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Going on a journey: A tough situation turns into a love story of acceptance in No Square Theatre’s newest show

By THERESA KEEGAN

No Square Theatre is continuing its season of presenting shows with an unexpected twist when Dogfight – the Musical begins on May 17.

“My goal has been to choose shows not done very often, but which have a following,” said Ella Wyatt, artistic director. “I really wanted to present a unique season.”

The plot of Dogfight revolves around three Marines heading to Vietnam in the early days of fighting. Their last night stateside they embrace a cruel challenge to find the ugliest woman. However, the interaction between Eddie Birdlace and Rose takes the plot down a different path.

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Photos by Abby Matossian

Gavin Hamze (above) portrays one of a group of young Marines whose action the night before they deploy to Vietnam is the catalyst that creates the plot in “Dogfight”

“It’s an unexpected love story,” said Wyatt. “They meet under lies and manipulations, and they end up getting to actually know each other. It’s really about this relationship and getting to know each other at a different level.”

Wyatt and Karen Rymar, who is making her No Square directorial debut with this show, were confident they could get the cast they needed – even though it’s traditionally difficult to get men for musicals. The theater is earning a reputation for excellence and producing challenging shows.

“I’m super blessed with who this cast is – they came in with their hearts ablazing,” Rymar said of the auditions. “We had big numbers that showed up to audition and we got to pick from really, really strong people.”

Braxton McGrath, who plays Eddie, was thrilled to be selected for the part.

“Early on, when Dogfight first came out (in 2012) people in the theater community were raving about it, but I never really got into it,” he said. “Then when it came to my college (Cal State Fullerton) I fell in love with how raw the show is – it’s very real. I appreciate that authenticity.”

He played the alternate for Eddie in the college production, and really began to understand the character.

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Braxton McGrath is thrilled to play the lead role of Eddie, a Marine who goes on a journey to discover what he values

“He (Eddie) has one of the biggest arcs in musical theater – he goes from being very abrasive – because of the fact he doesn’t know better – to becoming his own man,” said McGrath. “He’s taking that shift through the show, when he’s discovering himself and having Rose to guide him on that journey…now he has more options for who he can be as a person.”

The timeless story of redemption and growth resonated with Wyatt. The musical, which came out in 2012 is based on the 1991 film, which is set in the early 1960s, on the brink of the Vietnam war. The music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – they also wrote the score for La La Land – is both funny and insightful.

“It’s so relevant for today,” said Wyatt. “It’s really a love story and about finding yourself. There are trying times in the world and yet you can still find goodness around you.” She cautions the show is not intended for younger audiences because of strong language and an assault scene.

Rymar believes the issues at the heart of Dogfight will likely never fully disappear, but believes the show is educational, as well as entertaining.

“My hope is that our audience is able to find something that resonates with them,” she said, “and (that) prompts continued conversation regarding compassion and the true source of beauty within each of us.”

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Brooklyn Vizcarra has been enamored with the role of Rose ever since the musical “Dogfight” previewed, and is thrilled to portray this main character in the show

Brooklyn Vizcarra, who plays Rose, was drawn to the part ever since one of her favorite actors, Lindsay Mendez, originated the role of Rose in the off-Broadway production.

“I love that this story goes through different people’s interpretations of innocence,” she said. “Not only Rose’s innocence, but Eddie’s innocence and the country’s innocence. The world is about to change completely and everybody’s idea of life…is about to change. It’s about real things that happen…People can relate.”

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Artists Fund: Program that helps Pageant artists hold shows at City Hall, readies for summer showcase

By THERESA KEEGAN

If The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts had a theme song it would be the Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

Helping fellow artists who are, or have been, presenters at the Festival of Arts is the mantra of this all-volunteer innovative financial program and each year it gets a boost from the artists themselves. This year is no different.

A show at City Hall this month, Spring Collection, features work by Artists Fund board members and artists who were recognized for their work in last year’s Art to Go program.

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Courtesy of Wendy Wirth

The “Spring Collection” show at City Hall features work by Artists Fund board members and 2023 Art-To-Go winners. Proceeds support the artists and the fund. Artist Wendy Wirth’s piece “Early Moon” (above) is part of the exhibition.

In June, a larger Art-to-Go program will be unveiled at City Hall, and then the pieces will be transported to the pageant grounds, where they will be on sale throughout the summer. Those sales are what generate the majority of the Artists Fund funding.

“We open with 65 pieces on opening night of the Festival of Arts,” said Mike Tauber, Art-To-Go program coordinator. “We have 120 artists (in the pageant) and usually 100 will donate to Art-To- Go throughout the season.”

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Courtesy of Mike Tauber

The June 6 opening night reception of Art-To-Go at City Hall is open to the public and will include complimentary drinks and food. Board members (L-R) Susan Hoehn, Wendy Wirth and Chris Brazelton will be greeting folks who drop by.

Tauber added that artists who may not be able to donate a piece, such as sculptors with massive pieces, or artists who only produce a few big-ticket paintings, will often support the program in other ways – taking pictures, helping to set up, etc.

“Whether donating or volunteering, it’s a community thing,” said Tauber. “It’s a good way to get to know us, working together. It’s a win-win situation.”

The fund started about 20 years ago, when a festival artist encountered a health challenge, and another artist wanted to assist. The Artists Fund has since helped local artists through many of life’s challenges, including the mudslides and fires that ripped through Lagunas. The fund has distributed more than $270,000 in the past 20 years said Wendy Wirth, a long-time board member and supporter of the Artists Fund program.

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Courtesy of Mike Tauber

Chris Brazelton is seen with his hand-painted photo “Heisler Park”

“It’s all voluntary,” she said, from the artists who provide pieces to the people who will be serving food and pouring drinks during the June 6 opening night at City Hall. “It’s a way for the artists to be involved and give back. It’s near and dear to their heart…you never know who you’re going to help. It could be you. You just never know.”

The Artists Fund has helped with emergency expenses, often affiliated with an illness. According to Wirth, distribution is always anonymous, and the group prides itself on being able to help quickly. The red tape that often accompanies other financial programs does not exist in the Artists Fund.

“The people in the arts understand other artists,” said Wirth. “They know how solitary it can be, how you’re sometimes flying without a parachute. Having that safety net is a real consolation. It ties the community together.”

In addition to the hardship grants, the Artists Fund also offers support for artists delving into new formats, such as a photographer who maybe can’t fully afford a new lens for a new body of work, or a painter who wants to attend an educational workshop.

“It’s a way to further explore their career development,” said Wirth. “They’re smaller grants, for turning points in people’s careers.”

The group also has created online webinars that support artists in their career, addressing things such as marketing and development.

“We try and do as much outreach as we can,” said Wirth. “We hope to be career support…because when we can engage and educate, people don’t end up needing the financial support as much.”

But since life and unexpected events do happen, each year the dedicated volunteers are creating the program that will raise money for when it’s needed by their fellow artists.

