrilled to welcome Emerson Collins to our Laguna stage with the remarkable writing of Jonathan Tolins,” says Wareham. Buyer and Cellar will begin previews on Wednesday, June 1; will open on Saturday, June 4 and runs through Sunday, June 26. 

Buyer and Cellar is an outrageous comedy about the price of fame the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs. Alex takes a job working in the Malibu basement “shopping mall” of a beloved “Funny Girl” megastar. One day, the Lady herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs.

Performances will be Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. There will be additional performances on Thursday, June 2; Thursday, June 16 and Thursday, June 23 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, June 5 and Sunday, June 12 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets range from $48 to $61 and can be purchased online at or by calling 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 497-2787 ext. 229. 

The box office is open Mondays – Saturdays: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; open until show time on performance days; Sundays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information on all shows and programming, visit

Laguna Playhouse is at 606 Laguna Canyon Road.

LagunaTunes will present a rollicking Rock Through the Ages concert at LBHS Artist’s Theatre on June 12

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Submitted photo

The 60-member LagunaTunes Community Chorus is ready to rock and roll

LagunaTunes Community Chorus will offer a free concert, Rock Through the Ages, at the Laguna Beach High School Artist’s Theatre at 4 p.m. on Sunday June 12.

Rock Through the Ages sends concertgoers on a trip back through six decades of rock and roll, spanning the beginnings of rock to the present day. The concert will feature favorites from artists including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Doobie Brothers, Van Halen, and more.  

These timeless classics should appeal to all ages, recalling fond memories for anyone old enough to remember when they topped the charts.

The 60-member chorus is led by Bob Gunn, the popular director of Orange County’s Men Alive chorus and Laguna’s St. Mary’s Choir. Gunn’s entertaining choral productions are well known throughout Southern California.

LagunaTunes is a 501 (c) (3) organization that provides choral singing for everyone – no auditions needed – and presents two concerts a year. The Festival of the Arts Foundation, the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach provide funding. 

For more information, visit or email mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Troy Poeschl places second at Yosemite Renaissance 

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Photo by Mike Tauber

Troy Poeschl

Laguna Beach artist Troy Poeschl won second place honors at Yosemite Renaissance, a national juried show at the Museum of Yosemite National Park. His wall sculpture, “Head in the Clouds,” is composed of hand-carved maple burl and walnut, with stainless steel. The work was chosen from 973 submissions, and among 55 displayed at the museum from February to May 2016. 

The traveling exhibition recently opened at Kings Art Center in Hanford, CA and will relocate to Carnegie Art Center in Turlock, CA in late summer. 

Locally, Poeschl will be exhibiting at both Sawdust Art Festival and Festival of Arts throughout July and August. For information, visit

To learn about Yosemite Renaissance visit

Three Festival of Arts students win top awards at annual National Ceramic Exhibition in Kansas City

Three ceramic students from the Festival of Arts Youth Arts Education classes received honors from the 19th Annual National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition in Kansas City, Missouri. These students, under the tutelage of FOA ceramics teacher Monica Dunham, were selected from hundreds of entries nationwide and had their work exhibited at the Kansas City Convention Center in March.

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Marc Stavisski (L), Amelie Thonar, teacher Monica Dunham and Shane Turkich

Kindergarten student, Amelie Thonar from Irvine, received an Artistic Merit Award and Curators Book Award (given to only 10 of the over 500 exhibitors) for her piece “Flower at Home.” Shane Turkich, a first grader from Mission Viejo, received an Artistic Merit Award for his piece “Red Cone Head.” Aliso Viejo fifth grader Marc Stavisski’s piece, “Oz Bag,” was awarded the Bailey Potter Cash Award and an Honorable Mention Award.

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Amelie Thonar’s piece “Flower at Home”

“It’s a great accomplishment for these young artists,” said Ron Morrissette, Festival of Arts exhibits director. “We’re thrilled that our students are receiving these awards and that the Festival’s summer Youth Arts Education classes are being recognized nationally.”

