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Spirit Possession: Celebration of Ghanaian Faces, African Culture & Heritage at LBCAC

By MARRIE STONE

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When I found I had crossed that line [to freedom], I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was glory over everything. The sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven. –Harriet Tubman, after crossing the Pennsylvania border in 1849

Textile artist Allyson Allen memorialized Tubman’s words on a quilt entitled “Jo’s Harriet” in 2012. The quote surrounds Tubman, who dances under the sun, arms stretched skyward into an open field ahead.

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Photo by Marrie Stone

“Jo’s Harriet” (2012). Machine pieced and quilted. Cotton and ethnic prints. Glass bead and cowrie shell embellishments.

The quilt is part of Spirit Possession, a three-person show on display at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) through July. Allen is joined by photographers Tom Lamb and Thomas Fynn.

The exhibition intends to draw attention to Juneteenth, a commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, which happened on June 19, 1865. A companion show of the same name is also currently on exhibit at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) in Santa Ana through June 29. The same exhibition showed in Ghana’s capital city, Accra, in May.

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Courtesy of OCCCA

(L-R) Tom Lamb, Allyson Allen and Thomas Fynn at OCCCA opening of “Spirit Possession.” In the background is Allen’s “75% HEArt – Helping Earth Art” (2024).

Spirit Possession puts an intimate and modern face on West Africa and the origins of the slave trade. Fynn, a documentary photographer from Ghana, has visually recorded his country’s tragic history alongside its rich culture and beautiful people.

The transatlantic slave trade from West Africa to the Americas lasted centuries. For nearly 150 years, Ghana was its epicenter. Approximately 10 million enslaved people were transported in the transatlantic slave trade at rates of up to 100,000 persons per year. The remnants of that haunting period still exist in dozens of forts and castles built by Europeans between 1482 and 1786. Cape Coast, east of Accra, contains more than 30 dungeons where slaves were held by Europeans before transport to the United States, South America and the Caribbean. Images of these dungeons, as well as “The Door of No Return” (the last place Ghanaians would touch their homeland), are on display in this exhibit.

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Photo by Tom Lamb

A visitor looks at Lamb’s images of Ghana’s holding cells for African women enslaved in the transatlantic slave trade

Since the mid-1970s, Fynn’s photography has celebrated cultural heritage, high-profile personalities, Ghanaian national events, eco-tourism and everyday modern life. His portraits capture the essence of his subjects. His landscape and architectural pieces portray a country both grappling with its own past and honoring its many rich traditions.

Through Fynn’s photographs, viewers can discover Ghana’s many traditional festivals. The annual Aboakyer (Deer Hunting) Festival, celebrated by the Simpa (now known as Winneba) people, occurs the first Saturday in May. The Homowo (“Hooting at hunger”) Festival began after a period of famine following a lack of seasonal rainfall to nourish the crops. The annual Feok Festival, occurring in northeastern Ghana, celebrates the victory of the Builsa warriors in the late 1800s when they fought off invaders and avoided enslavement. The Simpa Aboakyir Festival marks the migration of the Simpa people in the central region from the ancient Western Sudan Empire. And the Abangye Festival marks an annual activity in pre-colonial times when men went into the bush, singing and chanting, to cut sticks to fence the abode of their gods.

Spirit Possession provides both a beautiful way to explore another country’s cultural practices and painful history while reflecting on our nation’s own complicated and shameful past.

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Thomas Fynn poses with a wall of his photographs at OCCCA depicting various Ghanaian people and festivals

Lamb met Fynn on his first visit to Ghana in 1993. Lamb was part of an international design charrette team that intended to create sustainable tourism for the central region, including the first canopy walkway in Africa. He returned in 2002 and, most recently, in 2023. Some of Lamb’s early work can be seen in the OCCCA show. All the images at LBCAC are from 2023.

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Multi-day Juneteenth observations planned for Laguna Beach will include movies, panels, concerts

By THERESA KEEGAN

Juneteenth celebrations are spreading throughout Laguna Beach this year, with a focus on the cultural elements of this observation.

“Juneteenth is much larger than the celebration of Emancipation,” said Rick Conkey, executive director of the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center and coordinator of most of the events. “It’s a celebration of humanity.”

The events include films, panel discussions, concerts and a photography exhibit, all with a focus on the impact of Juneteenth within the community and society. The federal holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the country. (It observes the day when Union Army General Gordon Granger told slaves in Galveston and throughout Texas, they were free. It was 1865, more than two and a half years since Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.)

The selected events for the Laguna Beach observations address the current and long-term implications of racism in our society.

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Courtesy of Dorothy Randall Gray

Writer and activist Dorothy Randall Gray will be participating in a panel during Laguna Beach’s Juneteenth celebrations

On the actual holiday, June 19, there is a free screening of Summer of Soul at the Cultural Arts Center and then more involved programming follows.

“A lot of fear, anger, concern and grievances have shaken this country to the core,” said Dorothy Randall Gray, a writer and activist who will lead the discussion panel following the showing of Ted Hawkins – Amazing Grace at the Rivian on June 20.

Hawkins was a talented musician who grew up in abusive situations and started singing while in reform school at age 12. Despite his many talents, he could never hold onto success and spent much of his adult life as a busker on a milk crate in Venice Beach.

Randall Gray says the societal hurdles that affect so many African Americans are only increasing and it’s imperative that people educate themselves about what is happening, and not just on Juneteenth.

“Whatever equity, balance was sought to be put into play is being uprooted every day,” she said. “Voting rights that were initiated after (President Lyndon B.) Johnson are being demolished. History is being rewritten.”