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ORGANIZATION INFO

3340 Recital Series

www.thirtythreeforty.com

City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission

www.lagunabeachcity.net

Coast Film & Music Festival

www.coastfilmfestival.com

Community Art Project (CAP)

www.caplaguna.org

Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters

www.foapom.com

First Thursdays Art Walk

www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com

Friends of the Laguna Beach Library

 

Gallery Q at THE SUSI Q

www.thesusiq.org

Laguna Art-A-Fair

www.art-a-fair.com

Laguna Art Museum

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC)

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

Laguna Beach Live!

www.lagunabeachlive.org

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association

www.lagunabeachsistercities.org

Laguna College of Art + Design

www.lcad.edu

Laguna Concert Band

www.lagunaconcertband.com

Laguna Craft Guild

www.lagunacraftguild.org

Laguna Dance Festival

www.lagunadancefestival.org

Laguna Playhouse

www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

www.lpapa.org

LagunaTunes

www.lagunatuneschorus.org

LOCA Arts Education

www.locaarts.org

Music History Hall Foundation

www.musichistoryhall.org

Neighborhood Congregational Church

www.ncclaguna.org

No Square Theatre

www.nosquare.org

Pacific Vocal Series

www.pacificvocalseries.com

Sawdust Art Festival

www.sawdustartfestival.org

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts

www.theartistsfund-foa.org

The Honarkar Foundation

www.thehonarkarfoundation.org

Third Street Writers

www.thirdstreetwriters.org

Visit Laguna Beach

www.visitlagunabeach.com


Sunset Serenades at Heisler Park

Photos by Scott Brashier

What could be better than a picnic with an ocean view and great music? Every Friday through June 14 from 6:30 p.m. until sunset, enjoy a diverse line-up of fantastic music in the magical setting of Heisler Park.

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On Friday, May 17, attendees enjoyed the music of Steve Wade and the Red Light Brass Band. Wade (second from left in front row) is a professional musician (trumpet and flugelhorn) and music director Middle School and MS/HS jazz director at Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School.

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A fantastic Cajun-themed picnic to go with the music

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Red Light Brass Band is Southern California’s premier brass band playing grooves in a New Orleans style with a Los Angeles swagger

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Large crowd gathered for the performance

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New Orleans sounds

Sunset Serenade Schedule:

–Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

World Music

–Friday, May 31, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Caro Pierotto (Brazilian samba)

–Friday, June 7, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Quarteto Nuevo (Western classical, Eastern European folk, Latin and jazz mix)

–Friday, June 14, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Jessica Fichot (Multilingual fusion of French chanson, Shanghai jazz, gypsy swing and international folk music)

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How to get there

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Visit-Laguna-Beach-City-Map

Funds for this calendar are provided by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

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Iconic high heel by Alexander McQueen to be re-created as a “Living Picture” in 2024 Pageant of the Masters

This summer in Laguna Beach, The Pageant of the Masters steps into the world of fashion with their new production themed À La Mode: The Art of Fashion. Anticipated to be one of the most exciting seasons yet, audiences will be swept off their feet with this captivating journey through history’s most iconic fashion trends and spectacles. Among the highlights is the re-creation of the famed Angel Shoe from Alexander McQueen’s groundbreaking 2010 Fall Collection.

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Photo by Jaron James/V&A Photography Studio ©Victoria and Albert Museum London

Angel Shoe, a high heel by Alexander McQueen, will be re-created at the Pageant of the Masters’ “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion”

High heels transcend mere footwear – they have become fashion statements, accessories and sometimes, like the Angel Shoe, they evolve into bold pieces of art. This iconic high heel made its debut in the Angels and Demons collection that followed McQueen’s death in February 2010. The shoe features a sculpted resin heel shaped like an angel, complemented by an intricate feather that forms along the sole. Leather wings with silver embroidery gracefully frame the foot, giving a sense of flight.

“I think it illustrates Alexander McQueen’s immense creativity,” said Diane Challis Davy, Pageant of the Masters director. “McQueen drew inspiration from Byzantine art and Old Master paintings. I love the way he reinterprets art history into contemporary fashion. He is a true master of costume, materials and construction.”

The history of high heels traces back to the 10th century when Persian calvary wore them to help keep their shoes in their stirrups. In the 17th century, influenced by the shoes worn by Persian emissaries, European nobility embraced the eye-catching footwear, which were often brightly colored and crafted from luxurious materials. High heels rose to prominence as a symbol of power and status for both men and women. Before undergoing a dramatic shift in the 18th century. As fashion became more gendered and men’s trends began to emphasize practicality, high heels transitioned to primarily women’s footwear. Today, high heels continue to captivate fashion enthusiasts worldwide, serving as both a statement of style and a celebration of individuality.

During the first act of this summer’s Pageant of the Masters, audiences will be treated to a series of works that Challis Davy has dubbed “Fabulous Footwear.” This portion of the production will feature re-created masterpieces showcasing the artistry of footwear through the ages like the “Royal Parisian Wedding” from a 14th century manuscript; “The Swing” by oil painter Jean H. Fragonard and of course, “Angel Shoe” by Alexander McQueen.

“McQueen’s Angel Shoe was the first time I had ever come across a shoe with a sculptured human figure. We knew instantly we needed to include it in the show,” shared Challis Davy. “It should be spectacular to see a much larger-than-life re-creation of the shoe on the Pageant stage.

From the opulent grandeur of royal courts to the contemporary glamor of today’s runways, À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will unravel the narrative of attire through the ages, revealing its inherent power and significance. Presented under Laguna Beach’s starry summer night sky, the 2024 Pageant of the Masters will also feature live, original music and narration, breathtaking theatrical illusions and some surprises. This is all presented in the 2,600-seat amphitheater of the Irvine Bowl.

À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will grace the stage nightly from July 6 through August 30. Early ticket purchase is recommended, as the Pageant is highly sought after and draws art enthusiasts from around the world. A Pageant ticket also serves as a season pass to the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, taking place from July 3 through August 30 (closed July 4). To stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Fine Arts Show visit www.foapom.com, or follow @FestivalPageant on social media.

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Festival’s Fresh Faces: New artists bring excitement and a variety of styles to this summer’s Festival of Arts

By THERESA KEEGAN

New faces and new artwork will be exhibited during one of Laguna’s favorite summer traditions – the Festival of Arts. As always, the juried work, created by more than 100 artists from throughout Orange County, offers a variety of mediums and appeals to a diverse crowd.

There are 20 new artists this year, including two glass artists, a sculptor, a graphic creator and numerous artists who pursue painting using oils, acrylics and multi-media. A fabric artist will also be on display. And while they represent varied media, and various career routes, they all share one thing in common – they’re thrilled to be part of this show, which is often cited as one of the top art festivals in the nation.

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Courtesy of Alla Bartsoschchuk

The work of oil painter Alla Bartoshchuk will be on display at the Festival of Arts this summer

“I’m truly honored to be part of the show this year,” said Alla Bartsoshchuk, an oil painter who began her artistic endeavors as a child in Ukraine. She’ll be alongside another first-time artist she knows very well – her husband, graphic illustrator Gary Musgrave. “It was a delightful surprise for us both to be accepted,” she said.

Figurative artist Kelley Mogilka has gained notoriety in the Laguna community since moving to the area during COVID. “To be a part of it (the Festival) really feels like I have become a more permanent part of this amazing artistic community,” she said. “I’m very grateful.”

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Courtesy of Siân Poeschl

Artist Siân Poeschl is seen with one of her glass pieces which, through multiple firings, demonstrates fluidity and motion

Meanwhile, Siân Poeschl, a long-time glass artist at the Sawdust Festival, said displaying at the Festival of Arts elevates her work from craft to a fine art form.

“I appreciate both shows and the opportunities, but when I showed this new body of work at the Sawdust, the feedback I received gave me the confidence that it could go to a fine art venue.”

Poeschl has taken her glass into a true three-dimensional format, building upon the lessons she learned while pursuing a master’s degree in dance and choreography decades earlier.

“I hope people see the energy and fluidity in it,” she said of her woven glass pieces. “I create my palette and go from there.” While technically her process involves creating individual elements and putting in details, the reality is more complex.

