City Art in Public Places vandalized at bus depot

“We’ve had installations at the bus station for ten years without an incident. In the past six weeks, temporary murals have been damaged three times,” said the city’s Cultural Arts Manager, Siân Poeschl.

Three times, it turns out, is not a charm. Poeschl solemnly added, “Our only course of action is to remove the four panels there. They are by Patrick Moser and Mike Tauber.”

She said the artist repaired one panel the first time there was vandalism at his expense. “The last two times, someone used a sharp object to gash long tears into the canvas. It cost $400 to repair.

Poeschl said there were no plans to replace the murals at this point.

“It’s such a shame when artwork is damaged…”


Suzie’s ARTiculation…

Make sure to explore Laguna Art Museum’s exhibit Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971” and take in the panel discussion at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Exhibit curator and LAM superstar, Grace Kook-Anderson, will moderate…so go and enjoy this gem.

Art Walk was filled with highlights o’plenty, especially the Laguna College of Art & Design 50th Anniversary: “Juried Alumni All Media Exhibition” at [seven-degrees]. It was such a treat…and to experience it at Laguna’s ever-cool art and events spot – earned extra snaps. I was delighted with fine conversation too – including with [seven-degrees] own Mark Orgil and Dora Wexell, arts commission chair and LCAD trustee and event chair – Mary Ferguson, Siân and Troy Poeschl, Sharbie Higuchi, Mike Tauber and fellow arts reporter Richard Chang among others.

Another stop on top - I always dig going to Marion Meyer Contemporary Art. It’s a definite bag of downers that she will be closing in January…I am still shocked.

The art kept coming in Laguna Beach…Saturday was an art blast with Artist Open Studios. I really dug making a dish with the aid of fused-glass artist Maggie Spencer at her studio. Fun peeps at Maggie’s included Marsh Scott and Diane DeBilzan. Her studio was slamming indeed.

John Barber’s place too was a hot spot. I enjoyed chatting with John and Rebecca Barber, as well as Muffin Spencer-Devlin at John’s as created some gorgeous angels.

I also enjoyed talking with the very clever co-writer of No Square association - Chris Quilter about how much I loved “Lagunatics” this year and, well, every year. I can’t wait for the 20th Anniversary show next fall!

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


LCAD students work with local galleries for mentoring program in its tenth year – works in 14 Art Walk galleries

Every year Laguna College of Art & Design students collaborate with local galleries as part of their education, learning some very “real world” facets. The annual collaboration between LCAD and First Thursday’s Art Walk member galleries will culminate on Dec. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. when 14 Laguna Beach galleries, volunteering as mentors, will feature original works by Fine Arts seniors at the college during Art Walk.

The students will be present at each gallery exhibiting their work, which is available for sale. Sale proceeds will benefit student artists and the First Thursdays Art Walk LCAD Scholarship Fund. This year’s event marks the 10th anniversary of the successful collaboration.

The Student/Gallery Mentoring Program was launched by First Thursday’s member and current LCAD Professor Robin Fuld. The program pairs senior students in the Fine Arts Professional Studies class with First Thursday’s professional art galleries and is designed to demonstrate the intricacies involved in the business of operating a gallery and professionally exhibiting artwork.

Most of the students have never exhibited their work professionally, with the exception of juried student exhibitions at the college.

The Professional Studies class is designed to teach students the fundamentals of work in the professional arena. The program includes hands-on work with representatives from the galleries, whose expertise helps guide the students and broaden the scope of their art world experience.

An integral part of LCAD’s mission is to provide students with the skills and education necessary to prepare them for today’s complex and changing job market. The success of the college as well as the success of alumni resides in their ability to engage in fulfilling careers.

“Every year, I hope to instill in my students the importance of the business side of art, and not to fear it. There is so much help available to the emerging artist, and now they have a chance to work with industry professionals through the mentoring program who will answer their every question and show them the ropes. Besides having the passion and discipline for their art, it is essential to have knowledge of the business side,” said Robin Fuld Professor of Professional Studies and Director of Career Services.

Fuld points out that not all fine artists who graduate have set their sights on gallery representation.

“The field of art has many diverse components. Career opportunities encompass teachers, commission portrait painters, art advisors, muralists, scene painters for animation studios, police sketch artist, and the list goes on and on. Most students graduating with a Bachelor’s degree have yet to acquire the amount of consistent work necessary for gallery representation,” Fuld said. “Many will continue on to a graduate program to hone their skills and create that work. Many will need to work at least part-time to support their education, if they’re not receiving some other form of financial assistance. It’s a balancing act, and these students are fueled by their passion and need to create.”

Fuld said she assigns students to galleries for a variety of reasons and it’s just not because they are visually a perfect match.

“How could most be? They are still students exploring the direction of their work. It’s serendipitous that this year’s students have quite specific interests that they share in common with their gallery and have a unique opportunity to cultivate it,” said Fuld.