The19th Annual National K12 Ceramic Exhibition is the premier juried ceramic competition for Kindergarten through Grade 12 (K-12) students in the United States. Designed to showcase the best K12 ceramic work made in the country, the exhibition takes place in conjunction with the annual conference of The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

The Festival of Arts is now accepting reservations for Youth Arts Education classes, available July 5 – Aug 31, Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. In addition to ceramics, classes are available in painting, printmaking, jewelry, and more. Art classes open to children ages 5-12. There is a $15 – $25 materials fee per child per class. For more information, visit: or call (949) 464-4234.

Playhouse names Ellen Richard Interim Executive Director 

The Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors announced that, later this month, Ellen Richard would be joining Laguna Playhouse as its Interim Executive Director. The Playhouse announced late last year that it was undertaking a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) for an Executive Director to succeed Karen Wood who had held this position for the past eight years. 

Commenting on the appointment Joe Hanauer and Paul Singarella, Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors, said, “In the midst of our search we encountered this wonderful opportunity to engage Ellen while we continue to seek appropriate long-term leadership. To have found someone with the extraordinary qualifications that Ellen has is thrilling. She is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she was Managing Director. Ellen also has strong successes in supervising the construction of theatres in New York and also in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theater, a rare and valuable skill set considering the contemplated major remodel and expansion of the Laguna Playhouse.” 

Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham adds, “We are pleased and proud to have Ellen Richard, truly a rock-star in our field, join us as our interim Executive Director who will help guide the Playhouse during this transition.” 

Ellen Richard said, “I have quickly grown fond of Laguna Beach and the Playhouse. I embrace this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the country’s top regional theatres at this time in its remarkable 95-year history. I look forward to helping the Playhouse and working with their incredible Board of Trustees and Ann E. Wareham.”

Ellen Richard served as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2010 through 2015. During her tenure, Ms. Richard negotiated a deal to buy the Strand Theater in tech corridor of Mid-Market San Francisco, helped raise the $34 million to renovate and operate it and steered the design and construction for the project which opened in May of 2015. The complex featured two performance spaces and has won multiple awards. She was also Executive Director of The Second Stage Theatre in New York City. During her tenure at Second Stage, which began in 2006 (through 2009), she was responsible for the purchase contract of the Helen Hayes Theatre, growth in subscription income of 48 percent, and growth in individual giving of 75 percent, as well as conceptualization of a highly successful gala format and “Second Generation,” a giving program through which donors enable deserving New York City youth to experience live theater. Under Ms. Richard’s leadership, Second Stage provided the initial home for the Broadway productions Everyday Rapture, Next to Normal, and The Little Dog Laughed. 

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

The FOA Foundation awarded LBHS with $25,000 in grants for Visual and Performing Arts programs 

The Festival of Arts Foundation recently awarded Laguna Beach High School with grants totaling $25,000 toward ceramics, band, dance, and the visual and performing arts departments.LBHS teachers applied to receive $5,000 grants to enhance the programs and opportunities available for students to continue learning and developing their skills in visual and performing arts.

“The FOA Foundation strives to help enrich the lives of our young students, with the hope that these dollars will make a difference in their perspective on art and culture,” said Scott Moore, president of the foundation. “It has been our experience that these young boys and girls, men and women, hold on to these early art-filled years, and give back to their communities in their adulthood.”

The FOA Foundation, which operates independently of the Festival of Arts, was established in 1989 to preserve and promote the fine arts and all other artistic endeavors regarding Laguna Beach.Teachers have been able to provide students with real-world experiences and opportunities as a result of the grants.

“The generosity of the FOA Foundation has allowed us to build on the rich history of musical theatre at Laguna Beach High School. Our production of Once Upon a Mattress was a success, much in part to the spectacular costumes and props, which the grant covered. As a direct result of the Foundation’s support, students, families, and community members alike were exposed to a professional-style production,” said Alexis Karol, LBHS drama teacher.

Karol has invited several professionals to work with students including performer and choreographer Paul Nygro, and New York City playwright and screenwriter Jeffrey James Keyes. Students gain first-hand knowledge and experience from seasoned professionals, and as a result have been successful in their performances throughout the school year. The dance department plans to utilize the funds to continue providing community members with unforgettable experiences and performances by students.

“The instrumental music program and band boosters are very grateful to have the support of the FOA Foundation and to receive this grant,” said Jeremy Chung, chair of the music department. “The money will be used to enhance the music program and benefit all music students involved as well as the community.”