For each piece there are five separate kiln firings, which ultimately take between 18-20 hours. The process starts with slipping one-inch strips of glass over ceramic forms to create waves. “Taking that structure and giving it liquidity and movement is just wonderful,” said Poeschl. “All the pieces are made separately and then brought together. You see all these individual elements come together for a final piece.”

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Photo by Theresa Keegan

Glass artist Siân Poeschl’s piece “Forest Clearing” is currently on display at the FOASouth gallery

Her Forest Clearing piece features variations of green, brown, white and black glass pieces woven together with stripes, dots and intricate details throughout.

Although her kiln limits dimensions of her art, a more pragmatic aspect also affects her work.

“I only make a piece I can carry myself,” she said. “So I’m working out at the gym.” Although there are fleeting moments she enviously sees the benefits of producing something light, such as silk scarves, glass is always her medium of choice.

“It’s a very unforgiving medium,” she said. Upon opening her kiln after each firing, it’s immediately evident if the process is successful.

“If it’s a loss, it’s a total loss,” she explained. “You’re always aware of the fragility of it, and that’s what makes it exciting for me.”

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Courtesy of Kelley Mogilka

Kelley Mogilka will be displaying her figurative artwork this summer at the Festival of Arts

Mogilka, who teaches figurative drawing at LCAD, has been preparing for the festival by creating some smaller pieces to supplement her larger work.

“I’m really looking forward to building a booth that is kind of like an artistic statement in itself, rather than a one-day pop-up tent,” she said, referencing her other exhibition experiences which have been of a more temporary nature.

She expects to paint at the Festival grounds rather than in her studio in the canyon. Since she prefers using smooth panels, rather than canvas so each brushstroke is accented, she doesn’t think the transition will be too challenging.

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Festival without borders: This summer’s Art-A-Fair will feature new international artists, as well as returning favorites

By THERESA KEEGAN

No need to travel the globe looking for art this summer – a trip to the Laguna Art-A-Fair will transport attendees to places near and far.

“I’m really excited about our new artists,” said Kim Brandon-Watson, vice president of marketing for Art-A-Fair. “We have artists from eight different countries and 16 states. Having artists from all around the world will attract people who want to see that art.”

With Laguna Beach boasting three impressive art festivals – in addition to Art-A-Fair, the Festival of Arts hosts juried Orange County artists and the Sawdust features Laguna Beach artists – there is a well-earned reputation of the town as an art hub said Brandon-Watson. And that reputation prompted a record number of 253 artists seeking a spot at Art-A-Fair, with 113 accepted. There will be 28 new and 85 returning artists this summer.

“I just think artists know Laguna Beach is a hub for art and having the opportunity to display their work with a lot of like-minded artists in a whole different country is appealing,” she said.

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Courtesy of Art-A-Fair

Last year’s late August hurricane ripped apart many awnings at Art-A-Fair, but rather than be dismayed, the artists and organizers gathered and rebuilt the festival grounds, ending the season on a positive note

The festival also started recruiting artists in August last year, building on the excitement of the 2023 festival. Ironically, while the grounds were heavily impacted with the end-of-season hurricane that forced them to close for 10 days, there are more returning artists this year than in past years.

“That’s pretty phenomenal,” said Brandon-Watson. She said the rebuild after the storm damage created an esprit de corps among all participants. “We’re all so excited for the new year.”

Ilze Sims of Ninole, Hawaii is an artist who is new to the festival, but is already excited about participating in the summer show.

“I feel as though I’m already part of a big family,” she wrote. “The organizers…have been extremely welcoming and helpful.” As a person who has traveled the world for 10 years on her sailboat, the opportunity to spend summer in Laguna Beach is appealing.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with other artists and people appreciating art,” she said. While Art-A-Fair does not provide housing for invited artists, many will get a long-term rental for the summer or make other arrangements, said Brandon-Watson.

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Courtesy of Ilze Sims

The Hawaiian artist Ilze Sims is influenced by her worldwide travels while living on her sailboat for almost a decade. The piece “Turtle Pond” utilizes her multimedia approach to creating art.

Sims creates multi-media textural abstract art that is influenced by her travels in the South Pacific and Asia.

“I’m an autodidactic artist,” she said. “I hope to share my work with a broader audience…and to have the experience of being part of this amazing art community.”

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Courtesy of Art-A-Fair

A fresh mural with a tropical theme will brighten the music stage at this summer’s Art-A-Fair

Brandon-Watson believes there will be enhanced opportunities for the artists as well as visitors this summer. She expects to partner with Sawdust on community nights, when residents from certain Orange County towns and cities can visit the sites for free, hosting chamber nights and improving the festival’s profile on Laguna’s trolley stops. There are musicians playing and classes offered throughout the summer. The sales and artist processing system has also been upgraded, which should make for an easier experience for selling artwork. The ground improvements will also include a mural by an exhibiting artist on the band stage.

Art-A-Fair board president Bob Ross (not the artist of bad hair fame) is energized by this year’s offerings.

“We have a phenomenal line-up this year,” he said. “This influx of fresh talent brings a wave of exciting new energy and perspectives, making it a show unlike any we’ve seen before.”

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Courtesy of Bongani Khumalo

The wire and bead animal creations by Cape Town artist Bongani Khumalo utilize a process of beading that was taught to him by his grandmother

Artist Bongani Khumalo from Cape Town, South Africa, is excited at the prospect of selling his bead and wire art, which includes large, 3D replicas of animals.

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Laguna Live! presents Live! at the Museum with ACE Trio on June 2

Tuesdays through May, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

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ACE Trio – June 2

Sunday, June 2, 1 p.m.

Live at the Museum presents the ACE Trio

Laguna Art Museum

Shannon Canchola (flute), Micah Wright (clarinet) and Leon Thomasian (piano)

Coined a “Musical Tour de Force” by the Mountaineer Progress newspaper, ACE Trio is a Los Angeles-based classical modern ensemble rapidly distinguishing itself as one of the newest leading groups of its generation.

For tickets, click here.

Tuesday, June 4, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays

Gabe Friedman and Mark Turnbull

Sunday, June 9, 4-7 p.m.

Annual Bluegrass & BBQ

Laguna Beach Live! Annual Bluegrass & BBQ is taking place on Sunday, June 9, 4-7 p.m. This Laguna Live! favorite returns to the picturesque grounds at Laguna College of Art and Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Rain or shine. Chairs are provided.

This year’s Bluegrass and BBQ entertainment is the Wimberley Bluegrass Band. They are comprised entirely of four siblings based in Southern California and were named one of Los Angeles’ Top Five Bluegrass Bands by CBS-LA. They provide fun and wholesome musical entertainment and strive to keep the traditional sounds of bluegrass music alive and well by taking it to new audiences.

Tickets: Concert only $25 in advance $30 at the door, kids 12 and under are free; Concert and BBQ $52 in advance, $57 at the door; VIP $110 (incl. concert, BBQ and reserved table seating).

Tickets are non-refundable: Thank you for your understanding.

Sorry, no outside food or beverages.

Barbeque is provided by Richard Jones Pit BBQ with beverages by Bianchi Winery, offering a selection of their award-winning Paso Robles wines, plus, Costa Mesa’s master beer maker, Salty Bear Brewing Co. will be serving their most popular brews.

For tickets, click here.

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LAM offers kids a summer of fun, art and learning

Kids Camp

A Summer of Fun and Learning, begins in June

Throughout summer 2024, LAM will be welcoming kids into the museum for expanded learning and creative opportunities that can be found only at Laguna Art Museum. Starting off with their Summer Camp, they will announce new phases of LAM Kids Summer on this page. Stay tuned and make sure you register!

