Suzie’s ARTiculation

The City is working with the community to help solve affordable Artist Work/Live space issues

BY SUZIE HARRISON

Last week consultants came to Laguna Beach for an initial visit to help facilitate plans for affordable housing for local working artists. 

Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl explained that the City Council approved an implementation plan, which including hiring Artspace to undertake an assessment of Artist Work/Live in Laguna Beach. Over 100 people attended workshops over a two-day period, and included residents, artists, employers and financers.

While the action orientated study is a directive of the City of Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Plan, the discussion of affordable housing and working spaces has been a goal for years, including in the Vision Laguna Plan 2030 from 2000. 

The Cultural Arts Plan notes:

Goal 1.3 Support development of affordable artists work/live, work and production spaces.

Goal 1.3.1 Explore development of a new artists’ work/live project in partnership with a nonprofit developer, such as Artspace. Nonprofit developers typically bring financing to such projects and require a minimal investment on the part of City government, such as land assembly, soft costs for preplanning and permitting assistance. Begin with a feasibility study conducted by Artspace, PLACE or other nonprofit developer.

Goal 1.3.4 Develop an inventory of land and buildings that can be considered as potential sites for artist work/live, studios and cultural facilities.

Established in 1979, Artspace is well-known for their Artist Work/Live expertise. Since 2004, Artspace has worked with over 223 communities in 45 states. 

Poeschl gave thanks to Artspace’s Senior Vice President, Consulting & Strategic Partnerships, Wendy Holmes, and Vice President, Consulting & Strategic Partnerships, Teri Deaver.

“Wendy Holmes and Teri Deaver from Artspace really engaged and embraced the community and its culture,” said Poeschl. “They are aware of our challenges and their goal is to help identify solutions that not only make our collective vision possible, but also make our community safer, and more livable.”

Art Commissioner Suzi Chauvel, who was also on the Steering Committee that helped formulate the Cultural Arts Plan agreed.

“Artspace is the gold standard for these kinds of projects with successful examples of their work all over the U.S.,” said Chauvel. “I was impressed that all their projects are completely suited to each community’s unique needs.”

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Over 100 Laguna Beach artists, residents, employers, and financers attended Artist Work/Live workshops last week

Laguna Beach has 164 low-to-moderate income housing units. There is now low-income housing, disabled/HIV and senior housing in Laguna Beach, and the City Council directed the Arts Commission to provide innovative ideas about facilitating affordable working/living space for working artists. 

The creative sector is an anchor point of Laguna Beach that contributes $95.4 million is economic spending by non-profit arts organizations and its audiences generating $4.4 million in local revenue. 

“Art and Artists are not just good for the economy, they put the heart in our home,” said Poeschl.

She explained that the study is not a one-fix to a large issue facing not only Laguna Beach, but the state as a whole.

“It is a holistic approach to progressive thinking and innovative solutions. Artspace has a successful background in undertaking just that, and we have been fortunate in having them on board to help guide solutions,” Poeschl said. “They have undertaken their first fact finding visit and will now be doing a lot of research before presenting their preliminary report to the Arts Commission which is expected in November.”

Chauvel said the community’s support is integral.

“I would like to thank the Laguna Beach Community for all of their valuable feedback. We had a healthy discourse in our community engagement with the Artspace team,” said Chauvel. “I think everyone came away from the experience more knowledegable about the possibilities for Artist Work/Live projects.”

Poeschl said the City and the Arts Commission are committed to retaining artists working and living in our community and will explore all avenues to achieve this for future generations to call Laguna Beach home.

“Laguna Beach has for generations been a socially and economically diverse community generating an authentic character and sense of place,” said Poeschl. “The work we are doing now is to look towards our future, not for next year, or the year after that, but what we want to identify ourselves as 20 to 40 years from now.”

Until next time…so much in the works for our artists, so little time!


Sawdust Artists Benevolence Fund auctions – silent and live – will take place on Sun Aug 13 

The Sawdust Artists Benevolence Fund, a source of financial assistance for artists living in Laguna Beach who have suffered a catastrophic event, leaving them unable to work, will host its 31st annual Art Auction on Sunday, August 13.  

A silent auction will be held in the Healy House at the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival at 10 a.m. followed by a live auction on the main deck, beginning at 1 p.m.

The auction features paintings, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, photography and more, created by Sawdust artists with the goal of raising funds for fellow artists in times of need. Professional auctioneer, Tony DeZao, who will be presiding over the live auction, is sure to pack the experience with lots of laughs, entertaining stories and amazing art.

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Donita Lloyd is donating an original oil painting as a way to say thank you

“Last year we celebrated our best auction to date, and we hope the community turns out again to support our artists,” stated Monica Prado, President of the Artists Benevolence Fund Board of Trustees.

Two recent recipients shared their story and donated original works to the auction. “Six months ago my world was falling apart. A grant from the Artists Benevolence Fund made a huge difference and got me back on my feet,” said Donita Lloyd, who is donating an original oil painting to the auction.

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Cliff Wasserman is also donating an original oil painting in gratitude

Cliff Wassermann, who also is donating an original oil painting said, “While in recovery from knee surgery and unable to maintain my art show schedule the Benevolence Fund came through for me and helped me get past that difficult time.”

To attend the auction, email Franky Duschane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for complimentary tickets. 

For more information on the Sawdust Artists’ Benevolence Fund, visit:

www.sawdustartfestival.org/about/artists-benevolence-fund/.


