Vintage images by Artist Bradford J. Salamon featured by Festival of Arts at foaSOUTH through April 25

The Festival of Arts (FOA) announces a new exhibit at foaSOUTH, featuring the artwork of contemporary painter Bradford J. Salamon, now on display through April 25.

This exhibit showcases his unique portraits of vintage objects alongside his painting “Red Billow Camera” which was acquired by the Festival of Arts Permanent Art Collection in 2012. 

“Bradford’s current series includes larger than life paintings of vintage images and objects expressing a dynamic complement of texture and atmosphere that patently illustrate his signature style,” said exhibit curator Pat Sparkuhl. 

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Submitted photo

(L-R) “Jameson” “Red Billow Camera” “PGC Aspirin” by Bradford Salamon

Born into a family of artists, Salamon worked as a professional illustrator, opening studios in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley before relocating to LA in 2013. Before his move, he exhibited at the FOA for eight years. His study of significant, historical painters has enabled him to develop a unique blend of classical and contemporary approaches to his method of painting. 

Along with traditional schooling at the Art Institute of Southern California, Salamon refined his skills during private tutorial sessions under the watchful eyes of working artists such as Jeremy Lipking and David Leffel. 

With a body of work spanning charcoal portraits to gestural landscapes, from intimate interiors to narrative scenes, Bradford is most celebrated for his intuitive oil portraits of both famous and ordinary people. Currently, he is working on paintings of vintage objects that he also considers portraits because of the stories they tell.

Bradford’s art is included in collections at the Laguna Art Museum, the Orange County Museum of Art, Chapman University, and in private holdings. 

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Submitted photo

“Darth Vader Diptych” by Bradford J. Salamon 

Opened as a collaboration between FOA and Active Culture, foaSOUTH serves visitors to and residents of LB by promoting Festival-related exhibitions throughout the year. 

Located at 1006 S Coast Hwy on the corner of Anita and PCH, the gallery has partnered with Active Culture to provide frozen yogurt and natural foods on the premises at their café. 

Open weekdays from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, call 949-494-1145 or visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.com.


Laguna artist Todd Kenyon’s show Endless Summer debuts in New York on March 22 at Gallery Henoch

Gallery Henoch in New York announces the opening of local Laguna Beach artist Todd Kenyon’s debut show Endless Summer, a major achievement. A reception for the artist will be held Thurs, March 22, from 6-8 p.m., and the exhibit will run until April 14. The event is free and open to the public. 

Taking inspiration from the seminal film of the same name, Kenyon’s Endless Summer conjures the carefree exuberance of a perfect day spent on a deserted beach. Kenyon’s unfettered paintings balance air, water and earth, with luminous attention to detail. Amongst the crashing waves and foaming surf, broad bands of blue, white and sandy hues evoke color field painting. Kenyon tends to work large, which gives his paintings a sublimely immersive quality. 

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Todd in his Laguna studio 

Moving to So Cal in 1998 from the East Coast, Kenyon became inspired to create a body of work that captures the beauty and color of the contemporary coastline. His oil paintings capture the multifaceted spirit of the ocean. The viewer is taken in by the force of the crashing surf, and when stepping closer, the focus shifts to subtle color fields that mimic the reflective quality of light against sand and water.  

His artwork brings people back to a place where they find solitude, joy, and memories of summers at the beach. Kenyon has created a feeling of an “Endless Summer” that resonates all through the year and gets us through the cold winter months and anticipating those warm summer days to come.

He describes his work as “fantasy” derived from a variety of real elements one finds on the beach, such as water, foam, sand and rocks. To capture the elements that he wants to use in his paintings, Todd takes a lot of reference photos such as rocks, sand and little pieces of the edge of the surf. When he puts a painting together, he pulls a lot of different sources out from multiple photos, and that’s what makes them realistic. 

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Kenyon taking reference photo for painting

To heighten the experience of his uber realistic paintings, Todd constantly studies the movement of water, light and how it reflects against the shore. He appreciates the unpredictability of nature because, “nature is very random.” He says, “So, when I create foam or waves or water, the trick is not to create artificial patterns.” 

