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Color It Orange show exhibits county’s top high school artists at LCAD gallery

By THERESA KEEGAN

A fresh perspective on art careers was offered to the students who attended the opening of the Color It Orange exhibition at the LCAD Gallery. This annual show, now in its 49th year, features selected work from high schoolers throughout Orange County.

“The kids love being part of an art show,” said teacher Samantha Squieri of her students at Beckman High School in Tustin. “They see this and start to believe ‘I can be an artist.’ It’s really exciting.”

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Photos by Theresa Keegan

Art teacher Samantha Squieri takes time during the opening of “Color It Orange” to talk with students and parents about the comprehensive art program offered at Beckman High School

Certainly, those on display have already proven their artistic mettle – the 84 pieces in the show were chosen from almost 800 that were submitted for consideration. The competition was expanded because this year the show organizers also worked with Scott Fitzpatrick, coordinator of arts for the Orange County Department of Education, which puts on a variety of shows throughout the county each spring, featuring students in all grade levels.

“We have almost every high school joining in now,” said Bryan Hegge, LCAD gallery director. “The idea is to elevate this to show what art at a high school can be. Everybody in here is an accomplished artist.”

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The “Color It Orange” show also includes ceramics and sculpture. This piece entitled ‘Sushi’ is by Frances Nguyen of Pacifica High School.

The gallery is filled with a combination of powerful oils, delicate watercolors, bold graphics and even ceramics and sculptures. There are still life and action pictures, some true to an original scene, others pulled entirely from a student’s imagination.

On opening night, April 4, proud parents snapped photos of their young artists next to their displayed work. Siblings walked around while teachers talked about the benefits of art education in high school and career options. Visitors who just stopped in as part of First Thursdays Art Walk were pleasantly surprised at the quality and diversity of the artwork.

Hegge, along with Jason Umfress, director of admissions at Laguna College of Art + Design, juried the show.

“This is a showcase of the very best,” said Umfress. He explained how the selected pieces were judged on multiple factors, including technical skill, creativity and interpretation. “The level of creativity and storytelling in here is wonderful.”

In fact, Beckman freshman Joanne Lim was literally inspired by books when creating Timekeeper’s Papers. The colorful multi-medium piece was created in response to a school assignment on exploring perspective.

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Joanne Lim stands near her colorful piece “Timekeeper’s Paper” at the bottom of the display

“I just like the industrial building and the books,” she said. The Tustin resident was capturing an omniscient reader’s viewpoint by adding in the timepiece and the stars. “I’ve always liked to draw,” she said. “And it feels really nice to have my art shown.”

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Emma Murdock’s piece “A Peruvian Story” earned the Santa Margarita Catholic student a scholarship to the LCAD July program for high school students

In addition to participating in the month-long show (it closes April 21) five selected students received a scholarship to attend the upcoming special summer session at LCAD for high school students. Upon completion of the class, participants earn college credits. Recipients included: Emma Murdock, Margarita Catholic High; Aidan Phan, La Quinta High School; Ashely Lee, Beckman High School; Grace Lin, Beckman and Iman Gelogaeva, University High School.

LCAD is very committed to the Color It Orange program and its history. In fact, some current students and faculty members recall their own experience participating in Color It Orange, said Umfress.

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Laguna Beach Cultural Center expands offerings, becomes OC’s new stop for world-class blues musicians

By THERESA KEEGAN

Like everything else, cultural venues have changed in our post-pandemic world. Many did not survive the forced closures, while those who remained often find themselves expanding. Luckily for residents, the local cultural and arts center falls into the latter category. From thematic movie series addressing societal issues to new art shows and expanded live shows, the Laguna Beach Cultural Center is delving into many areas.

One of the most exciting is a music series focusing on “The Blues” – the iconic American musical genre that originated in the South in the 1860s, and is known for its lyrics, bass lines and instrumentation.

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Photos courtesy of Cadillac Zack

Zack Slovinsky, who goes by the name Cadillac Zack, has been promoting blues music in Southern California by developing a multi-venue arrangement for touring bands. When he decided to add a location in Orange County, the fifth venue on his multi-city shows, he opted for the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center.

“I’ve been in love with blues since I was 12 years old,” said music promoter Zack Slovinsky, who has been affiliated with the genre for the past 32 years. Now based in Southern California, he brings in musicians from near and far – Los Angles, Chicago, Nashville, etc. and arranges four or five shows for them throughout the region, from Camarillo to Temecula.

“I know I can sell out the shows and the quality is so high the shows exceed the hype,” he said.

It all started when his own band would play a popular weekly gig in Tarzana, north of Hollywood about 20 years ago. They performed in what was one of numerous blues clubs at the time.

But in the midst of the 2007 financial crisis, many venues closed. Slovinsky, who prefers being called “Cadillac Zack” started bringing guest musicians to his weekly shows.

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Grammy-winning guitarist Andrew Synowiec and his band is one of almost a dozen shows at the cultural center that are being arranged with the help of Slovinsky

“I started adding famous blues artists, who would sit in with the band,” he said. “It turned into more of a show, rather than an informal jam.” He noticed people were driving sometimes 100 miles to see a show on a Monday night.

“I thought to myself, I have to take this on the road.” In 2012, he added a venue in Long Beach for Sunday shows, often getting more than 150 people. In 2014, Pasadena was added.

“We were doing three shows, so when a band came out I could afford it – they had a circuit,” said Cadillac Zack. He even added a fourth show. And then, of course, 2020 changed everything. Concerts were put on hold, but now that things have opened up the demand is great for shows.

“I decided to add a fifth show about four months ago,” he said. “I get a lot of requests from people in Orange County who don’t want to drive up to Long Beach on a Sunday.”