Festival will celebrate its 80th Anniversary strong as an oak

By SUZIE HARRISON

The Festival of Arts is going into its 80th Anniversary with strong momentum, as reported at their annual meeting Wednesday night. Achieving their goals in 2011, the Festival was able to make a positive impact on the community and the arts, while gaining strength financially. This year marked a decade of being in the black.

“I’m happy to report that the past year has, by all measures, been once again successful,” said board president Fred Sattler.

He reported that of the 56 Pageant of the Masters performances this year, there were only 424 empty seats in total. “That is a 99.97% sold-out show,” Sattler said. Tickets purchased online now make 30 percent of the sales.

Festival attendance was strong too.

“Many of the Festival of Arts special events, under the direction of Special Events director Susan Davis, received rave reviews and record attendance,” Sattler said. “Nearly 226,000 people attended the Festival and Pageant this summer.  That’s nearly 4,000 per day.”

Treasurer Anita Mangels reported the impressive financial status.

“I’m proud to be a part of this amazing, amazing organization - in the black in times like these is verging on miraculous,” Mangels said. “Members and volunteers, without you we can’t do this.”

The unaudited financial reports were an improvement over last year’s numbers. Assets in 2011 were reported as $11,515,471, liabilities were $1,178,762, leaving net assets at $10,336,709, which was $994,845 over the 2010 audited net total. And for operations – unaudited revenue was $9,038,778 in 2011, which was higher than the last two years. Unaudited expenses were $8,043,935, leaving a net total of $994,843.

 

Read more: Festival Will 111111


Suzie’s ARTiculation…

Last weekend I went to the opening of Laguna Art Museum’s exhibit on Saturday, the Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971.” It is a phenom exhibit with so many interesting works.

I am going to have to go again and again to really experience everything the exhibit offers – it’s quite extensive! On Sunday, I was one of many art enthusiasts who enjoyed an extensive tour of the exhibit thanks to curator Grace Kook Anderson. It was a pleasure indeed, very informative and fun.

I’m looking forward to Art Walk and Artist Open Studios happening this week.

And, I hope everyone had a great Halloween – one of my favorite holidays!

Until then...so much art...so little time.


S Cube Gallery’s ‘On The Edge: Statements in Black and White’ cross-media exhibit opens Saturday

Artist Norman Mooney’s “Wallflower” is part of S Cube Gallery’s latest exhibit

On Saturday, Nov. 12, S Cube Gallery will present its premier exhibition, “On The Edge: Statements in Black and White.” The cross-media exhibit utilizes a black and white palette to showcase work by artists that focus on testing the limits of various spectrums be they socio-political, psychological, or limits associated with ideas of art-making.

The final sentence of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five” reads, “I want to stay as close the edge as possible without going over. Out on the edge you can see all sorts of things you can’t see fro the center. Big, undreamed of things - the people on the edge see them first.” Therefore, “Black and White” in the context of this work refers not to polarities or extremism, but rather edges - limits - and the artist’s urge to test and provoke these limits.

The perspectives presented in the show are as varied and unique as the artists’ materiality and backgrounds, prodding at limits both visual and conceptual. For example, Norman Mooney’s “Wallflower,” consisting of dozens of white powder-coated aluminum spikes bursts menacingly and sublimely from the wall, the surreal and dramatic form seemingly defined more by its cast shadows than the structure itself. Similarly, the forms that compose Virginia Colwell’s “Avalanche 3” are again defined indirectly. The white on white Braille type embossing that comprises the image of an avalanche also echoes the formlessness of sublimity, which was the prominent conceptual concern of the romantic landscape painters of the 18th century and is not unlike the depiction of disaster images shown in sensationalized media news coverage.

Eclipse – Cara Cole

“Eclipse” from Cara Cole’s “Gods and Heroes” series utilizes intimate medical research photographs of children appropriated from various scientific texts and juxtaposes them with various natural elements - fire, a comet, a virus microbe. She alters the scale of both the figures and the phenomenal objects to create giant mystifying and unsettling visual narratives that trigger paradoxes of science and myth, life and death.

Paradox is also a dominant theme in John Chang’s recent work, expressing the duality of his experiences in both America and China. Through mixed media abstraction, he incorporates traditional Chinese calligraphy with deconstructed “parts” of characters that comparatively speak not only to the dualities of the Eastern and Western worlds, but also of custom and divergence, cultural identity and innate sense of being.

In all cases, the artists make a conscious statement, either overtly or subtly, to an idea that demonstrates personal and artistic conviction through a dialogue of material and passion.

S Cube is proud to be partnering with The ECOH Gallery in Mexico City in the beginnings of establishing an international platform. “On The Edge: Statements in Black and White” features works by several ECOH represented artists. The diverse roster - a blend of emerging and established - includes Shay Bredimus, John Chang, Cara Cole, Virginia Colwell, Cheryl Ekstrom, Denny Ekstrom, Maura Falfan, Orion Fisher, Phil Kim, Anuar Maauad, Daina Mattis, James Miller, Norman Mooney, Henrik Uldalen, Sebastian Verdon, and Todd Williamson. The works are eloquent, sometimes difficult, and always unconventional as the artists commit to creating from the edge of the black or the white.