She cites redistricting that splits up politically powerful black communities, relocation of polling places, laws that prohibit anyone giving water to people waiting in line to vote. The rewriting of history books in Florida, where slavery is described as benefitting the slaves and in Texas, where slavery is being redefined, frightens her.

“I think these discussions are more timely than ever,” said Randall Gray. “You have this on-going denigration of power. There has to be a recognition this is happening.”

As a writer she conducts workshops designed to empower people and admits the past year has been overwhelming. War, the lies that are being embraced as truth and attacks on institutions that support black culture, initially left her unable to formulate a workshop.

Ultimately, she created her current series “Writing and Resistance in a Broken World.” She connects people by making the political personal. Instead of just telling her students to write about gun violence she gave each student a shell casing and asked them to write about it.

“I just want people to really think about and connect with issues that are larger than themselves,” she said. “There has to be a recognition of all that’s happened (and happening.)”

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Courtesy of Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas with Sister Leola and the Gospel Ambassadors will perform an acapella concert Friday, June 21 in Laguna Beach at the Cultural Arts Center

In addition to the screening and panel discussion, Laguna’s Juneteenth celebration will include a concert with two-time Grammy nominated musician Earl Thomas, who says he is currently in his “third act” of life. As a successful songwriter and touring musician, he will be performing acapella on Friday with Sister Leola and The Gospel Ambassadors.

“I always stayed away from gospel,” said Thomas. “It was too much brimstone.” But as he looked into his ancestral background – he’s a direct descendent of slaves in Tennessee – he gained a new perspective.

“The music they made was really their only free expression,” he said. “Once I saw it from that perspective, I felt it necessary to continue this tradition – it’s continuing the speech of my forebearers.”

While they are just back from a London tour, and will be performing in Norway in August, Thomas is thrilled the Laguna Beach concert at the Cultural Arts Center will be acapella.

“I love singing acapella. This is the way I learned these songs,” he said. “No instruments, just voices and the body singing. It’s all traditional. We’re using the voices as instruments.”

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ORGANIZATION INFO

3340 Recital Series

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City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission

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Coast Film & Music Festival

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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

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Laguna Art-A-Fair

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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

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Laguna Craft Guild

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Laguna Dance Festival

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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

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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

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Visit Laguna Beach

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Artist John Cosby’s one-man show and special evening talk highlights the many places and sites he’s captured while traveling the country

By THERESA KEEGAN

While many people come to paint Laguna’s beautiful sites on location, plein air artist John Cosby isn’t content to just capture this area. In fact, he’s traveled the world and is still inspired by the sites he sees – both while traveling and at home in Southern California.

“I like painting both obvious beauty and things that are not so obvious and finding the beauty in them,” he said.

His experiences and talent are captured in the current gallery show of Laguna Plein Air Painters Association: John Cosby: Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love. The opening reception was during First Thursdays Art Walk on June 6.

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Photos courtesy of John Cosby

John Cosby’s one-man show at LPAPA features many pieces he’s painted of wide open, western landscapes, including “Westward Flow” shown above

The month-long solo exhibit will also extend beyond the gallery walls, giving people an opportunity to better understand this signature artist, who is also a founding member of LPAPA.

On Saturday, June 8, Cosby will host a talk on “What Makes a Successful Painting,” which includes a presentation and then showing clips from an in-progress film documentary about his work. He is also leading a three-day workshop, starting June 10.

“It’s rare to have a one-man show nowadays,” said Cosby. “In general, galleries don’t invest the time and effort. The dynamics of the art world have changed a bit.” It’s also demanding of an artist to gather so much work, but Cosby is thrilled with the opportunity. “I can look at the body of work over 45 years. I’ve been a lot of places.”

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Artist John Cosby sets up his outdoor studio when he travels throughout the country, whether he’s capturing natural beauty, such as in the Red Rock country or urban settings

Cosby began his travels at age 18 while in the military, working in the communications arena for the White House. He traveled with both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, setting up all the “cool toys.” He traveled 300 days a year and went to China with Nixon and on a Pacific Rim tour with Ford.

When he left the White House at age 23, he took his love of travel with him – touring through Canada on a motorcycle, which he traded in for a boat. He started drawing other people’s boats and selling the pieces to the owners because he was broke. (He’d learned to paint as a child from his artist grandmother in Laguna Beach who shared her love of the profession with John.)

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John Cosby’s grandmother was an artist in Laguna Beach and taught him at an early age the wonders of painting outdoors

When he realized he could earn a living as an artist he never looked back, crediting the people he’d met at the White House for his decision.

“I was just a fly on the wall, but some of the more interesting people I got to meet all proclaimed to me ‘Find something that you love and hold on with both hands and you’ll be successful.’”

Cosby loved that he could still travel and be an artist. He moved to California 35 years ago and began associating with other Plein Air artists in Laguna. In 1996, five of them decided to produce a newsletter and shared information about how to get onto certain properties to paint. The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association was born. While he never imagined it would grow to its current powerhouse status, he is delighted with the outcome.

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When artist John Cosby moved to Laguna Beach he joined forces with other plein air artists in the area, and they founded LPAPA. He’s painted many ocean images, including “Stone and Salt Water” through the years.

“It’s an educational organization and a nonprofit – that’s important to me,” said Cosby. “I’ve been a teacher for 25 years and I see a lot of joy coming out of it – not that the world needs another artist. But when you see people with a repressed urge to draw suddenly stretching themselves … and when you recognize that somebody is mastering the tools that they’re trying to master, it’s joyous to watch. Watching people grow is my interest in teaching.”