While Kenyon traveled extensively from Tahiti to Hawaii to paint the ocean for this show, he can also see the Pacific Ocean from his Laguna Beach art studio. Kenyon walks along the beach or paddle-boards nearly every day, and his eloquent paintings of the ocean are very much informed by this intimate relationship with the water. Working with oil glazes and washes, Kenyon builds up his compositions in incremental layers, giving form to the momentary ebb and flow of tireless waves. 

Endless Summer will also include a new work from Kenyon’s popular Ocean Series, an arrangement of circular canvases that break up the picture plane into dots of blue-green ocean and off-white sea foam. On their own, each dot has a minimalist appearance. But taken together, this work reveals the complete image of the sea. 

For more information on Todd Kenyon, go to www.purelagunabeach.com.


LGOCA holds Artist Reception for Jan Lord – Girl on Fire! – on Saturday Feb 10 from 5 – 8 p.m.

LGOCA invites everyone to meet Jan Lord and view the newest paintings in the Gallery this Saturday Feb 10 from 5 – 8 p.m.

Appetizers from K’ya and refreshments will be served.

Submitted photo

Bennie and the Jets, 36” x 72”

Jan Lord’s paintings are inspired by the tone, mood and inspiration of favorite songs and lyrics of rock an roll, soul, Motown, beautiful lyrics and exotic places – all executed with acrylic, oil, pastel, aluminum, graphite on Baltic birch wood panels.

Submitted photo

Rock n Roll, 36” x 72”

Jan Lord’s artwork is represented in galleries across the US, Canada, Europe and, happily, LGOCA! 

LGOCA is located at 611 S Coast Hwy. For more information visit www.lgoca.com.

or call 949 715 9604.


Avran Fine Art presents James C. Leonard’s Exhibition, Inner Landscapes from Feb 10 – March 10

Avran Fine Art will present a Solo Exhibition featuring gestural abstract artist, James C. Leonard. The show, Inner Landscapes, takes place from Feb 10- March 10, and it is free and open to the public. Meet the artist and learn more about his work and techniques.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

James C. Leonard and his work will be presented at Avran Fine Art 

James C. Leonard has emerged as one of California’s leading abstract expressionist painters. Leonard’s emotionally charged landscapes often portray backdrops for figures dramatically suspended. 

Leonard grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and has always been drawn to the early expressionists of the 1930’s and 40’s. The German painter Gerhard Richer has had an influence on his style, approach, and directness. 

Working with acrylics on canvas, Leonard uses bold horizontal and vertical strokes and strong color palettes. “Art has always been the focus of my life,” he says. “Just as our lives unfold in unique and beautiful ways, so do my paintings have their own unique and individual expression.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

Landscape in my Dreams by James C. Leonard  


Leonard’s compositions are entirely non-representational and move the viewer’s eye vertically or horizontally across the space. This basic movement is complicated by layers of dripped, speckled and fragmented colors that infuse not only a rich language of color, but also a visual history left to be discovered by the eye as it moves across the surface. 

Leonard’s inventive layering process using an “extended palette knife” results in heavy impasto, or textured, surfaces with a glossy, wet shine making them particularly stunning when seen in person. He prefers to call himself a “colorist” and listens to the work as it develops, often carrying an element of smooth transition that he relates to water.

For more information on this upcoming event, visit www.avranart.com.


Artists paint at Top of the World and Alta Laguna Park during landscape workshops on Feb 10 and Feb 12

LOCA Arts Education and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) offer an opportunity to attend two unique landscape painting activities in town, one at Top of the World School and one at Alta Laguna Park.

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Indoor workshop at Top of the World School on Sat, Feb 10

The first will be held on Sat, Feb 10, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Top of the World School. The indoor workshop, for adults and families, will feature a choice of beginner, intermediate or advanced workstations. Using photos, participants will follow easy steps in sketching a composition, blocking colors, and finishing a beautiful coastal scene. 