“On The Edge: Statements in Black and White” will be presented at S Cube Gallery from Nov. 12 to Jan. 30. The gallery is at 346 N. Coast Hwy.

For information, contact Sanja Simidzija or Jared Linge at 376-8800.


Plein Air Painting for Kids – class at Hortense Miller Gardens Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

SEEDS is working with Laguna Beach artist Doug Stotts to offer a plein air painting class for kids. SEEDS has partnered with the Hortense Miller Garden to provide a beautiful natural setting for the class venue.

The class will focus on the fundamentals of plein air (open air) painting. Some materials will be provided by Crystal Cove Alliance. Children will leave with a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

The class will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hortense Miller Gardens in Laguna Beach on Saturday, Nov 12.

Students must register at seedsed.org

$25. Friends of SEEDS fee is $20. Ages. 8-12. Limited to 10.

“Given the rich history that plein air painting has in Laguna Beach, we wanted to inspire the next generation to continue this legacy and Hortense Miller Garden offers a truly inspiring landscape,” said Liesa Schimmelpfennig, President of SEEDS.

Dorothea Yellott, Secretary and a Board Member of the Friends of the Hortense Miller Garden said, “I think the Hortense Miller Garden is a perfect venue for a children’s plein air painting class because of the type of garden it is. HMG emphasizes water-wise and environmentally friendly gardening, providing information to visitors about our local habitat and about native and naturalized plants growing well in our coastal environment. The garden offers an opportunity to see a variety of plants seldom found in nurseries and public gardens, sparking our imagination and opening our eyes to nature’s diversity.”


Marsh Scott has a third public art sculpture in Chicago area

Laguna Beach artist Marsh Scott went to the Chicago area last month for the dedication of the new Fountaindale Public Library, which included her commissioned public art sculpture “Bridge to Imagination.” Scott also checked out her two other stainless steel sculptures installed last spring.


‘Best Kept Secret’ Art Education Then and Now panel Discussion this Sunday at Laguna Art Museum – 1 p.m.

Laguna Art Museum is having a “Best Kept Secret” panel discussion, “Art Education Then and Now,” on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m.
The panel discussion is in conjunction with Laguna Art Museum’s Pacific Standard Exhibit, called “Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964 to 1971.”

This panel discussion aims to unravel historic parallels and relevance of UCI to contemporary art education and features panelists Kim Abeles, Miles Coolidge, Tony DeLap, and Peter Frank. Curator Grace Kook-Anderson will moderate the discussion.

Tony DeLap, “Fawkes,” 1968

Cast fiberglass, stainless steel, acrylic, and lacquer

35 x 28 x 7 3/8 inches

“Pacific Standard Time” is an unprecedented collaboration of cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene. Starting last month, over 60 cultural institutions are contributing to this region-wide initiative encompassing every major L.A. art movement from 1945 to 1980. Celebrate the era that continues to inspire the world.

“Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964 to 1971,” is accompanied by a 170-page publication featuring artists in the exhibition, essays, ephemera, and a timeline. Peter Frank is the main essayist and Cole Akers, Janet Blake, Jacqueline Bunge, and Kook-Anderson are contributing writers.

The event is free to museum members, and free to non-members with paid admission. Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. For information, call 494-8971 or go online to www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Audrey Miller and Carla Rogers named 2011 Holiday Palette Winners by the Arts Commission – on display Dec 1

On Oct. 10, the City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission reviewed submissions to the 2011 annual palette competition. The artist painted palettes are original works of art displayed throughout the city during the winter holiday season.

The palette tradition started in 1966 with three screen-printed designs on 104 palettes.

Two artist designs were selected as 2011 palette competition winners: Audrey Miller and Carla Rogers.

By Audrey Miller

By Carla Rogers

The collection will be on display commencing Dec. 1, through the beginning of January. For information, contact City Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl at 497-0722 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


‘Figuratively Speaking’ opens at Cove Gallery with a reception this Saturday from 4 – 7 p.m.

The artists of Cove Gallery exhibited new works last Wednesday and will host an Artists’ Reception, “Figuratively Speaking,” this Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. As the party’s name implies, each artist will show at least one figurative work, a huge departure for some, creating an aura of excitement around the event.

Cove member-artist Sheryl Sauer said, “All of the artists are looking forward to showing off new works at our Fall Reception on the 12th. I always enjoy meeting new patrons and talking about my artistic inspirations and methods.”

The reception will feature live music by Dano Forte and a special appearance by noted portraitist Marianne van der Veer who will show off her skills all evening long as she sketches guests in her favorite medium, pastels.

There will be fantastic food and drink; art-lovers are invited to attend and enjoy! This annual event typically spills out of the gallery into the enchanting adjacent courtyard, allowing guests to enjoy not only the fine art and festivities, but also the lovely Laguna Beach evening.