But being on the road sparks his passion.

“I travel constantly,” said Cosby. “I love the unpredictability of it. So much of life is predictable and when you’re traveling that all goes out the door. I sit in environments from urban to out in the wild and there are wild animals in both.”

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LCAD MFA Work on Display: Reflections of Resilience at LAM and Emerging Masters at LCAD Gallery (Part II)

By MARRIE STONE

On April 26, we introduced you to three of this year’s Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) MFA graduates (click here for that story). Today, we bring you the final four. Now through August 25, Laguna Art Museum (LAM) is showcasing a rich sampling of work by these up-and-coming artists. An additional exhibition, Emerging Masters, opens this week at the LCAD Gallery on Ocean Avenue.

Reflections of Resilience is an apt title for students grappling with today’s shifting world. COVID disrupted their education. Rising housing costs put the American dream out of reach for most of them. Climate change threatens their childhood homes, while others have been displaced from their homeland by politically oppressive regimes.

The graduates we previously profiled focused their artistic lens on interrogating standards of beauty (Janaise Sanchez), confronting death (Ryanne Phillips) and exploring vulnerability (Amber Foote).

Their contemporaries profiled today investigate notions of home, displacement and climate change. Some accomplished this through architecture, both structural (Kevin Yaun) and physiological (Eric Theodore). Others through symbolism (Sara Khakpour) and magical realism (Cara Baxter). But the umbrella of resilience binds the thematic strands of their work together.

The graduates invited Stu News inside their studios and inside their process, and their advisor – Professor Peter Zokosky – joined me to talk about their work.

Kevin Yaun reimagines the definition of home

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Photo by Ryan Howard

Kevin Yaun at work in his studio

Home may no longer hold the same meaning it once did. Especially for young adults just entering the work force, realizing the American dream isn’t as attainable as it once was.

But they’re not all wholly discouraged by the idea. Instead, some are choosing to reinvent the notion of home. Rather than planting backyard gardens, this generation invests in potted plants they can take with them from place to place.

Searching for Home sprang from Kevin Yaun’s nomadic lifestyle. Prior to entering LCAD, Yaun worked as a graphic designer and traveled the world, living in Amsterdam, Singapore, London, Thailand and elsewhere. “Travel allowed me to experience living in a lot of different places and learn what I thought was important,” he said.

But settling in Southern California made Yaun realize that even as we yearn for home, it’s not always financially feasible. “I’m looking at architecture from the point of view of a serial renter,” he said, noting the daunting reality of home ownership. “How can I showcase that idea in a way that shows positivity? There’s still a lot of beauty in Southern California, so it’s finding that balance.”

He strikes that balance in his use of light. Are the glowing windows an inviting promise of comfort and security? Or are they a mocking reminder of The Great Gatsby’s unattainable dream?

Incorporating elements of Rothko and invoking ideas from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”), Yaun’s paintings pay homage to architecture while indicting the systems that conspire to keep swaths of our population from obtaining it.

“Like Carroll’s book, which was a sequel for Alice in Wonderland, ‘Twice as Fast’ was intended as a sequel for ‘Houseplant.’ It shows a ghosted figure, engulfed by traffic lights, and even further disconnected from the distant homes. I chose soft warm sunset lighting to create a colorful but haunting mood,” Yaun wrote.

“Kevin already has a gallery. He’s got shows lined up. He’s achieving the kind of success that validates being in one place for a while and finding a home,” Zokosky said.

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

“Twice as Fast,” oil on canvas, 2024

Cara Baxter’s whimsical waning world

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Cara Baxter inside her studio with “Prophet” (2023)

Growing up on the floodplains of Eastern Texas gave Cara Baxter a front row seat to climate change. Intense hurricanes have battered that region for decades. They increase in both frequency and intensity each year, even as many Texan residents resist the science of climate change. Witnessing what’s happened to her homeland gave rise to Baxter’s latest series and the subject of her LCAD thesis, The Flooded World.

But Baxter is an optimist, and it shows in her paintings. Using mythical figures like foxes, bears and snakes, Baxter responds to her anxieties about our climate and her own loneliness using the language of fantasy. “I graduated from college just as the stay-at-home orders happened. It’s been a journey, processing that loneliness and anxiety while remaining hopeful, which is why I love the title, Reflections of Resilience,” she said.

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The behind-the-scenes magic of the POM 2024 team – Á La Mode: The Art of Fashion

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

“Wizards of illusion” would be a fitting description for the set and costume designers at the Pageant of the Masters (POM). The creative brilliance of Construction Foreman Dave Talbot, Headpiece Maker Rome Fiore and Scenic Artist Sharon Lamberg is artistry at its finest.

Angel Shoes, an iconic high heel with a sculpted figure, feather, and wings by designer Alexander McQueen, is just one example of the dazzling delights that await audiences when Á La Mode: The Art of Fashion takes the stage on July 6.

During the 15 years Talbot has been with POM, he has no doubt constructed hundreds of items. “But this is my first time building a shoe,” Talbot said – a shoe the size of a Volkswagen to be exact.

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A sculpture in progress – fashioned after “Angel Shoes” by Alexander McQueen from his groundbreaking 2010 Fall Collection

From the grandeur of royal courts to the contemporary glamor of today’s catwalks, À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will unravel the narrative of attire through the ages, revealing its inherent power and significance.

Without giving away any surprises, Marketing/PR Director of the Festival of the Arts/POM Sharbie Higuchi, said, “The Pageant is always finding new innovative elements to incorporate into the show. In past years we have included some live entertainment aspects, and we expect to do something in this year’s Pageant as well.”