Chicago at NoSquare is so successful, the theatre is adding a matinee this Sunday Aug 13

By LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Not surprisingly to me after watching the show last week, Chicago at NoSquare has done so well that the theatre will be adding a matinee this coming Saturday, Aug 12, at 2 p.m.

As I wrote, I felt part of the show because of the intimate setting and the actors’ energy, which enveloped the entire audience. I was mesmerized by the tale of the two murderesses, intrigued by the drama, swept up in the singing, and immensely grateful to be able to experience such terrific performances right here in Laguna Beach close to home.

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Juliet Schulein (Velma), center of photo, and fellow actors during rehearsals

Every production at this venue, I’m in awe of the bravery and accomplishment of the actors who make maximum use of the small stage without ever appearing to be aware of how close they are to the edges.

According to Director Joe Lauderdale: “Chicago was based on the real murderesses Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner, as chronicled by Maureen Dallas Watkins for the Chicago Tribune. Watkins turned her reports into a play called Chicago, which opened on Broadway in 1926. 

“The amazing thing about Chicago, whether it was 1926 or 1975 [when it was first performed on Broadway] is that celebrities who do bad things are made media darlings by a public that craves controversy. The ideas are never out of date.”

I’m not sure if it is comforting or not to know that there have always been OJ Simpson figures – will there one day be a musical called Brentwood? – but either way, this show entertains, illuminates, and proves once again that we humans are happy voyeurs at heart. 

We’re lucky to have access to such great talent in our town, thanks to the dedicated NoSquare team. NoSquare is located at Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. www.nosquare.org


Playhouse is awarded $20,000 grant from S.L. Gimbel Foundation to benefit Youth Education programs

 The Laguna Playhouse was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from the 2017 S.L. Gimbel Foundation Fund, administered by The Community Foundation, according to Executive Director Ellen Richard. 

The grant will support the Playhouse’s year-round, award-winning Youth Education and Outreach Programs: Youth Theatre; TheatreReach:  Bringing Books to Life; and workshops. 

“We are extremely pleased to provide this grant, which is to support the Playhouse’s proposal to engage homeless/underserved youth in literature-based theatre,” said Celia Cudiamat, executive vice president of programs of The Community Foundation.

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Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre summer workshop

“The Community Foundation is a new and important partner in support of our youth education programs. This grant-funding will enable Laguna Playhouse to develop new collaborations with local agencies serving homeless youth to provide artistic enrichment by bringing them to the Playhouse for Youth Theatre performances,” Ellen Richard added. “We are convinced that participation in the arts is necessary and highly beneficial for all youth and provides hope and inspiration to help all youth succeed.”

Playhouse Youth Programs provide the joy of live theatre based on classic children’s literature and innovative, high-quality arts education for youth. Grant support also enables low-income children to participate, which is often their first exposure to live theatre. In schools that benefit from the TheatreReach program, 100 percent of the teachers report that most of the students are more involved in the curriculum because of this program.

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Youth Conservatory students perform with professional actors in Romeo & Juliet

“Support of Laguna Playhouse Youth Education Programs helps provide innovative, high quality arts education for approximately 7,500 youth throughout the year. Arts education improves critical thinking and spatial reasoning skills, while encouraging creativity and stimulating imagination. Theatre training encourages discovery and innovation, offering children a more complete picture of their own identities and an expanded view of the world around them,” explained Donna Inglima, Playhouse director of youth programming.

 The Laguna Playhouse is widely noted for its Youth Theater, Education and Outreach programs. Donna Inglima received a 2017 Life-Time Achievement Award from the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance, and was named Arts Educator of the Year in 2009 by Arts OC. The TheatreReach program, which brings books to life on-stage for elementary school children, was awarded the ‘Outstanding Arts Entity Award’ by Arts Orange County.  

Because of its longstanding commitment to the arts, The Laguna Playhouse has been recognized for excellence by the LA Drama Critics Circle, NAACP, Backstage, ArtsOC, OC Weekly, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and more.  Laguna Playhouse’s educational programming, which includes classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and a school tour, has been honored by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education.


Live! at the Museum presents renowned violin artists YuEun Kim and EtienneGara at LAM on Aug 10 

On Thu, Aug 10, Laguna Beach Live! presents YuEun Kim and Etienne Gara at the Laguna Art Museum. Live! and the Laguna Art Museum have partnered to present an evening of art and music on the second Thursday of each month from 7 – 8 p.m. 

Born in Seoul, Korea, violinist YuEun Kim is forging a significant international career. Having earned her Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in violin performance from the prestigious Seoul National University, Ms. Kim is presently working toward her Artist Diploma, as a Starling Fellow on full scholarship at the USC-Thornton School of Music.

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Musician YuEun Kim 

French born violinist Étienne Gara has performed extensively worldwide since making his orchestral solo debut in 2005 with the Savaria Symphony Orchestra in Hungary. 2010 laureate of the prestigious Fondation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, Etienne currently is the artistic director of the Open Academy Orchestra, in Los Angeles. 

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Ètienne Gara on the violin 

The concert is free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. Pre-reservations are available online through the Museum’s website, or at 949.494.8971 x203. 

These seats are held until 6:45 pm. Additional seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about the series and other concerts, go online at www.lagunabeachlive.org or phone 949-715-9713.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

For Festival freshmen life is good, living the dream

BY SUZIE HARRISON

Time seems to be passing by at an exceptional pace, exceeding the speed limit for my taste.I can’t believe I am writing this, but we’ve already reached the halfway mark of the Festival season. So, I thought it would be a good time to check in with the freshmen class at the Festival of Arts now that they’ve had a chance to get their bearings. Here’s what a few of them had to say about themselves, their work, and their experience of being a first-time FOA exhibitor.