A highlight of the evening is sure to be the collaborative painting that allows everyone in attendance to experience the excitement of being an artist. Each guest will be encouraged to take a brush or palette knife and make paint strokes on a stretched canvas.  A photographer will record the activity and the final painting will be published on YouTube for all to see.

Cove’s member artists include these well-established fine artists: Jacquelyn Blue, Kathe Choate, Lorraine E’drie, Ferial, John C. Hall, Bill Knauer, Lawson, Greg Martz, John McCarty, Barbara McDonald, Sheryl Sauer, Sung Su and Johann Ulrich.

As the gallery is artist-run, an artist is always found onsite, ready to explain and demystify the art on display as well as the purchasing process. Collectors will be pleasantly surprised at the prices of the art, as there is no 50% gallery markup at Cove.

The exhibit runs through November.

The Cove Gallery is located at 1492 S Coast Highway, in the Art Center, across from the Surf & Sand Resort. For information, call 494-1878 or visit www.CoveGalleryLaguna.com


‘Best Kept Secret’ at Laguna Art Museum is an exciting secret to explore – now through Jan 22

By SUZIE HARRISON

Laguna Art Museum explores an integral chapter and opens the pages to the development of contemporary art in Southern California, and specifically examines UCI’s critical context in the exhibit, “Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964 to 1971.”

The exhibit shows the works of nearly 40 artists of UCI faculty and students during a crucial art period, a time of social awareness and activism, conflict, political change and war.

Like the times, the UCI art program was not conventional either, from its inception in ’64 through ’71, the institution’s formative years.

“Instructors stressed attitude rather than practice, intellectual inquiry instead of manual dexterity, discourse in lieu of production – or, rather, production was to reflect a formalized way of thinking rather than simply justifying itself as activity,” exhibit essayist Peter Frank said. “From the beginning, art instruction at UC Irvine emphasized the generation of ideas and regarded artworks more as vessels for those ideas than as ends in themselves.”

The art department only employed artists with strong reputations, regional, national and international.

“Teachers were artists – it was the only school where teachers were artists,” said former UCI artist, Paula Sweet.

Innovative teachers like Tony DeLap, Robert Irwin, and Vija Celmins helped pave the way for other creative minds – Larry Bell, Craig Kauffman, John Mason, Ed Moses, Barbara Rose, and Alan Solomon among others.

“UCI nurtured the roots of various movements of art practice – Finish Fetish, Light and Space, performance, video, conceptualism, feminism, and installation,” Curator Grace Kook-Anderson said. “The wealth of artists and activities have been overlooked and under-recognized in the discourse of Southern California art history.”

Moses was one of the many teachers who thwarted convention when he started teaching at UCI in ’68.

“Ed Moses was more notorious - he challenged his students to think critically about art practice by assigning projects that required an unusual degree of imagination,” said Kook-Anderson.

Sweet chose to attend UCI for that reason - she believed the university would offer a unique education and experience.

For instance, Moses once instructed his students to make a 50-foot painting. Only one student accomplished the challenge, by painting a fifty-foot piece of string.

“Some students would walk out - he had a high attrition rate,” Kook-Anderson said. “He wanted students to think about the process and other ways to make art with your means.”

A year earlier, in ’67 Mason started teaching ceramics, albeit not the variety that uses a potter’s wheel. Mason creates sculptures that he builds on location and are site specific. He approached galleries, offering this very original concept at that time.

As part of the exhibit, in the main gallery, Mason constructed the firebrick sculpture, “Unfinished Arch.”  The large piece measures 105 x 83 1/2 x 18 inches – causing the viewer to immediately focus on the work.

“The first piece I wanted to include was this arch,” Kook Anderson said of John Mason’s brilliant firebrick arch, which is pieced together without the aid of glue or mortar.

The sculptor used the firebrick because it was abundant, sturdier and could withstand high temperatures. “He believed in basic material, lumina from the earth,” Kook-Anderson said.

In the early years, Mason said UCI supported contemporary ideas and the breadth of possibility, “there were many things that could and should be done as an artist and as an institution,” Mason said. “It was a community and everybody was responsible to the development and would contribute.”

Mason felt art is not something that is absorbed, rather that it’s a source for information, and he believed it was about the pursuit.

Sweet learned from Mason that the actual process is important part of the art itself.

“He taught me to enjoy it and not be a neatnik – that the first blush expression was the purity that you saw.” Sweet said.

Mason was a big influence on photographer Marsha Red Adams too.

She said that unlike some of the other UCI art faculty, Mason “transcended the patriarchy” obviously a hot topic during the women’s rights movement.

“The dean called and told me not to apply that they didn’t want women,” Adams said. “I was one of two women at that time in 1971.”

“She remembers that UCI was ‘a concept/idea place; it was not a how-to place,’” said Kook-Anderson. “You didn’t take a drawing class to learn how to draw or a ceramic class to learn how to make clay pots.”

“John was undoubtedly my mentor. He shook me into what art is about,” Adams said.” John would take things out on the sidewalk – he would go out with a bat and break most of it. He broke mine.”

