LCAD launches its 50th year celebration with a nostalgic Gala on September 15 at [seven-degrees]

LCAD Sign

Submitted photos

Above: LCAD 1962

Below: A classroom setting in 1964

LCAD Class Photo

On Sept. 15 Laguna College of Art + Design will launch a yearlong celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Laguna Beach School of Art, from which the college evolved. The gala evening will be held at [seven-degrees] and attended by community and philanthropic leaders.

One of the evening’s highlights will be the debut of a film chronicling the remarkable history and milestones of the college during its 50 years. Those who attend will also have the opportunity to hear newly appointed LCAD President Jonathan Burke share his vision for the future the art college.

“In 1961 the Laguna Beach School of Art was founded with the mission to provide community art education of the highest quality in the region,” stated Burke.

“Fifty years later our mission is still relevant. What’s changed is that the definition of ‘community’ has expanded, and we now enroll students from 50 states and more than 20 foreign countries,” Burke said.

“At LCAD art education continues to meet the intrinsic need to observe, study and describe visual truth. Our students create and reveal a new reality through the integration of classical traditions and 21st Century technology.”

Guests will be among the first to view the invitational faculty art exhibition, showcasing the breadth of work created by LCAD’s distinguished faculty. Artwork from Drawing and Painting faculty reflects the increasing prominence representational work holds in galleries and museums around the world. Graphic and digital pieces created by the Visual Communication faculty showcases innovative trends in the design and entertainment fields.

LCAD Construction Photo

Laguna Canyon takes on what will become an iconic image in 1976

The exhibition will continue at Seven-Degrees through the month of September, underscoring the tradition of unparalleled artistic instruction at LCAD.

LCAD is a 2222 Laguna Canyon Road. For information, call 376-6000 or go online to www.lagunacollege.edu.com.


Festival of Arts Acura Celebrity event was a Star-Studded hit last Saturday night

The Laguna Beach Festival of Arts was filled to capacity on Saturday evening, Aug. 27, for the highly anticipated Acura Celebrity Event, hosted and headlined by acclaimed singer, songwriter and producer Richard Marx.

Richard Marx Photo

Staff photos by Cliff Getz and Suzie Harrison

Richard Marx in an acoustic concert Saturday night

Attendees were treated to a rare acoustic performance by host Marx, who played with a string quartet to the delight of the crowd. From 1987 to 1990, Marx became the first male solo artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the top five on Billboard’s singles chart, including the #1 hits “Hold On to the Nights,” “Satisfied” and the worldwide classic, “Right Here Waiting.” Thirty million album sales later, Marx continues to be one of the most prolific songwriters and producers of his generation.

His performance followed a red carpet arrival by many celebrity supporters of the Festival of Arts, including Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Oscar© winning actress, Marcia Gay Harden & Greg Grunberg (Heroes), Camryn Manheim (Ghost Whisperer), Alfre Woodard & Sam Hennings (Memphis Beat), CCH Pounder (Law & Order, SVU & Avatar), Jo Frost (Super Nanny), Robert David Hall (CSI), Vanessa Branch (The Pirates of the Caribbean movies), Dorian Harewood (Boomtown), Richard Karn (Home Improvement), Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives), Gregory Itzin (The Mentalist, 24), Marion Ross (Happy Days), LeVar Burton (Star Trek, Reading Rainbow), and others.

The event is a fundraiser for the Festival of Arts, a nonprofit organization that promotes appreciation for the arts through arts education, exhibitions, scholarships and grants. Acura generously donated a brand new Acura ZDX, valued at $50,000, to be raffled off. Tickets were sold throughout the 2011 summer arts season, and on Saturday night, the winning ticket was pulled by Marx.

Cheryl Hines PhotoThe winner of the Acura ZDX was Arick Gale of Dana Point, California who was present. The crowd cheered in delight when he held up the winning ticket. Gale’s daughter, six-year-old Jaimie, is a Pageant of the Masters volunteer. Funds raised totaled nearly $60,000 for the Festival of Arts.

“Acura is a great supporter of the arts, and we are honored that they have stood behind the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts for so many years,” said Fredric Sattler, president of the board of directors for the Festival of Arts. “We’re also thrilled by the continued support of KOST Radio 103.5 and our mutual friend Mr. Richard Marx, who made the evening truly magical for all of our exhibiting artists, volunteers and visitors!”

The Acura Celebrity Event was free for the evening’s Pageant of the Masters ticketholders and Festival of Arts visitors.


Art Walk cures the post festival blues with exciting new art offerings Thursday

The art festivals’ summer season is over, but the art scene in Laguna Beach goes year round with First Thursdays Art Walk. Enjoying and experiencing art is a great way to kick off the Labor Day weekend starting on Thursday, Sept. 1.

This Thursday Art Walk commences with a Pre-Art Walk event at 5 p.m., featuring “Gallery Highlights” an exhibition of artwork from First Thursdays Art Walk member galleries located at Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave.

Art Walk is an occasion inviting art enthusiasts to stroll and trolley around Laguna’s picturesque town on a self-guided tour of gallery openings, artist demonstrations and receptions, live music and other entertainment and refreshments. There is no beginning or ending point, move around town at your own pace. The event is free to the public and so is the trolley service. At any gallery pick up an Art Walk brochure that includes a map and featuring all the evening’s special events.

“Hop from gallery to gallery enjoying the artwork of featured artists along the way. It is a lot of fun,” said First Thursdays Art Walk president Rebecca Barber. She continued, “There is so much great art available for purchase.”

A host of special events is planned.  Throughout the evening see artists in action and watch their creative process when visiting them at many galleries demonstrating their techniques and sharing their insights. Ask questions and engage the artists.  The following are a few participating: Barbara MacDonald at Cove Gallery, Katy Byerts at Quorum Gallery; John Eagle and other resident artists at Studio 7; and Todd Kenyon at purelagunabeach gallery.

La River Painting

Victor Hugo Zayas,

“LA River,” oil on canvas, 72” x 72.”