Visual arts teacher Bridget Beaudry-Porter also thanks the Foundation for their commitment of supporting the LBHS art and digital photography programs. “This grant is indispensable to the continuance of our 2-D arts programs. With this grant, our students will be provided the necessary tools to express themselves visually. We will be able to purchase needed canvases, paint, drawing materials, pastels, paper, watercolors, and studio equipment. These materials are essential in helping my students getting into top universities and receiving scholarships to further their career in the arts industry,” said Beaudry-Porter.

Utilizing funds from this grant will also allow students in ceramics classes to continue creating art and showcase it to the community of Laguna Beach. Ceramics courses benefit over 100 enrolled students at LBHS. Each year, students showcase their work publicly such as at the Coastal Eddy A Gallery on Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna College of Art + Design’s Color It Orange Invitational, and the 3D art show at the Irvine Fine Arts Center.

“I am so thankful for the continued support of the FOA Foundation,” said Somer Selway, ceramics teacher. “The grant allows us to provide all the necessary tools and equipment needed to continue to nurturing and enriching the lives of the students at Laguna Beach High School.”

“Everyday, up to 140 students enter our facility with the desire to study dance and express themselves in a healthy and positive way,” said Estee Carrizosa, dance teacher and dance production advisor. “Dance is one of the greatest outlets for young people to achieve their fullest potential, artistically and academically. I am extremely grateful to have received support from the FOA Foundation to continue providing our students with these on-going opportunities.”

The dance department offers students an opportunity to meet, learn and engage with guest teachers for open level master classes after school. The teachers range from a variety of professionals in the commercial, concert, and Broadway dance scenes. Carrizosa hopes to bring in guest choreographers to continue working with students, dance companies to host residencies as part of the daily curriculum, and guest teachers to lead open master classes in all genres and styles of dance.

The FOA Foundation will be recognized by the Laguna Beach Unified School District at the next school board meeting on Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m. 

Artists Fund board members now exhibiting at City Hall

The Artist Fund at Festival of Arts is exhibiting a Board of Directors show at Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave., now through May 24 during business hours. Exhibiting board members include Hedy Buzan, Geraldine Cropser, Anne England, Elizabeth McGhee, Hugo Rivera, Liz Rubel, Shirley Rush and Wendy Wirth.

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Photo by Mike Tauber

The Artists Fund, founded by Anne England in 2000, provides financial aid to Festival artists suffering economic hardship, as well as a career scholarship program.

Additional board members include Karen Alvarado, Cynthia Ayers, Roger Folk, Rick Graves, and Ashley Gregg. 

To contact The Artists Fund, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 612-1949. For more information, visit

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee auditions

An eclectic group of mid-pubescents (played by adults) vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, the tweens spell their way through a series of words hoping to never hear the soul-crushing “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. A riotous ride complete with audience participation. 

Auditions are Monday and Tuesday, May 16, 17 starting at 6:30 p.m. by appointment only at No Square Theatre, 384 Legion Street.

Callbacks are Wednesday, May 18 starting at 6:30 p.m. You will be singing from the score.

Final callbacks are Saturday, May 21 starting at 1 p.m. You will be reading and running through choreography.

For more information, visit

coastal eddy a gallery Presents “Diggin’ Laguna…Then And Now”, featuring works by Laguna’s ceramics icons

coastal eddy a gallery presents “Diggin’ Laguna…then and now”, a retrospective on the history of ceramic art in Laguna. This new show ties in with the celebration of the gallery’s third anniversary and features Marlo Bartels, Boris Buzan, Thom Chambers, Monica Dunham, Gifford Myers, Walter Reiss, Fred Stodder, Jon Stokesbary, Roger Van de Vanter and Leah Vasquez, along with some nostalgic surprises. 

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Submitted photo

It’s no coincidence that coastal eddy a gallery opened their doors three years ago in the heart of the HIP district, also of historic importance to ceramic art. Get ready to take a trip back in time when production potters were all the rage in Laguna Beach. This retrospective will timeline production pottery from Brayton Laguna and others in 40’s and 50’s, and emphasize the groundbreaking 60’s and 70’s, with the introduction of raku at the Sawdust, and continues through today with work by some of the mainstays here in Laguna. 

