Chapatti, “a beautiful and quirky love story,” will begin its run at the Playhouse in mid-January

Laguna Playhouse artistic director Ann E. Wareham is thrilled to announce the third show in the 2016-2017 season, Chapatti, written by Christian O’Reilly and directed by David Ellenstein based on the direction of Judith Ivey. 

“I just fell in love with this play and the beautiful and quirky love story at its center.  I think our audiences are about to fall in love with it too,” says Wareham. 

What do you get when you mix an Irish tale with 19 cats, one dog named after a pancake, and two eccentric animal lovers?  

Annabella Price and Mark Bramhall star in this humorous and heartwarming tale about two animal lovers in Dublin and their unexpected spark as they re-discover the importance of human companionship. This second-chance comedy celebrates these unforgettable characters who still believe in love. 

Chicago Theatre Beat called the play “poignant, funny and surprising!” 

Scenic design is by Marty Burnett, lighting design by Matt Novotny, sound design by Melanie Chen and costume design by Elisa Benzoni, and the stage manager is Cindy Rumley. 

Chapattiwill begin previews on Wed, Jan 11 and will open to the public on Sunday, Jan 15 at 5:30 p.m. The play will run through Sunday, Jan 29 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road.

Performances will be Wed through Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Thurs/Sat at 2 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. There will be an additional performance on Sunday, Jan 22 at 5:30 p.m.    

Tickets range from $40 - $65 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Mon – Sat: 12 to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Playhouse names Doug Vogel director of development

Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors, Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham announced today that Doug Vogel has joined Laguna Playhouse as its new director of development. 

Comments Wareham, “We are so honored to have Doug Vogel join our Playhouse family as its new director of development.  In these challenging times for theatre, [this] is such a vital position for any institution and we are so fortunate to have Doug join the team here at the Playhouse.” 

Highly qualified Doug Vogel will be the Playhouse’s new director of development

Doug Vogel comes to the playhouse from Community Action Partnership of Orange County, where he oversaw a $1.8 million fundraising and branding campaign for the organization’s 50th anniversary. Prior to that, he served as director of major giving for Catalina Island Conservancy during the initial stages of the $150 million Imagine Catalina Capital Campaign.  

Doug has produced highly acclaimed fundraising events including East LA Meets Napa and OC AIDS Walk, which was named “Best Charity” by OC Weekly in 2007.  

A native of Orange County, Doug is an alumnus of the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts, has sung in Carnegie Hall, and has written and performed music for stage and screen. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.  

Founded in 1920, the Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is noted for its artistic excellence, wide-ranging performing arts programming, award-winning youth education offerings and community partnerships.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road.For more information on all shows and programming visit

Nine o’clock is the New Midnight: Rita Rudner’s New Year’s Eve show will celebrate the start of 2017 

In a performance that the New York Times describes as “soft-spoken but not without bite,” Rita Rudner will ring in the New Year at the Laguna Playhouse with her show, 9 p.m. Is The New Midnight, which will begin at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Dec 31 and end with a champagne celebration at 9 p.m.

Rita Rudner promises to help you laugh your way into the New Year

Rita Rudner is not only one of America’s top comedians -- she’s also a New York Times bestselling author, as well as an award-winning television personality, screenwriter, playwright, Broadway dancer and actress. A house-filling favorite in Vegas, Rudner is beloved for her witty one-liners, which have helped make hers the longest-running solo show in Vegas history – she’s sold more than a million tickets during her time there. 

Now this comedy legend is hosting her early evening New Year’s Eve party here in Laguna, where the audience will watch the ball drop on the East Coast and celebrate with a complimentary champagne drink and dessert. 

Rita Rudner: 9 p.m. Is The New Midnight is a one night special performance featuring special guests Molly Bergman and Sidney Bowen, a musical duo, who will open the show.

Rita Rudner is one of the country’s top comedians

Rudner has performed over 3,000 solo shows in Las Vegas since the MGM Corporation built a theatre for her twelve years ago. She also regularly performs concerts and at corporate and charity events across the country. 

One of the country’s top comedians and a New York Times bestselling author, Rita Rudner is also an award-winning television personality, screenwriter, playwright, Broadway dancer, and actress.

Rudner is a frequent collaborator with her writer/producer husband of twenty years, Martin Bergman. She lives in Las Vegas and Monarch Beach with her husband and daughter. For more information on Rita, log on to her website at or become her fan on Facebook. 

Molly Bergman and Sidney Bowen are two local teen singer/songwriters who sometimes perform as a duo. They appeared together at the Laguna Playhouse when they performed last year for recent-Emmy-winning comedian Louie Anderson. They’ve also performed at several benefit shows around Orange County. 

Tickets for the show are $99 - $125 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787).  

The box office is open Mon – Sat: 12 to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road.

Miss Hills of Laguna, Anna Althea Hills: Art, Education, Community Phillip K. Smith: Bent Parallel Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays – now exhibiting this fall at Laguna Art Museum

On Oct 16, Laguna Art Museum opened three new exhibitions to the public: Miss Hills of Laguna Beach, Anna Althea Hills: Art, Education, Community; Phillip K. Smith: Bent Parallel; and Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays. The exhibitions will close Jan 15. 