This year with Á La Mode: The Art of Fashion, POM Director/Producer Diane Challis Davy and her teams have created what may be the most imaginative event to date.

Visitors to the Pageant this summer will be privy to this stunning visual history, represented by 39 re-creations; but let’s rewind that narrative and see how it all began.

Pageant countdown

Beginning in January, Talbot implements the designs created by Technical Director Richard (Butch) Hill, building each set with masterful carpentry skills, and overseeing the execution of sets for the Pageant of the Masters. “Butch decides what we build first based on the pieces that will take the most time,” Talbot said.

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Dave Talbot with the magazine cover featuring his grandfather’s designs. His grandmother and grandfather are in the photo insert in the upper right corner.

Talbot has a strong connection to this year’s fashion theme. His grandfather, Don Miguel Dominguez, was a clothing designer in Los Angeles in the 1950s and dressed stars such as Carol Channing.

“My grandfather saw that fashion events gave models confidence and power and witnessed the attention they demanded – and he started designing,” said Talbot. “I’m also making dresses now, but out of metal. I think he would be proud.”

What, in its final state, appears to be magic – truly is – and it’s the result of the collaboration of a talented team including artisans – Talbot, Fiore and Lamberg. Talbot said, “It’s an amazing group of artists, directors and designers. We work things out as a team – one person will have an idea, and everyone has a different way of solving problems. We’re all working toward a common purpose.”

And from the final designs, those different approaches appear to be an asset to the production.

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“Portrait of Marie Antoinette” set – Lamberg holding a photo of the painting

“It’s really rewarding when you complete a challenging set. King George IV and Queen Victoria required immense effort from everyone. We pulled out every trick for Queen Victoria, and the results are magical.” Talbot said.

Lamberg, who paints the sets, has been with the Pageant for 37 seasons and explained why shadows can be challenging to her work. “Sometimes the simplest scenes are the most difficult, it’s hard to hide the shadows. The painting process must be constantly refined and readjusted to provide folds and shadows and accommodate the lighting.”

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The costumes are shaped with pencil rod and then covered in muslin/padding like a lampshade – a method perfected by Talbot. The folds and shadows are painted by Lamberg.

The garments are made with muslin and sewn by the costume department then sent to the paint department.

“The skirts that I make that are mounted to the set are made out of metal pencil rod sculpted and welded into its place on the set,” Talbot said. “They are designed to accurately resemble the original artwork as well as be a custom fit to our cast members. Most of the skirt frames are designed to be removable for easy loading of the cast members into the set.

“Once I have welded the skirt frame, they are sent to Sharon, who wraps them in fabric and padding, then they’re off to the paint department.”

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Experience the magic of Laguna Beach’s Sawdust Art Festival, June 28 through September 1

The enchanting Sawdust Art Festival returns for its 58th season, June 28th through September 1. Nestled in the heart of Laguna Beach, Sawdust Art Festival transforms into a unique artist village where visitors can shop for handcrafted treasures along sawdust-covered paths, enjoy lively musical performances on three entertainment stages and indulge in complimentary art classes or mesmerizing glass-blowing demonstrations. Sawdust Art Festival celebrates the arts in all forms, a diverse array of artistic mediums created by more than 180 local Laguna Beach artists, makers and musicians.

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

2023 Sawdust Festival

“I am honored to be among the many artists who have contributed to this multi-generational art festival, sharing our work with the community amidst this ancient eucalyptus forest,” said Andrew Soliz, president of the Sawdust Art Festival board of directors. “On behalf of the artists and entertainers who came before us, and all of us present today, I extend a hand of friendship to everyone attending the 58th Annual Sawdust Festival,” Soliz added.

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Visitors enjoy the art (2023)

In addition to immersive artistic experiences, the Sawdust Art Festival offers a feast for the senses with the legendary Sawdust Saloon and four outdoor dining venues. This year marks the highly anticipated return of Chef Rebollar’s Taco Loco, a Pacific Coast Highway staple for 37 years before closing in 2023. Attendees can also enjoy a variety of specialty coffees, craft beer and Jackson Family Wines.

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Just one example of the treasures to be found at the Sawdust

Sawdust Art Festival offers a vibrant blend of experiences for all ages. Live music all day, every day, featuring local musicians, known as the heart and soul of Laguna Beach. Tickets start at $5 for children and $12 for adults and can be purchased by clicking here.

One legendary grove of eucalyptus trees. Sixty-six days of pure creativity. And endless opportunities for making favorite memories. This is where art meets magic. This iconic gathering brings together art lovers of all types for a summer celebration of art, music, food and community. Come for the magic, stay for the memories. See you at Sawdust.

The Sawdust will run from Friday, June 28 – Sunday, Sept. 1, 2024. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday – Saturday. The Sawdust is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. For more information, visit https://sawdustartfestival.org.

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Festival of Arts announces 2024 Summer Concert Series

From July 3 through August 30, join Festival of Arts (FOA) for live music on the Festival’s Concert Stage. This year’s concert line-up features Grammy winner Poncho Sanchez; jazz all-stars Grace Kelly and Gregg Karukas; Eric Clapton-approved tribute band, The Cream of Clapton, funk legend Greg Adams and more. Concerts are free with Festival admission.

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Photos courtesy of FOA

Greg Adams and East Bay Soul perform July 6

The daily schedule for Festival of Arts Summer Concert Series is now available online by clicking here.

All concerts are free with Festival admission.

For select concerts, limited “nightclub” seating is available in the reserved section for an additional fee. To reserve seats, click here.