There’s always something sizzling at saltfineart gallery and this month is no exception. Join artist Victor Hugo Zayas in an exciting prequel to his show at Laguna Art Museum. The gallery is proud to present “Kinetic,” featuring never before seen line work by Zayas, including delicate nudes in charcoal and electrical grids in thick, visceral oils. A collection of vibrant rocks that the artist has created privately for years will also be shown.  The exhibit will be installed by discipline from drawing, painting and sculpture throughout the three rooms of the gallery. Art fans can enjoy a VIP cocktail reception from 6 to 9 p.m. and a special presentation by renowned art critic Peter Frank at 6:30 p.m. saltfineart will also be issuing a beautiful special edition companion catalog.

JoAnne Artman Gallery is featuring figurative work by artist Greg Ragland, as well as the popular continued “Back Room,” exhibit. These artists will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and find the right artistic expression.

Blue Heron Painting

JoAnne Artman gallery featured artist Greg Ragland

“Blue Heron in Red with a Blue Line,” acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36.”

The jam-packed evening includes a multitude of featured galleries to see from Downtown to Gallery Row to Bluebird to Laguna Canyon Road, enhanced by performances by local musicians and gallery hospitality. At Studio Arts Gallery, view fused glass by Mary Murray with music on the patio. Stop by [seven-degrees] to view photographs by local artist Mark Orgill. At Dawson Cole Fine Art, experience an exhibition of gallery artists including Chuck Close, Donald Sultan and Richard MacDonald.

Art Walk gives you access to buy original artwork of every genre from these galleries. Also, be sure to visit the Laguna Art Museum featuring Noguchi – “California Legacy” and Lita Albuquerque – “Emergence”. More information can be found at www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com.


Earn a chance to win a stay at The Ritz-Carlton in the Festival of Arts benefit for the Artists’ Fund - Art-To-Go purchase

Mary Aslin Photo

All photos by Mike Tauber

FOA artist Mary Aslin with her original pastel work available to purchase

It’s time for art fans to buy their original Art-to-Go piece with 60 originals available daily through Friday, Aug. 26. All remaining pieces will be auctioned on Saturday, Aug. 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the Center Green.

Attendees wearing gold can enter to win the free prize drawings from 10 a.m. until noon. Three winners names will be announced from noon to 12:30 p.m., winner must be present to win. Prizes will be lovely items from the FOA gift shop.

A special buyers bonus is available to all patrons who bought art from the Artist Fund 2011 collection, and will be automatically entered.

One name will be drawn to win a certificate good toward a one-night stay in a pool/garden view guestroom, including all taxes, resort fee and valet parking, at the luxurious oceanfront Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. The package, graciously donated by the Resort, is valued at $607. Winner need not be present to win.

Art-To-Go is the annual fundraising program benefitting the Artists Fund, which provides disaster relief to artists in need. Works are available daily in two exhibit locations on the Festival grounds. Currently available are works by Marlo Bartels, Scott Young, Kathy Jones, Jacquie Moffett, Carol Martens, Luciano Bortone, Mary Aslin, Tom Swimm, Sandra Jones Campbell, Jacobus Baas, Pat Sparkuhl, Breck Rothage and many more. Prices start at $75.

“Don’t wait until the auction to buy,” warns Art-To-Go program coordinator, Mike Tauber. He has seen people devastated to find the piece they wanted has already been sold.

Pieces donated to Art-To-Go are original works created by Festival exhibitors. Proceeds benefit the Artists Fund at the Festival of Arts, providing financial aid to artists suffering economic hardship due to illness, injury, or disaster, such as the recent mudslides in Laguna Canyon.

“We’ve provided comfort to artists with terminal illnesses, and have helped others return to their productive art career,” said Anne England, Artist Fund founder. “We are grateful to our artists for donating, and we thank our collectors – we couldn’t do it without you.”

It takes a lot of courage for people to ask for help, even if they are in dire need, said England. She encourages artists not to be afraid to apply.

“In the last 11 years we have spent about $90,000 on artists that had nowhere else to go,” said England. “And it’s absolutely confidential.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, premiered as the first luxury resort along coastal Orange County in August 1984. Twenty-six years later, the award-winning resort is a re-imagined surfside retreat that awakens guests’ senses with its unique oceanfront setting and remarkable service heritage.

For information on Art-To-Go, email Mike Tauber, Art-to-Go program coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 497-3597. Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, open 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily through Aug. 31. To reach the Festival, call 494-1145 or go online to www.foapom.com.

Check out these Art-To-Go offerings from Festival artists:

Group Photo


FOA features arts and entertainment for this week

It’s the final weekend for the Festival of Art and the pageant of the Masters with activities going through Aug. 31.

Special events include: on Saturday, Aug. 27 the Festival will hold its Art-to-Go auction for the Artists Fund from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 7 to 8 p.m. will feature a special guest performance by Richard Marx.

The Festival of Arts features 140 of the area’s most accomplished artists, as well as expansive menu of arts and entertainment opportunities.

Today on Tuesday Aug. 23, Art Talks, the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts special discussion series covering topics of art trends and connoisseurship, will explore the art of re-imagining fashion for the final discussion of the summer.  Join the multi-talented artists who created the fabulous pieces for the 2011 Festival Fashion show in a discussion about creativity, repurposing and re-imagining. See their creations up close that featured re-used recycled and reclaimed materials in innovative designs of haute couture.

Some of the free, popular happenings include music: Friday Night DJ with DJ Lucky Lou Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays feature three happening starting with The Art of Cooking, presented by William Sonoma, 1 to 2 p.m.; Art in Motion: Hip Hop to Tango is from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and Beatles’ Classics performed by Jason Feddy and Friends, 6 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 25 the popular series, Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate, will feature jazz vocalist Anne Walsh.

This week’s schedule… Friday, Aug. 26, DJ Lucky Lou will be spinning the sounds of affection with “Ain’t nothin’ but the Blues.”

Sunday, Aug. 28, The Art of Cooking with Williams-Sonoma featured cuisine will be fresh and tasty tomato salad. Spectators will not only learn how to make the recipe themselves, they’ll also get to help Chef Joffrey eat what he prepares.

Also on Sunday, Art in Motion: Hip Hop to Tango will feature Traditional Irish dance.

Monday Aug. 29 live music will be performed by Peter Dobson from 6 to 8 p.m.; Tuesday features Terje Lie and closing night with Rick Tatum.

The Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For information about the festival or Pageant go online to www.foapom.com or call 494-1145.