The show runs May 7 – July 7.  Saturday, May 7, is the Artist’s Opening Reception, 5-8pm and is open to the public. The only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach is located at 1417 S. Coast Highway, in the HIP district of Laguna, 949.715.4113,

Quorum Art Gallery: Laguna’s longest established co-op gallery has new remodel to reveal, May 5th party

Located in the heart of Laguna Beach’s famous “Gallery Row,” the Quorum Art Gallery was the very first co-operative gallery to open its doors in Laguna Beach. 53 years later and The Quorum is still going strong, showcasing the work of 12 local artists.

The Quorum confidently looks to the future and has invested in a total remodel to create a state of the art gallery. Come celebrate with us as we launch our new gallery on May 5, from 3 – 9 p.m.

Stop by to meet our talented artists and allow them to share their passion for creating art with you.  Enjoy fine art, wine and food and be prepared to experience one of Laguna Beach’s artistic treasures.

The Quorum Art Gallery is located at 374 N. Coast Hwy, in Laguna Beach.

For more information visit: or call (949) 494-4422

Mystic Arts Gallery has artist Justin Garnier in May

From May 1-31, an out of town guest artist is coming to Mystic Arts Gallery to exhibit his paper cutting two-dimensional pieces with all hand build wood frames, very unique, from Fresno.  He will be installed and showing the whole month of May.  

His name is Justin Garnier.  

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“We are very excited we are growing and people from throughout the state are hearing about our special cooperative gallery in Laguna.  Also, in the month of May Mystic Arts will be up to 17 member artists. Of course we do monthly opening at ArtWalk, but this is really different since we are welcoming an artist coming in from quite a distance for the whole month,” said Rachel Goberman of Mystic Arts Gallery. 

Justin Garnier will be at the gallery from May 1 through 31, from 11 to 6 Sunday to Thursday and 11 to 9 on Friday and Saturday. 

Mystic Arts Gallery is located at 664 S. Coast Highway.

Laguna Playhouse announces its 2016-2017 new season of shows – going into their 96th season

Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce its 2016-2017 season of shows. Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham commented, “It’s truly one of our most diverse, wildly entertaining and thrilling seasons ever.  Our subscribers and audiences are going to love each of these theatrical journeys.”  

This summer is going to jailhouse rock as you dance to your favorite Elvis songs in All Shook Up. You can’t help falling in love with this jukebox musical.  Next will be Billy & Ray, directed by Michael Matthews. It tells the behind the scenes story of Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder as they nearly kill each other making the movie “Double Indemnity.” The New Year starts with the unexpected love story, Chapatti. Hershey Felder returns as master pianist in Tchaikovsky, then another musical genius hits our stage with the world premiere musical King of the Road: The Roger Miller Story, directed by Andrew Barnicle. We complete our season with the extraordinary The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. Add in a special engagement from Lythgoe Family Productions of Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight and you have one of the finest seasons in our nearly 100-year history.

All Shook Up runs July 6 – August 7. A newcomer’s rock ‘n’ roll attitude shakes up an Eisenhower-era town in this Broadway musical featuring the best of Elvis Presley. Summertime fun for all ages!

Billy & Ray runs Oct 5 – Oct 30. They plot to kill in “Double Indemnity,” but Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder nearly killed each other in the making of this classic film noir. It’s deadly funny adult comedy. 

Chapatti will run Jan 11 – Feb 5, 2017. A crazy cat lady and a lonely dog owner; this is a charming tale of two devoted pet owners reminding us it’s never too late to fall in love.

Hershey Felder will play Tchaikovsky, March 1 – March 26, 2017. “Swan Lake,” “The Nutcracker,” “1812 Overture.” …At the age of 53, Russia’s most famous composer was dead. And to this day, the how and why is still a mystery. 

King of the Road: The Roger Miller Story runs April 19 – May 14, 2017. It’s the true story behind the wisecracking country star and Tony-winning Broadway composer, Roger Miller.

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey will run May 31 – June 25, 2017. The darkness surrounding a boy’s disappearance is illuminated by memories of his brilliant spirit in this touching one-man show. 

Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight is a bonus Panto option presented by Lythgoe Family Productions, running December 3 – 30, 2016. Broadway and TV stars perform in this interactive musical fairy tale, with comedy, magic and pop music sure to delight children of all ages.  A Panto is known for its interactive style and humor that appeals to fairytale fans of all ages. This British holiday tradition dating to the 1700s mixes classic fairy tales, family-friendly magic and modern pop songs.

Subscriptions to the 2016-2017 season are now available by calling the Box Office at 949-497-2787 (ARTS) or online at Six-Play Season Tickets range from $279 - $351. Single Tickets will range from $48 - $66 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. 

The box office is open Mondays – Saturdays: Noon to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days). Sundays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information on all shows and programming visit  

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

JoAnne Artman Gallery presents The Back Room

JoAnne Artman Gallery presents in its Main Gallery The Back Room, a group exhibition including artists Anthony Hunter and Pedro Bonnin. The exhibition will run until June 30, 2016.

Month after month, JoAnne Artman Gallery exhibits new work in its front gallery spaces by featured artists in a thoughtful and thematic way. However, each month many of the gallery’s viewers are enthralled by the “Back Room” of the gallery, which is why JoAnne Artman has decided to unlock some hidden treasures and feature “Back Room” artists, including Anthony Hunter and Pedro Bonnin.

British painter Anthony Hunter delivers a fresh take on abstract expressionism creating works that are both emotionally powerful and visually captivating. Hunter, who has been immersed in the art world as an art fabricator for Damien Hirst, is known for his energetic compositions, unexpected palettes, and innovative use of materials.

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Anthony Hunter’s “Curious Big Black Square Running Away from Black Blob Over There Painting” (Gloss Paint on Panel)

Mexico City-based artist Pedro Bonnin is remarkable for his handling of oil paint, but what further distinguishes him is his rare ability to conjure moods. Bonnin is fascinated by darkly humorous subjects that frequently border on the absurd, like fantastical tableaus of sharply dressed urbanites juxtaposed against irrational spaces.

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 Pedro Bonnin’s “Constellation 08” (Oil on Canvas)

These artists will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you’re sure to find the right artistic expression.

JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N. Coast Highway. For more information, call 949-510-5481, email mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit The gallery is open Wednesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

Painting Weekend: Laguna Landscapes or Beach Watercolor workshops on April 30th and May 1st

LOCA Arts Education and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) are collaborating to present a choice of two exciting new painting workshops in Laguna Beach. Low cost registration is offered, due to a special grant from the City of Laguna Beach and local lodging establishments. Adults and families of all skill levels are invited, all materials are included, and everyone will take home finished art. Advance registration is required.

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Submitted photo

Artists Rick Delanty (left), Gil Dellinger and Rita Pacheco

The first workshop, Laguna Landscapes, is on Saturday, April 30, from 9 – 11 a.m. It will be held indoors at Top of the World School. LPAPA signature members Rick J. Delanty, Gil Dellinger, and Rita Pacheco will teach all aspects of composition, acrylic color mixing, and detailing a finished landscape. Cost is $20 for adults and children ages 9 and up.  Register at, call (949) 376-3655, or visit:

The second workshop, Watercolors by the Beach, is offered Sunday, May 1st, from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Participants will observe LPAPA artists painting the scenic shoreline of the spectacular Treasure Island Park, and then enjoy a guided tour of the tide-pools at low tide. Following that, a LOCA instructor will teach fun, easy steps in painting watercolor renderings of starfish and ocean life. Everyone will take home a reusable canvas tote, watercolor kit, journal, pencil and more.  Cost is $35 for adults and children ages 5 and up.  Register at, call (949) 363-4700, or visit:

Ed. Note: Artist Fitz Maurice has set out to paint live at all of the US national parks. She will be submitting her stories from the road to StuNewsLaguna from time to time. 


Recent painting, “ONCE” has an ancient connection

Story and photos by FITZ MAURICE

While on the quest – exploring the vast desert park that is Saguaro National Park in Arizona, I discovered an ancient petroglyph that was a ringer for my recent oil painting titled “ONCE.” 

The petroglyph was created by the Hohokam people; an ancient people who lived and carved images into stone thousands of years ago.