Instructors include Rick J. Delanty, Rita Pacheco, and Wendy Wirth. Advance registration is required, $40 includes all supplies. 

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Submitted photo

Artist Anthony Salvo serves as mentor at Mentor Paint Out on Feb 12

The second activity is Mon, Feb 12, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The Mentor Paint Out is offered outdoors at the breathtaking Alta Laguna Park. The activity allows painters to improve skills by positioning themselves and painting alongside acclaimed artists Lisa Mozzini-McDill and Anthony Salvo, and receiving helpful guidance. The event is free, and no registration is required. 

To register for Art at the Top of the World, go to www.locaarts.org.  

To find all the LOCA -LPAPA class offerings, visit the calendar pages at website listed above, or call (949)363-4700 for more information.


Special free prelude performance by tenor Nicholas Phan at Susi Q to kick-off LB Music Festival, Feb 6

The Philharmonic Society and Laguna Beach Live! present a special prelude performance on Tuesday, Feb 6, at 10 a.m. by guest artistic director and acclaimed tenor Nicholas Phan. This free event launches the 2018 Laguna Beach Music Festival, which runs from February 7 through 11, and features mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and Myra Huang on piano. It will include a Q & A session.

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Nicholas Phan performs at Susi Q on Feb 6

The Laguna Beach Music Festival is an annual multi-day celebration, featuring outstanding classical and contemporary concerts in intimate spaces, community outreach programs and dynamic special events.

Attendees may reserve a spot at this prelude performance at the front desk or by calling 949-464-6645, or register online at www.lagunabeachcity.net and click on recreation classes.

Susi Q is located at 380 Third St. Because underground parking is limited, it is suggested that guests carpool, use Uber/Lyft, metered street parking or city parking lots.


Auditions for A Little Night Music will begin on Feb 23 – time to practice sending in the clowns? 

Auditions and callback times for the No Square Theatre’s upcoming show A Little Night Music have been announced. The popular musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, will run from May 11-13 and May 18-20. It will be directed by Joe Lauderdale and choreographed by Ellen Prince. Musical direction is yet to be determined. 

Auditions will be held at No Square Theatre. In order to be cast, all performers must be able to attend auditions and callbacks. Auditions (by appointment) are from Thurs, Feb 22 from 6 p.m., Friday, Feb 23 from 6 p.m. Callbacks are Sat, Feb 24, from 1 p.m. and  Sun, Feb 25, from 1 p.m. Additional callbacks may be held at other times. General rehearsals begin March 19 and run Mon through Fri from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and Sat from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Auditions begin on Feb 23 at No Square Theatre

Strong singers are desired for leading roles and ensemble parts, and there is some dancing (waltz). All roles are available to all ethnicities. Sondheim’s lush score includes the popular favorite, “Send in the Clowns.” There will be contemporary dress, but with elegance and sophistication (ladies in hats and gloves, gentlemen in tail coats). No accents will be used, but proper English is required. 

The roles for A Little Night Music include: Desirée Armfeldt: Age 40–50, Mezzo. Somewhat self-absorbed, a former actress, Fredrik Egerman: Age 40–50, Baritone. Successful, dashing lawyer. [This role is pre-cast.] Anne Egerman: Age 19 (Actor age 19–30), Soprano. Fredrik’s young second wife, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm: Age 30–45, Baritone. 

Arrogant, vain, military man, Madame Armfeldt: Age 65–80, Contralto. Desirée’s mother, a former courtesan. Will use a cane instead of a wheelchair, Petra: Age 20–30, Mezzo. Anne’s earthy maid and confidante, Fredrika Armfeldt: Age 12–26 (Actor age up to 18), Soprano. Desirée’s daughter, clever and poised young lady, Frid: Age 25–35, Non-singing. Madame Armfeldt’s lusty and passionate, but proper, manservant. 

Liebeslieder Singers: Age 20s and up. A Greek Chorus commenting on the action and occasionally joining in. Strong singers: Mrs. Anderssen, Mezzo, Mrs. Nordstrom, Soprano, Mrs. Segstrom, Soprano, Mr. Erlanson, Tenor, Mr. Lindquist, Baritone. 