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center’s premiere sound system and small venue setting was an immediate draw, plus, there weren’t restaurant and bar sounds to compete with, which is the case with most of the other venues he books. The first two shows have sold out and there are nine other shows slated in the blues series. As Rick Conkey, executive director of the cultural center likes to say, “The sky and the ocean aren’t the only way to see inspiring blues in Laguna in 2024.”

The SoCal music promoter agrees, noting no other venue where they play has a tuned grand piano on stage.

“In Laguna, it’s a real listening experience…it’s like this amazing, pristine set up,” said Zack Cadillac. “It’s just pure blues and it allows the audience to be completely non-distracted.”

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Promoter Cadillac Zack is seen with electric blues guitarist Roy Gaines

When Grammy winner Andrew Synowiec takes to the stage Saturday night, April 13, he’s thrilled to be playing in Laguna.

“Any chance I get to play music to a listening audience it’s a dream come true,” said Synowiec. While he’s a musician on many award-winning movie soundtracks, he gets the greatest joy when playing for a live audience.

“I think connecting with people is kind of the gold standard,” he said. “Certainly, live is more visceral – there’s an immediate feeling.”

The guitarist will be accompanied by keyboard, bass and drums, and the show will feature songs from his most recent album, Fun, as well as a just-released extended LP, Games.

“I write and compose everything,” Synowiec said. “And I also highly improvise. The musicians I perform with can really impact the direction of the sound. I come up with the framework, and from there it’s up to the individual musicians to decide where we go.” Although he lives in Los Angeles, this will be his first time performing in Laguna.

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Guitarist Andrew Synowiec will play music from his latest album when he performs at the cultural center on Saturday, April 13

Zack Cadillac believes the musicians he promotes are a natural match for the cultural center.

“The clientele who comes there are great,” he said. “They’re not there to get drunk and wild. They’re there to appreciate the music, 100 percent.”

For more information about upcoming blues shows and the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center, click here.

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is located at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

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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


Artist of the Year nominees are announced for Art Star recognition – include local sculptor, painter and musicians

By THERESA KEEGAN

Being an artist in an art town seems like it should be an easy assignment. Yet the reality is any artist always has to work hard to keep the passion afloat – to conceptualize, comment, create. To keep making something from nothing and engaging other people with the completed product. Successful artists challenge us to see the new perspectives they offer, and, in the process, we gain new insight.

In Laguna Beach, once a year a dedicated group takes time to honor distinguished artists at the annual Art Star Awards. This celebratory event is the brainchild of the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance and will be held at the Festival of Arts on April 26.

During the night, nominees from four various categories will be announced, and one of each group will be named the 2024 Art Star winner. A Lifetime Achievement Award is also awarded.

This year’s nominees for Artist of the Year are: Casey Parlette, Elizabeth McGhee and the 133 Band. Each very talented in their own area – sculpture, painting and music – they all share a love of Laguna.

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Courtesy of Casey Parlette

Laguna Beach sculptor Casey Parlette often brings animals into his pieces, including an octopus sculpture that is found by a bench he created in Heisler Park

Casey Parlette

If you’ve seen sculpted sea creatures while walking through Laguna, you’ve likely seen Casey Parlette’s artwork. From an octopus by the bench at Heisler Park to the pelicans soaring alongside a building on Pacific Coast Highway or sharks “swimming” in front of City Hall, his work connects the street and the sea.

“I’ve always been drawn to the natural world,” said Parlette. “Growing up I’d be out hiking and also checking the tidepools. A lot of my stuff (art) is lesser-known creatures – I like to give them time in the sun. My work is kind of a celebration of nature.”

Parlette uses a variety of mediums when creating his pieces, including wood, metal and stone. He was always drawn to creating things and even learned blacksmithing by helping an artist in the canyon. For more than two decades he was a full-time lifeguard, and his art was done after work or on days off, but when his child was born, family time became a priority. In 2018, he took the plunge and became a full-time artist.

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Courtesy of Casey Parlette

Casey Parlette’s 3-D wall sculpture, “Dawn Patrol,” includes pelicans in flight and the wave, which also pulls away from the building, is made of titanium, which glistens in many ways, depending on how the sun is reflecting upon the piece

“So far, so good,” he said. Parlette, who has shown at the Festival of Arts since 2008, is quick to credit the support he’s received from other artists, the Laguna community and city programs for his success.

“The support makes my career path – which is a difficult career path to get started – within the realm of possibility…. It wouldn’t be possible to do art for a living without the support of the city and the community and all the opportunities that have been presented.”

He’s honored to receive The Artist of the Year nomination.

“It’s really cool to be recognized in this venue,” he said. “An artist makes the art, but the community around it is also important – it’s a team effort.”

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Photo by Michael Tauber

Laguna Beach artist Elizabeth McGhee is known for a series of her realistic, and often fun, paintings of childhood items

Elizabeth McGhee

If there’s an art endeavor happening in Laguna Beach, chances are Elizabeth McGhee is somehow involved. Although she shows at the Festival of Arts, she is also known for teaching classes, participating in fashion shows, being a docent or helping someone at Laguna Art Supply, where she works.

“I volunteer a lot,” she said, at the same time quickly crediting the mentors who have helped her develop her art career after graduating from Laguna College of Art + Design.

“The idea of the lone artist who does everything themselves is just a myth – everybody has help,” she said. “I was so lucky when I got here (to Laguna) I was mentored by Michele Taylor and Anne England and a bunch of other artists in the community. The support system is all around. I’ve never met a good artist who isn’t generous.”

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How to get there

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

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Artists pay homage to Earth Month in Climate exhibition at LBCAC

By MARRIE STONE

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.

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Courtesy of LBCAC

“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.