Fitz Maurice encountered an ancient petroglyph that looks like one of 

her own paintings

A close-up of the ancient petroglyph Fitz found in the Saguaro National Park, 

Sonoran Desert, Arizona

In the petroglyph we can see that the ancient people were honoring and communicating a spiraling vortex of energy thousands of years ago. I am a 21st century artist who painted this exact same image recently.  It’s incredible to me to discover this same image out in the middle of the desert while hiking along on the quest – looking for the ultimate Saguaro scene to paint.

“ONCE,” a recent oil painting (24” X 36”) from the ILLUMINISM series 

by FITZ Maurice

I guess my image of “ONCE” makes me a rock artist!

Another great discovery I made while at Saguaro National Park was Abe Valenzuela. He is Native American, from the Zapotec tribe and a volunteer at the Saguaro National Park.

Before the public video was played to a full audience at the West Visitor Center, Abe spoke about how his tribe believes that the saguaro cactus are their actual ancestors and that they need to be respected as such. He went on to say how they believe that there is one Creator above all his creations – from mankind to animals, to all of nature. 

Abe says, “We are all one!” He closed with words of encouragement for everyone to show their respect for the land and all living things “as if you are one with them.”

I believe that these ancient people were honoring and communicating the same message that I am today: All is one. 

I feel that, like them, all humans have a deep inner knowledge that there is a higher Creator. His signature is on every cell of every chromosome in humans, animals, nature, and in the universe. The more I am immersed in nature and the more I paint it, the more this is proven to me.

We are all one with all!

To see the “ONCE” oil painting, and the ILLUMINISM series, visit Main Beach Fine Art, located at 206 North Coast Hwy in Laguna Beach.


FITZ Maurice has been on a quest to paint ‘live’ in every national park in America. Now totally committed to helping promote and protect the parks, the artist is traveling by truck and trailer, living and painting in each park. Hiking, kayaking and horseback riding in search of the ultimate scene, and finally setting up with portable easel and oil paints, FITZ sets out to capture in paint the wonders that make every national park a treasure to Americans and all the people of the world.To see her National Park Paintings:

Happy 43rd anniversary to BC Space Gallery

On Saturday, April 23, BC Space Gallery will celebrate its 43rd Anniversary. 

In recognition of this endurance record Mark Chamberlain has organized a special Birthday Bash with an evening of food, drink, conviviality with kindred spirits, and a full course of visual and musical art.

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Submitted photos

The current exhibition Amerikan Krazy: Life Out of Balance features over 22 outstanding Southland artists whose work addresses the social, political, and environmental imbalance of human affairs. The show may be previewed on the website at to give you a taste. 

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Along with the cuisine and visual treats will be the wonderful array of local musicians assembled by Mark Turnbull for the evening. The performers include Steve and Beth Wood, Trio Dinicu, Jack Prather featuring Victoria McGinnis, and our own compère beyond compare guitar virtuoso Mark Turnbull.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. and the cover donation at the door is $30.00. The musical performances begin at 8:03. Seating is limited, and there are many preparations to make & provisions to stock, so an early RSVP would be appreciated. Reservations may be made by contacting the gallery at (949) 497-1880 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Father Bill Moore solo exhibit at Avran Art + Design

Avran Art + Design is pleased to present a solo exhibition of artworks by critically acclaimed artist, Father Bill Moore, on Saturday, April 23rd from 6 - 9 p.m.

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Father Bill approaches each canvas without a definite plan. Working with mixed media, he lets his ideas flow spontaneously onto the canvas and then adds bits of metal, glass, and other discarded materials to each painting to create a simple piece of artwork with deep autumnal colors and a rich surface texture that is ridged and rippled. Despite their contemporary feel, his canvases exude a timeless and spiritual quality that is almost mystical. Father Bill’s art expresses a love for the physical world, where he encourages his viewers to touch and feel the surfaces of his paintings.

Avran Art + Design distinguishes itself among the vibrant art scene in Laguna Beach by offering its clients a unique perspective on contemporary art for collectors and enthusiasts. The exquisitely edited gallery exhibits museum-quality glass sculptures, original paintings, avant-garde photography, and distinctive jewelry. Lovers of both contemporary and traditional art will revel in its exclusive collections.

Avran Art + Design is at 540 S. Coast Hwy – phone 494-0900.


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Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

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