For exact vocal ranges, how to prepare for an audition, audition form, and conflict calendar visit: www.nosquare.org

To schedule an audition appointment, email director Joe Lauderdale This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and indicate a preferred time. 

The No Square Theatre in Historic Legion Hall is located at 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of LBHS. 

For additional information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, visit website listed above.


Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre presents Annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser “Poisoned Pens” on Feb 3

On Sat, Feb 3, Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre hosts their 11th Annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser, which includes dinner, laughter, music, champagne, auction items and, of course, murder, in the play Poisoned Pens by Charles Corritore.

For one night only, “manuscript mayhem” takes over the annual gathering of the Society of Mystery Enthusiasts and Great Mystery Authors, who have come together to announce the “Author of the Year.” Each of the nominees is the crème de la crème of ‘whodunit’ writers and are, without a doubt, the craftiest minds in the business. Each is competing for the $100,000 prize money which accompanies the award.

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Submitted photo

Actors rehearse for Poisoned Pens

Thirty young actors, ages 10-18, have been rehearsing for 16 days, and putting the entire show together in a short three weeks. Handling the principal roles will be: Rudy Buttlar, Molly Cohn, Abigail Williams, Bethany Klause, J.T Williams, Aidan Russell, Leo Hekma, Jake Donello, Caroline Field, Cassidy Morgan, Carson Kubelun, Ani Hovanesian, and Dorsa Khatibloo.  

The Ensemble will be comprised of: Katie Baker, Lula Buckle, Sophia Gabal, Lucy Josse, Sophia Pachl, Raquel Temesvary, Ava von Meeteren, Luke Bruderer, Charlie Grace Goubran, Grace Hahn, Chloe Lawson, Joaquin Lombardi, Fiona McCue, Kirra Moore, Greer Querantes, Nathan Schrodt, and Ella Thimons. 

 From May 4-13, The Youth Theatre finishes the season with the classic story, A Little Princess, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and directed by Kelly Herman. In spring, various workshop classes will be held for students ages 7-13, who are interested in learning about Acting and Musical Theatre. This summer, from July 9 –21, The Youth Theatre will host Summer Musical Theatre Day Camp Hamilton and Friends Redux for ages 9-13. For children ages 7-8, they have Storybook Summer Day Camp, July 9 -19.

Ticket packages are available for purchase for Poisoned Pens. The pre-show dinner package is $100 per ticket with limited availability from 5:30 – 7 p.m. This package includes dinner at Romeo Cucina with a performance, preferred seating, dessert buffet, silent and live auction. 

The Play and Dessert Package is $35 per ticket with a performance, dessert buffet, and Silent and Live Auction. 

Playhouse doors open at 7 p.m. for the reception and silent auction, and the performance begins at 8 p.m.

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd., 949-497-2787.

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


Auditions for A Little Night Music will begin on Feb 23 – time to practice sending in the clowns? 

Auditions and callback times for the No Square Theatre’s upcoming show A Little Night Music have been announced. 

On Fri, Feb 23, auditions will begin at 6 p.m and on Sat, Feb 24, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Callbacks will begin on Sun, Feb 25, starting at 1 p.m. Additional callbacks will be held at other times to be announced. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

No Square Theatre provides a fun, intimate setting for beloved plays

No Square Theatre is an 85-seat stadium theatre, so the show will focus mostly on character, and less on grandeur. Contemporary dress will be ornamented by the elegance and sophistication of ladies with hats and gloves and gentlemen in tail coats.

While accents are not required for the parts, proper English is important.

The music and lyrics is by Stephen Sondheim, the book is by Hugh Wheeler, directed by Joe Lauderdale, and choreographed by Ellen Prince Music. 

For more information, log onto www.NoSquare.org.


Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre presents Annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser, Poisoned Pen

On Sat, Feb 3, Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre will present their annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser, including dinner, laughter, music, champagne, auction items and, of course, murder, performed by the youthful actors in the play Poisoned Pen.