Wed., July 3, 5:30-7 p.m., Street Corner Renaissance, Acapella

Fri., July 5, 5:30-7 p.m., Terry Wollman, R&B/Jazz

Sat., July 6, 1-2:30 p.m., Greg Adams and East Bay Soul, Jazz Concerts on the Green, $60

Sat., July 6, 5:30-7 p.m., Missiles of October, Blues, $45

Sun., July 7, 1-2:30 p.m., The Afro Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, $20

Sun., July 7, 5:30-7 p.m., Melanie Taylor, R&B/Jazz, Wow… That Girl Can Sing! $45

Mon., July 8, 5:30-7 p.m., Shawn Jones, Rock/Blues, Americana, $30

Tues., July 9, 5:30-7 p.m., The 133 Band, Rock, $30

Wed., July 10, 5:30-7 p.m., Kay-Ta Crypto String Society, Jazz, $30

Thurs., July 11, 5:30-7 p.m., Téka, Brazilian Jazz, $50

Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate, sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery

Fri., July 12, 5:30-7 p.m., The Cream of Clapton Band, Rock/Blues, Tremendous Tributes, $45

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Grace Kelly performs July 13

Sat., July 13, 1-2:30 p.m., Grace Kelly, Jazz, Concerts on the Green, $60

Sat., July 13, 5:30-7 p.m., Josh Nelson, Jazz, $45

Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano, Sponsored by City of Hope

Sun., July 14, 12-3 p.m., Family Art Day, Special Event

Sun., July 14, 5:30-7 p.m., Paris Chansons, French, Wow… That Girl Can Sing! $45

Mon., July 15, 5:30-7 p.m., Miskey Mountain Boys, Bluegrass, Americana, $30

Tues., July 16, 5:30-7 p.m., Slim Man, R&B/Jazz, $30

Wed., July 17, 5:30-7 p.m., Laguna Community Jazz Band, Jazz, $30

Thurs., July 18, 5:30-7 p.m., The New Jet Set, Jazz – Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate

Sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery, $50

Fri., July 19, 5:30-7 p.m., The Eagles Allstars, Country Rock, Tremendous Tributes, $45

Sat., July 20,1-2:30 p.m., BP.M. (Brian Bromberg, Paul Brown, Michael Paulo), Jazz Concerts on the Green, $60

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John Proulx Trio performs on July 20

Sat., July 20, 5:30-7 p.m., John Proulx Trio, Jazz, Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano

Sponsored by City of Hope, $45

Sun., July 21, 1-2:30 p.m., Laguna Community Concert Band, Jazz

Sun., July 21, 5:30-7 p.m., Raffia Thomas, R&B/Soul, Wow… That Girl Can Sing! $45

Mon., July 22, 5:30-7 p.m., Buzz Campbell and the Heartaches, Rockabilly Americana, $30

Tues., July 23, 5:30-7 p.m., Quarteto Nuevo, Jazz, $30

Wed., July 24, 5:30-7 p.m., Beth and Steve Wood, Folk/Rock, $30

Thurs., July 25, 5:30-7 p.m., Spencer Day, Jazz – Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate

Sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery, $50

Fri., July 26, 5:30-7 p.m., Tony Guerrero – A Tribute to Chuck Mangione, Jazz Tremendous Tributes, $45

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Poncho Sanchez – July 27

Sat., July 27, 1-2:30 p.m., Poncho Sanchez, Latin Jazz, Concerts on the Green, $60

Sat., July 27, 5:30-7 p.m., Scott Wilkie Trio, Jazz, Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano

Sponsored by City of Hope, $45

Sun., July 28,12-3 p.m., Miskey Mountain Boys, Bluegrass

Sun., July 28, 5:30-7 p.m., Lia Booth, Jazz Wow… That Girl Can Sing! $45

Mon., July 29, 5:30-7 p.m., Eugene Edwards Band, Country/Rock, Americana, $30

Tues., July 30, 5:30-7 p.m., “Listen to the Seventies” – Folk/Rock, $30

Wed., July 31, 5:30-7 p.m., Opera Laguna, Opera, $30

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17th Annual Fête de la Musique returns to Laguna with a spectacular line-up of music and festivities on June 15

Get ready to immerse yourself in the joyous sounds of the 17th Annual Fête de la Musique, presented by Laguna Beach Sister Cities. Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 15 from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., as the picturesque streets of Laguna Beach come alive with a celebration of music and unity. This international event, observed in more than 1,000 cities worldwide, promises to be an unforgettable experience for music enthusiasts of all ages.

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Photos courtesy of LBSC

A band playing at a previous Fête de la Musique

The Fête de la Musique will once again take center stage on the Main Beach Cobblestones. The festivities will kick off at 11 a.m. when the Main Beach Cobblestones come alive with the 16-piece Laguna Beach Community JaZz Band, which will set the tone for an incredible day of music, dancing and celebration. At 1 p.m., all attention will switch to the large, elevated stage for the Opening Ceremony, which will begin with words from Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem Alex Rounaghi and Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley. They will introduce the performance of the U.S. National Anthem followed by the singing of the French National Anthem, both by the French-Canadian singing duo Perfect Blend.

Following the Opening Ceremony, the stage will host an array of remarkable performances throughout the afternoon, starting with the four-piece band Perfect Blend performing their amazing harmonies. Following Perfect Blend will be Laguna Beach belly dancers JJ and the Habibis. Finally, the Ken Garcia Band will perform until 5:30 p.m. or later. By this time, lots of people will be dancing on the Cobblestones.