Free admission and fun Aug. 27 and 28 for Art-A-Fair’s Customer Appreciation final weekend

Celebrating 45 years of exhibiting fine art in all mediums, Art-A-Fair will admit all visitors free of charge during its Customer Appreciation Weekend, Aug. 27 and 28, the festival’s final weekend of the summer season.

Despite the weak economy, visitors and residents have come to Art-A-Fair all summer long and purchased many works of art from the Festival’s 125 artists. As a result, attendance and sales have been high and Art-A-Fair wishes to give back to its patrons.

“Our Customer Appreciation Weekend celebrates the generosity of our visitors. We invite them to come back and enjoy another visit ‘on us’,” said Mike Cahill, President of the Board of Directors.

“Art-A-Fair has seen an increase in attendance and sales over last year, and we think this is due to visitors’ loyalty and support of our artists who exhibit millions of dollars of art,” Cahill said.

Arty, Art-A-Fair’s 45th anniversary character specially created for this year only, has been hidden daily this season on the grounds. The first visitor to find him each day has been awarded an art prize created by Art-A-Fair’s renowned artists. The hunt will continue with multiple hidings throughout Customer Appreciation Weekend. This will provide visitors many opportunities to find him and take home an exceptional piece of art. And if your kids find him, they will be able to take home a piece of art as well.

During Customer Appreciation Weekend, the final weekend of the season, Art-A-Fair will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking is available at Act V, just a short distance north on Laguna Canyon, with free shuttle service to Art-A-Fair, located at 777 Laguna Canyon Rd.  For information, go online to www.art-a-fair.com or call 494-4514.


Sawdust final weekend promises fun for all

Crowd Photo

Submitted photo

Attendance and sales are bucking the economic trends this summer

The Sawdust Art Festival winds down its 45th annual season on a high note. Despite the bleak economic news reports, attendance and visitorship reports to the 2011 summer art show have shown to be up over 10 percent year-to-date according to numbers at the front gate and Sawdust Box Office.

“We are looking at an increase in our attendance again this year, and our artists are telling us they are selling more art.  Our Marketing Department continued the “Honda Raffle” and the “Passport to the Arts” this year ( a “season pass” to all three art shows, with a free day of parking at Act V for only $19), and we added a ticket promotion with Costco and Groupon – all contributed to our increase,” said Sawdust general manager Tom Klingenmeier.  “It’s been a great summer and we are looking forward to the same results for our Winter Fantasy Show.”

Over 200 Laguna Beach artists will celebrate the close of a great summer season on closing day Sunday, Aug. 28. Highlights of the 2011 season’s final weekend include:

Final Weekend Art Classes

Saturday, August 27

• 10am-5:30pm - “Throw a Greenware Pot” at the Ceramic Center, all ages

• 10:30am-1:30pm - “Rainbow Fish” at the Children’s Art Spot, ages 5+

• 10:30am-12:30pm - “Fun with Watercolor” at the Sawdust Studio, ages 6+

• 1-3 pm - “Chinese Brush Painting” with K.C. Horng at the Sawdust Studio, ages 6+

• 2-5:30 pm - “Footprints in the Sand” at the Children’s Art Spot, ages 4+

• 3:30-5:30 - “Monoprints” at the Sawdust Studio, ages 6+

• 7-9 pm - “Throw a Greenware Pot” at the Ceramic Center, all ages

Sunday, August 28

• 10am-5:30pm - “Throw a Greenware Pot” at the Ceramic Center, all ages

• 10:30am-12:30pm - “Bubbly Fish” at the Children’s Art Spot, ages 4+

• 10:30am-12:30pm - “Collage Magnets” with Rosanne Nitti at the Sawdust Studio, ages 6+

• 1-3 pm - “Tiny Tidepool” at the Children’s Art Spot, ages 4+

• 1-3 pm - “Expressive Drawing” at the Sawdust Studio, ages 6+

• 3:30-5:30 pm - “Finger Puppets” at the Children’s Art Spot, 6+

• 3:30-5:30 pm - “Mixed Media Collage” at the Sawdust Studio, 6+

• 7-9 pm - “Monograms” with Evelda Loftsgaard at the Sawdust Studio, ages 6+

• 7-9 pm - “Throw a Greenware Pot” at the Ceramic Center, all ages

Final Weekend Entertainment

Saturday, August 27

• 11am-3pm - Balloon Diva, roving

• 11:30am-4pm - Chris and Sue, Tavern stage

• 11:30am-4pm - Beth Fitchet Wood, Grill stage

• 12-4:30 pm - Upstream, Main Deck

• 5-9:30 pm - Kelly Fitzgerald, Tavern stage

• 5-9:30 pm - Mary Coppin, Grill stage

• 5:30-9:45 - Missiles of October, Main Deck

Sunday, August 28

• 11:30am-4pm - Really Classic, Tavern stage

• 11:30am-4pm - Brooke Ramel, Grill stage

• 12-4 pm - Balloon Diva, roving

• 12-4:30 pm - Yussi, Main Deck

• 5-9:30 pm - City Workers, Tavern stage

• 5:30-9:45 pm - World Anthem, Main Deck

Sunday, August 28 at 4 pm – Visitors still have a chance to win a 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid! The final raffle drawing will take place at 4 pm on the Main Entertainment Deck. Help support the Sawdust Art Education programs and purchase raffle tickets and enter the chance to win. For more information on Honda’s full line up, visit www.honda.com. Honda is a proud sponsor of the Sawdust Art Festival.

The final “Weekly Wine Wednesday” of the season features Kendall-Jackson’s 2006 Merlot “Grand Reserve.”  From 5-7 pm, a complimentary taste of the featured wine will be poured for wine purchasers at the Sawdust Saloon.

As part of the year-round Sawdust Studio Art Classes program, students can take two-hour glassblowing classes offered everyday at 10 am and 2 pm from Sept. 6 through the end of the month. Students will experience a taste of what it is like to create a mini glass masterpiece using hot malleable glass straight from the kiln. Beginners are welcome.

The $250 class fee, for up to two students, includes all materials and instruction needed. Sawdust artists and glassblowing instructors include: Bruce Freund, Gavin Heath, Christopher Jeffries, Jason and Nicole McQuaid, Mike Panetta and Marcus Thesing. Visit www.SawdustStudioArtClasses.com or call 494-3030 to register.