In the play, it’s the annual gathering of the Society of Mystery Enthusiasts and Great Mystery Authors, who have come together to announce the “Author of the Year.”  Each of the nominees is the crème de la crème of ‘whodunit’ writers and are, without a doubt, the craftiest minds in the business.  Each is competing for the $100,000 prize money which accompanies the award.

The play Poisoned Pen is by Charles Corritore.

Ticket packages are available for purchase. The pre-show dinner package is $100 per ticket with limited availability from 5:30 – 7 p.m. This package includes dinner at Romeo Cucina with a performance, preferred seating, dessert buffet, silent and live auction. 

The Play and Dessert Package is $35 per ticket with a performance, dessert buffet, and Silent and Live Auction. 

For more information, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


Pageant spreads the love for Valentine’s Day, offers discounted tickets to “Under the Sun” until Feb 14 

Don’t give traditional Valentine’s Day gifts of chocolates or cards, instead give that special person tickets to this summer’s production of the Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun.” For a limited time, attendees save 20 percent on tickets with promotional code V20 (excludes loge center seats and all tickets for August 25). Offer is valid through Feb 14. 

“It doesn’t get more romantic than watching the Pageant of the Masters under the stars,” said Festival of Arts Marketing and Public Relations Manager Sharbie Higuchi. “The show makes for a great date night, a fun outing with friends, or just a memorable evening to share with someone special.” 

In the early years of the 20th century, a new generation of impressionists and plein air painters set up their easels outdoors and reveled in the natural beauty to be found as far as the eye could see. In the 2018 Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” theatrical magic, live music and light-hearted storytelling will honor Laguna’s own and other artistic pioneers from around the world who left their studios in search of new inspiration. 

Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, the Pageant of the Masters is arguably

one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by 90 minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.

The Pageant runs from July 7 – Sept 1, with performances nightly at 8:30 p.m.

Advance ticket prices are $15 - $240.

A Pageant Ticket also acts a season pass to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show.

The Irvine Bowl at the Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd, LB.

To take advantage of this special limited time offer, call (800) 487-3378 or visit www.PageantTickets.com.


Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson; The Graduate with Melanie Griffith opens at the Playhouse on Feb 21

Laguna Playhouse presents this provocative fifth show in its 97th season – The Graduate – starring Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Melanie Griffith, as Mrs. Robinson. This legendary story, adapted by Terry Johnson, and based on the novel by Charles Webb, features the screenplay by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham. Ovation Award-winner Michael Matthews is the director. 

The Graduate will run in a limited engagement, beginning with previews on Wed, Feb 21; the opening night will be on Sun, March 4, at 5:30 p.m., and performances continue through Sun, March 18.

Executive Director Ellen Richard comments, “We are just thrilled to welcome Melanie Griffith to the Laguna Playhouse in one of the most iconic roles of all time – Mrs. Robinson.” 

Terry Johnson’s stage adaptation of The Graduate, based on the novel and the iconic 1967 film, is a bitterly hilarious dark comedy, full of rapid-fire dialogue between fascinating characters boldly celebrating a May-Dec romance in 1960’s California, in which the future can be summed up in one word: Plastics.

Adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham. “We have been trying to seduce Melanie to perform on our stage for quite some time. We are overjoyed that she has said yes and know our subscribers and audiences will be utterly mesmerized by her return to the stage under the inspired direction of Michael Matthews!”  

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Submitted photo

Melanie Griffith stars as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, opening Feb 21

Melanie Griffith received an Academy Award nomination, a BAFTA nomination and won a Golden Globe award for her memorable role as Tess McGill in Mike Nichol’s smash hit “Working Girl.” She has had an extensive career in film and television, garnering many honors and awards. In 2003, she made her Broadway musical debut in Chicago as the fame-hungry Roxie Hart, impressing critics and audiences alike. 

In 2001, Griffith was honored with a Special Festival Award for her body of work at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2014, Melanie was honored with the Taormina Arte Award in Taormina, Italy.  