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More great entertainment Downtown at Fête de la Musique

Simultaneously, from 1:30-4 p.m., the Downtown area will be transformed into a musical paradise, with performers delighting audiences across 32 different locations. Forest Avenue will have 14 performance venues, while Pacific Coast Highway and Ocean Avenue will have 10 and eight venues, respectively. Prepare to be enchanted by the incredible talents of these artists as they bring their diverse styles and creative expressions to the streets of Laguna Beach. If you want to see all of them, you will only have about five minutes at each venue!

Be sure to walk all the way up to the end of Forest Avenue to the Water District Garden on 3rd Street, where the energetic Argentinian Folk Music band Los de Alla will be attracting a crowd.

Adding to the charm of the festival, the iconic Retro Roll Citroen van will be on the Main Beach Cobblestones, offering a nostalgic touch and a unique photo opportunity. Laguna Beach Sister Cities volunteers will be inside the van to answer questions throughout the day.

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Win a two-night stay at The Ranch in Laguna Beach

In addition to the musical festivities, Laguna Beach Sister Cities is offering an exclusive opportunity to win a two-night stay in a Cottage Two-Bedroom Suite at The Ranch in Laguna Beach, including room, tax and resort fee. With only 60 tickets available, priced at $60 each, your chances of winning are high. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Pre-Fete VIP party on Friday, June 14. Proceeds will aid in the production of the annual Fête de la Musique. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

As the Fête de la Musique is a celebration that unites people through the power of music, this year’s event promises to be an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the joyous melodies and rhythms that will fill the air, creating a sense of unity and harmony among attendees.

Make sure to save the date for the Fête de la Musique on Saturday, June 15. Let the melodies transport you and let the power of music bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.

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Laguna Live! presents Live! at the Museum on July 7

Tuesdays, 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

Taso Comanescu and Anastasia Malliaras – July 7

Sunday, July 7, 1 p.m.

Live! at the Museum

Laguna Live! welcomes Taso Comanescu and Anastasia Malliaras guitar and soprano to Laguna Art Museum.

American guitarist Taso Comanescu is a colorful performer full of subtle nuance and strong musicianship. His programs present a variety of repertoire that creatively captures his audiences. He is an in-demand solo performer, ensemble artist and instructor whose accomplishments have taken him around the globe.

Soprano Anastasia Malliaras is gracefully exploring new depths of her artistry and voice. With a beautiful blend of warm and bright colors, her timbre is distinguishable, and vocal tone elegant and natural. Her voice has led her to play the classic operatic roles of Nannetta, Olympia, Zerbinetta, Marie and Frasquita, to name a few. In 2017, she was seen in the world premiere of the opera Tesla where she portrayed the role of Marie Astor Hampton.

Advance reservations are recommended. Come early to enjoy the art.

For tickets, click here.

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LBCAC adds Summer Concert Series featuring Eric Henderson and Malaga

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Eric Henderson – June 16 and 30

Sunday, June 16 and 30, July 14 and 28, August 11 and 25

Summer Concert Series, every other Sunday

Step into the world of musical enchantment with a LBCAC Summer Concert Series, featuring the internationally acclaimed Concert Guitarist Eric Henderson and his extraordinary quartet, Malaga.

Witness the magic as Curtis Mathewson and Richard Bredice mesmerize on electric guitar, Henderson serenades on Spanish guitar, Jimmy Perez sets the rhythm on bass and Frank Cotinola brings beats to life on drums.

Experience the soulful resonance of the guitar in the intimate setting of OC’s premier listening room, where every note is a symphony of emotions. Join this unforgettable evening filled with Spanish classical guitar masterpieces by Henderson and a captivating blend of new tunes and timeless classics like “Little Wing” and “Paint It Black.” Embrace the harmonious fusion of talent and passion at LBCAC’s Summer Concert Series.

For tickets, click here.

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Summer of Soul – June 19

Wednesday, June 19, 5 p.m.

Summer of Soul

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary-part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion.

Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one 100 miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten – until recently.

Summer of Soul shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach and more.

To RSVP, click here.

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Ted Hawkins: “Amazing Grace” documentary – June 20

Thursday, June 20, 6-8:30 p.m.

Screening of Ted Hawkins: Amazing Grace

Join LBCAC at The Rivian Theater for an unforgettable Juneteenth Celebration screening of Ted Hawkins: Amazing Grace in partnership with the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center.

This rare 1994 documentary is a cherished gem that not only entertains but also uplifts the soul. It beautifully captures the remarkable odyssey of a man who stayed authentic to his music and himself until the very end. While waiting for the day, his narrative graces the silver screen; this film continues to ignite inspiration in all who experience it, underscoring the enduring values of resilience, dedication and an unwavering devotion to the art of music-making.

Following the screening, prepare to be mesmerized by the captivating storytelling performance by Dorothy Randall Gray. Join LBCAC in commemorating Juneteenth with this heartwarming celebration of music, storytelling and compassionate discussion.

Featured Speakers:

Rick Conkey – Artivist & Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center Founder/CEO

Dorothy Randall Gray – Poet Provocateur and Bestselling Author

Pastor Rodrick Echols – Neighborhood Congregational Church

Cadillac Zack – Southern California’s premier blues music promoter

Grant funding made possible by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

To RSVP, click here.

Courtesy of www.earlthomasmusic.com

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Earl Thomas and Sister Leola – June 21

The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

Friday, June 21, 8 p.m.