She called the environment “dynamic and energizing,” where conversation could turn into magical creation. Her early focus on sculpture switched to photography after she began photographing her sculptural installations.

Sweet did not feel there were patriarchal issues, or was not paying attention to it; rather she was busy investigating life and art’s various forms and function.

“She ‘could not get into the gray, minimal works’ that were a key style of the ’60s,” Kook-Anderson said. “Instead, she worked on sculptures and performance pieces that incorporated ceramics, wood, paper, and campus construction debris.”

With her ceramic piece made out of porcelain, “Porcelain Tower,” 1971, Sweet said, “I wanted to work in the most expensive clay – which is high fire porcelain. It is white and pure. It’s very symbolic of male energy. Yet, when you see inside, there’s darkness and mystery – female energy, female energy on the inside.”

During her college years, Sweet said that she was trying to figure out male and female roles and wanted to discover her role in society. “These [towers] have played it out,” Sweet said.

Following her mentor’s lead, Sweet left the lines in her some works so that the viewer could see where it’s put together, illustrating that the process is visual.

“All the sides are different and the doors are different. You can choose one that is closed or partially open – there are many ways of seduction. It gives a sense of mystery.” Sweet said. “The nature of art needs to be compelling. Give the viewer different ways of entry.”

Next, Sweet investigated creating sculptures out of paper and said she enjoyed discovering a different process, as opposed to clay.

“I used symbols or icons and vivid color in a time when minimalism, Shades of Grey and amorphous shapes were everywhere,” Sweet said.

Her use of color was unusual for a female at the time; she felt it was a way of asserting her masculinity.

“As an artist I made art from newspaper – you would work with what you could afford,” Sweet said. “It was about using the materials accessible to you.” Sweet took newspaper to the next level in life as well, using it to make rugs, shoes and lamps among other pursuits.

“With my artwork the purpose is inside me. I don’t know the purpose until I listen very carefully and quietly,” Sweet said. As the artist watches her work take form, she feels like it is, “very voyeuristic.”

Soon after creating the paper towers she moved to New York and felt an understanding that the works were like Manhattan skyscrapers.

“Voyeuristically you can see what’s inside you that came out in that work,” Sweet said. “Art has to have life in it.”

UCI encouraged students to freely create, and the artists at the time responded by experimenting in myriad artforms and means of expression. No one knew or could realize the impact it would have on Southern California’s art landscape.

“In ’71 artists at UCI laid the groundwork for formative art practices, utilizing the vacuous ranch land as a site of many experiments, the art community converged, new galleries opened, and new models of artist-run, alternative spaces were created—all before the City of Irvine’s incorporation into Orange County,” Kook-Anderson said.

Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. For information about “Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971,” go online to www.lagunaartmuseum.org. The exhibit runs through Jan. 22, 2012.


2011 Juried Fine Art Exhibit announced winners Thursday

The Arts Commission conducted its fifth annual Juried Fine Art Exhibition at City Hall this month and announced the winners at a pre-Art Walk event on Thursday.

Juror Richard Chang, Arts and Entertainment Writer and Visual Art Critic for The Orange County Register, announced the winners of the exhibition as 1st Place Beverly Factor; 2nd Place Suzette Rosenthal; 3rd Place Gary Zuercher; each were awarded $1,000, $500 and $250 respectively. Honorable mention was awarded to Hal Briscoe, Mary Jungsun Byun, Gregory Gallardo and Paul Gardner.

Chang reviewed 181 submissions from artists from throughout OC.

Beverly Factor – First Place

Suzette Rosenthal – Second Place

Gary Zuercher – Third Place

The Juried Fine Art Exhibition will be on display at City Hall to Nov. 23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information call 497-0722.


Suzie’s ARTiculation…

Believe it - I am still smiling and laughing out loud when I think about the stellar numbers in this year’s “Lagunatics.” I am indeed boasting a firmly affixed thinking cap for calling out one of my favorite peeps - Bree Burgess Rosen, who continues to reign as queen superior when it comes to her creative genius, as well as being clever, brilliant, witty, talented, etc…The list would be obnoxious to fill in all of her amazing attributes.

Snaps go out to “Lagunatics” co-writer Chris Quilter, choreographer Paul Nygro and music director Roxanna Ward. And claps to some of my fav stars in this year’s show – Pat Kollenda, Lynn Epstein, Lisa Mansour, Toni Iseman, Kelly Boyd, Carol Robinson, Randy Hatfield, Carrie Reynolds and well, pretty much the whole cast!

Some of my favorite acts…again it’s difficult to choose but…(of course) Burgess Rosen’s incredible voice highlighted in “As Long As She Feeds Me,” and Epstein’s performance in “The Audition,” Mansour and company’s dance skills in the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts piece, “LBAA,” (“Le-Bah-Ah,”). I also loved “I’m Lonely for Skies to View,” which begs the question, are Burgess Rosen’s neighbors afraid of the dark? “Weevil Omen” was another roar, rounding out my top five.

So go to “Lagunatics” this weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the final productions of “Lagunatics: 2011.” The show is a must see…those who don’t attend deserve a dunce cap!