Director Michael Matthews is thrilled to be returning to Laguna Playhouse after directing its critically acclaimed production of Twelve Angry Men. A few of his other numerous credits and awards include: Billy & Ray at the Laguna Playhouse, Take Me Out!, The Women of Brewster Place, the Musical (Ovation Nom, Director; NAACP Award, Director). Michael is the recipient of the 2015 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Career Achievement in Direction.

The cast will also feature: Nick Tag as Benjamin (Sex and Education at Laguna Playhouse; “My Crazy Ex,” “Brothers in Arms”), Geoffrey Lower as Mr. Robinson, Martha Magruder as Elaine Robinson, Richard Burgi as Mr. Braddock, Valerie Perri as Mrs. Braddock and the ensemble will feature John Massey, Greg Butler, Joey Fabrizi and Taylor Rene LaBarbera.

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Nick Tag stars as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate

The designers include: Scenic Design is by Stephen Gifford, Lighting Design is by Tim Swiss, Costume Design is by Kate Bergh. The Production Stage Manager is Vernon Willett. 

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

Performances will be Tues through Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Thurs and Sat at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 1 p.m. There will no Thurs performances on Thurs, March 1 & Thurs, March 15 at 2 p.m. There will be additional Sun performances on Sun, Feb 25; Sun, March 11 & Sun, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. 

Tickets range from $86 - $101 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices subject to change.    

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

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

For a full listing of credits for the talented actors and the director, go to the website listed above.


Laguna Art Museum announces featured artists for annual California Cool Art Auction

On Feb 10, Laguna Art Museum will present its annual California Cool Art Auction. The event takes place from 6 - 10 p.m. with a silent auction from 6 - 8 p.m. and a live auction of selected works starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $125 for museum members at the Friend level and higher, and $150 for all others. 

The live auction, in partnership with Paddle8 and led by Andrea Fiuczynski of Sotheby’s, will add a further element of excitement to the competitive bidding with absentee bids placed from around the world. 

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Courtesy LAM website

Michael Situ: Morning in Crystal Cove

2018 marks the 36th edition of the highly-anticipated auction event during the museum’s centennial year. With works by more than 100 important California artists, Art Auction 2018 will include great art, delicious cuisine, and creative cocktails.

As LAM continues its PST: LA/LA exhibition of works by Dan McCleary, the auction will feature a recent oil painting by McCleary ($6,000 value) courtesy of the artist and Craig Krull Gallery. In advance of the upcoming retrospective exhibition of works by Tony DeLap, the auction will feature a work by DeLap ($40,000 value) courtesy of the artist and Parrasch Heijnen Gallery. 

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Courtesy LAM website

Sherry Karver: Pieces of the Puzzle

Other notable works include a monoprint by Peter Alexander ($32,000 value) courtesy of the artist, a pastel by James hd Brown ($12,000 value) courtesy of the artist, a color etching by Frank Gehry ($3,500 value) courtesy of Gemini G.E.L., an etching by Ed Ruscha ($9,500 value) courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery, as well as works by Lita Albuquerque, Phillip K. Smith III, Elizabeth Turk, and others.

With something for every taste and pocketbook, there are many opportunities for guests to add top-quality art to their collections. The works range in price from $400 to $40,000, and bidding begins at 50 percent of the stated value. Proceeds from the event will support Laguna Art Museum’s dedicated to collecting and preserving California art, presenting critically acclaimed exhibitions, and enhancing art education programs.

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Courtesy LAM website

William Wray: Enterprise

In addition to art, guests will enjoy the culinary talents of West Coast Event Productions, wines by Wine Gallery, and desserts by Simply Sweet Cakery served alongside specialty coffees and teas provided by Urth Caffé. The evening’s cool ambience will feature floral designs by Laguna Nursery and lighting and decor by The Showpros Group. Other sponsors include Cookes Crating, Paddle8, Randy Higbee Gallery, Royal Hawaiian, Sotheby’s, and Modern Luxury Orange County. 