Miss Hills of Laguna, Anna Althea Hills: Art, Education, Community

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Photos courtesy Laguna Art Museum

Anna Althea Hills

Laguna Art Museum is proud to present the work of landscape painter Anna Althea Hills (1882–1930). Hills was one of the highly talented artists whose presence in the community helped put Laguna Beach on the map as a premier art colony during the first decades of the twentieth century. 

Born in Ravenna, Ohio, she studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cooper Union Art School in New York City. In New York, she also studied under Arthur Wesley Dow, one of the most influential art teachers of the period, who played a prominent role in the American Arts & Crafts Movement. Like many art students during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Hills continued her studies in Europe, attending the Académie Julian in Paris and traveling in Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, and the British Isles. In England, she studied with John Noble Barlow in the art colony at St. Ives, Cornwall. Returning to the United States, she moved to Los Angeles in 1912 and by 1914 had established her home and studio in Laguna Beach. 

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Anna Hills

July Afternoon

At the time, she was working in an impressionistic technique, but her palette was muted, dominated by low-key tones that reflected the northern light and atmosphere of England and Holland. Once in California, like other artists, she responded to the bright light and rich, colorful landscape. She remarked that she had to modify her palette by adding brighter colors. She traveled throughout Southern California and Arizona, and became particularly attracted to the desert landscape. She worked primarily in oil, using both a brush and a palette knife. Her palette knife work is highly distinctive, setting her paintings apart from those of her contemporaries. She was fond of portraying dramatic cloud effects, often setting a low horizon line in order to give the sky dominance in the composition. 

Hills felt that Laguna Beach was the place where she could not only paint but also teach and build an art school. She welcomed many students to her studio. Many were no longer novices but professional art teachers from other parts of the country, who would travel to California each summer for the privilege of studying with her. As a teacher, she felt strongly about the importance of arts education for children. She organized art exhibits that circulated among Orange County schools and sent out fellow artists to give direct instruction to the children. She herself lectured at schools and clubs in Los Angeles and Orange County. 

A founding member of the Laguna Beach Art Association (LBAA) in 1918, Hills was one of its most dynamic and progressive members, showing remarkable leadership skills. Between 1922 and 1930, she served as the LBAA’s president for a total of six years (1922–25 and 1927–30). These were the important, formative years, and also the time during which funds were raised to build the LBAA’s permanent gallery on Cliff Drive—the present museum building. She was to see the dream of the new gallery realized—in Feb 1929—but died the following year. 

The exhibition showcases over sixty of Hills’s paintings along with documentary materials relating to her life and work in Laguna Beach. It is curated by Janet Blake, the museum’s curator of historical art, and accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. 

Phillip K. Smith III: Bent Parallel

As this year’s featured commissioned artist for the museum’s Art & Nature festival Phillip K. Smith III’s monumental installation Bent Parallel envelopes viewers in immersive reflective light continuing the artist’s ongoing dialogue with color theory, optics, scale, and technology. Appearing as two intersecting, color-field walls, this hinge-like structure merges surfaces to engender a perceptual atmosphere that shifts and blends colored light. This installation creates a third, material-less, zero-thickness plane that mixes the adjacent colors and extends the physical bounds of the immediate space. The resulting environment appears simultaneously infinite and finite, while hues push and pull and saturate and dissolve the surroundings, encouraging us to focus on the interaction and movement of pure color. 

Born in Los Angeles, California in 1972, Phillip K. Smith III received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design before returning to the Southern California desert where he was raised. Smith has participated in the Artist-in-Residence Programs at Dartmouth College and the Palm Springs Art Museum. Building upon a foundation of the perceptual exploration of light, color, and space, Smith creates intensely physical and seemingly ephemeral sculptures. 

His large-scale, temporary installations include the internationally renowned Lucid Stead (2013) in Joshua Tree, California; and Reflection Field (2014) and Portals (2016) both of which debuted at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Smith has had solo exhibitions at Royale Projects: Contemporary in Los Angeles, Palm Springs Art Museum, Jaffe-Freide Gallery at Dartmouth College, and the University of La Verne. His works have been included in major group exhibitions at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, California and the University of California, Riverside. His monumental works are sited throughout California and beyond including Boston, Kansas City, Nashville, and Oklahoma City. Recently, he has been commissioned to create permanent, light-based works for the City of West Hollywood, California and the City of Bellevue, Washington. Next year, Smith will participate in Desert X, an international contemporary art exhibition that will focus on environmental, social, and cultural conditions of the 21st century.

Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays

Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays is a key element in the museum’s annual Art & Nature festival (Nov 3-6). The exhibition is accompanied by a film about the artist and her work, and a booklet that includes an interview with longtime admirer, Professor Derrick Cartwright. 