Pil Ho Lee, Oil Painting

“I’ve always admired the level of work shown here at FOA. Seven years ago, when I decided to put more time into painting, I remember being inspired by some of the artists that I’m exhibiting with this year. It’s such a privilege and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity.

It’s already met my expectations and we’re half way into the season. I’m thankful just to be an exhibitor this year but also with how this show’s been going. From the people, artists I’ve met, to the paintings sold, it’s been very encouraging. One of my goals at the end of the season is to try to make it back for the 2018 season.

I’m learning how important it is to meet with patrons to get feedback on my work. It’s very interesting to hear their take on my work and what they look for and draws them in. Most of the time it’s very affirming and encouraging. It’s often the subject matter and the style of my paintings that they connect to on an emotional level which encourages me the most.

I’ve always been drawn to a painterly, loose style. And it was about three years ago I started experimenting with abstract work. Although abstract and representational are two very different approaches, I respect both forms of painting. And I like to have elements of abstraction in all my paintings. I will continue my work both in abstract and representational work and see where it takes me.

I enjoy being able to create something that’s part of who I am. Painting is a beautiful way to express my emotions and it’s special when others connect with it. I think this is the reason why artists have to be authentic. I believe that’s the only way you can do good work...plus hard work.”

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Photo by the artist

Check out pieces by new Festival artists like Pil Ho Lee’s “Twilight Reflections”

Joy Vansell, Printmaking

“The experience has been fantastic, the camaraderie of all the artists. The festival is like going to adult art camp. To spend my days with like-minded folks and discussing methods with other printmakers, art struggles and inspiration with others, medium choices and papers and frames and techniques. It’s a family. My goal was to thoroughly enjoy it as a newbie of the festival.

Art is my way of life. When my children were young and the studio seemed impossible, I’d garden. Unlimited texture, waves of color, creating space, all lends itself to creating. Art has always been a part of my life, it enhances the quality in my life.

I’m attracted to strong images that reflect emotional feeling, reference to a thought or time. As it develops the tenor or mood evolves to suggest and reveal something. Facial representation, mood reflection, language, layers, serenity. Whatever image I work with I always end up back to the figure.

I love color. My background is in ceramics where you build a piece and after the first firing the piece is stark white and you create over again with color. Printmaking allows me the use of color while the figure is being investigated. The use of the primary colors, red, yellow and blue allows me to layer and create all variety of colors.”

Leslie Bonanni, Pastels

“It has been absolutely amazing. The other artists are as extraordinary personally as professionally. Management is organized and efficient. It is better than I thought it ever could be, exceeding my expectations. Yes, my goals were to have new experiences, meet new friends, gain exposure, and sell work. To my delight, I’ve already met all these of these goals and look forward to continuing the momentum. 

What a full circle moment, when a viewer connects with my paintings. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Patrons ponder, they look, they move closer, they look deep. They stay with it, and I leave them in silence to allow an emotional connection. 

Some are surprised the medium is pastel, as they did not recognize it as such. With comments like “simple, elegant, soothing, moody, contemplative, fresh, unusual, never seen anything like it, emotional, evocative, atmospheric, and meditative,” I feel grateful. The viewer has been taken on a journey, and is at one with the message and the messenger. 

My work is painted in a Tonalist style, with an emphasis on atmosphere, mood, and a limited color palette. I paint intuitively, from memory, and in one setting, until I feel the painting is finished. My approach is self-taught, using my hands and fingers like paintbrushes and a few select tools to blend many thin layers of soft pastel pigment into the pastel paper. These passages build up an atmospheric dreamlike quality that render evocative, emotional, personal and spiritual paintings.

It is my persistent desire for the process of painting that beckons me to the studio and awakens my senses. While there, I am energized by the thrill of anticipation, not knowing what will happen. Each day is a new discovery, an opportunity for passionate self-expression. It’s all part of living life out loud, making a difference for myself, and for those who hear my artistic voice.”

Rachelle Chuang, Mixed Media

“I have known about FOA for many years. I can’t even express how amazing being at the Festival has been. I am extremely grateful, humbled and honored to be there. Without a single exception, every staff or security person and fellow artists have been gracious, helpful and kind. This is confirmed by my other fellow first year artists as well. It is beyond my expectations and my personal and business goals are being reached. 

The response has been favorable and gracious. Most people respond that my work is very unique and I have to say it is. I’ve come up with a unique process and art form combining relief printing and collage that strikes people. I am very grateful. If people walk away with just a moment of joy by viewing color, then I have succeeded.

My work is the result of experimentation and chance using four things that I love: paper, print, collage and color. Full sheets of heavyweight paper are uniquely printed from antique wood type, cut into strips and collaged on wood panels using archival PVA glue. Thick layers of epoxy resin are used to coat each work, resulting in brilliant, lively colors that show natural mark-making from relief printing as well as overprinted color shapes. I consider this series a demonstration of creative color play showcasing the multiple processes used in its creation. I hope that every viewer receives a “color benediction” or blessing as an enjoyable, visually-saturated experience.

My motto and sign-off is ‘May your soul be filled with vibrant color!’” 

Until next time…so much art and talent, so little time!