Climate concerns have quickly escalated into a climate crisis. Last year, scientists reported the highest temperatures ever on our planet. It wasn’t an anomaly. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred in the past decade. Unsurprisingly, as of 2022, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is also the highest it’s been in human history.

While our global situation is dire, it’s not without hope. More individuals, businesses, organizations and governments are responding to this crisis than ever before. People are using their platforms to put out the call: Pay attention before it’s too late. As awareness rises, so do technological solutions to our outsized problems.

Three California-based artists are using their visual megaphones this month at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) to draw attention to our warming planet. Multidisciplinary visual artist/musician Roberto Salas and photographers Jacques Garnier and Tom Lamb have more than 30 works on display this spring, each addressing different aspects of our climate crisis. Covering the sea, land and sky, these three artists pay homage to our collective home and implicitly ask each of us what we’re willing to sacrifice to save it.

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Photo by Marrie Stone

(L-R) Aerial photographer Tom Lamb and LBCAC Director Rick Conkey

Roberto Salas plunges us beneath the sea

An astounding 750 billion tons of glacial ice melt every year due to global warming. That’s 24,000 tons of water added to the world’s oceans every second. Think 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools per second. And it never stops.

Roberto Salas painted his Iceberg series as an old oil master might paint portraits of dead presidents – once commanding and magnificent, now crumbling under the weight of history.

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Courtesy of Roberto Salas

Multidisciplinary artist Roberto Salas’ “Iceberg” series. The diptych shows how subtle shifts in light and weather affect color, or less subtle shifts like climate change and ice melts.

“Icebergs are earth’s grandfathers,” Salas said, noting how they’re slowly dying away. “Eventually, we’re going to have a very different landscape. I’m trying to make people aware of that. I don’t want to scare them. But it’s happening. I want them to realize the situation and start thinking about solutions. The average person thinks, ‘The problem is too big. What can I do?’ When, in fact, it’s amazing what one person can do.”

Salas has spent much of his life focused on environmental concerns. He’s traveled to Patagonia and Alaska, working with the indigenous population and observing the icebergs up close. “I talked with native elders who said, ‘These icebergs are like us. They’re disappearing. They’ve eradicated so many of us through genocide. Now we’re doing the same thing to the land.’ It’s a genocide against appropriated land for resources and money.”

At the same time, Salas hoped to capture the majesty and magnitude of these massive natural giants. “They remind me so much of architecture. Man-made architecture. But they’re totally organic. The structure, the weight, how they fall – because architecture does fall,” Salas said, obliquely referencing the World Trade Center. “Witnessing them calving is incredible – what it does to the water. I looked at how fragmented ice stabilizes itself. After dislodging, it seeks out buoyancy and balance to right itself. And the colors are always changing. That was the biggest challenge to paint.”

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Courtesy of Roberto Salas

Roberto Salas in Alaska studying his subject matter

Jacques Garnier bridges the gap between hope and despair

Forests occupy almost one-third of California’s diverse landscape. Those forests suffered during the 2012-2016 drought. An estimated 170 million trees died between 2010 and 2021 in our state. Higher temperatures, combined with scarce water, made them vulnerable to insects and disease. Renowned local photographer Jacques Garnier has been memorializing these withering giants for nearly a decade. His Revival series (2015-2018) serves as both a call to action and a cause for hope. Focusing primarily on deciduous trees and their symbiotic relationship to their environment, Garnier sees a metaphor for how humans might also learn to adapt to our ever-changing environment.

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Winners announced for the 2024 Art That’s Small awards

The Cultural Arts Department of Laguna Beach has announced the winners for the Art That’s Small awards for 2024.

Youth Art Advisory AwardPirate Tower by Susana Cruciana

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Courtesy of Susana Cruciana Instagram

“Pirate Tower” by Susana Cruciana

City Hall Choice AwardBoca Prins by David Kizziar

Honorable Mentions

~Stevens Square by Andrew Cortez

~Tide Pools at Golden Hour by Jonathan McHugh

~Dimentia #1 by Melody Nuñez

1st placeBlue Laguna by Sarah Ciavarella

2nd placeLittle One by Mika Denny

3rd placeMain Beach Morning by Brian Jones

Art That’s Small at City Hall will be on display until April 18.

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Laguna Live! presents Raffia Thomas on April 24

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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Courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

The Line-Up – Jazz Winter 2024

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

Wednesday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.

Raffia Thomas

Renowned Soul, Jazz and R&B vocalist, Raffia Thomas brings stunning vocals and soulful vibes along with her quintet.

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Courtesy of Laguna Live

Raffia Thomas – April 24

Stage on Forest Felisha Dunne

Friday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Brian Roark

Saturday, April 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Jodi Siegel

Sunday, April 7, 5-7 p.m.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

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Courtesy of triadatrio.com

Triada Guitar Trio – May 5

Sunday, May 5, 1 p.m.

Triada Guitar Trio

Triada combines the unique talents of Nikola, Petar and Vasil Chekardzhikov, forming one of the most brilliant guitar ensembles that are now performing. The three brothers are individually virtuoso guitarists, and their intuitive sense of ensemble gives a synergy that makes their concerts very special and exciting events. Performances by Triada feature innovative repertoire, including traditional classics, modern favorites, and vibrant, colorful ethnic music to engage and delight any audience. Programs usually include powerful works that composers have written specifically for this superlative ensemble.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

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LBCAC honors Earth Month

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.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of LBCAC

Andrew Synowiec (Band) – April 13

Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.