Fascinated by patterns, textures, and the seemingly chance imagery that can emerge from them, Kristin Leachman bases her latest series of paintings on the tissue that transports water from the roots of trees up to the leaves: 

“Conceived as mystical messages and artifacts, they are an exploration of the sinews that bind us together, both physically and metaphysically. Nature is my guide as it was for the first Angeleno artists, Native American women. I consider them landscape paintings because they incorporate the landscape into their making. I allow the xylem to communicate information from the California forests through naturally occurring symbols, celestial bodies, natural phenomena, and animal imagery. Each painting describes for me the mythic history and essence of the landscape.” 

A native of Virginia, Leachman studied Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and Production Design at the American Film Institute, working for several years as a production designer in Hollywood before returning to full-time painting. Examples of her work are in the collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the San Diego Museum of Art, among others. She currently lives and works in Pasadena. 

Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. Its mission is to collect, care for, and exhibit works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles, and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field. 

Laguna Art Museum stands just steps from the Pacific Ocean in the beautiful city of Laguna Beach. The museum is proud to continue the tradition of the Laguna Beach Art Association, founded in 1918 by the early California artists who had discovered the town and transformed it into a vibrant arts community. The gallery that the association built in 1929 is part of today’s Laguna Art Museum. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, on the corner of N. Coast Hwy and Cliff Drive, next to Las Brisas restaurant.

Hours: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Closed Wednesdays. Closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. 

Admission: General admission: $7; students, seniors (60+), and active military: $5; children under 12: free; museum members: free.

Annette Wimmer’s Mercury Rising painting is unveiled


On the evening of Nov 12 Annette Wimmer unveiled Mercury Rising, a recently completed masterwork, at a gathering of friends, clients, and collectors at her painting studio and salon in Laguna Beach. The lively event, which spilled out the front door and onto the sidewalk, marked the establishment of the studio and popular hair salon by her husband Paul Brian some 35 years ago.  

Wimmer moved to Laguna from Munich after marrying Brian in 1985. She had just graduated from a rigorous four-year program in graphic design and illustration at Design School Munich, a department of the German Master School for Fashion. Anxious to start a career in art but on her own terms, Wimmer found a unique solution, painting in the local couple’s salon when not practicing tonsorial arts and showcasing her works of art there after completion. 

The artist’s work energizes and enlivens the nicely appointed space on Coast Highway, which has one of the best ocean and coastline views in Laguna Beach. 

Wimmer’s masterwork, Mercury Rising, which she revealed piece by piece on social media prior to the official unveiling

Wimmer has always painted. Even as a child she was recognized for her talent, and won a citywide art competition at the age of 11 that helped reinforce her artistic identity. She took early inspiration from the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism founded in 1946, with its emphases on Old Master techniques and imaginative vision. Now Wimmer has developed a sizable collector base, and has been featured in various juried exhibitions and won several awards, exhibiting in the Festival of Arts in 2012.  

Mercury Rising, rationally composed and organized around repeat motifs, including spirals and hexagons, is an allegory about telecommunications. Each visual element is chosen to further a narrative, expressing the idea that communications are a rising force in today’s world. 

By a combination of crisply detailed forms and the expert counterfeiting of the material surfaces of honeycomb, shell, or leaf, Wimmer deceives our eyes into believing the reality of what is rendered, whether factual or imaginary. She seeks to show the interrelated nature of all things and how the invisible informs the visible. 

Annette Wimmer explains Mercury Rising to an admirer at the unveiling

Wimmer began to take this more allegorical approach to her art about six years ago, building on her primary interest in depicting the natural world of plants, ladybugs, bees, hummingbirds, clouds, flowers, and animals in a benign phantasmagoric setting. Her private, fantastic world, inspired by her home and garden in the hillsides of Laguna Beach, is so convincingly presented that the extraordinary is made both plausible and inviting. 

Wimmer’s talent and welcoming attitude were on full display at the anniversary party last Saturday. Her friends were finally able to see the painting she had been revealing only small details of intermittently during the previous nine months on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Mercury, the Roman god of messages, eloquence, and trade, and the central motif of Wimmer’s painting, would certainly approve.

Ron Campbell, animator of beloved cartoons, will appear at Forest & Ocean Gallery on Dec 5, 6 and 7

During his 50-year career in animation, Peabody & Emmy Award winning animator Ron Campbell has been a part of creating celebrated and beloved television and film cartoons including The Beatles Yellow Submarine & The Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon TV series, Scooby Doo, Winnie the Pooh, Rugrats, Jetsons, Flintstones, The Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Yogi Bear, Ed, Edd & Eddy, Krazy Kat and dozens more. 

Campbell will make special appearances at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave, on Monday, Dec 5 through Wed, Dec 7 at the Ron Campbell Beatles Cartoon Pop Art Show where he will exhibit his works and create new paintings, as well as engage audiences in lively talks about his work and career. 


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Now retired, Campbell creates and showcases watercolor pop art paintings based on the beloved cartoons that framed his career, with a particular emphasis on the Beatles. The exhibit is free and all works are available for purchase.

The Saturday Morning Beatles Cartoon series aired on ABC from Sept 25, 1965 through April 20, 1969.  It received monstrous ratings in its time slot….a 67 share. The show continually fueled new music to the young kids of America as they followed the bouncing drumstick to each Beatles tune.  