To check out more details about the Sawdust Art Festival’s 45th annual summer season and calendar of events, please visit www.sawdustartfestival.org or call 494-3030. The Sawdust Art Festival is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Aug. 28, and is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road with free City trolley service to and from the Act V parking lot. Admission prices are: adults $7.75, seniors (65+) $6.25, children (6-12) $3.25, children (5 & under) free; summer season pass $15; annual pass $20.


Special guest performance by Richard Marx at FOA with Acura Celebrity Event this Saturday night

Richard Marx PhotoThis Saturday night, Aug. 27, admired singer and songwriter Richard Marx will host the most momentous night of the summer art season: The Acura Celebrity Event at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. All summer long, Festival of Arts visitors have been purchasing raffle tickets for a chance to win a brand new Acura ZDX (valued over $50,000), and on Saturday night the winning ticket.

The evening will begin at 5 p.m. when attending celebrities will walk the red carpet at the Festival of Arts entrance, including Camryn Manheim (Ghost Whisperer), Jo Frost (Super Nanny), Robert David Hall (CSI), Vanessa Branch (The Pirates of the Caribbean films), Joseph Mascolo (Days of Our Lives), Dorian Harewood (Boomtown), Richard Karn (Home Improvement), Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives), Marion Ross, Greg Grunberg and many others.

At 7 p.m., in the intimate ambiance of the Festival of Arts, Richard Marx will treat guests to a rare performance. From 1987 to 1990, Marx became the first male solo artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the top five on Billboard’s singles chart, including the #1 hits “Hold On to the Nights,” “Satisfied” and the worldwide classic, “Right Here Waiting.” Marx continues to be one of the most prolific songwriters and producers of his generation 30-million album sales later.

At eight o’clock Saturday evening, he will pull the winning ticket for the Acura ZDX, up until which time tickets will continue to be sold ($5 for one ticket, $20 for five tickets – the winning ticketholder need not be present to win). The funds raised will benefit the Festival of Arts programming and Building Fund for improvements and renovations. Following the pulling of the ticket, Marx will make his first-ever visit the Festival of Arts to take in a performance of the critically acclaimed Pageant of the Masters production of “Only Make Believe.”

“It’s the most anticipated night of the season,” said Sharbie Higuchi, director of marketing and public relations for the Festival of Arts. “Acura has been incredibly generous and they deserve a great amount of recognition for their dedication to the arts. We also so appreciate KOST Radio 103.5, which has shown tremendous support for the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. We can’t wait to welcome Mr. Marx, our other celebrity friends and most of all, the Festival of Arts fans who will have a fabulous time at the Acura Celebrity Event!”

Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, open 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily through Aug. 31. And the Pageant of the Masters is performed nightly at 8:30 p.m. through the Festival’s close. To reach the Festival, call 494-1145 or go online to www.foapom.com.


Suzie Speaks

Suzie’s Articulation…

 

I feel like borrowing from the Festival of Arts Artist Fund – a similar moniker to express my art experiences – so instead of their Art-to-Go – I feel like I am constantly experiencing art-on-the-go. Because of the generous arts opportunities Laguna Beach offers – literally between the time the art festivals open in the morning to closing – luxuriating in all the happs is a full-time occupation.

On Sunday, obviously, I had quite a dreamy time at the Festival of Arts experiencing “Beatles Sundays” with Jason Feddy. It was a delight to chat with the award-winning singer/songwriter him and his lovely wife. Feddy looked especially stellar with an uber-tidy rock-n-roll shirt – way cool! And of course, his voice is always heavenly!

The Festival was packed, packed, packed with a flurry of art, activity and merriment. Ryan Heimbach was met with paparazzi like fanfare while he worked on sculpting a piece in his booth. I was surprised he could see with all the flashes going off. Perhaps, Heimbach must be used to it by now, even though he is a mere freshman at the Festival.

Still more at the Festival of Arts...I ran into Diane DeBilzan, who was working Gavin Heath’s booth and her friend who had stopped by during a Beatles’ break, Debi Renshaw of Sotheby’s.

Even though I have seen Debi in the arts circles, I officially had a proper introduction to her during the June Art Walk – while Shaena and I were art walking. We ran into Diane at her former gallery, DeBilzan Gallery. Quite gregarious, Debi immediately invited me to tour William DeBilzan’s work as a sort of docent, if you will – but rather, she inserted her personal interpretation of each piece. The art fan did not dish out the facts - she pointed out what was indicative to her. And while Debi is a self-described left-brainer, her ideas were quite right-brain-esque, and clever.

Once more, at the Festival, Diane’s friend showed off her right side acumen while and exploring art and taking pleasure in conversation.

This weekend I look forward to hitting the art festivals again in full force. Being a bit of a Criminal Minds fan, noting they most likely use the whole-brain approach, I am going to the Festival of Arts meet and greet with the show’s cast on Saturday. I know Joe Mantegna continues to support the Festival and Pageant. Right on!

And coming up – there’s the Art-to-go auction and I also can’t wait to experience the fashion at the Festival’s Fashion show with celebrity judge Marlee Matlin.

Until next time... so much art...so little time...


Final Art Talk Tuesday will feature artists from Saturday’s Festival Runway Fashion Show

On Tuesday Aug. 23, Art Talks, the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts special discussion series covering topics of art trends and connoisseurship, will explore the art of re-imagining fashion for the final discussion of the 2011 season.

The increasingly popular Festival Runway Fashion Show takes place tomorrow wherein innovative designs of haute couture are created by Festival of Arts exhibitors using re-used, recycled and reclaimed materials.

Join the multi-talented artists who created the fabulous pieces for the 2011 Festival Fashion show in a discussion about creativity, repurposing and re-imagining. See their creations up close, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Every Tuesday and Thursday of the 2011 Festival of Arts season has featured an Art Talks session. On Tuesday, exhibiting artists have led discussions addressing topics of medium, influence and present trends. On Thursdays, some of the best minds in the Orange County art scene – from curators to conservators – have visited the Festival to speak on issues of buying, appraising, displaying, restoring and conserving fine art.