For classes, click here.

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Courtesy of LAM

Kids Camp runs through July 29

LAM Kids Summer Fridays

Drop in and create masterpieces of your own. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. every summer Friday, their Studio/Lab is open to all kids who want to explore their creativity and participate in hands-on art projects. Members of the Education Staff will be onsite to help kids find inspiration and create their works of art.

Drop ins are free with museum admission.

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Courtesy of LAM

Adam Neeley, “Modern Alchemy” continues through July 29

–Modern Alchemy: The Fusion of Art and Nature in the Jewelry Designs of Adam Neeley

Adam Neeley is an award-winning artist/jeweler who transforms precious metals and gemstones into wearable art by traditional goldsmith techniques and modern technologies. His unique designs are inspired by the vast variety of shapes and colors found in the natural world. In fact, it was his childhood interest in collecting rocks that eventually drew Neeley to the master goldsmiths in Italy, where he would study the art of jewelry making. Eventually he developed his own style and techniques of goldwork that have won him international acclaim, as well as prestigious awards across the jewelry industry.

Exhibitions:

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Courtesy of LAM

“Skyward” by Eric Theodore

Reflections of Resilience through August 25

Reflections of Resilience presents a sampling of the artwork from the 2024 Master of Fine Art graduates from Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD). Remarkable artists are attracted to LCAD because of the understanding that time-honored skill joined with personal contemporary concerns can create vital, memorable art.

LAM is delighted to introduce Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

On the Edge through September 2

Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

Joan and Jack Quinn represent a crucial moment in art history, as Los Angeles came to symbolize an innovative and prolific brand of creative freedom. On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection, explores the experimental approaches to minimalism and new materials from the 1960s through 2000s, the diversification of practices and makers, and the vital role the Quinns played in both documenting and contributing to the story of Los Angeles art. Revealed is a period of artmaking that is pivotal to understanding current practices and the west coast mentality, and collectively exudes a unique spirit of anti-conformity and the “California Cool” ethos.

Courtesy of LAM

Art Workshop – May 24

Friday, May 24, 4-7 p.m.

Art Workshop, Figure Drawing

Join Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting at LCAD, for a figure drawing workshop. Learn the basics and build on your knowledge of how to draw the human form with a live model. Supplies included with purchase of ticket.

Class Dates: May 24, June 21, July 19

Please note that the model will be nude.

Advance tickets recommended. Adults (18+) only. Museum members: $30, Non-members: $45. For tickets, click here.

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Courtesy of LAM

Kids Studio – May 25

Saturday, May 25, 11 a.m.

LAM Kids Studio

Unleash your imagination and create your own masterpieces at their monthly LAM Kids Studio program. With guidance from LAM’s Education Team, kids will experiment with different artistic mediums and styles, explore the museum galleries and engage in fun-filled activities.

LAM Kids Studio activities and themes change every month.

This month, kids will practice printmaking to create fun abstract portraits inspired by Laguna Art Museum’s On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection exhibition.

Free with admission: Members: Free; Adults: $12; Youth 12 and under: Free; Active Military, Seniors, Students: $9.

Every student must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the workshop.

For tickets, click here.

Courtesy of LAM

A Jeweler’s Muse – June 1

Saturday, June 1, 6 p.m.

Nature: A Jeweler’s Muse

Join curator Timothy Adams for a fascinating talk that will explore Mother Nature as a muse in the work of four visionary artist-jewelers: Carl Fabergé, Paulding Farnham, Katey Brunini and Adam Neeley. They each have a unique interpretation of the world around them which they express through gold, gemstones, enamel and more. Though 100 years separate Fabergé and Tiffany & Co.’s Farnham from Brunini and Neeley, one thing that connects them is the inspiration from the greatest designer of all – Mother Nature.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to embark on a journey through the eyes of these remarkable artists and experience the magic of nature brought to life in precious jewels.

Advance tickets are recommended. Members: $12 per person, Non-members: $18 per person.

For tickets, click here.

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LBCAC screens The San Onofre Syndrome on May 22

Through May 25 

Exhibition: Climate: Air, Earth and Water

April is Earth Month, an extension of the annually recognized Earth Day on April 22. In the 34 years since Earth Day went global, environmental awareness has improved. Our situation has not.

Climate: Air, Earth and Water is on display at LBCAC through May 25. Photographers Jacques Garnier and Tom Lamb are joined by artist Roberto Salas in this special exhibition.

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Photos courtesy of LBCAC

The San Onofre Syndrome – May 22

Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m., doors open 6 p.m., free event

SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy

Post screening Q&A with featured cast members Torgen and Lindsey Johnson, and Gary and Laurie Headrick

Filmed over 12 years, SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy dramatically chronicles how Southern California residents came together to force the shutdown of an aging nuclear power plant only to be confronted by an alarming reality: tons of nuclear waste left near a popular beach, only 100 feet from the rising sea, that – with radioactivity lasting millions of years – menaces present and future generations.

The film portrays San Onofre as a microcosm of this national problem – the mismanagement of lethal radioactive waste. This is a syndrome shared by all 55 nuclear reactor sites across the United States.

SOS spotlights the essential role citizens must play to ensure public safety is the top priority. Told largely from the perspective of five main characters, the film shows how they mobilize their communities as they become experts on the issues and tactically wiser in the face of adversity.

SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome is a critical warning that America’s 55 nuclear power plants, each with their own tons of intensely radioactive waste lasting millennia – in inadequate temporary containers with no plans to repair them – are putting their local communities and national security at grave risk.

SOS is an urgent call to action. Will viewers rally to embrace this lifeline in time?

Directed by James Heddle, Mary Beth Brangan and Morgan Peterson, and produced by Mary Beth Brangan, the film is a production of EON – The Ecological Options Network, features nuclear experts Donna Gilmore, Dan Hirsch, Gordon Edwards, activists Karen Hadden, Rose Gardner, Torgen Johnson, Gary and Laurie Headrick and key whistleblowers.

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Luke Pytel Band – May 31

Friday, May 31, 8 p.m.

Luke Pytel Band

Known for his fiery guitar playing along with his solid vocals and high energy blues. When you catch his band, be ready to interact with him and sing along as you will be a part of the show.

For more than 17 years, Pytel has backed up many artists at Blue Chicago including Shirley Johnson, Big Time Sarah, Nellie Travis, Grana Louise, Laretha Weathersby, Claudette Miller and Sheryl Youngblood. In addition, he has performed with local and national legends of the blues: Jimmy Johnson, Chico Banks, Big James Montgomery and Buddy Guy, to name a few.

Pytel, now leading his own band for the past 13 years, will bring you the sounds of old school blues, contemporary blues, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King and many more.

Having been fortunate to travel the world, Pytel has performed in Belgium, France, England and Latvia, to name a few. He is a gifted and popular performer, and a valuable addition to the line-up at Blue Chicago.

For tickets, click here.

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center concessions available, not currently ADA accessible, steep stairs only.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave., Newport Beach.

Check out the calendar at www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Cultural Arts presents Circus Bella on June 8

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Courtesy of www.circusbella.com

Circus Bella performs at Bluebird Park on June 8

Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Circus Bella

The Arts Commission invites kids of all ages to a free performance of Circus Bella’s “WOW!” – a captivating blend of circus enchantment and madcap mayhem. Circus Bella offers a modern twist on a one-ring circus overflowing with heart and soul. This exhilarating family event promises to delight and astonish you.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Free.