Juneteenth Weekend Celebration Concert

The 2x Grammy-nominated Blues Ambassador Earl Thomas featuring Sister Leola

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) has stepped up to preserve one of America’s most powerful and influential art forms, by providing a memorable OC haven for national touring blues legends.

The LBCAC offers their intimate listening room, stellar acoustics, state-of-the-art sound system and a host town recognized as one of the nation’s leading arts-centric resort destinations.

Hailing from the realm of blues stardom, the illustrious 2x Grammy-nominated Ambassador, Earl Thomas, has graced the music industry for more than three decades with his unparalleled voice and style. With a staggering 21 recordings under his belt, he stands as a beacon of influence and productivity in the blues genre, captivating audiences worldwide. Not only has he garnered acclaim from legends like Etta James, Solomon Burke and Sir Tom Jones through his songwriting prowess, but he has now embarked on a new musical journey back to his gospel roots.

In what he dubs his “third act,” Thomas seamlessly blends his legendary status with a modern-day innovation, solidifying his place among the greats of African American gospel. Thomas continues to reign supreme, a living legend and a pioneer in his own right.

For tickets, click here.

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Cultural Arts presents World Music at Heisler Park on June 14

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.

World Music

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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LAM schedules new events; enjoy art, music and kids activities

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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Photos 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.

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A Magical Night of Alchemy – June 15

Saturday, June 15, 6 p.m.

A Magical Night of Alchemy

Join a magical night of alchemy inspired by Adam Neeley’s masterful jewelry designs in Modern Alchemy: The Fusion of Art & Nature. Get ready to immerse yourself in an evening of transformation – from the ordinary to the extraordinary – delighting all of the senses through food, art, music, and libations. As you explore the exhibition, enjoy edible works of art and sip on creative modern cocktails with seasonal flavors from Heirloom Potager’s Showcase Garden.

Advance tickets are recommended. Limited space. Age 21+ Non-Alcoholic Options. LAM members: $125, Non-members: $145.

For tickets, click here.

Thursday, June 20, 9-10:30 a.m.

New Moms at the Museum

Navigating the waters of new parenthood? Join other new moms at the museum to engage and enjoy the art museum in the quiet hour before the museum opens to the public. You will learn from industry professionals about postnatal recovery and baby care – and return home with practical tips to put into practice.

Note: Bring a yoga mat for your baby to lie on and a comfy blanket for extra warmth.

This program is for pregnant moms to one year post-partum, and they welcome new dads. Small bites and beverage are included.

Advance tickets are ecommended. For tickets, click here.

Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18, Children under 12: Free.

Art Workshop – June 21

Friday, June 21, 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 are included with purchase of a ticket.

Class Dates: June 21, July 19

Please note that the model will be nude.

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

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LPAPA Gallery presents solo exhibition by John Cosby

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John Crosbys-Gallery Solo Exhibition runs through July 1

Photos courtesy of LPAPA

John Cosby, Artist in Residence

John Cosby “Artist in Residence” LPAPA Gallery Solo Exhibition

Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love

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.

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

Call for Nocturne Artwork!

Deadline: Monday, June 17 (before midnight)

The entry deadline is Monday June 17 (by 11:59 p.m.) to submit your artwork for LPAPA’s Annual “From Dusk to Dawn” juried nocturne art show. Both plein air and studio works are eligible. Gallery exhibition dates for the juried Finalists are August 1 through September 2 with juried Semi-Finalists to be exhibited at City Hall.

Five cash awards to be given with the top prize of $500. Plus, all submitting members receive $5 in LPAPA Loyalty Reward credits. Details can be found by clicking here.

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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.

Click here to access LPAPA’s calendar and event schedule.

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

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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.

Photos courtesy of Sawdust

I Spy Your Eye Photography – June 13

Thursday, June 13, 2 p.m.

I Spy Your Eye Photography

Join artist Mary Church in this three-part class covering the key principles of photography. In the first part of the class, Church will talk you through the key elements including perspective, composition, color, design and imagery. Then, under her guidance, you will explore the grounds of the Sawdust Festival to create three different printed images (one 8.5” x 11” and two 4” x 6”) that you will take home. The final element of this class will be a display of your images and discoveries that you made during your time there.

To participate in this class, you will need to have either a digital camera, an iPhone/ iPad, or Android/smart phones (all digital devices welcome). This class is suitable for ages 10 to 110.

Cost: $95.

Intro to Sewing: Messenger Bag – June 21

Friday, June 21, 10 a.m.

Intro to Sewing: Messenger Bag

Learn how to sew a one-of-a-kind messenger bag on a sewing machine in this introduction to textiles with Carmen Gundelach. Working with a selection of sewing supplies (needle, thread, buttons, webbing, scissors and a sewing machine), Gundelach will show you how to cut out the bag pattern, the basics of sewing on a sewing machine (if you’ve never used one!) and using straight stitches to assemble your pieces. You can choose to bring your own materials if you wish, but upholstery fabric and lining is included in the price of this class.

This class is suitable for all age groups, but children aged 7-10 years must be accompanied by an adult.

This class is not suitable for children under 7 years of age.

Cost: $125.

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Artists Fund invites public to visit Art-To-Go exhibit at City Hall

Art-To-go exhibit at City Hall, free to public

On display are 35 originals donated by Festival of Arts exhibitors. The theme is inspired by the Pageant of the Masters A’La Mode: The Art of Fashion program.

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Courtesy of Artists Fund

“Bess” by Brian Haberlin

“It’s exciting to see how each artist interprets Head-To-Toe” said Chris Brazelton, Art-To-Go committee chair. “Some take it literally, and others have inventive interpretations. It’s really a great collection.”