Laguna Playhouse announces change: Twelve Angry Men now opens Oct 4, The Graduate opens March, 2018

Due to scheduling conflicts beyond the production’s control, Laguna Playhouse has announced that the previously scheduled dates for The Graduate, starring Academy Award nominee Melanie Griffith as Mrs. Robinson, will move to March 2018. In its place, Twelve Angry Men, which was scheduled to open in March 2018, will now perform from Oct 4 - 22. 

Executive Director Ellen Richard comments, “This schedule change of switching our two anticipated upcoming plays of The Graduate with Twelve Angry Men ends up working out best for both these important productions for the Playhouse.” 

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Twelve Angry Men will now open on Oct 4

Adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham. “We are thrilled with the team that director Michael Matthews is putting together for a very timely Twelve Angry Men,and we look forward to having Melanie Griffith on our stage next March.”

Single tickets range from $40 - $75 and can be purchased online at http://www.lagunaplayhouse.com/ or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.

Subscriptions to the 2017-2018 – 97thseason are now available by calling the box office at the number above or going to the website.

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.


Salute to the Arts spotlights Maile Meloy during a special author discussion on Sun, Aug 6, at FOA

As part of a new series of Sunday afternoon events at The Festival of the Arts, Salute to the Arts hosts Maile Meloy in a discussion of her new novel, Do Not Become Alarmed on Aug 6 from 2 - 4 p.m. Inspired by the original Festival, which featured a variety of artistic endeavors in theater, literature, dance, and more, the FOA introduced Salute to the Arts as part of its 2017 calendar.

Do Not Become Alarmed is a story about the protective force of innocence and the limits of parental power, and an insightful look at privileged illusions of safety.

Celebrated for her spare and moving fiction, Maile Meloy has written a gripping novel about how quickly what we count on can fall away, and the way a crisis shifts our perceptions of what matters most.

On Sun, Aug 6, Maile Meloy discusses her new novel Do Not Become Alarmed

Maile Meloy is the author of the story collection Half in Love and the novel Liars and Saints, which was shortlisted for the 2005 Orange Prize. Meloy’s stories have been published in The New Yorker, and she has received The Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in CA.

FOA is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. Tickets for the event are $30 and include FOA admission, hardcover book, author reading and discussion, Q & A, and book signing. For tickets, call 800-487-3378, or go online at https://www.foapom.com/event/salute-08-06/


LagunaTunes receives $4500 grant in support of its musical performances 

LagunaTunes Community Chorus, a local non-audition choral singing group, has received a grant of $4500 from the Lodging Establishments and The City of Laguna Beach in support of its musical performances. 

This grant program is made possible by revenues from the Laguna Beach Business Improvement District. The funds will be used for facility rental, artist fees, and the marketing and promotion of concerts. 

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LagunaTunes hard at work  

LagunaTunes, a 501(c)(3) organization, accepts everyone who enjoys singing and learning about different musical styles. 

Under the direction of Bob Gunn, the fifty-member group gives two free concerts every year. Fall concert rehearsals are held weekly from September to December, and Spring concert rehearsals from February to June. 

LagunaTunes includes schooled musicians as well as non-musicians who just like to sing. Music genres have ranged from serious and traditional to pop, rock, and jazz. The emphasis is on improving skills, learning to perform, and enjoying the experience. 

More information, contact Patti Jo Kiraly the president at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


JoAnne Artman Gallery will present America Martin’s new works, This is America II, beginning on Feb 15

JoAnne Artman Gallery will present THIS IS AMERICA II: New Works by AMERICA MARTIN, from Feb 15 – April 15. The Artist Reception will take place on Thurs, March 2 from 6 – 8 p.m.

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America Martin’s Boxers, paper collage, 44” x 73.5”

Bursting with life, vigorous in line, form and color, America Martin’s work showcases her unique and humanist approach to portraying the natural world as well as the human form. Constantly re-defining her artistic practice and the possibilities of expression, Martin’s work is both visionary and diverse in its approach. 

Martin works in a diversity of mediums including painting, mixed media on cotton rag paper, and sculpture. Beyond her affinity for modernism and iconic forms, Martin’s work is informed by her intensive approach to material and process. 

Rooted in art historical lexicon, Martin’s work is narrative of the various cultural, anthropological as well as sociocultural frameworks inherent in her subject matter. 

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Music and Three Men, oil and acrylic on canvas, 67” x 71”

Martin’s work is an expansive as well as inclusive expression of her Colombian-American cultural heritage. Her iconic nudes are reminiscent of the prototypical, heroic female nudes of antiquity and of classical inspiration and are impossible to ascribe to any one place or time. Through her diversity of medium the state of the human condition is expressed as well as felt through her work, bringing a closer understanding of the harmonious balance crucial to the natural world. 

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Women Swimming and Whistling, oil and acrylic on canvas, 72” x 79”

Humanist and positivist compositions that reaffirm life and the continuity of our modes of thought and the human experience ground the exhibition through Martin’s unique visual language. Scenes of everyday life that link the human form to the continuity of nature permeate her work. Martin continually redefines her oeuvre through new material considerations, continuing the ubiquitous theme of human nature and our relationships with the physical world. 

America Martin’s work will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and viewers are sure to find the right artistic expression.

RSVP for the March 2 Artist’s Reception by calling 949.510.5481 by Feb 24. The JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N Coast Hwy. Visit the website at www.joanneartmangallery.com.