Sunset Serenades

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

The 2024 Sunset Serenades concert season starts the first Friday in May at the Heisler Park Amphitheater

Free Admission, click here for more information.

Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

World Music

Friday, May 31, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Caro Pierotto (Brazilian samba)

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Courtesy of www.circusbella.com

Caro Pienotto – May 31

Friday, June 7, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Quarteto Nuevo (Western classical, eastern European folk, Latin and jazz mix)

Friday, June 14, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Jessica Fichot (Multilingual fusion of French chanson, Shanghai jazz, gypsy swing and international folk music)

Low-back beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.

For full details, click here.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

Music in the Park

Sundays, July 7 – August 18, 5-7 p.m.

Bluebird Park, 772 Cress St.

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Courtesy of www.thegreatnorthspecial.com

Great North Special performs at Bluebird Park on July 7

Music in the Park is a free public concert series held Sunday evenings in July and August, at Bluebird Park. Concerts start at 5 p.m. Set-up is not permitted before 3 p.m. No dogs are allowed at Bluebird Park (LBMC 6.16.020). No smoking (LBMC 7.40.030). No display or sale of merchandise (LBMC 18.04.015). Low-seating beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older, but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.

2024 CONCERT SCHEDULE

–July 7 – The Great North Special

(Psych-rock, Country, Blues and Funk-soul)

–July 14 – TABU

(Latin)

–July 21 – The Shagwells

(‘60s and ‘70s hits)

–July 28 – Upstream

(Caribbean, Reggae, Calypso, Steel Drum)

–August 4 – 133 Band

–August 11 – Betamaxx

(1980s cover)

–August 18 – The Tina Turner Tribute featuring Debby Holiday

(Tribute)

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For questions, contact Cultural Arts at 949.497.3311.

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!). For more information, click here.

Sunday, May 26, 11 a.m.

Fused Glass – Reactions and Metals

In this class, you’ll learn about the alchemy of glass types and how they react with each other. The magic of copper and silver foil will surprise and delight you. Create abstract ideas in glass and transform it into a wall pocket vase using frit (small pieces of glass), glass powder and sheet glass. Step-by-step, Barbara Lolli will guide you on how to design, assemble and prepare your glass for firing. Create a piece of art that will truly be unique to you.

Please note: The firing of your pieces will be done offsite and will be available for pickup at the Sawdust or mailed to you by USPS priority mail at a small extra cost depending on the size of the piece.

Cost: $125.

Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Art Meets Technology – May 22

Wednesday, May 22, 10 a.m.

Art Meets Technology

A brand-new pop-up class where you can really let your imagination fly. With AI technology, you will create a computerized image using your ideas. This printed image will be the basis for your painting. You’ll transfer this image onto paper using a printing plate.
The process is simple with really satisfying results. You will learn to use different types of medium in this fun class, including gelli plates, posca markers, acrylic paints, and other mixed media including Mica powder and stencils. This is a great way to loosen up those creative juices.

Suitable for both adults and children over 10 years of age.
Cost is inclusive of all materials, a colored digital print and a finished acrylic painting that will be framed in a mat board for you to take home.

Once you have registered for this class, they will ask you for a few short sentences to best describe what you would like to paint so that they can prepare your digital image. If you wish, you may bring your own image or design.

Cost: $50.

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Cyanotype Indigo Printing – May 23

Thursday, May 23, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Cyanotype Indigo Printing

Learn this fascinating and oldest form of photography. Cyanotype photography is a camera-less method that involves laying items such as leaves, flowers or other objects onto paper that has been pre-treated with a sensitizer before exposing it to UV light. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you will move on to combining this method with other materials (sea salt, turmeric, mixed medium) to add shimmering, gold effects to your work. This is a simple yet stunning way to create beautiful white and indigo blue images that will look fabulous on any wall. Your final piece will be framed on a mat board.

Cost: $50 per person which is fully inclusive of all materials used including mixed media items and a mat board.

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Mixed Media Collage – May 25

Saturday, May 25, 2-4 p.m.

Mixed Media Collage

Embark on a journey of texture, color and composition in Michelle Burt’s creative explorations Mixed Media Collage class where the traditional boundaries of art meet innovative expression. This class is designed to allow you to dive into the world of mixed media, exploring the unique potential of handmade and specialty papers, sheet music, mixed mediums and Burt’s own images. In this engaging class, you will discover the limitless possibilities of incorporating diverse materials into your collage, allowing you to freely explore and express your creativity to create a truly unique composition.

All levels are welcome – all you need is enthusiasm and a desire to explore.

Cost: $110.

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Fused Glass Pocket Vase and Coaster – May 26

Sunday, May 26, 11 a.m.

Fused Glass Pocket Vase and Coaster

Learn how to create a scene or abstract idea in glass and transform it into a wall pocket vase and coaster using frit (small pieces of glass), glass powder and sheet glass. Glass artist Barbara Lolli will guide you step-by-step on how to design, assemble and prepare your glass art for firing. The firing of your pieces will be done offsite and will be available for pickup at the Sawdust or mailed to you by USPS priority mail at a small extra cost depending on the size of the piece.

Cost: $125 per student. This three-hour class includes all materials and firing costs.

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LCADs MFA Exhibition featured through August 25

LCAD congratulates all of its 2024 grads.

Reflections of Resilience: MFA Exhibition at Laguna Art Museum.

Features artwork by the 2024 Master of Fine Art graduates from Laguna College of Art + Design. It will be on display until August 25.

The quality, creativity and individuality of these featured artists are testaments to their dedication and independence. Remarkable artists are attracted to LCAD because of the understanding that time-honored skill joined with personal contemporary concerns can create vital, memorable art.

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Photos courtesy of LCAD

Eric Theodore, “Skyward,” oil on panel, 42×28, 2023

These artists share an earnest, hopeful sensibility amid unsettling times. As we emerge from a pandemic, they reflect upon what is most meaningful and how to navigate an often distant and uncertain world. There is optimism behind the urge to create and contribute. A shared sense of resilience resonates beneath the surface, reflecting honesty while avoiding cynicism.

Through carefully considered paintings and drawings, these artists represent how mindful reflection of the outer world builds personal insights, expressing appearances as well as emotions. In Reflections of Resilience, the rational and the poetic are made apparent to the viewer, who takes time to observe, consider, and reflect.

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Laguna Art Museum (LAM).

Exhibiting Artists: Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd,Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

LCAD BFA Fine Arts Exhibition 2024

Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) BFA Fine Arts exhibition 2024 is now on display at LCAD Gallery.

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Piper Bangs, “The Garden (Detail),” 2023, Oil on Linen, 59” x 39”

LCAD undergraduate Fine Arts department is thrilled to showcase the outstanding talents of its senior BFA students with the 2024 BFA Fine Arts Exhibition. This group exhibition features paintings, drawings, and sculptures, each one a testament to the dedication and creativity of our graduating seniors in the Drawing + Painting program.

The exhibition presents a carefully curated selection of works that represent the culmination of LCAD’s Senior Thesis project. This project serves as a guiding force, empowering our seniors to develop a cohesive and meaningful body of work that demonstrates both their individual conceptual growth and mastery of academic skillsets.

LCAD is proud to present the following exceptional artists, whose works will be on display at the exhibition. Gabrielle Anievas, Piper Bangs, Kyra Beal, Rylee Cook, Emma Crespo, Lauren Duplissey, Anna Eisen, Anne Goldman, Chase Heindel, Carly Mann, Amber Jodoin, Rachel Joy, Julianna Lazio, Xochitl Leal-Bailon, Rafael Mejia, Kat O’Brien, Arely Sojo, Isabella Stockbridge, Jenna Swerdfeger and Luke Silverthorne.