The exhibit runs through June 13 at 505 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

July 2, 2024 (hours TBA)

“Art-To-Go at FOA Preview Reception” to view 100 originals donated by FOA exhibitors and vote for Art-To-Go People’s Choice!

Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Coming Up

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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French chanson/Shanghai jazz at Sunset Serenades on June 14

The Jessica Fichot Quartet will perform on Friday, June 14 at Sunset Serenades at Heisler Park from 6:30 p.m. through sunset.

The Heisler Park Amphitheater is located at Cliff Drive and Jasmine Street, Laguna Beach.

This is a free concert.

The quartet is comprised of Chloe Feoranzo (clarinet, sax), Alexis Soto Jr. (upright bass), Tom Moose (guitar) and Jessica Fichot (vocals, accordion, toy piano).

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Photo by Diego Ruvalcabras

The Jessica Fichot Quartet

Los Angeles-based chanteuse/songwriter Fichot is a lot like her hometown of Paris: French at heart, but with a truly international soul. Drawing from her multi-ethnic French/Chinese/American upbringing, her music takes the listener on a twisting journey out of the French chanson tradition, into the land of 1940s Shanghai jazz, gypsy swing, international folk and into the wilderness of her imagination.

With three acclaimed albums under her belt, Fichot has charmed audiences around the world – performing her lively songs at concert halls, festivals and clubs in China, Mexico, Singapore, Canada and across the U.S. and western Europe. Featuring scorching performances from her bandmates on clarinet/sax, upright bass and guitar, as well as her own beautiful, clear vocals in French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English, Fichot’s music is truly a dazzling trans-world journey.

Fichot is also an active composer, who has written hundreds of children’s songs for various educational programs, as well as music for many independent video games. She is currently working on her fourth album.

Accolades include:

“Brings an art-song sensibility to delightfully catchy tunes.” – LA Times

“Enchantingly original.” – LA Weekly

“A delicious blend of acoustic styles” – San Francisco Chronicle

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

For more information, go to www.jessicasongs.com.

For more detailed information on Sunset Serenades, go here.

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Pageant offering matching campaign for Masters at Giving 

Share the Pageant of the Masters magic and double your impact!

For every $45 Director’s Tier Side Section ticket you purchase for the Pageant of the Masters through their Masters at Giving program, they’ll match your donation. This means your contribution is doubled, spreading twice the joy!

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Courtesy of Festival of Arts Laguna Beach

Share the Pageant of the Masters magic and double your impact

–Enchanting Evening for Local Non-Profit Organizations: Your 100% tax-deductible donation gives military families, veterans, at-risk youth, senior centers, art students, community service organizations and more a chance to experience the magic of the Pageant of the Masters.

–Summer-Long Art Access: Recipients also gain entry to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, enriching their summer with art appreciation.

–Double the Generosity: Your donation goes twice as far, reaching more people in our community.

Join the Pageant to make a bigger impact today. Share the magic of living pictures and art with those who may not otherwise have the opportunity.

To donate now, go here.

The Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. IRS tax ID 95-1964772. Donations are used to support the arts and are tax-deductible.

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Laguna Art Museum gets wild with Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) will present Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature, set to showcase the influential work of Southern California native artist, Fred Tomaselli. The exhibition, exploring the intersections of art, nature and contemporary culture, will be on view from October 6 through February 2, 2025.

Tomaselli, who grew up and formed his early artistic sensibilities in Southern California, attended California State University, Fullerton, where he graduated with a BA in Painting and Drawing in 1982. His work is deeply influenced by the fantasy culture and natural beauty of the coastal environment, themes that are prominently reflected in his artworks.

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Photo by Dan Bradica Studio

Fred Tomaselli, “Irwin’s Garden,” 2023, acrylic, photo collage, leaves and resin on wood panel, 48” x 48”, courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York, ©2024

“Fred Tomaselli’s work offers a vital narrative emphasizing the beauty and turmoil of our times. His uncanny ability to incorporate contemporary issues within his unique and eye-catching artistic approach allows for important conversations and deeper enjoyment of his stunning work,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum.

The exhibition, guest-curated by Laguna Art Museum Curatorial Fellow Rochelle Steiner, will feature approximately 50 of Tomaselli’s new and recent works. The works highlight his unique approach to collage-based resin paintings and his engagement with topics such as global warming, the impact of the pandemic and today’s most pressing social issues.

“Tomaselli’s work is a powerful exploration of the world at large through ideas of individual perception, shared reality and the altered states between,” said Steiner, guest curator for the exhibition. “This exhibition promises to provide an insightful look at today’s most pressing issues by considering collisions of nature and culture, humans and animals, science and art and our need to process the fever pitch noise that surrounds modern life.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Laguna Art Museum will publish a fully illustrated catalog authored by Steiner; it will also feature a conversation between Tomaselli and writer Dan Nadel and include images of all the works in the exhibition. Specially designed by Barbara Glauber/Heavy Meta, the catalog provides insights into Tomaselli’s West Coast inspirations and deeper understanding and appreciation of his recent practice. The publication will be available in late 2024.

The exhibition aligns with the museum’s annual Art + Nature initiative and will include public programs such as a talk by Tomaselli on October 6. Further details about the series of talks, and lectures elaborating on the exhibition themes, as well as the launch of the new publication, will be announced.

Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature is organized by Laguna Art Museum and guest curated by Rochelle Steiner. Generous support for the exhibition provided by Elie Weaver and Hilton Weinberg. Generous support for the publication provided by James Cohan, New York.

For more information about Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature, visit https://lagunaartmuseum.org/.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

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