Art-A-Fair hosts a call for Artists Jury Day on Feb 12

The Laguna Art-A-Fair announces a Call for Artists Jury Day on Sunday, Feb 12 with an opportunity to join one of California’s premier summer fine art festivals.  

Artists and artisans may enter three pieces of their original artwork along with a $40 jury fee from 8 – 11 a.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, 1085 Laguna Canyon Road.  

Artwork pickup and jury scores are provided from 4 – 4:30 p.m. with a complete prospectus available at www.art-a-fair.com/call-for-artists-2.

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Photo credit: Al Gerk

Laguna Art-A-Fair artist Hugo Rivera demonstrates his signature technique on a portrait of fellow artist Victor Dworak

For more than 50 years, the Laguna Art-A-Fair has enabled established and emerging artists to display their best creations to the tens of thousands of art-lovers who visit Laguna Beach each summer. This year’s festival runs from June 30 to Sept 3.

Visitors can choose from a broad spectrum of affordable original fine art, crafts, and reproductions.  

There are daily art workshop classes, frequent art demonstrations, and live entertainment Thurs through Sundays. 

Excellent cuisine and renowned margaritas are also available at Tivoli Too!, a restaurant retreat on the festival grounds.


FOA funding grants are available: deadline is Feb 10

The Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation announced that applications are now available for 2017 Art Grants. 

Nonprofit organizations that have programs that promote fine arts in and about the City of Laguna Beach may apply. Submission deadline is Feb 10.  

Grant applications are available online at www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org or may be picked up at the Festival of Arts administration office located at 650 Laguna Cyn Rd. 

 “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 Moore at 494-9680. 

In 1989, with a S1.5 million donation, the Festival of Arts 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. 

The FOA Foundation, co-founded by John Rayment and David Young, was designed to hold these funds in a permanent endowment. The earnings and income from this endowment would be distributed annually in the form of scholarships to graduates of Laguna Beach High School and as grants to nonprofit art organizations and educational institutions in and about the city of Laguna Beach.

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).


Laguna Art Museum’s highly anticipated Art Auction takes place on Feb 4, featuring California Cool artwork

On Feb 4, Laguna Art Museum will present Art Auction 2017: California Cool. With works by more than 100 California artists, the museum-curated Art Auction will feature original art at great prices, delicious cuisine, and creative cocktails. 

Among the many wonderful works available in the live auction, Lita Albuquerque’s Emanation is one of communications director Cody Lee’s several personal favorites. Lita had an exhibition at LAM in 2014. She is also this year’s Artist of the Year for Art Palm Springs.

“We expect a lot of excitement among bidders,” Lee says, given the superb quality of the works available.

The evening will include a silent auction as well as a live auction led by Aaron Bastian, senior specialist in California and American paintings at Bonhams in San Francisco and featured appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow.

As the museum concludes simultaneous exhibitions of works by Phillip K. Smith III and Kristin Leachman, the Museum is delighted to announce that Art Auction 2017 will feature works by both artists. Phillip K. Smith III and Royale Projects have donated an archival digital print from an edition of ten, and Kristin Leachman has donated an untitled gouache on paper ($5,500 value) from her Xylem Rays series.

Submitted photos

Lita Albuquerque, Emanation (from the Auric Field Series), pigment on panel and gold leaf on resin, 2017, 18 x 18 inches, courtesy of Peter Blake Gallery

Other notable works include a resin work by Peter Alexander ($35,000 value) donated by the artist and Peter Blake Gallery; a painting by Billy Al Bengston ($25,000 value) donated by the artist; a Light Sentence sculpture by Laddie John Dill ($40,000 value) donated by the artist; a lithograph by Sam Francis ($5,000 value) donated by the Sam Francis Foundation; as well as works by Lita Albuquerque, Helen Lundeberg, and Ed Ruscha. 

With something for every taste and pocketbook, there are many opportunities for attendees to add top-quality art to their collections. The works range in price from $250 to $50,000, and bidding starts at 50 percent of the stated value. Proceeds from the event will support Laguna Art Museum’s dedication to collecting and preserving California art, presenting critically acclaimed exhibitions, and enhancing art education programs for all. 

Laguna Art Museum’s Art Auction, in its 35th year, is the longest running art auction in California and one of Orange County’s most exciting art and social experiences.  

Tickets to attend the event are $125 for museum members at the Friend level and higher, and $150 for all others. Tickets include auction admission, complimentary parking, food, and drinks.  

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Bradley Hankey, The Beginning, oil on wood panel, 2016, 36 x 36 inches, courtesy of the artist and Skidmore Contemporary Art

The event takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. at Laguna Art Museum, with a silent auction from 6 to 8 p.m. and a live auction of twenty works at 8 p.m.  

The live auction, in partnership with Paddle8, will add a further element of excitement to the competitive bidding with absentee bids placed from around the world.

In addition to art, guests will enjoy the culinary talents of West Coast Event Productions, wine by Wine Gallery, and desserts by Simply Sweet Cakery served alongside specialty coffee and teas provided by Urth Caffé. 

The evening’s cool ambience will feature floral design by Laguna Nursery; event lighting and production by The Showpros Group; and upbeat music through the night.  

Attendees will have the chance to mingle with featured artists, fellow collectors, and the museum’s curators and executive director.

The Art Auction 2017 team is led by co-chairs Sara Heeschen and Deborah Lake; committee members Tina Cook, Jeannie Denholm, Ruben Flores, Vanessa Helin, Lauren MacLaughlin-Brinker, and Karen Morally; and Laguna Art Museum’s director of special events, Sarah Strozza.