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Yellow Submarine, recently celebrating its 48th anniversary, has become a permanent fixture in pop culture, defining the psychedelic 60s for generations to come. In his book Up Periscope, Yellow Submarine producer Al Brodax gives Ron Campbell a great deal of credit for saving the movie and tying it all together at the last minute. 

Campbell also wrote the foreword to the definitive book on the Beatles cartoon series, “Beatletoons.” 

The talented animator will be present at the Gallery on Mon, Dec 5 between 5 and 8 p.m. (the opening reception) and Tues Dec 6 and Wed Dec 7 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

Forest & Ocean Gallery is located at 480 Ocean Ave. For more information, call  (949) 371-3313 or visit

Collector’s Choice Gala: the best way to add art to your walls


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Photo by Michael Xun Chi 

LCAD Professor

Ready to add some great art to your life? Interested in acquiring something for that special someone for the upcoming gift-giving season? 

Our acclaimed Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is celebrating its 27th Annual Collector’s Choice Auction and Fundraiser at Montage Laguna Beach on Friday, Nov 18. Tickets are moving rapidly but are still available for this popular gala event. 

Proceeds from the gala tickets and auction benefit all LCAD students and also fund the $2.4 and $2.5 million awarded for student scholarships. This is a great way to not only support, but celebrate LCAD as one of the Top 10 Art Colleges in the United States. (In fact, gee, that’s actually the title for this year’s event – LCAD Celebration.)

The Collector’s Choice is a juried auction of fantastic artwork, and this year it only gets better with a variety of mediums on display at the gorgeous Montage Resort grounds. The group is definitely raising a toast to this year’s art, comprised exclusively from LCAD faculty, alumni, visiting artists and select students. 

What better way to support our own homegrown LCAD than on an oceanfront bluff with the choicest dinner and live entertainment around?  

Tickets for the Collector’s Choice auction and gala are $350 per person. Purchase tickets online any time at and use the same link to preview all of the art in the auction.


Diane Armitage is the author of a recently published 175-page book – “Laguna Beach’s Best” – a travel guide for locals and visitors. She writes a subjective blog found at She is a regular contributor to StuNews

Holiday palette winners announced out of 25 entries


Four new holiday palettes have been added to the City’s collection.


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Submitted photos

Leigh Snow Bell, Al Esquerra, Austin Arthur Hart and Marcel Mead painted the winning entries in the 2016 holiday palette competition. Their palettes will be on display outside City Hall this holiday season and on city streets in following years. 


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The winners were awarded $600 each. There were 25 entries this year. 

Participants entered an 8 1/2 by 11 inch colored design within the outline of a palette with a horizontal orientation. The Arts Commission chose the winners, who were supplied with a 4 by 3 foot wooden palette primed for paint. 

There were no restrictions on subject matter. However, religious symbols were discouraged.

Laguna Playhouse two weeks only

Youth Theatre presents “The Boxcar Children” this Friday 

The Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre presents “The Boxcar Children,” performing at the Playhouse for two weeks only, beginning Friday, Nov 11 through Sunday, Nov 20. “The Boxcar Children” will be directed by Bethanie Knieser with musical direction by Mark Turnbull. 

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Submitted photo

Audiences will be inspired by this ‘Beloved Children’s Classic’ of four orphaned siblings who discover the rewards and perils of a life of independence while hiding out in an abandoned boxcar they find in the forest. “The Boxcar Children,” by Gertrude Chandler Warner, has been named “Teacher’s Top 100 books for Children” by the National Education Association.

The cast of “The Boxcar Children” features youth actors from Laguna Beach and the Orange County area. Aidan Russell as Henry Alden, Faith Ackley and Samia El-Erian double in the role of Jessie Alden, Isabella Saunders plays Violet Alden and Lane Bucher plays Benny Alden. Holden Moll returns to the Playhouse in the role of Officer Banning, Victoria Spelman plays Miss Alberts, Jackie Melbon plays the Social Worker Sarah Calder, Christopher Yusi plays Dr. Sam Truman, Myrenna Ogbu plays the Baker’s wife, Victoria McGinnis is Mrs. Truman, and Laura Flores is Mrs. Alden, the children’s grandmother.  

Other youth cast members include: Jayden Goodman as Cookie, Quinton Yusi as Big Mike, Katie Palino as Jo, Benji Jenkins as the Kid. Hooverville residents and singers include: Giovanna Cecutti, Jake Donello, Sophia Haslett, Sophia Pachl, Bridget Phillips, Abigail Williams, and Trevor Yusi.

“The Boxcar Children” will be performed on Friday, Nov 11 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov 12 and Sunday, Nov 13 at 12 and 5 p.m.; School Day Matinees at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov 17 and Friday, Nov 18 and 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov 19 and Sunday, Nov 20, at 12 and 5 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road. 