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

Andrew Synowiec (Band)

Nearly 20 years ago, Grammy-winning artist Andrew Synowiec (‘Sin-o-wik) drove 2,700 miles west to Los Angeles with nothing but a few demo CDs, a couple guitars and one phone number for a possible lead on studio work. Today, with his collection of nearly 100 stringed instruments, Synowiec has become Hollywood’s go-to guitarist, contributing to countless Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning projects. As a solo artist, his first full-length release Second Story received wide-ranging airplay and praise from notable fans such as Steve Vai and Jay Graydon. His new album FUN was recorded by long-time Rick Rubin collaborator Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Tedeschi Trucks, Tom Petty, Wilco, Joe Satriani) and features Gary Novak (Chick Corea/Alanis Morissette), Jorgen Carlsson (Government Mule), Carey Frank (Tedeschi Trucks) and Pete Korpela (Josh Groban). The album debuts on September 8th and will be followed by a West Coast tour in November.

–Make Earth Cool Again Film Festival 2024

Free Admission | Donations Accepted

RSVP as there is limited seating.

April 14 – Common Ground

April 17 – Living The Change

April 21 – Eating Our Way to Extinction

April 24 – Laguna Blue Belt presents the mission of the Make Earth COOL Again Film Festival which is to bring together filmmakers and communities to witness powerful stories of climate action, and to inspire further action, locally and beyond.

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The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024, come to the blues concert on April 19

Friday, April 19, 8 p.m.

Eric Sardinas

Slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Sardinas has a reputation for packing intensity into his live performances. He comes from the loud and proud school of blues boogie: Johnny Winter, Albert Collins and Elmore James, by way of rock & roll. His playing is aggressive, his lead work is done exclusively with a slide on a custom-built electric metal resonator dobro guitar.

For tickets, click here.

Eric Henderson – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m.

Eric Henderson

He’s back for an immersive and extraordinary Contemporary Classical concert experience, supporting the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center.

Eric Henderson, Laguna’s own world-renowned Concert Guitarist (who trained privately with Andrés Segovia), will be performing his own original compositions, along with instrumental covers of Classic Rock gems.

“I feel the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is the perfect venue for a small audience to actually feel how the guitar resonates,” Henderson said. “I’m putting the finishing touches on a new album and am excited about this opportunity to share some of my new music.”

For tickets, click here.

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Dorothy Randall Gray – April 21

Sunday, April 21, 1-3 p.m.

Reading & Open Mic 3-4 p.m.

The Earth Speaks

An Interactive Writing Workshop Celebrating the Earth’s Lost Language, facilitated by Bestselling Poet & Author Dorothy Randall Gray.

The Earth has begun to express itself with an increasingly dramatic vocabulary of droughts, floods, tornados, hurricanes, record breaking heat waves and more. Are we listening? How have you been impacted by its voice? How can we create words that connect and reflect its Mother tongue? In this multi-genre workshop, they will explore the world around and inside us as you are inspired by Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Greta Thunberg, Dame Judi Dench, Mary Oliver and Wangari Maathai.

Tickets: $20.

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

Check out the calendar at www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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LOCA announces LOCA Arts Education online fundraiser

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.

Courtesy of LOCA

Sneak Preview online now

“For the Love of Art” Auction Sneak Preview and Donate Now. Bidding opens April 15.

LOCA Arts Education invites everyone to engage in their exciting online fundraiser. Help them to exceed their goal of $15,000 to support their workshops and lectures serving the entire community, from teens at the Youth Shelter, to families at the library, to online classes for everyone. They employ local artists, and every dollar makes a difference.

The auction Sneak Preview is open now – click here. Register now for free, donate cash at the green donate button and start a “Watch List” by clicking the heart icon on your favorite items. Actual bidding opens April 15, so mark your calendars now.

Auction items vary from a two-night stay in a rustic canyon view room at The Ranch Resort, a signed Mike Trout Angels Jersey and an immersive Pageant of the Masters experience – including tickets, a backstage tour and gift shop item. Unique items include private art parties and original art by favorite local artists. There’s something for everyone.

See something and can’t wait? Email loca@locaarts.org and buy-it-now at the listed value.

LOCA sends a big thank you to all who support them and value their services throughout our city and community.

Wednesday, April 10, 1-4 p.m.

Travel Journaling for Everyone with Dawn Buckingham

Professional artist Dawn Buckingham will guide you through creating a travel journal or visual diary of a past or recent adventure. During a recent trip to Italy, Buckingham kept a travel journal documenting the places visited, things she experienced and the memories that she wanted to save. The book is somewhat like Urban Sketching meets scrapbooking meets journaling. This class is appropriate for all levels.

You will begin by organizing a trip or experience using photos, flat memorabilia such as ticket stubs, maps and photos that you bring to class. Dawn will share collage and simple sketching techniques using permanent ink and watercolor pigment. You do not need to be an artist. All of the supplies, including a mix media journal will be provided.

What participants will need to provide:

Memories – This can be flyers, ticket stubs, printed photos, or anything that you might want to include in the journal. Also, have photos on your phone or tablet that you can use for reference to create small drawings. These do not need to be well composed. You might decide to draw only the lamppost from a photo. Glossy magazines from the area or brochures from places that you visited will also be great.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Creativity Quest – March 27

Wednesday, March 27, 1-4 p.m.

Creativity Quest

Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Senior Center

Hedy Buzan will use a book by Peter London in helping students jump start their creative process. Drawing exercises, rather that finished art, will be emphasized. Registration is required. LOCA members, $25/Non-members, $50. 383 Third St., Laguna Beach. Free parking in the garage.

To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

LOCA has added two exciting Paint Together sessions for April and a Family Sketch Whales event at the Rivian South Coast Theater.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Eileen McCullough – April 12

Friday, April 12, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor – Eileen McCullough

Register to join LPAPA Signature Artist Eileen McCullough for this fun and informative in-person LPAPA+LOCA “Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor” Paint Together session. In this Mentor lesson, McCullough will demonstrate her watercolor painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a local scene in Laguna Beach. The objective of the session will be to understand working from life “en plein air” and the importance of values. Come be inspired by McCullough’s unique style in watercolor. Limited to 15 registrants.