LCAD Gallery is located at 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

LCAD Gallery admission is always free.

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LPAPA looks forward to Less is More” show

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Photos courtesy of LPAPA

“Waterworks” Juried Art Show

Show Overview & Timeline:

Online Art Catalog Exhibition (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): through Monday, June 3.

LPAPA Gallery Show (Finalists): through Monday, June 3.

Pick Up of Unsold Artwork at the Gallery: Tuesday, June 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

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John Cosby – Art Walk Opening Reception

John Cosby, Artist in Residence

Online Preview & Auction June 3-6

LPAPA Gallery Exhibition June 6 through July 1

John Cosby “Artist in Residence” LPAPA Gallery Solo Exhibition

Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love

“Plein Talk with John Cosby,” Save the date: Saturday, June 8

The LPAPA Gallery is proud to present a special “Artist in Residence” Solo Exhibition featuring major works, and plein air studies, created by Signature Artist and Founding Member John Cosby on June 6 through July 1.

Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love will open online with a preview auction on Monday, June 3, followed by the LPAPA Gallery opening on Thursday, June 6 with a special First Thursdays Art Walk Opening Reception with the Artist (6-9 p.m.; free entry); the exhibition will continue through Monday, July 1.

In addition, Cosby is leading a three-day Laguna Plein Air Painting Workshop on June 10-12.

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Less is More – Show opens on July 1

18th Annual Less is More

The show opens with an online Art Catalog and Preview Auction on Monday, July 1, followed by the LPAPA Gallery opening for First Thursdays Art Walk on Thursday July 11, 6-9 p.m. (a week after the first Thursday due to July 4th holiday).

Four cash awards to be presented.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association/LPAPA Gallery is located at 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to www.lpapa.org.

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Artists Fund announces Art-To-Go Preview at City Hall on June 6

First Thursday Art Walk

Thursday, June 6, 6-7 p.m., Reception Event, Art-To-Go exhibit at City Hall, free to the public

Enjoy 40 originals donated by Festival exhibitors.

City Hall, 505 Forest Ave., during regular business hours.

April – May 2024

Spring Collection at City Hall – View 40 originals by Artists Fund Board Members and Art-To-Go winning artists. Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Viewing is available during regular business hours.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Artists Fund

“Early Moon” by Wendy Wirth, part of Spring Collection

Special Sale Gallery

Now through May 2024, view the Artists Fund “Special Sale Gallery” collection of affordable originals. Proceeds from sales support their Hardship Grant fund.

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“Botanical” by Natalia Eremeyeva-Duarte, 17” ceramic platter

All works are originals donated by past and present Festival exhibitors. Prices shown are reduced – to support their Hardship Grant fund for artists in need. Works may be collected in Laguna Beach or shipped at an additional cost.

To purchase artwork, contact curator Mike Tauber, call or text at 949.497.3597.

Thursday, June 6, 6-7 p.m.

Art-To-Go Head-To-Toe, Reception Event at City Hall

First Thursdays Art Walk

The public is invited to an opening reception of Art-To-Go Head-To-Toe at Laguna Beach City Hall, June 6, 6-7 p.m. The event is free.

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Susan Hoehn, Wendy Wirth and Chris Brazelton

On view will be 35 originals donated by Festival of Arts exhibitors. Viewers will enjoy seeing how various artists interpreted the theme Head-To-Toe, which is inspired by the Pageant of the Masters A’ La Mode: The Art of Fashion program.

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“Anemone” by FOA exhibitor Sharon Williams

Among the Head-To-Toe subjects are those covered in spots, fur and even tentacles. Refreshments will be provided, and live music by Felicia Dunne will add to the fun. Attendees are encouraged to wear festive or creative attire. The event is presented by The Artists Fund in collaboration with the City of Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Department, and First Thursdays Art Walk. Takes place at 505 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

Coming Up

Through May 30: Spring Collection at Laguna Beach City Hall and Online.

June 3-28: Art-To-Go Preview Show at Laguna Beach City Hall.

June 6, 6-7 p.m.: Reception Event, Art-To-Go at City Hall, free to public.

June 15:  FOA Exhibitor Yearbook (digital) launches.

July 2, 5-9 p.m.: Art-To-Go opens at FOA Preview Night Invitational.

July 2-5: Vote for People’s Choice Art-To-Go piece at the displays.

July 6, 5:15 p.m.: Awards Presentation to winning Art-To-Go exhibitors.

To view them online, click here.

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LOCA offers unique custom classes for adults and children

Art lovers will meet Laguna Beach’s most fascinating artists and industry professionals at LOCA Art Talks. Events are Thursday evenings through May in Downtown Laguna Beach. Attendees will receive a post-event coupon for 15% off dining at nearby restaurants.

LOCA’s New Teaching Location:

LOCA’s newest teaching location is in the south end of Laguna Beach, easily reached from Downtown, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Clemente.

The expansion allows LOCA to offer “extended learning” series of classes whereby students, both adults and families, can build a “toolbox of skills” over several weeks.

LOCA students will enjoy the hilltop location, panoramic ocean views and free onsite parking. Laguna Beach Community and Recreation Center, 30516 S. Coast Highway. Enter on Cardinal Drive, just south of Nyes Place.

Know someone who loves art and Laguna Beach? Surprise them with a LOCA 2024 membership and they’ll enjoy a full year of art experiences of their choice! Your $50 purchase ensures them a bounty of benefits including free admission to six LOCA Art Talks lectures, an exclusive Membership Sunday Brunch and Art Talk, a shout-out feature in their eNewsletter, half-priced registration to LOCA’s workshops taught by well-known Laguna Beach artists throughout the town – and much more.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Give the gift of art experiences for a full year

What they’ll get:

Your thoughtfully chosen gift will be presented as a charming reusable box, topped with a LOCA pencil, and elegantly wrapped with a bow. Inside is a 2024 membership card listing the fantastic benefits. A $250 value!

Buy it now for $50:

Use LOCA’s secure and easy “Gift a Membership” red checkout button on their membership page by clicking here. Your package will arrive by mail in 4-7 business days.

Courtesy of LOCA

(L-R) LOCA teachers Allison Keefe and Elizabeth McGhee

–Thursday, May 23, 30, 4-5 p.m.

Art Classes for Kids at the Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach.

“Art Classes for Kids” held in the Children’s Wing of the Laguna Beach Library – Thursdays at 4 p.m. through June 6. Classes are free and no registration is required, but space is limited on a first come, first served basis for children 5 and up. Please gather at 3:45 p.m.

Families Love LOCA at the Library

LOCA’s Family Art Classes at Laguna Beach Public Library have been a smashing success. The “happy hour” 4-5 p.m. timeslot has made it convenient for parents and kids to enjoy a creative learning space, led by Allison Keefe. “We encourage parents and kids to work together,” Keefe said.

LOCA Arts Education has provided top quality visual arts education to all ages in Laguna Beach, and beyond, for more than 30 years. LOCA’s unique strength is its ability to be mobile, providing free and affordable lectures, demonstrations, and classes throughout the city at commercial spaces, community centers, galleries, parks, resorts and studios.

Courtesy of LOCA

Student loves art

Laguna Beach Public Library is among LOCA’s many institutional partners. Here, in the children’s wing, LOCA conducts a series of art classes, free to the public, each season. Spring 2024 brought “Family Art Day,” where parents and their children do an art project together and “Art Classes for Kids” which begin with a librarian reading a book, followed by an art project that ties to the theme. The drop-in classes offer a new creative project each week for up to 20 children at a time. Students may attend one, several, or all, and many do.