From Sat Jan 28 to Fri Feb 3, Laguna Art Museum will be open with free admission for patrons to preview the works featured in Art Auction 2017: California Cool.  

On Sunday, Feb 5, the museum will host a public sale during which any unsold works will be available for purchase at 50 percent of the stated value. Unsold works will also be for sale online from Feb 6 to 13.


Laguna Beach’s 15th annual – and classically eclectic – Music Festival will take place from Feb 8 – 12

The 2017 Laguna Beach Music Festival, the 15th Annual Festival, is just one month away. 

A co-presentation of Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, 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.

The opening reception, the Festival Prelude, will take place on Wed Feb 8 at 5:30 p.m. at [seven-degrees]. The evening will include dinner, performance, dessert and champagne with artists.

This year’s Festival highlights will include Johannes Moser in solo and collaborative performances; appearances by guest artists such as the Calder Quartet; the world premiere of Stellar Remnants, a new work for solo cello and electronics by Ellen Reid; and an interactive musical sculpture by sound artist Stephanie Cheng Smith that will be installed on-site at the Laguna Playhouse.

The grand finale performance will feature twelve cellists playing music ranging from Bach to Michael Jackson. 

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Artistic director and cellist Johannes Moser is one of the many renowned musicians who will perform during the Music Festival this February

This year’s opportunity prize packages include an unforgettable weekend in New York City with coveted tickets to the smash hit musical Hamilton on Broadway and hotel stay at the Grand Hyatt New York, just steps from Times Square and other NYC attractions.

There are also chances to win a stay at Laguna Beach’s newest private luxury resort The Ranch, with tickets to Laguna Beach’s celebrated arts offerings including the world-renowned Pageant of the Masters, Sawdust Festival, and more.

And in addition, VIP tickets for four to the Chicago Symphony with Riccardo Muti or LA Phil with Itzhak Perlman – two of the world’s most celebrated symphony orchestras and conductor/musicians – will be available to win.

Winners will be announced on Sun, Feb 12, immediately following the concert. Winners need not be present. The Festival offers special thanks to the friends of Laguna Beach Music Festival for their generosity. Tickets are  $25 each, or five for $100. 

For more information, visit www.philharmonicsociety.org

The schedule is as follows:

Festival Prelude

Wed, Feb. 8 | 5:30pm

Seven Degrees

Opening Night Reception, 

 

Concerts at Laguna Playhouse

 

Opening Night:

J.S. Bach & Ellen Reid

Fri, Feb. 10 | 8:00pm

Hear Bach’s beloved Cello Suites No. 4, Hindemith’s Sonata for solo cello, and the world premiere of Ellen Reid’s Stellar Remnants. 

 

Schoenberg & Schubert Masterworks

Sat, Feb. 11 | 8:00pm

Johannes Moser and the award-winning Calder Quartet perform Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night and Schubert’s String Quintet in C major.

 

One to Twelve:

The Johannes Moser Project

Sun, Feb. 12 | 3:00pm

Johannes Moser joins forces with eleven SoCal cellists to perform an exciting variety of works written for up to twelve cellists, running the gamut from Bach to contemporary pop and everything in between!


Kontrapunktus makes its concert debut on Saturday Jan 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Newport Beach, free for guests

Neo-Baroque orchestra, Kontrapunktus, led by concertmaster and acclaimed French violinist, Etienne Gara, will make its long-awaited concert debut at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 2046 Mar Vista, Newport Beach on Sat, Jan 28. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is complimentary for all guests.

The ambitious concert program will feature classic, familiar Baroque music as well as pieces of new, Baroque music from the first studio album from “Kontrapunktus, a Neo-Baroque Introduction.” The music from the album has never been performed live in front of an audience. 

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Lovers of Baroque music will thrill to the sounds of this multinational orchestra

Kontrapunktus is a classical Baroque orchestra led by concertmaster Gara. Joining him will be violinists Mishkar Nunez-Mejia, YuEun Gemma Kim, Myroslava Khomik, Alexander Granger, Leila Nassar-Fredell, violist Tanner Menees, cellist Joo Lee, bassist Ryan Baird, and Arthur Omuraon harpsichord and organ.

Together they represent a remarkable array of young, diverse and extraordinary talent from five different countries.

This concert is produced with the assistance of Dr. Patricia Lamb, music director for Our Lady Queen of Angels, and is made possible by the generous donation of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Tomkinson. 

An intimate reception with the Kontrapunkusmusicians will be held after the concert for VIP guests and members of the media.

To learn more, visit www.kontrapunktus.com.


Playhouse announces Wizard of Oz auditions plus a fabulous fundraiser, Matriarch Mayhem, one night only

Murder and The Wizard are coming to Laguna in 2017 in the form of two Youth Theatre productions: The Wizard of Oz, and (for one night only, Friday Feb 17) Matriarch Mayhem: The Stromboli Family Reunion, a fundraiser that will delight audiences and provide wonderful entertainment for a good cause.

Auditions for The Wizard of Oz are by appointment and will be held in Laguna Beach and Lake Forest on Wed, Jan 11, Friday, Jan 13, Sat Jan 14 and dance call (for all) will be on Sunday, Jan 15.  Call Wally Ziegler for more information at 949 497-2787 x 294 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Photo from Internet

The Wizard of Oz will be presented on-stage Friday, March 31, through Sunday, April 9 for 12 performances only. Student matinees are presented on Thurs April 5 and Friday April 6 and 7 at 10 a.m.  Weekend performances will be at 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sat and Sundays.  Tickets range from $15 - $25 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787) x 1.   Group tickets are available by (949) 497-ARTS (2787) x 229. 