This is an in-person on location painting lesson. Registrants will bring their own outdoor painting supplies. Location details and a recommended supply list will be sent after registration, in advance of the event date.

Cost: $60 for LPAPA and LOCA Members or $75 for Non-Members.

To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

This in-person painting lesson is made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of an art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

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Courtesy of LOCA

Wendy Wirth – April 16

Tuesday, April 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Mentor Paint Together – Wendy Wirth

Join LPAPA Signature Artist Member Wendy Wirth online for a two-hour fun and informative LPAPA+LOCA live-streamed Mentor Paint Together. In this online virtual painting lesson Wirth will demonstrate her acrylic painting process, step-by-step, brush stroke by brush stroke, as she paints an Iconic Laguna Scene using a photo reference. Registrants can choose to paint together with Wirth or watch live as she paints, describes her process, and answers your questions. All paid registrants will have unlimited access to the post-event “play, pause and paint” recording.

The photo reference and recommended supply list will be provided after registration, prior to the live-stream and with the post-event recording link. The Zoom link to tune-in live will be provided with the registration confirmation and again prior to the event date. The post-event recording link is typically available within 48 hours after the live stream.

Cost: $50 (Discounted to $30 for LPAPA and LOCA Members.). To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

This live-streamed painting lesson is one of a six-part series made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of the art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

Wednesday, April 17, 1-4 p.m.

Off the Grid with Lesli Bonanni

Discover a fresh new approach to painting. Working with textured paper, water, pigments and tools, you will create outcomes that surprise and delight you. Bring an open mind and get ready for a unique experience.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

This class is held in the art room of the Susi Q Senior Center and made possible by a grant from the FAO Foundation.

Thursdays at 4 p.m. starting on April 18 and running through June 6

Art Classes for Kids at the Laguna Beach Library Laguna Beach at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. “Art Classes for Kids” will be held in the Children’s Wing of the Laguna Beach Library. Classes are free, and no registration is required, but space is limited, so first come, first served, for children 5 and up. Please gather at 3:45 p.m.

Wednesday, April 17, 1-4 p.m.

Off the Grid with Lesli Bonanni

Discover a fresh new approach to painting! Working with textured paper, water, pigments and tools, you will create outcomes that surprise and delight you. Bring an open mind and get ready for a unique experience.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

This class is held in the art room of the Susi Q Senior Center and made possible by a grant from the FAO Foundation.

Thursdays at 4 p.m. starting on April 18 and running through June 6

Art Classes for Kids at the Laguna Beach Library Laguna Beach at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. “Art Classes for Kids” will be held in the Children’s Wing of the Laguna Beach Library. Classes are free, and no registration required but space is limited, first come, first served, for children 5 and up. Please gather at 3:45 p.m.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Family Sketch Whales – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 10-11:30 a.m.

Family Sketch Whales at Rivian South Coast Theater, 162 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach

LOCA Arts Education is presenting a fun art workshop for families as part of Earth Day weekend festivities at Rivian South Coast Theater in Downtown Laguna Beach. The workshop, themed “Gray Whale,” will start with a video introduction by educators from Crystal Cove State Park. The video will teach about gray whale mothers and calves. Viewers will learn how these spectacular creatures survive along our coast and why they are important.

Following the presentation, art teachers from LOCA will lead everyone, step-by-step, in creating beautiful gray whale color sketches to take home.

Cost is free, but registration is required, now through April 18.

To register: email loca@locaarts.org and provide the following: Name, number attending, email, phone and ZIP Code.

By registering, participant agrees to allow LOCA to furnish contact information to Rivian South Coast Theater.

A confirmation will be sent by email from LOCA. Space is limited – no drop-ins at the door.

LOCA Art Talks schedule:

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Courtesy of LOCA

Art Talk – April 25

Art lovers of any background will be mesmerized by this show-and-tell presentation by globally renowned artist Andrew Myers. He will share stories from his experimental student days at Laguna College of Art and Design, to his years as a representational sculptor, when he created figurative bronzes for Saint Catherine of Sienna Church, and The Shopper for City of Laguna Beach. Myers will share insights on his series of life size figure drawings, defaced with scribblings of social commentary, satire, and humor. Lastly, he will discuss his signature “Screw Art” series, which although a pun, describes his collection of wall relief illustrations literally comprised of thousands of screws. Among them are narrative pieces, portraits and geometric sculptures that magically transform from an “X” to and “O” when viewed from different positions. As a special treat for LOCA, Myers will present materials from his studio including his overworked paint brushes that compose certain sculptures, and he will demonstrate his screwing techniques.

While Myers has had his share of road-bumps, such as having a public sculpture in Dallas take a bullet, he’s been embraced by blue-chip clients including Audi, who commissioned him to use automotive screws for a piece presented at a car show in Frankfurt, Germany.

Upon conclusion, everyone will receive a post-event certificate for 15% off food at nearby Lumberyard Restaurant.

Cost: Free to LOCA Members: Advance registration is required, email: loca@locaarts.org. Non-Members $20.

May: Public Art in Downtown Laguna Beach, with Mike Tauber and guest artists. Registration opens soon.

Become a LOCA member and enjoy free admission to all LOCA Art Talks, and many other benefits.

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.

Check out all the Custom Art Escapes LOCA has to offer – there’s something for everyone.

Courtesy of LOCA

Projects have included “Bioluminescence” inspired by recent ocean phenomenon

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.