LOCA and Me, The Teachers

LOCA hires local professional artists to teach their classes, who assist and complement their full-time careers as artists. Library classes are taught by Allison Keefe and Elizabeth McGhee, both accomplished exhibitors at local festivals. According to McGhee, “I enjoy teaching at the library because not only do local Laguna Beach kids attend, but children from throughout Orange County come to learn new art techniques and stories. These classes not only help the students and parents who attend, but also engage and retain teachers like me in the community, and for that I am so grateful.”

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Festival of Arts brings art, music and more to Laguna Beach July 3 through August 30

One of Southern California’s most beloved summer attractions, the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, returns July 3 through August 30. Set in the vibrant arts destination of Laguna Beach, this annual event continues to captivate and inspire audiences with a stunning showcase of creativity and talent from local artists. In addition to the artwork on display, guests can enjoy daily live entertainment, art classes, special events and more. The Festival of Arts is sponsored in part by Volvo Cars, City of Hope Orange County, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club and KOST Radio 103.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Festival of Arts features 120 exhibiting artists

Taking center stage at the Festival of Arts are the 120 exhibiting artists, showcasing their talents at the fine art show during its two-month summer season. This professionally juried art exhibit features a diverse selection of artwork, including paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry and more, all crafted by artists from across Orange County. Since its inception in 1932, the Festival has served as a platform for thousands of artists to showcase and sell their creations, with many pieces finding their way into the private collections of esteemed art collectors, celebrities and museums worldwide.

Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to engage directly with the artists, gaining insight into their inspirations, techniques and creative processes. Interactive art classes (sponsored by Bank of America), live demonstrations and guided art tours (sponsored by PBS SoCal) further enrich the visitor experience, fostering a deeper connection between the creators and their audience. For a comprehensive list of the 2024 participating artists, click here.

During the two-month summer season, the Festival of Arts hosts daily live concerts and a variety of event series, sponsored by City of Hope Orange County and Yamaha. After making their debut at South Coast Plaza, The Music of Hope continues at the Festival of Arts all summer long. City of Hope’s blue “Hope” piano will be prominently featured on the Festival’s stage, honoring everyone whose lives have been touched by cancer. As part of this partnership, the Festival introduces Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano on select Saturday nights, showcasing talented musicians who will enrich the lives of community members through this uplifting concert series.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Attendees mingle at FOA 2023

On Sunday, July 14, the ever-popular Family Art Day returns with an exciting new animal theme featuring creature-inspired art projects as well as furry and feathered special guests! For the adults, Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate (sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery) provides the perfect atmosphere to pair wine, chocolate and smooth jazz amongst an unmatched gallery setting.

According to Sharbie Higuchi, Festival of Arts marketing and PR director, “The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show has something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a music lover, or simply looking for a fun artful experience – the Festival has it all.”

Event Information:

Special Events:

For a complete list of special events, click here.

Free with admission unless otherwise noted.

Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate

Thursdays, July 8 – August 26, 5:30 p.m.

$25 additional fee for tastings

Sponsored by Charles Schwab & Cambria Estate Winery

Tremendous Tributes Music Series

Fridays, July 12 – Aug 29, 5:30 p.m.

Concerts on the Green

Saturdays, July 6 – Aug 17, 1 p.m.

Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano

Saturdays, July 6 – Aug 10, 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored by City of Hope Orange County

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of FOA

Festival of Arts features a variety of art experiences

Wow…That Girl Can Sing! Music Series

Sundays, July 7 – Aug. 25, 5:30 p.m.

Family Art Day

Sunday, July 14, 12 p.m.

Festival Runway Fashion Show

Sunday, August 18, 12 p.m.

Art & Fashion Affair Gala

Saturday, Aug. 24

Separate ticket required

Art Workshops for Everyone (Presented by Bank of America)

For schedule and reservations, click here.

Creativity runs wild at the Festival’s Teen and Adult Art Classes where students will make their own masterpieces under the instruction of professional artists. ($45)

Uncork your creativity Thursday nights at Prints and Pinots or Friday nights at Paint and Sip Classes. Create a work of art with easy-to-follow instruction by Festival artists and enjoy complimentary wine or beverage. Must be 21 and up. ($50)

Friday through Sunday, the Festival hosts Youth Art Classes, art classes for children ages 5-12. Classes include sculpture, mixed media, painting and much more. ($25)

The Festival Art Center will be open weekdays from 4-8 p.m. and weekends from 12-8 p.m. for hands-on artistic fun. Reservations are not required, so drop in anytime.

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Laguna Playhouse presents the final production of the season, Holmes & Watson, starting on May 29

Laguna Playhouse presents Holmes & Watson, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Laguna Playhouse artistic director David Ellenstein. Holmes & Watson will begin previews on Wednesday, May 29 (with a press opening on Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, June 16 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Prepare for a fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful story that will keep you guessing until its final moments. In this worthwhile addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon, there are more twists and turns than a rollercoaster! The legendary Sherlock Holmes is dead. Or so it is assumed. When a telegram arrives informing his loyal companion Dr. Watson that there are three men who each claim to be Holmes, it’s left up to the famous sidekick to take on the case and try to discover if one of the mad men is actually the real Sherlock Holmes.

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Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

“Holmes & Watson” runs from May 29-June 16

Commented David Ellenstein, “Some years back, I had a great time directing Jeffrey Hatcher’s Holmes & Watson. It is a thrilling mystery that keeps you guessing right up until the last moment. It was as exhilarating for those of us that worked on the production as it was for the audience that experienced it and overwhelmingly cheered for the wild ride that they had. Years later, audiences that saw that show still tell me what a great time they had.

Before I directed this play, I was not a huge Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, but the play led me to read the Conan Doyle source material and I gained a new understanding for the lasting appeal of the detective. These stories are extremely well written. I became captivated by the detail and specificity of the character and literary style. I became a Sherlock fan. There is a reason Mr. Holmes endures through all sorts of adaptations and across time.

“Jeffrey Hatcher is such an accomplished and skillful playwright. His specialty is exactly this genre – so this play bristles with intrigue, humor and verve. It truly captures the Holmesian style and mystery. The idea of a new production of Holmes & Watson at Laguna Playhouse fills me with eager anticipation. I am so excited by the exemplary cast we have assembled and the amazing design plans that will lift this play to its full potential. I believe Laguna Playhouse audiences are going to have a great time with this one.”

David Ellenstein (Director). Born into a theatrical family, Ellenstein has been working in professional theater for the better part of five decades. In May 2023, he was named artistic director of Laguna Playhouse, after filling the role in an interim capacity since September 2023. In addition, he has been the artistic director of North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach since 2003.

Jeffrey Hatcher (Playwright). His Broadway, off-Broadway, theater and film/television credits are varied and numerous. Grants and awards he has received: NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Barrymore Award (Best New Play) and the 2013 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award.

The cast of Holmes & Watson features (in alphabetical order): Richard Baird as “Watson,” Matt Koenig as “Holmes #2,” Matthew Floyd Miller as “Holmes #1,” Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper as “Dr. Evans,” Mike Peebler as “Orderly/Moriarty/Inspector,” Alice Sherman as “The Matron/The Woman” and Christopher M.  Williams as “Holmes #3.”