Matriarch Mayhem: The Stromboli Family Reunion fundraiser

Prior to The Wizard of Oz performances, the Playhouse will present its 10th Annual Murder Mystery fundraiser, Matriarch Mayhem: The Stromboli Family Reunion. Audiences are invited to come for an evening of music, laughter, dance and a story ripped from the headlines of a dysfunctional family reunion at Mama Stromboli’s 80th birthday. Matriarch Mayhem will perform one night only, Friday, Feb 17.

Cost to attend the entirety of the evening is $100, which includes dinner, a show, dessert and an opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items.  Show tickets only are $35 each, and these include dessert and auction items.    

The box office is open Tues – Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until 8 p.m. on performance days). Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information on all shows and programming visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Youth Theatre offers winter and spring classes

The Youth Theatre offers the following classes in winter:

Acting Fundamentals (9 – 12 years) begins Tues Jan 24 and runs for eight weeks, ending on March 21 (no class on Feb 21). The fee is $180. The class meets from 4:30 – 6 p.m. at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive.  

The Musical Theatre Workshop (9 -12+ years) begins Friday, Jan 20 for eight weeks, ending on March 24 (no class Feb 17 & 24). The fee is $200. The class meets 4 – 6 p.m. at The Laguna Playhouse.

The following classes meet in spring:

Acting Fundamentals (9 – 12 years) begins Tues April 25 to May 30 for six weeks. Fee is $160.  Classes take place 4:30 – 6 p.m. at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Dr.

Musical Theatre Workshop (9 -12+ years) begins Friday, April 7 to June 2 for eight weeks (with no class April 21) from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse.  

The Laguna Playhouse is noted for its Youth Theater Education and Outreach programs. In 2008 the Youth Theatre was awarded “Outstanding Contribution to Education” by the Orange County Department of Education and in 1989, its Youth Theater was recognized as “Outstanding Children’s Theatre” by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. 

For more information, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com


Three inspiring new exhibits will premiere at Art Museum on Feb 19, celebrating donor generosity

On Feb 19, Laguna Art Museum will open three new exhibitions, including From Wendt to Thiebaud: Recent Gifts for the Permanent Collection; The Golden Decade: Photography at the California School of Fine Arts, 1945-55; and Stanton Macdonald-Wright: The Haiga Portfolio. The exhibitions close May 29. 

From Wendt to Thiebaud: Recent Gifts for the Permanent Collection, will feature

a selection of about eighty works of art that are recent gifts for the permanent collection, many of them displayed for the first time. 

Like most museums, Laguna Art Museum grows and strengthens its collection largely through works of art donated by collectors and artists. Over the past five years it has reaped the benefit of extraordinary generosity, adding museum-quality paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, and prints from all periods during the history of California art. 

The exhibition is a celebration of the museum’s progress as it approaches its centennial year of 2018 and an expression of gratitude toward the donors who have contributed through their gifts to Laguna Beach’s artistic legacy.

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Three exciting exhibitions will begin at LAM as of Feb 19

The exhibition The Golden Decade: Photography at the California School of Fine Arts, 1945-55, will be a great showcase of emerging talent during those years.

Between 1945 and 1955, a fortunate group of students at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco studied under a faculty that included some of the great photographers of the age – Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, and Lisette Model. Many of the students went on to distinguished photographic careers themselves. Accompanied by a beautiful and informative book, the exhibition showcases about sixty choice examples of the work of teachers and students active at the CSFA during this remarkable midcentury period.

Stanton Macdonald-Wright: The Haiga Portfolio will feature the illustrations the artist created for haiku. Following World War II, this distinguished figure of the American avant-garde became fascinated by Japanese art. In 1966-67 he spent a period in Kyoto and worked with a master of traditional Japanese woodblock techniques, Clifton Karhu, to create a portfolio of twenty haiga, or illustrations to haiku poems.

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 is located at 307 Cliff Drive, on the corner of Pacific Coast Hwy and Cliff Drive.Hours areSunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.,Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.Closed Wednesdays; also Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. 

General admission is $7. Students, seniors (60+), and active military: $5. Museum members and children under 12 are free.For more information, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Laguna College of Art and Design’s LCAD Gallery will open “A Sojourn in France” from Jan 19 through Feb 19

College exhibition recollects experience of LCAD Summer Abroad Program in France

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) announced A Sojourn in France, an exhibition of work on view from Jan 19 through Feb 19, at LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach, California. The public is welcome to meet the artists at a reception during the Laguna Beach First Thursdays ArtWalk on Feb 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. LCAD Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The works of art on view will allow viewers to experience the highlights of LCAD’s Summer 2016 Study Abroad Program participants’ visits to many significant and memorable museums, churches, and historical sites such as the Jacquemart-Andre Museum, Monet’s home & gardens at Giverny, Musée D’Art Moderne, Rodin Museum, Louvre, Musee de l’Orangerie, Petit Palace, Musée d’Orsay, Reims Cathedral, Unterlinden Museum, Hospices de Beaune, St. Remy in Arles, Musée Ingres, Mont-Saint-Michel, and many more. 