Art Talks is a fascinating and informative series that you can enjoy with a late morning cup of coffee and the beautiful atmosphere of the Festival. Whether you’re an informed connoisseur or an amateur collector, if you’re an art lover, Art Talks is for you. Don’t miss the last Art Talks discussion.

The Art Talk series at Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd, is free with Festival of Arts admission, $7. Immediately following the Art Talks at 10 a.m. on both days is a docent tour of the Festival of Arts grounds at 11 a.m. For information, call 494-1145 or go online to www.lagunafestivalofarts.org.


Original art knows no age boundaries – Gallery Q at the Susi Q now exhibiting “Summer Reflections”

Diane Krasner Photo

Submitted photos

Diane Krasner – three of 12 portrait drawings of Laguna Beach Seniors. (L-R) Jean Ann Drake, Louise Buckley and Skipper Lynn. These and many other works are on display through the end of September at Gallery Q in the Susi Q

Gallery Q at the Susi Q is now showing “Summer Reflections”, original works of art from local artists.  Pieces include oils, acrylics, printmaking, photography, watercolor and mixed media reflecting a fascinating variety of styles and techniques.

Included in this show are beautiful portrait drawings by artist Diane Krasner featuring 12 members of The Laguna Beach Seniors. Most artwork is for sale by the artists with 15% being donated to support activities and programs at the senior center.

There will be an artist’s reception with light refreshments open to the public from 3:30 to 5:30 Thursday Sept 8; the show will run to the end of September and may be viewed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Gallery Q is located at the Laguna Beach Community and Senior Center, 380 Third Street.

Elena Srebnik PHoto

Artist Elena Srebnik with “Anais”

Featured artists are Benjamin Albert, Mary Binns, Carol Brown, Darcy Bruno, Harry Cary, Marguita Chase-Miller, Lee Connerat Cohan, Darlye Lynn Cornelison, William Crawley, Parvis Djamtorki,  JeanAnn Drake, Maria Faur, Theresa Fernald, Victoria Giglio, Loranine E. Hollingsworth, KC Horng, Marie D. Hurd, Rozann R. Johnson, Virginia Kreger, Diane Lachman, Joan Lewis, Marge Naiman, Cathleen Ohlund, Richard Olshausen, Heather Parker, Skip Roma, Sumi Singerton, Marilyn Skonberg, Elena Srebnik, Mary Stapleton, Wendi Steinman, Deborah Sussex, Carol Swanson, Victoria Templeton, Marianne Van Der Veer, Laura Leigh Wantz, Patricia Whiteside Phillips and Carole Zavala.

For information, call Zavala at 715-2445 or the Susi Q at 497-2441.


Get profiled with the cast of Criminal Minds at FOA Saturday

Criminal Minds Photo

The cast of TV’s Criminal Minds

The cast of TV’s Criminal Minds will spend the evening at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts on Aug 20, where they will greet fans, take photos, sign autographs and enjoy the fine art of Festival exhibitors before they take in a performance of this year’s acclaimed Pageant of the Masters production, Only Make Believe.

Cast members scheduled to attend this special celebrity meet-and-greet evening include Joe Mantegna, who plays seasoned Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi; Matthew Gray Gubler who portrays Dr. Spencer Reid, the youngest member of the profiling team; Shemar Moore, playing Special Agent Derek Morgan; A.J. Cook who plays Special Agent Jennifer “JJ” Jareau; and Paget Brewster as Special Agent Emily Prentiss on the show. In the show, an elite group of profilers analyze the nation’s most dangerous criminal minds in an effort to anticipate their next moves before they strike again.

Celebrity meet-and-greet evenings are anew addition to the Festival of Arts’ world-class special events series and offer a rare opportunity for fans to meet their favorite stars as they enjoy all that the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters have to offer.

“We always look forward to welcoming Mr. Mantegna and his colleagues as special guests at the Festival of Arts each season,” said Sharbie Higuchi, director marketing and public relations for the Festival of Arts. “This year, we’re sharing the fun with everyone!”

The Criminal Minds meet-and-greet will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. Visitors interested in getting an autograph or photo are encouraged to bring their own camera and paper.

Just preceding the meet-and-greet will be the Festival Runway Fashion Show, wherein Festival exhibitors create couture designs made from at least 80% reclaimed, reused or recycled materials. Festival Runway Fashion will hit the runway on the Festival green from 1 to 4 p.m. Celebrity meet-and-greet evenings and Festival Runway Fashion are free with Festival of Arts admission ($7 for adults, $4 for seniors and students).


Festival jurors name Junior Art Gallery winners

Festival Jurors Photo

Submitted photo

Junior Art Gallery winners proudly show their gold, silver and bronze medallions, which were presented to them Sunday by arts patron Mark Porterfield, executive director of PIMCO Foundation. A panel of jurors selected the winners.

A jury made up of representatives from the PIMCO Foundation and the Festival of Arts selected first, second and third place winners from the more than 300 Orange County students’ incredible work of art on display in the Festival’s Junior Art Gallery.

The awarded categories were photography (grades kindergarten to sixth and seventh to seniors) and three-dimensional works (grades pre-kindergarten to fifth through eight grades and seventh to seniors) and two-dimensional artwork for each grade from pre-kindergarten through high school.

The jurors for these special awards included from The PIMCO Foundation (Mark Porterfield, Jasmine Yrizarry and Jason Tockey) and from the Festival of Arts (Mary Aslin and Kirsten Whalen).

The 2011 Junior Art Awards Ceremony was held Sunday on the Festival of Arts grounds. The winners were acknowledged, honored and presented with gold, silver and bronze medallions by Porterfield, Executive Director of The PIMCO Foundation and longtime patron of the arts in Laguna Beach. The students’ teachers were also recognized with certificates of appreciation. Hundreds of friends, family members and art instructors turn out to support and congratulate the recipients of the Junior Art Awards.

“The Junior Art exhibit has become not only a showcase for young Orange County student artists, but also a vivid testimonial to the value and importance of continuing arts education in our school systems,” said Festival of Arts President Fred Sattler.