Tickets range from $15 - $20 and can be purchased online at or by calling 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 497-2787 ext. 229. For information about Laguna Playhouse, visit

LCAD’s 27th annual Collector’s Choice will support higher education in fine arts, design and animation

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Submitted photo

The Collector’s Choice Gathering will take place at the sensational Montage hotel

Collector’s Choice, LCAD’s premier annual fundraising event, now in its 27th year, showcases the talents of dedicated artists who continue a legacy of focused and passionate support for arts education. This year’s contributing artists are comprised exclusively of LCAD faculty, alumni, visiting artists and select BFA and MFA students.

Thanks to LCAD’s partnership with Montage Laguna Beach, Collector’s Choice attendees will enjoy fine wine, an elegant dinner and entertainment in a five-star rated luxury resort. 

Last year, more than 330 guests including trustees, donors, artists, alumni, faculty and friends of the College raised $310,000 for LCAD students and programs.

The event will take place on Friday, Nov 18, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 Coast Highway.

For more information please contact Tracy Hartman at 949-376-6000, ext. 241 or email mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The CAP Gallery is running a timely exhibit: Isabelle Cordemans & Sandra Samaha - Feminist Voices

The CAP Gallery is currently exhibiting “Isabelle Cordemans & Sandra Samaha - Feminist Voices,” a mixed media/collage retrospective, which will run until Feb 17.

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Sandra Samaha


Juried by Malcolm Warner, executive director of the Laguna Art Museum, the two-person exhibit opens with a reception on Sat Nov 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The public is cordially invited to come meet and talk with the artists and explore their work in the gallery’s unique space. It is a free event.

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Isabelle Cordemans

Buddemma Revisited

Cordemans’ work combines organic and non-organic images and shapes applied in layers to define and express the relationships she sees. Samaha uses patterns, colour and texture to draw the viewer in and be a part of the work.

Images on show include Cordemans’ Buddemma Revisited and Samaha’s 


CAP Gallery will be open Mon to Fri 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturdays for the duration of the exhibition. 

The gallery is located at 260 Ocean Ave on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building. Call 949-553-7507 for more information, or visit Admission is free.

More than 2,000 attended LB Art & Nature programs; more than 12,000 experienced beach art installation

Last weekend, from Nov 3 – 6, Laguna Art Museum presented the fourth annual Art & Nature program, a multidisciplinary exploration of art’s many and various engagements with the natural world. More than 2,000 people attended the weekend programs including lectures by art experts. 


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Photo by Scott Brashier

But the highlight of the event was undoubtedly Phillip K. Smith III’s 1/4 Mile Arc – a large-scale installation specially commissioned by Laguna Art Museum for Art & Nature – experienced by more than 12,000 beachgoers. The installation was on view day and night from Friday through Sunday. 

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The spectacular site-specific installation stretched along much of Main Beach with approximately 250 stainless steel posts just above the high tide line. The mirror-polished surfaces of the 10-foot posts, arranged in an arc across Laguna’s iconic Main Beach, reflected the changing colors of the ocean, sky, and shoreline. Forming a visible marker between the man-made and natural worlds, the artwork drew curious onlookers as early as Thursday during its installation.  

This significant event on the beach rather than inside the museum’s galleries expanded the impact of the arts to a large public audience. 

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Photo by Scott Brashier

On Friday, Nov 4, Phillip K. Smith III gave a public lecture at the museum. By then, 1/4 Mile Arc had been on view on Main Beach for an entire day, and the well-attended event followed the first of three spectacular sunsets that occurred during Art & Nature weekend.  

Smith received degrees in Fine Arts and in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design before returning to the Southern California desert where he was raised. Building upon explorations in the perception of light, color, and space, he creates intensely physical and seemingly ephemeral sculptures.  

His large-scale, temporary installations include the internationally renowned Lucid Stead (2013) in Joshua Tree, California, and Reflection Field (2014) and Portals (2016), both of which debuted at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. 

Smith’s monumental works are sited throughout California and beyond. Next year, he will participate in Desert X 2017, an international contemporary art exhibition that focuses on environmental, social, and cultural conditions of the 21st century.

For the Art & Nature keynote, the museum hosted renowned British art historian Martin Kemp on Sat, Nov 5. Kemp is Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art at Oxford University and is acknowledged as the world authority on Leonardo da Vinci. Approximately150 people gathered to hear him discuss the iconic Mona Lisa as a statement of the artist’s ideas about nature and the natural world.  

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Photo by Jerry Immel

Whatever goes up must come down

Also on Saturday, the preeminent Light and Space artist Helen Pashgian discussed her work with gallerist Peter Blake in advance of an opening of the artist’s works at Peter Blake Gallery. Pashgian is a major figure whose works were the subject of a major solo exhibition at LACMA in 2014, as well as other exhibitions at the Getty Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.  

On that same day, 125 visitors experienced an interactive sound performance inside the museum titled ‘I’, lighthouse waiting for storms. Artist David Horovitz and Jamie Stewart from the band Xiu Xiu created a participatory sound installation emulating the sound of a violent storm arriving from the sea and smashing into the shore. Visitors were invited to contribute to the maelstrom with chimes installed for this purpose, transforming the museum into an exciting temporary sound installation.