Exhibiting artists include: David Amaral, Geanna Anstey, Charles Antolin, Donna Ballard, Amy Bergener, Scott Brazee, Judy Derickson, Lani Emanuel, William Havlicek, Jacqueline Inzunza, Jourdan Inzunza, Claire Kairalla, Veronica Khristov, Mary Lippert, Lisa Mansour, Maureen McGinnis, Anne Moore, Hyatt Moore, Brad Neal, Betty Shelton, Rachel Sigal, Deanna Smit, Angelica Spears, Natlie Terenzini, and Pamela Wells.

Thirty-one participants, including students and faculty from LCAD, traveled to Paris, Giverny, Reims, Colmar, Beaune, Arles, and Sarlat between May 28 and June 12 with Professor Betty Shelton and LCAD Art History Professor, Dr. William Havlicek. 

Shelton started LCAD’s Summer Abroad program in 1995 and has been leading students on art study trips to Europe ever since. Havlicek began accompanying Shelton in 2005. Past trips have included Italy, France, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, and Germany; and in the summer of 2017 the group will return to Prague and Vienna. 

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and Annual Fund, visit www.lcad.edu. Facebook at @LCADBFA, Twitter @LCAD and Instagram @lcadbfa.


Pacific Chorale celebrates their 2016 European Tour and honors Lagunans John Alexander and Mary Lyons

Pacific Chorale, the resident choir of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, brought international acclaim to Orange County on its recent tour to Budapest and Vienna, and the organization celebrated their success with a sold-out Viennese Gala on Dec 18 at the Center Club in Costa Mesa.  

The event, entitled A Candlelight Christmas in Old Vienna, occurred immediately after their annual Christmas extravaganza “‘Tis the Season.”

Two Lagunans intimately associated with Pacific Chorale were acknowledged for their contributions. Mary Lyons was honored by Pacific Chorale’s long-term conductor, John Alexander, who is celebrating his 45th and final year with the organization, and through a tribute from her son, Craig Lyons, who underwrote both the  ‘Tis the Season concerts in a tribute to his mother, who is a singer in the choir.  

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Pacific Chorale conductor John Alexander, CEO Elizabeth Pearson (both of Laguna Beach) and Mary Lyons, board chair, enjoyed the holiday gala

The group carried its theme out in detail, from a ChristKindl Markt silent auction and a dinner menu that consisted of traditional chicken schnitzel and beef rouladen, kas nocken – and Austrian desserts including sacher torte and a raspberry linzer torte.  

The entertainment was a highlight of the evening, featuring three of its professional singers (Maria Cristina Navarro, Jason Francisco, Matthew Kellaway) who sang works by German and Austrian composers including Mozart.  Entertainment was directed by Pacific Chorale’s associate conductor, Robert Istad (the artistic director designate beginning July 1).

The event was co-chaired by board member Tom Pridonoff and his wife, long-time singer Bonnie Pridonoff.  Sponsors included Phil N. and Mary A. Lyons; Lenora Meister and Salt-Away Prodoucts, Inc.; Hans and Valerie Imhof; Jerry and Maralou Harrington; and Martha and Peter Wetzel.

Another surprise was in store for the artistic director/conductor, who learned of a tribute to him by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, announced by the Center’s president & CEO, Terry Dwyer:  the permanent naming of the Choral Terrace of the Concert Hall in John Alexander’s name. Plaques will be placed designating the tribute.

More than 200 people attended the event and more than $200,000 was raised to support the education mission of the organization.

Pacific Chorale brings international acclaim to OC

Pacific Chorale (PC) has delighted national and international audiences with concerts of great choral music performed at the highest musical standards since 1968.

The mission of Pacific Chorale is to enrich and educate the community by demonstrating outstanding leadership in the performance, creation and preservation of choral music. 

Pacific Chorale is recognized for exceptional artistic expression, preserving and performing classical choral music as well as stimulating American-focused programming. Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. 

In addition to its long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with such renowned American ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Musica Angelica.


LCAD’s Taking Measure at City Hall will feature 20 original drawings & paintings by MFA candidates

As of Jan 24, Laguna College of Art and Design’s MFA programs in drawing and painting will present Taking Measure, an exhibition featuring more than twenty original drawings and paintings by current LCAD MFA candidates. This is the second installation of LCAD MFA art to be exhibited at City Hall.

The exhibition’s title refers to the act of pausing to assess one’s positions, beliefs, expectations and wishes. The discipline of representational art also necessitates a constant taking of actual measurement of proportion, value, color and space. The thoughtful adjustments that artists make, and the eventual satisfactory resolutions, transfer to viewers who experience the complex processes that result in a work of art.

The exhibition will run from Jan 24 to March 10. Laguna Beach City Hall hours are Monday through Thurs, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and every other Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. City Hall is located at 505 Forest Avenue. 

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and annual fund, visit www.lcad.edu. Facebook at @LCADBFA, Twitter @LCAD and Instagram @lcadbfa.


Joan Gladstone paintings will brighten up U.S. Bank

An exhibit of vibrant oil paintings by local artist Joan Gladstone will be on display at U.S. Bank from Dec 19 through Jan 22. 

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Joan Gladstone’s stunning paintings vibrate with color and life

Gladstone studied at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts before pursuing a career in public relations. She has continued to study with local artists since moving to Laguna Beach in 1992. 

To view Gladstone’s online gallery, visit Facebook, Joan Gladstone - Artist. 

U.S. Bank is located at 310 Glenneyre Street at the corner of Forest Avenue.

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