42nd Annual California Cool Auction/Benefit/Bash at LAM draws large crowd of art lovers

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Scott Brashier

On Saturday evening, March 2, Laguna Art Museum (LAM) was pulsating with energy as art aficionados perused the art, partied with friends and partook of scrumptious food and libations.

The auction represented the highest quality work from more than 100 artists, who created a new work or selected a work of art from their studios to donate to LAM.

During the live auction paddle raise, amid the clever repartee of auctioneer Zack Krone, generous patrons went higher and higher with their bids. For example, Laddie John Dill’s Child’s Play was auctioned off for $25,000, Jon Sonsini’s Carlos L. from Jurupa Valley was sold at $14,000 and Rebecca Campbell’s Pink Tree brought in $4,500.

All museum revenues go towards funding Laguna Art Museum’s recognized arts education programing.

The paddle raise directly supports the museum’s Create Access Program, which provides underprivileged K-12 Title 1 students access to educational art programs, fostering creativity and cultural engagement.

In July 2023, the museum was awarded a prestigious grant of $178,288 from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE). This funding has enabled the museum to serve more than 1,700 Title 1 students since October and will serve another 1,800 Title 1 students before July – far exceeding initial expectations. The grant funds education for a total of 5,000 students, which LAM expects to surpass during the fall of 2024.

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LAM Executive Director Julie Perlin Lee with Artist and Laguna Gallery Owner Georgeana Ireland in front of her mixed media piece “Let’s Eat” as well as a photograph of her modeling with “Let’s Eat” in another auction contribution

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(L-R) Bob Whalen, Barbara MacGillivray, Kirsten Whalen and Greg MacGillivray

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(L-R) Andy Moses beside his acrylic on Lucite panel painting “Geodesy” and Justin Bower with his acrylic on canvas painting “Threshold”

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(L-R) Art Writer Marrie Stone, photographer Jeff Rovner and Deputy Director of LAM Victoria Gerard

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Director of Philanthropy Mission Hospital Foundation Kathleen Patrick

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(L-R) Connie and Donald Sperling with Artist Bradford Salamon. The Sperlings’ San Francisco apartment appears in Salamon’s painting “Say Hi to Fairfield.” The Sperlings were unaware that their apartment was in the painting until they saw it at the event. In another strange coincidence, they own a Salamon painting of Peter Blake.

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Local Artist G Ray and Laguna local Tiffany Casler enjoying some of the other artists’ work

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Artist Sara Genn with her painting “My Heart is a Thousand Colors (Light Punk) and (Hickey), 2024

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Sculptor Bret Price and his wife Rae Lynn Price

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Tom Ribrich and Vanessa Rothe

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Attendees having fun!

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Bidding starts (auctioneer Zack Krone)

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Evening wraps up with LAM cupcakes


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