The Art Auction 2018 team is led by co-chairs Sara Heeschen and Deborah Lake; and committee members Jeannie Denholm, Ruben Flores, Vanessa Helin, Lauren MacLaughlin-Brinker, and Karen Morally.

For more information on this upcoming event, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Avran Fine Art presents James C. Leonard’s Exhibition, Inner Landscapes from Feb 10 – March 10

Avran Fine Art will present a Solo Exhibition featuring gestural abstract artist, James C. Leonard. The show, Inner Landscapes, takes place from Feb 10- March 10, and it is free and open to the public. Meet the artist and learn more about his work and techniques.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

James C. Leonard and his work will be presented at Avran Fine Art 

James C. Leonard has emerged as one of California’s leading abstract expressionist painters. Leonard’s emotionally charged landscapes often portray backdrops for figures dramatically suspended. 

Leonard grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and has always been drawn to the early expressionists of the 1930’s and 40’s. The German painter Gerhard Richer has had an influence on his style, approach, and directness. 

Working with acrylics on canvas, Leonard uses bold horizontal and vertical strokes and strong color palettes. “Art has always been the focus of my life,” he says. “Just as our lives unfold in unique and beautiful ways, so do my paintings have their own unique and individual expression.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

Landscape in my Dreams by James C. Leonard  


Leonard’s compositions are entirely non-representational and move the viewer’s eye vertically or horizontally across the space. This basic movement is complicated by layers of dripped, speckled and fragmented colors that infuse not only a rich language of color, but also a visual history left to be discovered by the eye as it moves across the surface. 

Leonard’s inventive layering process using an “extended palette knife” results in heavy impasto, or textured, surfaces with a glossy, wet shine making them particularly stunning when seen in person. He prefers to call himself a “colorist” and listens to the work as it develops, often carrying an element of smooth transition that he relates to water.

For more information on this upcoming event, visit www.avranart.com.


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

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

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

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Irene Young

Laugh with Roxanna Ward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Submitted photo

Mosaic at Wayfinders Youth Shelter

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

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

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

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


FOA Foundation funding grants are now available – submission deadline is Feb 9

The FOA Foundation has announced that applications are now available for 2018 Art Grants. Nonprofit organizations that have programs that promote fine arts in and about the City of Laguna Beach may apply. Grant applications are available online at www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org. Submission deadline is Feb 9.  

“The Foundation board looks forward to reviewing your organization’s grant application this year,” said FOA Foundation President Scott Moore. “We’re proud to be able to help fund the many art-related non-profits in the Laguna Beach community, emphasizing the enrichment of our children and young adults in all disciplines of art.”

For more information on the grant application process, contact Scott Moore at (949) 494-9680.

In 1989, the Festival of Arts with a $1.5 million donation established the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, in order to guarantee annual financial support for the arts in Laguna Beach.

FOA Foundation operates independently of the Festival of Arts

The FOA Foundation operates independently from the Festival of Arts. In 2007, the Festival of Arts assumed the financial responsibility of the art scholarships, enabling The FOA Foundation to focus on its grant program for local non-profit art organizations.

The FOA Foundation is comprised of a five-member board of trustees who oversees and administers the program including Scott Moore (president), John Campbell (vice president) Bob Earl (treasurer), Jacquie Moffett (secretary), and John Rayment (board member).


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Hundreds of Pageant hopefuls look to 

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

By SUZIE HARRISON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo by Suzie Harrison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Being promoted to Jesus “felt pretty crazy”

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

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

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

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

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Photo by Suzie Harrison

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excitement and fun are main reasons to participate

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo by Suzie Harrison

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

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

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

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

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Photo by Suzie Harrison

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Submitted photo

A night at Art-A-Fair

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

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

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

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

2017 Art-A-Fair in full bloom

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Submitted Photo

“He’s Kidding Right?” by Billy Schenck

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

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Submitted Photo

“Scorpion III” by Billy Schenck

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

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Submitted Photo

“#12” by Billy Schenck 

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

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

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