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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!).

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Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Cyanotype Indigo Printing – April 12

Friday, April 12, 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, we 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.

Pottery Wheel Experience – April 13, 20 and 27

Saturday, April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 1 p.m.

Pottery Wheel Experience

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit at a potter’s wheel and actually throw a pot?

Robert Jones will take you through the process step-by-step, allowing you to gain confidence so that, with his help, you will make your own pottery pieces on the wheel. Each student will make two pieces that he will then fire and glaze in his own studio so that you will end up with a beautifully glazed mug or bowl which you can truly call your own. Please note, the firing and glazing time will take approximately three to four weeks before it is ready to collect. If you wish your items to be mailed, there will be an additional cost to cover postage and packing.

Absolutely no experience is necessary to take this class, however closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing are recommended. All materials are included in the cost.

Cost: $105.

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Spring Camp – April 12

April 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Spring Break Art Camp

Each of the four classes will explore a different technique and medium of art while incorporating the basics and adding in creativity.

Day 4: Friday

Cyanotype Printing

Intro to Mosaic Art – April 13, 27

Saturday, April 13 and 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Intro to Mosaic Art

A two-day workshop over two weekends.

The ancient art of mosaics is one of the most beautiful and oldest in the history of mankind. Working closely with Ron Shearer, you will create a mosaic that you will be proud to display. It will open a whole new world of creativity that you can easily continue on your own. Step-by-step, he will take you through the process of design, materials, cutting techniques and then carefully guide you through the application, initially using glue for positioning. You’ll have a little bit of fun “homework” to do between classes. When you return to the second workshop, you can really home in on the fine details and finishing your artwork. A wonderful, informative and creative workshop and one that they have had many requests for. This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners or those who want to fine-tune their skills. All materials are provided including supplies from WitsEnd Mosaics.

Cost: $350 per student which is fully inclusive of six hours of intensive instruction over two weekends, and all materials including a pair of nippers that you can keep, mosaic glass tiles, design and backing board. Maximum 10 students per class – if you are a larger group, please contact them directly at learnart@sawdustartfestival.org.

Workshop Option #1:

Day 1 of 2: Saturday, April 13, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Day 2 of 2: Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

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Gel Paint Printing and Exploration – April 13

Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m.

Gelli Plate Printing and Exploration

Gelli Plates are a quick, easy and fun way to make the most amazing prints and in this two-hour class you will learn all the tricks of the trade from artist Cherril Doty. Working with different mediums including acrylic paints, magazines, stencils and other forms of mark making tools, Doty will introduce to world of infinite possibilities using this simple but highly effective technique. Working with a gelli plate, you will learn how to “pull” prints from magazines, layer different textures and colors, use stencils on the plate to further enhance your image and generally just let your imagination go. All materials will be provided.

A fun and informative class which will allow you to freely explore and express your creativity. Your final piece will be framed in a mat board.

Cost: $110.

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Cultural Arts recognizes World Art Day on April 15

World Art Day – April 15

World Art Day is an international celebration of the fine arts which was declared by the International Association of Art in order to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide. The date was decided in honor of the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci was chosen as a symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multiculturalism as well as art’s importance to other fields. In 2022, the City Council made a proclamation recognizing April 15 as World Art Day.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

“For the Good of the Hive” completed last month by artist Matt Willey

Originally founded as an artist colony, the City of Laguna Beach is proud to celebrate all who participate in and support the arts. To help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contributions of artists, the Arts Commission and Cultural Arts Department will display gold ribbons with informational cards on public art sculptures in the Downtown area.

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

Stage on Forest – Andrew Corradini

Friday, April 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Beth Wood

Saturday, April 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Ava August

Sunday, April 14, 5-7 p.m.

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 3, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

The Danny Green Trio (Jazz/Pop)

Friday, May 10, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

The Tailspins (Pop/Contemporary)

Friday May 17, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Steve Wade (Louisiana Jazz)

Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

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.

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

2024 Art That’s Small at City Hall

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Art That’s Small at City Hall Winners (L-R): Jonathan McHugh, David Kizziar, Sarah Ciavarella, Mayor Sue Kempf and Mika Denny

The 22nd Annual Art That’s Small at City Hall exhibition is on display now through April 18. View original artworks from 56 Orange County artists in the first-floor hallway gallery of Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public during city business hours.

Congratulations to the following award winners:

Youth Art Advisory Award – Pirate Tower by Susana Cruciana

City Hall Choice Award – Boca Prins by David Kizziar

1st place – Blue Laguna by Sarah Ciavarella

2nd place – Little One by Mika Denny

3rd place – Main Beach Morning by Brian Jones

Honorable Mentions

–Stevens Square by Andrew Cortez

–Tide Pools at Golden Hour by Jonathan McHugh

–Dimentia #1 by Melody Nuñez

Art That’s Small at City Hall is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

2024 Banner Competition Winners

Congratulations to Kate Cleaves, Kimberly Jordan Fleming, John Hanrahan and Suzanne Redfearn for having their banner designs selected for the 2024 Banner Competition. The banners will be hand-painted by each artist and displayed at Main Beach this summer.

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

2024 Banner Winners

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

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Laguna Playhouse presents Tartuffe, a transfer production from North Coast Repertory Theatre

Laguna Playhouse presents a transfer production from North Coast Repertory Theatre of their critically acclaimed production of Tartuffe, written by Molière, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur and directed by Richard Baird. Tartuffe will begin previews on Wednesday, April 17 (with a press opening on Sunday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, May 5 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

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Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

“Tartuffe” runs from April 21 through May 5

For years, Laguna Playhouse has been making audiences laugh with a wide variety of comedies and now they deliver one of the most enduring comedic masterpieces of all time, Tartuffe. This astonishingly clever adaptation bursts with fun as the charlatan Tartuffe worms his way into a wealthy family causing disruption and pandemonium. With wicked precision and brilliantly rhyming verses, this highly satiric comedy skewers religious hypocrisy, duplicity, lust and self-inflicted chaos.