I am digging the arts in Laguna Beach indeed. This weekend I am looking forward to the opening of Laguna Art Museum’s exhibit, the Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971.”

Art-goers if you have a chance you should sample some of the treats on the Laguna arts menu, which is quite impressive. On Wednesday, Laguna Beach Live! is featuring a fall salon recital by young violinist Nigel Armstrong –  the finalist at the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Competition and an alum of the 2008 Music Festival.  A reception starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by a performance at 6:30. Tickets are $100 and will benefit the 2012 Laguna Beach Music Festival.

Also on Wednesday is an event that features saltfineart, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Sue Greenwood Fine Art and Art Cube at The Pacific Art Foundation’s event in Newport Beach that will raise money to facilitate scholarships for Laguna College of Art & Design.

Thursday will be exciting with the one-artist exhibit by Laguna Beach artist Fitz Maurice, “BERLIN: Metamorphosis Collection” at Chapman University at 7 p.m.

Then next week there’s Art Walk…galleries and art o’plenty, including at [seven-degrees] with the Laguna College of Art & Design exhibit celebrating its 50th Anniversary: “Juried Alumni All Media Exhibition.” I am also going to check out the “Nature of Graffiti,” at saltfineart among others.

Other delightful choices are the Artist Open Studios on Saturday, Nov. 5. And then on Nov. 6, First Sundays will feature classical guitarist Lee Zimmer, who will perform at LCAD as part of the free concert series presented by the college and Laguna Beach Live!

Until then...so much art...so little time.


Women Artists Fall Boutique Sunday at Woman’s Club

Photo by Robin Pierson

Participating artist

The artists (L to R): Karen Joyce, Liz Malloy, Suzette Rosenthal, Beth Kukuk, Carmen Kaczor, Natalie Harlow, Michaela Jeppson, Karen Young, Pam Wicks

Women artists, including jewelers, knitters, painters, photographers, ceramic and home décor designers, will gather at the Women Artists Fall Boutique on Sunday, Nov 6, noon to 5 p.m. at the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach.

Each fall for nine years, the Woman’s Club hosts this free event which gives local women artists a venue to share and sell their handiwork.

To complement the shopping experience, bargain hunters will have the opportunity to sip wine, nibble refreshments and listen to live piano music.

All artists will contribute items to a silent auction. The proceeds will go to the Women and Family Assistance Center, a division of the Woman’s Club, that aids women and their families by distributing holiday presents, school supplies and food, while directing those in need to community resources.

Proceeds will also go to the Club’s scholarship fund given annually to a local student attending Laguna College of Art + Design.

The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach is located at 286 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach on the corner of Glenneyre and St. Ann’s.


Start Art Walk at City Hall at 5 p.m. and continue to explore new offerings at member galleries Thursday

Every first Thursday of the month, Laguna Beach celebrates its cultural art scene through the award-winning First Thursdays Art Walk. On Nov. 3, stroll and trolley around town on a self-guided tour of gallery openings, artist demonstrations and receptions, live music and other entertainment.

Suggested first stop is a pre-event at 5 p.m. The City of Laguna Beach presents: Juried Fine Art Exhibition; Enjoy an artist reception and awards ceremony located at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. The juror is Richard Chang, arts and entertainment writer and visual art critic for the Orange County Register.

Exhibiting artists at City Hall: Gloria Ahn, Hal Briscoe, Mary Jungsun Byun, Juan Cervantes, Angie Chang, Nancy Chang, Darcie Copeland, Emanuel Dale, Susan Driscoll, Mutlu Ertac, Al Esquerra, Beverly Factor, Michelle Farro, Detra Francis, Gregory Gallardo, Paul Gardner, Amy Rose Hammond, Cathy Hills, KC Horng, Julie Hwang, Duk Kyung Lee, Elizabeth McGhee, Tracy Middleton, Angie Min, Rosanne Nitti, Amee Penso, Jenn Prewitt, Suzette Rosenthal, Anne-Liv Scott, Margot Seeholzer, Naomi Shachar, Branko Stanojevic, Tom Swimm, Mike Tauber, Noriho Uriu, Cliff Wassmann, Jodi Weitzman, Barbara White, Annette Wimmer, Gina Youn, Carole Zavala and Gary Zuercher.

There is no beginning or ending point, move around town at your own pace. The event is free to the public as is the trolley service. Pick up an Art Walk brochure that includes a map and featuring all the evening’s special events at any gallery.

“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.”

At Marion Meyer Contemporary Art see life-size painted steel sculptures by Laguna’s own Jon Seeman in a featured solo exhibit, “Captured Motion” with recent wall sculptures in dialogue with the artist’s standing sculptural work.

“Departure,” by artist Jon Seeman, wall Sculpture 24 x 24 x3 inches, hand cut, polished, welded stainless steel, composition at Marion Meyer Contemporary Art.