Elena Bulatova Fine Art is opening at 265 Forest Ave

After experiencing tremendous success with its galleries in Palm Springs and Las Vegas, Elena Bulatova Fine Art has announced the opening of a gallery in Laguna Beach at 265 Forest Ave. 

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Submitted photos

The gallery specializes in unique contemporary and mixed media artwork, both sculptures and paintings. Headlining artists include the illustrious Elena Bulatova (a Russian artist who has made Palm Springs her home and cutting-edge pop art her signature), and other amazing artists including her partner, Efi Mashiah (an Israeli artist and designer, also pioneering never-before-seen styles in pop art and screw art), Virut P. (a collagist and new-media figurative painter), and Mr. Santo (the well-known sculptor of Bumblee, Optimus Prime, and the Predator, who also makes figurative pieces from Harley Davidson, Porsche, and semi-truck pieces).

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Efi Mashiah and Elena Bulatova

The gallery suggests planning plenty of time at the gallery, as there is much to see from around the world. Additional artists include spectacular innovators collected by Elena and Efi during their travels around the world. For example, the gallery offers unique Stone of Shona sculptures from Zimbabwe. They also offer hybrid figurative paintings by artists such as Anek Natenoi and Pongsak.

Elena Bulatova Fine Art boasts that this kind of art cannot be found anywhere else in world. They savor their international appeal in the center of Laguna Beach. 

The gallery ships internationally, and installs locally. They invite Laguna residents to be part of Elena Bulatova Fine Art.

For more information, contact Elena Bulatova Fine Art at 844-353-6200, email 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

The Playhouse presents a special holiday event: Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight on stage

Laguna Playhouse artistic director Ann E. Wareham and Lythgoe Family Panto are thrilled to announce a very special holiday event starring Cozi Zuehlsdorff (Dolphin Tale Films), Joely Fisher (Broadway: Cabaret, Desperate Housewives), Barry Pearl (Grease), The Book of Mormon’s Benjamin Schrader, Jeff Sumner (Genie in Disney’s Aladdin-A Musical Spectacular), American Idol finalist Vonzell Solomon and Conor Guzman (Pasadena Playhouse; The Fantasticks) in Lythgoe Family Panto’s production of Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight. 

The play is based on a book by Kris Lythgoe with choreography by Spencer Liff. Michael Orland is the music supervisor, musical direction is by Michael Sobie and Linda Goodrich directs the performance.  

“Last year’s holiday confection returns with an all-new Lythgoe Family Panto event on our stage!” comments Wareham.  

Remarks Becky Lythgoe, “We are delighted to be back at the Laguna Playhouse with our second show and with this extraordinary cast for a truly magical holiday show.” 

Broadway and TV stars perform in this interactive musical fairy tale with comedy, magic and pop music sure to delight children of all ages. 

Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight is based on a European fairytale in which a princess called Aurora has a curse put on her by an evil fairy Carabosse. On her 18th birthday, Aurora pricks her finger on a spindle and falls asleep for 100 years. A handsome Prince saves the day by defeating the wicked fairy and giving Aurora a true love kiss. (Fortunately, she is still 18 when she wakes up.)

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Courtesy P Endelman


The 2014 cast of Sleeping Beauty and the Winter Knight

Lythgoe Family Panto produces fun, musical theatre the whole family can enjoy. Known for their creativity and involvement in television hits American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, the Lythgoes are dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across America. Based on the Grimm fairytales and others, each story has been modernized with topical scripts for parents and well-known pop songs for kids. 

The Lythgoes pride themselves on creating a memorable experience a family can share together.  Past Panto at Laguna Playhouse productions include A Snow White Christmas starring Marina Sirtis and Lindsay Pearce.

Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight will begin performances on Wed, Dec 7; will open officially on Fri, Dec 9 at 7:30 p.m. and will run through Fri, Dec 30 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road.

Performances will be Wed, Thurs & Fri at 7:30 p.m.; Sat at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 11:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. There will be additional performances on Tuesday, Dec 20 at 7:30 p.m.; Fri, December 23 at 3:30 p.m. & Thurs, Dec 27 at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.  There will be no performances on Dec 24 or Dec 25.

Ticket prices range from $30 - $70 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787).  Ticket prices are subject to change. Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. 

The box office is open Mon – Sat 12 to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  

For more information on all shows and programming visit   

To schedule press interviews, photos, press comps or for additional information, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

View sea lions and enjoy a watercolor workshop

LOCA Arts Education is presenting a fascinating art and sea lions workshop on Sat Nov 12, 9 - 10:30 a.m. at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Canyon. Families, groups, and beginners are invited. 

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Photo by LOCA


Sea lions can teach you a thing or two about watercolors (and sea colors…)

The morning includes a docent-led viewing of live sea lions, a presentation on the rescue and rehabilitation work of the center, and an easy watercolor class with noted artist Mike Tauber. Everyone will take home a beautiful color sketch of a sea lion.

Cost is $20 for adults, and $15 for those aged 6 and up if with paid adult. Free on-site parking is included. Advance registration is required. Visit or visit the calendar at, or call (949) 363-4700. 

PMMC is at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road, one block north of the Dog Park.