The design team for Holmes & Watson is as follows: scenic design by Stephen Gifford; costume design by Kate Bergh; lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg; sound design by Ian Scot; props design by Kevin Williams, and hair and wig design by Peter Herman. Casting is by Michael Donovan, CSA & Richie Ferris, CSA.

The Production Stage Manager is Vernon Willet.

Schedule and Pricing:

Holmes & Watson will preview on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; (with a press opening on Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, June 16.

Performances are Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. There will be added performances on Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, June 6 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. There will be no performance on Sunday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. There will be a post-show talkback following the Friday, June 7 performance.

Tickets range from $45-$84 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com, or by calling 949.497.2787. Group discounts are available by calling 949.497.2787 ext. 229. Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Tuesdays through Sundays: 12-4 p.m.; On Mondays it is open two hours prior to show time and until 15 minutes after curtain. It is open until showtime on all performance days.

For more information on all shows and programming, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

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Laguna Beach Live! presents Bluegrass & BBQ at LCAD on June 9

Join Laguna Beach Live! for a delightful afternoon of outstanding bluegrass music and delicious BBQ, on Sunday, June 9 from 4-4 p.m. The BBQ takes place from 4-6 p.m., the concert from 5-7 p.m.

A Laguna Live! favorite, Bluegrass & BBQ, returns to the picturesque grounds at Laguna College of Art + Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Beach Live!

The Wimberley Bluegrass Band

This year, music is provided by talented siblings – The Wimberley Bluegrass Band. Richard Jones Pit BBQ will be serving their authentic Texas BBQ which will include – entrees: smoked chicken breast, smoked pulled pork and a veggie option – smoked veggie kabobs; sides: Texas BBQ baked beans, creamy coleslaw and penne pasta salad, along with freshly baked rolls and butter. Bianchi Winery will be offering a selection of award-winning Paso Robles wines, and Costa Mesa’s master beer maker Salty Beer Brewing Co. will be onsite with their most popular brews.

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Bluegrass & BBQ, which drew a crowd last year, returns June 9

Tickets: Concert only $25 in advance, $30 at the door; Kids 12 and under are free. The concert and BBQ is $52 in advance and $57 at the door; VIP is $110 which includes the concert, BBQ and reserved table seating.

Tickets and more information are available at www.lagunalive.org, or call 949.715.9713. Tickets are non-refundable. Sorry, no outside food or beverages.

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Now entering their sixth year, Coast Film & Music Festival is accepting 2024 submissions

Coast Film & Music Festival (CFMF) has announced that they are beginning to accept film submissions for the 6th Annual Film & Music Festival planned for November 13-17. The festival will feature a rich variety of independent feature and short films, musical performances and interactive experiences for the entire family.

CFMF is the signature event under the auspices of the Coast Film Foundation (CFF), which produces an extensive array of events throughout the year that promote films, support filmmakers, build community, and inspire positive change through the power of film and storytelling.

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Photo by Candice Dartez

Coast Film & Music Festival organizers celebrate their fifth annual event in 2023

CFMF offers collaboration among creators and diverse communities, sparking innovative ideas and embodying the essence of outdoor lifestyle, culture, conservation and adventure.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Festival of the Arts grounds in Laguna Beach, the festival promises an immersive experience.

Passes and tickets will be available after Labor Day. Here’s a preview of what attendees can look forward to: 80+ documentary and adventure films; the Coast Summit Symposium; Q&As with film directors, athletes and special guests before and after screenings; speaker panels and workshops; Youth Filmmaker and environmental stewardship programs; live music performances; art exhibitions and artist signings; the Do Good Village with sponsors, non-profits and environmental partners; networking opportunities with filmmakers, athletes and creators; and party time with local food, drink and silent disco.

It’s an event you’ll want to be a part of.

The Coast Summit, mentioned above and presented by A New Earth Project, will be a day-long event focused on impact storytelling and environmental conservation that kicks off the Coast Film and Music Festival.

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Photo by Heidi Zumbrun

Coast Film & Music Festival 2023 (L-R): CFMF Co-Founder Ben Warner, Author/Naturalist/Speaker Obi Kaufmann and CFMF Co-Founder Enich Harris

Last year’s inaugural summit featured speaker panels and workshops led by sustainability experts and professional athletes, including Jeremy Jones, Obi Kaufmann, Amie Engrebretson, Timmy O’Neill, Kai Lenny, Greg Long and others. It attracted an audience of 200+ consisting of passionate changemakers, athletes, creators, industry professionals, city leaders, and college and high school students.

The Coast Film & Music Festival was launched in 2019 and has become a Laguna Beach staple annual event. To learn more, visit www.coastfilmfestival.com and info@coastfilmfestival.com.

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Experience the magic of giving with Pageant of the Masters

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach is once again providing the opportunity for patrons to donate Pageant of the Masters tickets to local nonprofits through its Masters at Giving program. Give the gift of living pictures and an unforgettable experience to this summer’s Pageant of the Masters show, À La Mode: The Art of Fashion, by donating today, by clicking here.

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Courtesy of FOA

Extend the magic of the Pageant by donating through the Masters of Giving Program

“By donating through the Masters at Giving Program, you’re helping to spread the joy of art to people who may not have the chance to attend otherwise,” said Sharbie Higuchi, director of Marketing & PR for the Festival of Arts. “Through the generous contributions of our members and patrons, we’ve been able to extend this magical experience to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs, American Legion Veterans, South County Outreach, OC Fire Authority, Mindful Warrior Project, local schools, senior centers and more.”

Since 2010, more than 16,000 Pageant of the Masters tickets have been donated to charitable groups in Southern California. Tickets are $45 each and 100% tax deductible. Each ticket is also a season pass to visit the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show all summer long. Through the Masters at Giving program, Pageant tickets have been given to first responders, senior centers, at-risk youth, veteran and military families, art students, outreach groups, mentoring programs and many more.

Higuchi emphasized, “Your support enables us to extend the reach of the Pageant of the Masters to even more deserving charitable and nonprofit organizations this summer, aligning with the Festival’s commitment to fostering art appreciation and community engagement.”

The Festival of Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, IRS Tax ID 95-1964772. Donate to the Masters at Giving program by contacting the box office at 800.487.3378, or online by clicking here.

À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will grace the stage nightly from July 6 through August 30. Early ticket purchase is recommended, the Pageant is highly sought after and draws art enthusiasts from around the world. A Pageant ticket also serves as a season pass to the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, taking place from July 3 through August 30, 2024 (closed July 4).

To stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Fine Arts Show visit www.foapom.com. To support the Festival of Arts, visit www.foapom.com/supportnow.

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LagunaTunes receives FOA Foundation Grant

LagunaTunes Community Chorus gratefully announced a $3,000 grant from the FOA Foundation. The welcome funds will continue to help build membership, provide instrumental support at the group’s concerts, and enable additional community performances such as the Christmas singalong at the Susi Q and the Garden Club mural dedication.

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Courtesy of LagunaTunes

LagunaTunes rehearsals, led by Bob Gunn

This year’s spring concert is entitled Showtunes! It includes songs from Broadway shows to Hollywood movies, with favorites from the 1930s to the present. The free concert will be on June 9 at the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theater.

LagunaTunes, a no-audition chorus, welcomes singers of all training and experience levels. Their purpose is to “creating community through the joy of singing.” The chorus is led by Bob Gunn, past long-time director of Orange County’s Men Alive chorus and current director of Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. Gunn’s entertaining local, national and international choral productions are well known.

LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone (no auditions) and presents two free concerts per year, in December and June. Funding is provided by the FOA Foundation and the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to www.lagunatuneschorus.org.

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