The 2011 Junior Art Exhibit is presented by the Festival of Arts and funded in part by The PIMCO Foundation. Proceeds support the arts and art education in and about Laguna Beach. www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


“Green designs” on the runway

Fashion forward at the Festival Runway Fashion Show with celebrity judge Marlee Matlin & Extra’s Jerry Penacoli as host

Marlee PhotoThis Saturday, Aug. 20 will be the most fashion forward day of the summer when the hugely popular Festival Runway Fashion Show returns to the Festival of Arts for the third year.

Festival of Arts exhibitors team up or go solo in designing what they see to be the season’s hottest “green” designs. The only rule? At least 80% of materials used must be reclaimed, reused or recycled. Extra TV correspondent Jerry Penacoli will host, while Academy Award® winning actress Marlee Matlin will join two other judges to choose the designs that are in…or out!

“Festival Runway Fashion has quickly become one of our most popular special events, and this year’s competition and runway show promises to be the most dynamic yet,” said Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival of Arts. “Participating artists are competing for cash prizes, but really what they want are the bragging rights!”

Returning to the competition are artists Brad Elsberry, Dagmar Chaplin and Adam Neeley (last year’s first, second and third place winners, respectively). Neeley’s creative use of chicken feathers for a posh frock and Chaplin’s reinvention of plastic grocery bags for a medieval gown won wide admiration from judges and crowds alike, but everyone was taken by Elsberry’s dramatically visionary use of eucalyptus bark from the very tree that stood beside his booth at the Festival of Arts. Also participating are artists Bruce Burr, Rick Graves, Troels Larsen, Janet Lewis and others.

What jaw-dropping designs will make memorable artistic statements in 2011? August 20th will tell! If you’re a fan of inventive fashion or if you simply enjoy a great show, you won’t want to miss this unique event, which will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Following Festival Runway Fashion is a celebrity meet-and-greet evening (from 7-8pm) with the cast of the hit CBS show Criminal Minds, including Joe Mantegna, Matthew Gray Gubler, Shemar Moore, A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster. Both Festival Runway Fashion and celebrity meet-and-greet evenings are free with Festival of Arts admission ($7 for adults, $4 for seniors and students).

The event is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. Proceeds support the arts and art education in and about Laguna Beach. For information call 494-1145 or go online to www.foapom.com


Festival of Arts features premiere arts and entertainment

The Festival of Arts features 140 of the area’s most accomplished artists, as well as expansive menu of arts and entertainment opportunities.

Some of the free, popular happenings include music: Friday Night DJ with DJ Lucky Lou Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays feature three happenings starting with The Art of Cooking, presented by William Sonoma, 1 to 2 p.m.; Art in Motion: Hip Hop to Tango is from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

On Thursdays Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate offers music and more, 5 to 8 p.m., cost is $15. Thursday the popular series will feature jazz guitarist Steve Oliver.

This week’s schedule… Friday, Aug. 19, DJ Lucky Lou will be spinning the sounds of affection with “Love is in the Air.”

Saturday, Aug. 20, will feature a special event - the Festival Runway Fashion with celebrity guest judge Marlee Matlin from 1 to 4 p.m.

And Saturday night from 6 to 8 p.m. meet and greet the cast from Criminal Minds.

Sunday, Aug. 21, The Art of Cooking with Williams-Sonoma featured cuisine will be Marinated and Grilled Carne Asada and wine pairing with Kendall-Jackson wines. Spectators will not only learn how to make the recipe themselves, they’ll also get to help Chef Joffrey eat what he prepares.

Also on Sunday, Art in Motion: Hip Hop to Tango will feature the popular Chinese Dragon Dance.

Check out the Art Talks on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. Tuesday will feature exhibiting artists leading discussions on topics of medium, influence and present trends. And Thursdays will host some of the best minds in the Orange County art scene – from curators to conservators – will visit the Festival to speak on issues of buying, appraising, displaying, restoring and conserving fine art.

Art Talks this week: Tuesday, Aug. 16, will feature FOA artists, who will discuss the sources of artistic inspiration and creativity. And on Thursday, Aug. 18 Jean Stern, Irvine Museum Executive Director will discuss “The Art of Looking at Art.”

Next weekend on Saturday, Aug. 27 the Festival will hold its Art-to-Go auction for the Artists Fund from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. And from 7 to 8 p.m. there will be a special guest performance by Richard Marx.

The Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For information go online to www.foapom.com or call 494-1145.


Art Classes continue to abound at Art-A-Fair

Art-A-Fair is calling all beginners through intermediate artists. Responding to overwhelming requests from local and visiting artists, the Art-A-Fair now offers art workshops every day of the week and has expanded its art curriculum. Aspiring and established artists may choose from watercolor, classic beading, oil and palette knife, traditional oil, acrylic, Chinese brush painting, watercolor on yupo and collage classes taught by juried Art-A-Fair artists.

Morning, afternoon or all day classes are available at the Art-A-Fair with an environment that inspires the imagination. Students will be taught techniques by Art-A-Fair’s award-winning artists who encourage creativity and expand students’ artistic horizons. To maximize personal attention as well as one-on-one instruction, classes are limited to six students, ages 16 years and older.

Workshops are priced to encourage the aspiring artist to pick up a brush for the first time or an established artist to continue progress in a favorite medium or explore a new one. Sign up for a two-hour session from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for $30 or take advantage of both sessions for just $45. Enjoy a boxed lunch from Tivoli Too! for $7.50 or bring your own brown bag. Reserve a spot in advance by calling 949.494.4514; classes fill up quickly each week.

Workshops include an array of art media, including Chinese brush painting, watercolor on yupo, collage, watercolor, classic beading, oil and palette knife, traditional oil and acrylic.

Art-A-Fair exhibits fine art in all mediums by 125 international, national and local artists. It is open daily Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

A season admission ticket is just $7 for adults and $4 for seniors (60+), military and students with an I.D. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult. Laguna Beach residents are admitted free daily with valid I.D. Parking is available at Act V, just a short distance north on Laguna Canyon Road, with free shuttle service to Art-A-Fair, located at 777 Laguna Canyon Road. For information, go online to www.art-a-fair.com, or call 494-4514.


Suzie Speaks

Suzie’s Articulation…

 

The art scene continues to be alive, well and thriving in Laguna Beach. If something on the arts front wasn’t happening, then we would have a Rampart 911 on our hands. We know a scenario as such will never be the case – that is the beauty of where we live. Our arts well never runs dry, even if many other circumstances in the world have gone awry.