Artists Republic Gallery will showcase Softer World, a solo exhibition by Laura Berger, opening Thurs 

Artist Republic Gallery will feature Softer World, a solo exhibition by Laura Berger, from Nov 3 until Dec 31. The Artist’s Reception will take place on the first day of the exhibition, this Thursday, from 6 – 9 p.m.

Laura is a full time artist working mainly in acrylic and gouache, creating works that focus on the connections of humans to each other, ourselves and the world. Based in Chicago, Laura is extremely successful and exhibits her work worldwide. Her paintings are whimsical and light hearted, following her characters on their adventures in their colorful, calm worlds. 

In her upcoming solo show Softer World, Laura focuses on creating an escape from the violence happening around us. 

Painting positive possibilities rather than focusing on darkness not only serves as a way to see through negativity or fear, but also has become very therapeutic as a daily practice for me,” Laura says. “It helps to reinforce a sense of calm and to physically envision a peaceful world where we’re all honoring our connectedness and just hanging out together in a place of total ease.” 

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Laura’s work is inspired by rituals, symbols, nature, dreams, and travel

Laura has created a body of work that truly makes the viewer feel good, successfully creating an escape from the negativity of the world. Laura is interested in and inspired by rituals, symbols, nature, dreams, travel, our quest for self-development and freedom, and how we piece it together to create personal meaning and a sense of belonging to the greater whole. 

She’ll be exhibiting new works in her traditional acrylic and gouache medium as well as new works in ceramics for Softer World

“My goals are simple, I guess -- I mostly just want to keep painting and learning, showing my work in spaces that feel good and getting to work with nice people. I love doing murals, ceramics, and animation work, so I definitely want to do more of that in addition to exhibitions...But honestly if things kept going just as they are I’d be nothing but grateful.” 

Laura’s opening reception on Thurs, Nov 3, will coincide with the fourth annual Art & Nature festival held by the Laguna Art Museum. 

Since opening its doors in 2010, Artists Republic has been one of Orange County’s premier venues for new contemporary art. The gallery is dedicated to the support of emerging and mid-career artists whose work has impacted and influenced lives through youth culture. 

Artists Republic is located at 1175 S. Coast Hwy and specializes in original works, prints, books and more. Visit for more information.

LCAD will showcase dedicated artists’ talents

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LCAD continues its dedication to upcoming artists in Laguna

LCAD will showcase dedicated artists’ talents from Oct 26 – Nov 17 at its location in the canyon, with the opening reception taking place on Thurs, Nov 3 from 6 – 9 p.m.

Collector’s Choice is LCAD’s premier annual fundraising event, showcasing the amazing talents of dedicated artists, and continuing a legacy of focused and passionate support for arts education. 

This year’s contributing artists are comprised exclusively of LCAD faculty, alumni, visiting artists and select BFA and MFA students.

The 27th Annual Collector’s Choice Juried Auction and fundraiser will take place from will take place from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov 18 at Montage Laguna Beach.

Barbara’s Column

Annual Plein Air Invitational culminates in Collector’s Gala


The evening air was a little cool Oct 14, but hearts were warmed by enthusiastic response to the art displayed at the Collectors Gala, the culmination of the 18th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational.

It was the first opportunity for folks to view the art created during the previous week and eligible for awards at the Gala, held at Tivoli Too. The 146-piece exhibit was open for sale to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

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Submitted photos

Nearly $30,000 in Award Prizes were presented to participating artists during the 18th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational’s Collectors Gala 

“We sold over $200,000 worth of art,” said an elated LPAPA Executive Rosemary Swimm.

“The artists get a percentage and the rest supports programs of the non-profit association.”

The eight Laguna College of Art & Design students who participated in the invitational received 50 percent of the sale price of their work and 50 percent went to LCAD’s scholarship fund, Swimm said.

“Kids Paint Out” works are for sale and are selling at the Forest & Ocean Gallery through Monday. The young artists are mostly middle school-aged, said Swimm.

But money is not the only reward. The invitational is the opportunity for the nation’s top plein air landscape painters to compete for prestigious awards while participating in a nine-day celebration that includes public paint-outs, painting demonstrations, “PleinTalk” conversations, and educational events and activities.

The 105 paintings exhibited in the “Main Room” at the gala were all eligible for awards.

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Jim McVicker

Morning at Laguna Beach

Best of Show

Jean Stern, executive director of Irvine Museum of Art, awarded “Best of Show,” to Jim McVicker for “Morning at Laguna Beach,” which depicted folks strolling along the boardwalk by the iconic Lifeguard Tower.

Other award-winning paintings that featured Laguna Beach included, “Rooftops of Crystal Cove by Shelby Keefe, April Raber’s “Skywaves,” J. Ken Spencer’s “View from Cliff Drive,” Zufar Bikbov’s “Lights of Laguna,” Ray Roberts’ “Shore Breakers at Aliso Beach,” and Colin Page’s “Main Beach to Main Street.”

Awards also were presented to Charlie Hunter, Suzie Baker, Mike Hernandez, Jennifer Diehl, Gil Dellinger, Jane Hunt, Cindy Baron and Peggi Kroll-Roberts.