Director Richard Baird noted, “Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was born in 1622 in Paris, the son of the Royal Upholsterer (a respected if unusual title). Instead of following in his father’s line as the next upholsterer to the King, young Poquelin ran off to join the theatre. To save his family from this embarrassment, he took the nom de plume of an infamous libertine, Molière. While he had yearned to be a great tragedian, he found that the audience was disposed to laugh at him. Ever the shrewd producer, Molière adjusted to comedy, finding his voice in writing great satiric comedies that focused on human weaknesses: jealousy, misanthropy, miserliness and in Tartuffe’s case: hypocrisy. The play was originally titled Tartuffe, The Hypocrite.

Baird is an award-winning director, actor and producer. He is the founding artistic director of New Fortune Theatre Company, where he directed the West Coast Premiere of Public Enemy and a revival of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party and co-directed Henry V and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. His directing credits are lengthy and impressive.

Richard Wilbur (Translator) was born in New York City and received his B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. from Harvard. He has taught on the faculties of Harvard, Wellesley, Wesleyan and Smith.

The cast of Tartuffe features (in alphabetical order): Kandis Chappell as Mme. Pernelle, Shanté Deloach as Mariane, Rogelio Douglas III as Damis, Bo Foxworth as Orgon, Katie Karel as Dorine, Melanie Lora as Elmire, Kate Rose Reynolds as Flipote/Police Officer/Laurent, Bruce Turk as Tartuffe, Jared Van Heel as Valere/M. Loyal and Christopher M. Williams as Cleante.

The design team for Tartuffe includes: scenic design by Marty Burnett; costume design by Elisa Benzoni; lighting design by Matt Novotny; sound design by Ian Scot; co-props design by Matt FitzGerald and Tessia Iadicicco, and hair and wig design by Peter Herman. The Production Stage Manager is Vernon Willet.

Tartuffe will preview on Wednesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; (with a press opening on Sunday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, May 5 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

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, April 25 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. There will be no performance on Sunday, May 5 at 5:30 p.m.

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

The box office is open Tuesdays through Sundays: 12-4 p.m.; Mondays 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 https://lagunaplayhouse.com.

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The artful magic of Tony DeLap now on display at The Honarkar Foundation

By MARRIE STONE

Every effective magic trick appears deceptively simple. A woman floats unsupported in space. A spectator’s chosen card mysteriously disappears from the deck. As the famous magician Dai Vernon once said of his trade, “The mind is led on, step by step, to defeat its own logic.”

No surprise Orange County-based artist Tony DeLap and Dai Vernon were close friends. DeLap, an accomplished magician in his own right, brought all those optical illusions and seemingly effortless effects to his art. And it shows.

Now through May 5, Tony DeLap | A Survey of Works: 1960s – 2000s is on display at The Honarkar Foundation. In a space that feels both spacious and private, visitors can commune with more than 50 DeLap works – including sculptures, paintings and drawings – that represent nearly a half century of artistic progression.

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Courtesy of Eric Johnson

Tony DeLap (1927-2019) was a pioneer of the West Coast minimalism movement. A survey of his works from 1960s – 2000s is now on display at The Honarkar Foundation through May 5.

Born in Oakland, Calif. in 1927, DeLap moved to Corona del Mar in 1965 and remained there until his death in 2019. Considered a pioneer of the minimalist movement on the West Coast, DeLap was one of the founding faculty members of UCI’s art department, where he taught from 1965 through 1991.

At first glance, DeLap’s sculptures seem straightforward. They’re geometric and often monochromatic. But there’s nothing minimal about DeLap’s minimalism.

“I don’t want to minimalize anything,” DeLap once said. “I want to complicate it.”

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

More than 50 works, most never before shown, make up this exhibition which includes sculpture, paintings and drawings

“Minimalism is usually a clinical or sterile form of art,” said Peter Blake, owner of the Peter Blake Gallery and longtime dealer of DeLap’s work. “But in Tony’s hands, it became very sensual and beautiful. It transcended minimalism in many ways, especially in the use of light and shadows and illusion.”

As with magic, what’s happening behind the scenes is as important as what appears on the surface. “The first time I went to his studio there was a small blue square on the wall,” Blake said. “There was something aggravating about it. It was the same aggravation most people feel when they first encounter minimalism – or every time they encounter minimalism. This blue square was so simple and so outrageous. I asked Tony to explain it. He took me around to the side. Suddenly I saw this beautiful edge behind the front. It was the first time I’d known an artist who was concerned about the side of the work. Almost like he was taking me behind the scenes and into the inner workings of his studio.

“At that point it connected with me. Suddenly that minimal, reductive work became very seductive and sensual. I just fell in love.”

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Courtesy of The Honarkar Foundation

“Mr. Mesmer” (1988) appears in the foreground showcasing the artful shadows that are a signature in DeLap’s work

Curator Genevieve Williams described DeLap’s work as having “complex simplicity.” Williams worked with DeLap’s private collectors from across Southern California to the Bay Area, New York and Florida to secure the roughly 50 pieces never before shown in a public exhibition. This intimate survey is the first showing of his work since DeLap’s death in 2019. “Rather than going for a full retrospective, we wanted to focus on the beauty of his work,” Williams said.