Interacting with a recently completed series of three-dimensional, geometric wall sculptures, Seeman’s standing sculptures create an intriguing and dynamic dialogue; some of the kinetic pieces especially challenge the viewer to spend time, invited to connect with the energy and harmony expressed by the artist in the installation of these meticulously perfected sculptural works. Marion Meyer Contemporary Art is at 354 N. Coast Hwy.

Nearby, JoAnne Artman Gallery, 326. N. Coast Hwy, is continuing the popular “Cinéma Vérité,” exhibit, featuring San Francisco painter Jhina Alvarado and Los Angeles photographer Brooke Shaden. 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.

Cisco Merel, “Tow Hee,” 79 x 79 inches, acrylic on canvas at saltfineart

Fresh from artist residencies in Paris and Germany, saltfineart is featuring, “The Nature of Graffiti,” an exhibition introducing paintings by celebrated Panamanian street artist Cisco Merel and artist collaborative dubbed W (Paz Ulloa and Vinicio Jimenez).

Juxtaposing the natural world with a neon, man-made reality, these are works that should be jagged and difficult and yet are triumphantly fluid and wondrous. saltfineart is at 1492 S. Coast Hwy.

Throughout the evening see artists in action and watch their creative process, demonstrating their techniques and sharing their insights. Visit all of the featured galleries from Downtown to Gallery Row to Bluebird to Laguna Canyon Road, enhanced with performances by local musicians and gallery hospitality.

Isabelle Posillico is bringing a comprehensive collection for one night only at Silver Blue & Gold, during Art Walk. Get up close and personal with brilliant gemstones like Amazonite, Carnelian and Labradorite. Set amongst these stunning stones are her distinctive circular wrapped pendants in 18k gold, intricate and complex- no two the same.  Also, enjoy Andrea Haffner’s wall hangings and jewelry in resin.

Carnelian and 18k gold necklace by Isabelle Posillico at Silver Blue & Gold

Silver Blue & Gold is at 1492 S. Coast Hwy, #5, located in the Art Center across from the Surf and Sand Resort. For information: 715-3000 or silverblueandgold.com.

Enjoy the Richard MacDonald “One Man Show” at Dawson Cole Fine Art featuring new inspirations from the Royal Ballet collection.

Britany Ryan “Daniela” bronze on display for LCAD’s 50th Anniversary exhibit

 

Stop by [seven-degrees] where Laguna College of Art + Design has an exhibit celebrating its 50th Anniversary: “Juried Alumni All Media Exhibition.” The exhibit will feature artwork from Fine Art and Visual communication programs. Both undergraduate and graduate work will be represented. Proceeds from art sales will benefit students and programs at LCAD. [seven-degrees] is at 891 Laguna Canyon Road.

Be sure visit foaSOUTH to view selections from the Festival of Arts permanent collection. More information can be found at www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com.


Register now for LOCA Sea Lion printmaking class Saturday

Sue Linder of LOCA will teach a printmaking workshop featuring sea lions on Saturday at Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Canyon

Laguna Outreach for Community Arts is offering a printmaking workshop on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. This activity, good fun and educational for individuals, families, and groups, takes place at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Canyon. Participants will tour the Center, and observe live seals and sea lions undergoing rehabilitation.

Following the tour, Sue Linder will show how to make a sea lion print, using a rolling press. The class is at the beginner level; finished art can be taken home. Cost is $20 adults and $15 ages six and older, accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is required, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 363-4700.

Visit www.LOCAarts.org for memberships and additional activities.


“Original Art: The Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration” at LCAD Thursday through Dec 16

A work by book illustrator Dan Santat featured as part of the Society of illustrators “Original Art: The Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration,” at Laguna College of Art + Design Nov 3 through Dec 16

The Society of Illustrators will present “Original Art: The Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration,” at LCAD. The traveling exhibit, now in its 30th year, is a showcase for children’s book illustrators, whose work is seldom seen outside the studio of publisher’s office. The extraordinary show consists of 40 colorful works of art that were featured in the juried Original Art 2009 exhibit at the Museum of American Illustration Society of Illustrators in New York City.

The exhibit opens this Thursday during Art Walk and runs until Dec 16. An artist’s reception is planned for Dec 1. LCAD is at 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Exclusive

Marion Meyer Contemporary Art will close in mid-January

By STU SAFFER

After nearly 14 years and essentially helping to re-establish Gallery Row on North Coast Hwy, Marion Meyer announced that she will be closing Marion Meyer Contemporary Art in mid January 2012.

“The rich experience of participating in the art world that is uniquely Laguna, is filled with memories that I will never forget,” she said.

Established in 1998 at 354 N. Coast Hwy on North Laguna’s Gallery Row, Meyer brought with her 23 years of International gallery experience. Prior to opening MMCA, Marion interned and later managed Galerie 224 (now DeBilzan) on Forest Ave. for 10 years. She has been long committed to supporting the growth of Contemporary Art in Southern California and attracting International recognition to the Arts in Orange County.