The awards were handed out after a sumptuous dinner, which Swimm declared an absolutely amazing success

“Three hundred and twenty-five dinners were served,” she said.

Among the diners: Mark Christy, Carole Reynolds, Harry and Suzi Bithell, Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman, Cheryl and Nick Kinsman, Christina Dominguez, Anne and Marv Johnson, Norm Grossman, Anne McGraw, Margaret Warder, Becky and John Barber, Martha Lydick and Anita Mangels.  

It has been 20 years since Saim Caglayan was inspired to contact 25 artists, mostly friends from Laguna or close by to join him in forming the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. The late Ken Auster was among the founders and he is sorely missed, Cagalan said.

The key factors in the dramatic success of the venture were love of painting outdoors, teamwork, support from community, the city and the Laguna and Irvine museums, according to Caglayan.

LPAPA President Toni Kellenberg said the association has become the steward of Laguna’s plein air legacy, which established the town’s claim to be an art colony in 1903. The annual invitational celebrates the artistic legacy of the early California impressionist and plein air painters such as William Wendt, Anna Hills, Frank Cuprien and Edgar Payne who were instrumental in opening the first Laguna art gallery.

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LPAPA’s Executive Director Rosemary Swimm (left) and LPAPA’s President Toni Kellenberg (right) present Sandy Sewell with LPAPA’s Lifetime Member Award

LPAPA and its mission to protect and preserve Laguna’s plein air heritage can be supported by becoming a patron, sponsor, or by making a tax-deductible donation. For more information call (949) 376-3635.  

But wait - There’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach getting ready to hold their annual Art and Nature Show Nov 3 - 11

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach’s Art Program is holding their annual Art & Nature Show starting Nov 3 and running through Nov 11 at the Club’s Art Room at the Canyon Branch. 

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Submitted photo

Madison Rogers

The show will be an installation of art made by Club Members all revolving around the subject of nature. All types of art will be displayed: sculptures, photography, illustration, painting, mixed media, ceramics, digital arts, just to name a few. The Club works in partnership with the Laguna Art Museum who originated the idea of showcasing an Art & Nature show exhibit. They encouraged local organizations in the surrounding areas to participate in having their own Art & Nature Show, and that’s what the Club’s Art Director, Karla Fandel did. 

Fandel was truly inspired by the Museum’s exhibit to start her own Art & Nature Show with the Club three years ago. 

“The kids that attend the art program at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach love the idea of combining nature and art!” said Fandel. She added, “I believe our members who are participating in creating this year’s exhibit, really get a better understanding of the culture and art of Laguna Beach.” 

For more information of the upcoming exhibit at the Club; contact Karla Fandel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

coastal eddy, a gallery, will celebrate Dia de los Muertos on Oct 28 to benefit Laguna Food Pantry

coastal eddy, a gallery, will celebrate Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on Fri, Oct 28 from 5 – 8 p.m. Open to the public, the evening will feature art, music, food and fun, all to benefit the Laguna Food Pantry. 

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The gallery will also introduce three new artists: Mark Hendrickson, Neil Kennedy and Jesse Martin. Each of these artists brings a unique style and treatment to their contemporary ceramic work. 

Ceramic mugs and ornaments will be available for purchase, to paint, and to leave for firing and pick up at a later date with proceeds from the sales going to Laguna Food Pantry. In addition, everyone is encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation. 

The only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, coastal eddy is located at 1417 S. Coast Highway, in the HIP district of Laguna, 949-715-4113. 

Visit for more information.

MASH star Loretta Swit leads ‘Eleanor Roosevelt, Her Secret Journey’ at Laguna Playhouse Nov 3

Laguna Playhouse has well known “M*A*S*H” star Loretta Swit starring in “Eleanor Roosevelt, Her Secret Journey,” with four performances starting on Thursday, Nov 3. 

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Loretta Swit as Eleanor Roosevelt

Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham said, “In this historic election year, that may see our first woman be president, what better way to reflect and take a look at another woman who played such an extraordinary part in the history of this nation. We are honored to have Loretta Swit bring the life of Eleanor Roosevelt to our stage just before this year’s election.”

Two-time Emmy Award-winning Swit breathes life into one of history’s most intriguing and longest-serving first ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt, a deeply personal portrait of the woman who brought warmth and compassion to issues of war, peace, and human rights.

“Eleanor Roosevelt, Her Secret Journey” takes place in Eleanor Roosevelt’s living room at Val-Kill in Hyde Park, NY in 1945. It is performed in One Act without Intermission. This one-woman portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt has been created for the stage by Rhoda Lerman under the technical supervision of Ron Nash.

“Eleanor Roosevelt, Her Secret Journey” will be performed on Thursday, Nov 3, Friday, Nov 4 and Saturday, Nov 5 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, Nov 6. Laguna Playhouse is at 606 Laguna Canyon Road.

Tickets range from $60 - $70 and can be purchased by calling 497-ARTS (2787) or  online at Group discounts are available by calling 497-2787 ext. 229.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

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