Attendees and auctioneer alike were thrilled with the results of the Sawdust Art Festival Artists’ Benevolence Fund Art Auction last Sunday.

“Sawdust Benevolent Fund Art Auction was a great success,” said auctioneer Mike Tauber. “Having Louis Longi there was really nice, he gave a great testimonial, a great story. Longi spoke – he was a recipient of the Sawdust Benevolence fund as a result of this past winter’s flood.”

Tauber said there was not a dry eye in the house after Longi told his story about his studio and home being wiped out on that fateful day.

“He donated a piece back to the Sawdust, ‘Rescue Me,’” said Tauber. “We had to pause and slow it down after Louis told his story. Someone did buy his piece, a number of people were bidding on it.”

Tauber said it was a small challenge to get the crowd back after the moving story – but the feel good story is an example of the fund does for artists in our community. “We had to pause and slow it down,” Tauber said.

More than 200 people received bid cards and at least 50 spectators were there to support the cause.

“The Benevolence Fund is to help out artists in a disaster,” Tauber said. “We have a great Benevolence Fund that came and helped at a time of need.”

The crowd was energetic, engaged and responsive. “David Nelson, the emcee, was good with his knock-knock jokes,” Tauber said.

It’s good to know revenue was up this year to around $14,000.

“Everyone worked very hard. It was so well organized that it allowed you to have fun,” Tauber said. “I was thoroughly impressed with the quality and variety of work the artists donated. There were sophisticated, beautiful works and some surprises too.”

Diane DeBilzan was in attendance; she works part-time at glass artist Maggie Spencer’s booth. “The Sawdust artists really donated generously to make this year’s auction a great success. I was very impressed with the donations,” DeBilzan said. “Mike Tauber kept the bidding going.”

So, now it’s time to focus on the Festival of Arts Artists’ Fund for Artists in Need. The auction will be on Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Buy now before your piece is sold to someone else!

Until the next time…I will be enjoying so much art – despite so little time!


Festival of Arts has a variety of art classes

Art abounds for adults and children through workshops in printmaking, ceramics and mixed media, artist demonstrations and art tours at the Festival of Arts.

Britta Photo

Photo by Tom Swimm

Young artist, Britta, creates exciting works at the Festival of Arts

Multi-media art workshops offer students a broad range of artistic experiences taught by Festival artists, from printmaking, collage, wood sculptures, mask making and more. And the printmaking workshops demonstrate relief, monoprint, and reductive printmaking techniques. These diverse classes are free with festival admission and are held 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The Raku workshops are exciting for students to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Paint a pot using the Japanese Raku ceramic glazing technique. These workshops are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The cost for materials is $15 per pot.

On Youth Arts Education Days, Festival artists share their creative techniques through a wide variety of art classes for children ages 7 to 12, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to noon. Materials cost $10 per child per class. Reservations are required, call 464-4282 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Festival’s Junior Art Exhibition is popular for art aficionados with over 300 pieces of artwork from Orange County students, grades Kindergarten through 12; the quality of art represented is impressive.

Festival general admission is $7 and $4 for seniors and students. Laguna Beach residents and military personnel with ID receive free admission, as do children under the age of 12.

With the Passport to the Arts for only $19, receive unlimited admission to all three summer art festivals - the Festival of Arts, Sawdust Art Festival and Art-A-Fair.

Tickets for Pageant of the Masters are $15-$100. A Pageant of the Masters ticket stub allows free entry all summer to the Festival of Arts through the front gate.

Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For information, go online to www.foapom.com or call 494-1145.


“Summer of Love” engagingly abounds at FOA with the art of marriage proposals – two on one night

The summer of 2011 has proven to be the “Summer of Love” at the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. Two couples, totally unrelated, were engaged on Saturday night, both through commissioned art created by Festival of Arts exhibiting artists.

Andrew Shen and his girlfriend Crystal Paul have been attending the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters together ever since they began dating four years ago, but Saturday night will forever be the most memorable of their visits.

“We have been together for a while, so I had to do something really special,” said Shen. Knowing he wanted to incorporate the Festival of Arts, he commissioned painter Elizabeth McGhee to paint an image of himself on his knee in front of Paul, at McGhee’s booth. Before they attended a performance of the Pageant of the Masters production of “Only Make Believe,” their own dreams came true when they strolled by McGhee’s booth and Paul saw the painting. Shen got down on his knee, life quite literally imitating art, and Paul agreed to spend the rest of her life with him.

“I looked at the painting and thought, ‘Hey! That’s us!’” said Paul, who was beside herself as dozens of friends and family (who had been waiting in the wings, trying to be inconspicuous) swarmed the happy couple.

Shen Proposal Photo

Shen/Paul

According to Patrick Moss, his girlfriend of four years, Sophia Phan has a classy and sophisticated approach to life, which in his mind the Festival of Arts reflects. He wanted to do something dramatic and romantic in his proposal to marry her, so he took Phan to see the Pageant of the Masters for the very first time and afterward made a point of seeing just one more artist’s booth before their night was over. At the booth of fine art photographer Barbara White, Phan saw a photograph of Moss on his knee, only to turn and see him on his knee.

“I’m in shock!” said Phan. She also said yes.

Moss Phan Photo

Moss/Phan

And the Festival of Arts has its own love story. Festival employee Nan Fisher grew up with Mike Kortge; they graduated kindergarten, junior high and high school together. After decades leading separate lives, they reunited earlier this year and fell madly in love. On July 24, they were walking the Festival together and Kortge found the perfect sapphire ring by fine jewelry artist Lance Heck, who was present. Spontaneously, Kortge hit his knee and asked her to marry him, Heck’s design in hand.

“It was the most magical moment,” said Fisher. Both in their 60s, Kortge has a charming take on the future with his fiancé: “We’re going to be together for at least thirty years – if longer, I’ll buy an extended warranty.”

Fisher Kortge Photo

Kortge/Fisher

“These proposals are unprecedented occasions for artists Elizabeth McGhee, Barbara White and Lance Heck,” said Sharbie Higuchi, director of marketing and PR for the Festival of Arts. “The artists and the staff here at the Festival of Arts all feel honored to be a part of these couples’ special moments. We wish them all the happiness in the world!”

The Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For information go online to www.foapom.com or call 494-1145.


Festival of Arts features new premiere arts and entertainment throughout the whole week

The Festival of Arts features 140 of the area’s most accomplished artists, as well as expansive menu of arts and entertainment opportunities.

Today’s 10 a.m. Art Talk will feature Karin Worden, who will lead a discussion with other jewelers on “The Art of Jewelry.”

In addition, on Thursday, Aug. 11 will feature Scott Haskins, author and fine art conservator who will talk about “How to Save Your Stuff from disaster.”

Some of the free, popular happenings include music: Friday Night DJ with DJ Lucky Lou Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. On Saturdays is Jazz on the Green, 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays feature three happening starting with The Art of Cooking, presented by William Sonoma, 1 to 2 p.m.; Art in Motion: Hip Hop to Tango is from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and Beatles’ Classics performed by Jason Feddy and Friends, 6 to 8 p.m.

On Thursdays Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate offers music and more, 5 to 8 p.m., cost is $15.

Thursday, Aug. 11 the popular series, Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate, will feature jazz vocalist Denise Donetelli with the Evan Stone Trio.

This week’s schedule… Friday, Aug. 12, DJ Lucky Lou will be spinning a quintessential genre of music roots, “The Fabulous Motown Label.”

Saturday, Aug. 13, Jazz on the Green will feature Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band. This will be the final series performance for this summer.

Poncho Sanchez PhotoSunday, Aug. 14, The Art of Cooking with Williams-Sonoma featured recipe will be summer fresh, creating marinated and grilled zucchini and summer squash. Spectators will not only learn how to make the recipe themselves, they’ll also get to help Chef Joffrey eat what he prepares.

Also on Sunday, Art in Motion: Hip Hop to Tango will feature the popular Chinese Dragon Dance.

Check out the Art Talks on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. Tuesday will feature exhibiting artists leading discussions on topics of medium, influence and present trends. And Thursdays will host some of the best minds in the Orange County art scene – from curators to conservators – will visit the Festival to speak on issues of buying, appraising, displaying, restoring and conserving fine art.

Next week’s Art Talks: Tuesday, Aug. 16, will feature FOA artists, who will discuss the sources of artistic inspiration and creativity. And on Thursday, Aug. 18 Jean Stern, Irvine Museum Executive Director will discuss “The Art of Looking at Art.”

Upcoming events include: Festival Runway Fashion with celebrity guest judge Marlee Matlin from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20. On the following Saturday, Aug. 27 the Festival will hold its Art-to-Go auction for the Artists Fund from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. And from 6 to 8 p.m. will feature a special guest performance by Richard Marx.

The Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For information go online to www.foapom.com or call 494-1145.


A letter from Robert Hayden III, President, Board of Trustees for Laguna Art Museum

Dear Supporters of Laguna Art Museum,

It is with a sense of excitement that I write to share with you some important developments at Laguna Art Museum, including the addition of new members to the museum’s Board of Trustees, exceeding our 2010/2011 Annual Fund goal, and significant progress toward hiring a new executive director.

The recent addition of three new trustees is a testament to the growth and success of Laguna Art Museum during the past few months. I am honored to have Michael Brickman, Liz Kramer, and Janice Johnson as colleagues in service to the museum.

Kramer is a long-term Laguna Beach resident and supporter of the museum. As a graduate of the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and a holder of a master’s degree in exhibition design from California State University Fullerton, Kramer brings a strong arts background to the board.

Johnson has served as board chair of Pacific Symphony, chairman of the Guilds of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, member of the executive committee of the National Symphony Orchestra, board member of The White House Endowment Fund, and as a National Endowment for the Arts panelist. Her vast nonprofit experience enhances the professionalism and leadership of an already amazingly dedicated and hard-working Board of Trustees.

Brickman brings to the board an entrepreneurial spirit and significant experience as a collector of important historical California art.

In addition to the strengthening of the board, our financial success has also increased. During a tough economic period Laguna Art Museum surpassed its $110,000 Annual Fund goal by about $15,000 for the fiscal year ended June 2011 – an unmatched achievement in recent history. It is with the generous support of donors and the community that the museum is able to serve its mission to be a leader in arts education through scholarly exhibition programs and an outstanding permanent collection of art. Gifts to the Annual Fund provide unrestricted support to the museum and are critical to its success.

Most importantly, we have made great strides toward the search for a new executive director. Immediately after Bolton Colburn announced that he would be stepping down as director on May 13, 2011, the Board of Trustees formed an executive search committee comprised of three trustees, Rick Balzer, treasurer Marshall Eichenauer, Jr., and vice president Elyse Caraco Miller, and five community leaders and business professionals, Dennis Boyer, Emil Monda, Carol Rhoads, Craig Sannum, and Igal Silber. Mr. Boyer, a retired executive with the major international retained executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, is leading the team and graciously providing his services pro-bono, saving the museum search firm fees in excess of $50,000.

The search committee began by developing a detailed position description, which outlines the priorities, responsibilities, experience, qualifications and personal characteristics necessary for the position. We are reaching high for talent that can add value to the overall mission of the museum. The search already resulted in over seventy qualified candidates, many of whom the committee identified as ideal candidates and actively recruited. The list includes top museum and arts professionals from across the nation. As it turns out, this is a highly attractive position that garnered a great deal of interest.

The search committee is carefully maintaining the complete confidentiality of the candidates as many are currently employed at high level positions at prestigious arts organizations. Dennis Boyer conducted initial conversations with each of the qualified candidates – as well as an unbelievable number of conversations with applicants that ultimately didn’t meet the requirements of the position specification.

We now begin stage two of the process – narrowing the long list to approximately six top candidates who will be brought to Laguna Beach for personal interviews. After the interviews are complete, the top three candidates will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for final interviews and ultimately the selection of the next executive director for Laguna Art Museum. I expect to be able to announce the decision by late September.

Save the date of Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. for our annual Members’ Meeting. This year we are changing the format to an open house and inviting the entire community. Join us for lively libations, fun small bites, friendly conversation, and an exciting video presentation celebrating the museum’s accomplishments over the past year.

Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. For information, call 494-8971.

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