Meyer added, “From operating the gallery day-to-day, being president of the First Thursday Art Walk, and participating in numerous community art events, I truly fell blessed for all the wonderful experiences the business has afforded me. I am thankful for all the wonderful friends and acquaintances I have made over the years and fully intend to stay connected to the local arts in Laguna Beach.”

The Laguna Beach resident also said on Monday night, “I would especially like to thank the many art patrons in Laguna - not only at MMCA but for everyone included in this special community. Thank you very much and I look forward to future art events where I can enjoy seeing the many friends I’ve made over the years.

“Auf Wiedersehn!”


Laguna Art Museum brought in a good crowd at ‘Best Kept Secret’ opening Saturday night

By SUZIE HARISON

The timeline and ephemera, part of the “Best Kept Secret” exhibit, which opened Saturday at Laguna Art Museum

On Saturday night, nearly 700 art enthusiasts went to the opening of Laguna Art Museum’s exciting exhibit, the “Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964 to 1971,” an exhibit that documents the emergence of contemporary art in Southern California and UC Irvine’s integral role.

Although UCI was crucial to the development of contemporary art, its role hasn’t been well publicized until now. More than 30 significant artists to the movement are featured  that offers an incredible look at the scene as it was then. The museum is filled with treasures in the galleries on the main floor as well as the lower level.

“It archives a lot of work. We went through a lot of puzzles to put it together,” said exhibit curator Grace Kook Anderson. The curator had help from Tony DeLap, a pioneer artist of Minimalism and Op Art on the West Coast, who is the project consultant and Curator of Exhibitions at Laguna Art Museum.  She also lauded the artists for their help “[There was] a tremendous amount of time and giving from the artists for this exhibit.”

“Best Kept Secret” takes a look at UCI’s formative years starting with its inaugural year in ’64 and takes the viewer on an eight-year journey through ’71, and ends before a different, less significant chapter began.

A timeline situated in California Gallery gives an exciting visual of the UCI experience with photographs, flyers and ephemera during that time, and illustrates happenings in the art world and world itself.

During that time, minimalism, color was out, and artists were questioning whether painting was dead. Both teachers and UCI students are on exhibit.

Teachers and teaching methodologies were quite different during those formative years, and the teachers themselves were artists.

“They believed in the university having professional teachers, not just teachers, but artists,” Kook Anderson said.

Tony DeLap, Robert Irwin, Vija Celmins were the first influencers and the faculty grew to include Larry Bell, Ed Bereal, Ron Davis, Craig Kauffman, Philip Leider, John Mason, Ed Moses, Barbara Rose, and Alan Solomon.

Davis and the other teachers bulked at convention and preconceived ideas that were floating around during that period.

Instead of color being out, Davis’s world was not devoid of color. For instance, Davis had students pick one color and focused on an abstract exercise.

“He wanted students to follow their own ways,” Kook Anderson said. “He taught about openness, art not being bound by rules or ideologies.”

The “Best Kept Secret” offers a world of discovery, not exposed until now. Experience the teachers, whose works are featured in the Steele Gallery and Linkletter Gallery. And explore the students’ works in the Jefferies Galleries, Cuprien Gallery, Brief Gallery, and Segerstrom Gallery. In addition, many finds are exhibited on the lower level, at the Brief and Segerstrom Galleries. These works are more experimental in some ways, as well as a bit more controversial, especially at the time.

Please check out the exhibit. And read more about “Best Kept Secret” in my extensive article on Friday. Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. For information, call 494-8971 or go online to www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Artist Open Studios on Saturday feature arts in every medium and exciting demonstrations

Sculptor Louis Longi (above) will feature exciting works at his studio. (Below): Olivia Batchelder is sure to talk to art-goers and offer examples of her incredible works at the Open Artist Studio event.

Enjoy experiencing artists working in their studios on Saturday, Nov. 5, Artist Open Studios will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Catch the free shuttle service from Act V (Corporate Yard) parking lot, located at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road and take advantage of free parking for this unique artistic adventure. The shuttle service runs every 15 minutes.

Artist Open Studios is free and open to the public. It is a celebration of Laguna’s thriving visual arts community. It is not only a fantastic opportunity to see, buy or commission art, it is also an adventure through the city - to uncover new talent and rediscover established artists. Who could resist the chance to step into the heart of where art is created, to experience something unique, something you cannot see anywhere else. Experience glass blowing, fused glass hands-on workshops, ceramic, painting and bronze lost-wax demonstrations.

Participating artist include: John Barber, Marlo Bartels, Olivia Batchelder, Lupe Blanton, Cynthia Britain, Hedy Buzan, Laura Carley, Elaine, Cohen, Gavin Heath, Paul Gardner, Louise Kerr, Louis Longi, Lorenzo, Ashley Pigden-Hemsley, Vanessa Rothe, Sheryl Seltzer, Michael Situ, Kristi Smith, Maggie Spencer, Muffin Spencer-Devlin, Tom Swimm, Ralph Tarzian, Cliff Wassmann, Marc Whitney and Arna Vodenos. For information go online to www.lagunabeachcity.net.

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