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

“Eusapia” (1987), “Impossible objects” are optical illusions that represent an object but cannot exist as a solid object

“Tony already had two major retrospectives at Laguna Art Museum and at the Orange County Museum of Art. What could we say that hadn’t been said already?” Blake said. “With this show, the goal was to show the beautiful nature of Tony’s artworks ranging from his 1960s sculptures to his hybrids of painting and sculpture that hang on the walls. We only needed a cohesive thread running through them. That thread is the beauty and sensual nature of his minimalism. This show, unlike a retrospective, distills the beauty of his work without having to be an academic or scholarly endeavor.”

Blake shared Co-Founder Mohammad Honarkar’s vision for the Foundation: to complete, not compete, with local museums. “The first year of the foundation will highlight who, we felt, were the best artists in our region,” Blake said. “When we were searching for that first show, we wanted the best artist that worked in Laguna Beach. That artist was Jorg Dubin. Outside of the early California artists – William Wendt and Edgar Payne – Jorg has been the finest contemporary artist in the history of Laguna Beach, so we started there.”

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Artist and activist G. Ray Kerciu – always willing to fight the good fight – to receive Lifetime Achievement award at Art Star event

By THERESA KEEGAN

Starting his career, artist G. Ray Kerciu specialized in abstract landscape painting. So, it’s hardly a surprise that when the landscape outside his teaching studio at the University of Mississippi erupted into chaos in 1962, Kerciu painted.

But gone were the colorful swirling scenes of his MFA program at Cranbrook. Instead, he painted what he saw, and heard, from his front-row seat watching one of the most vicious integration fights in the country play out.

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Photos by Theresa Keegan

Laguna Beach artist G. Ray Kerciu is the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award by the Laguna Beach Art Association. He, and other selected artists and groups, will be honored at the Art Star Awards on April 26. His home is filled with his artwork, including sculpture, glass, oil and prints on aluminum. The glass on the fireplace was a gift from a student.

His midwestern upbringing in Detroit – even his years in the Korean war – hadn’t prepared Kerciu, then aged 29, for the hate, venom and rioting he witnessed as James Meredith, a black man, integrated the Ole Miss campus. There was an escort by federal marshals. There was an angry mob of more than 2,000 white people with bricks and guns. As the fighting persisted, 5,000 army troops were brought onto campus. Hundreds were wounded in the melees. Two bystanders were killed. More than 200 people were arrested as more than 200 marshals and soldiers were wounded.

And Kerciu, on campus as a visiting instructor in printmaking and painting, captured the chaotic, hateful essence of this historical moment in his art.

“It was so horrific to watch the riots take place,” he recalled. “All of this unfolded in front of me.”

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G. Ray Kerciu and his wife Mihae Park, along with Hopper, (who is named not after the artist, but by the trait of always hopping about) are seen in their Laguna Beach home

He took the words he heard and the sights he saw and captured the mood in paintings featuring graphic language and images. Then he posted them as his end-of-year visiting professor art show.

“It brought down the house,” the artist said of the paintings.

Within days, the president of the university insisted he remove pieces from the show. Then Kerciu was arrested, charged with desecrating the Confederate flag – which he’d used as a base for some work – and charged with obscenity, for a thinly veiled rendition of the f-word.

“They were their (anti-segregationists) own words and I put them right back in their face,” said Kerciu. “I just had to do something. I had to make a statement.”

His arrest was picked up by the national media who were on campus covering the integration story and overnight he was catapulted into fame. The television networks featured him. His story appeared in Time Magazine. The New Yorker wrote about him. Everyone was talking about the young activist artist who’d been arrested.

“It was not my intent to be a civil rights person – I was just a mild-mannered young man,” said Kerciu. “But this exploded in front of me…. It was the good fight, and I’ve always stood up for the good fight.” Ultimately, the charges were dismissed and at the end of the school year he left campus in the middle of the night, still fearing for his safety.

But that commitment to justice, once ignited, would continue to direct much of Kerciu’s life, even as he enters his ninth decade, and it is a primary reason he will be the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Laguna Beach Art Alliance’s Art Star Awards program in April. Multiple groups nominated him for the honor.

“As a celebrated painter and sculptor, his remarkable journey reflects a lifetime of unwavering commitment to social justice, shaped by significant historical events,” said the nomination from the Festival of Arts.

Upon leaving Mississippi, Kerciu drove to New York, where his artwork was in a Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery. He suddenly found himself rubbing elbows with his artistic heroes, who were congratulating him on his work. There were midnight dinners in penthouses. It was a heady time for a young artist.

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After moving to California, G. Ray Kerciu developed his USA series, continuing his political activism. Some of the pieces now hang in his Laguna Beach studio. Other work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian, the Hammer Museum and various institutions throughout the country. A 2013 retrospective at CSU’s Fullerton Begovich Gallery spanned six decades of his work, from 1957-2012.

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Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association announces Young Artists & Authors 2024 Showcase

The Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association has announced the commencement of the Young Artists & Authors (YAAS) 2024 Showcase, themed “Climatescape: Resilient Cities for Tomorrow’s Climate.” This initiative, in collaboration with the Laguna Beach County Water District, aims to engage local youth in raising awareness about sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

As climate change continues to pose significant challenges to our communities, the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, in alignment with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, is committed to addressing this global issue through creative expression. The YAAS competition invites young artists, musicians and poets to submit works that explore innovative solutions for creating inclusive, safe and resilient cities.

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Photo by Christina Shook

Last year’s winners. First Row: Karyn Philippsen, LBSC; Christopher Regan, LBCWD; Anne Belyea, LFP; Debbie Neev, LBCWD; Fabiola Kinder, LBSC and Maggie Hempen, LBSC; Second Row: Estella Newton and Sasha Riahi; Third Row: Sam Sweeney and Marlena Steinbach

Participants are encouraged to use their imagination to vividly depict transformative landscapes that embrace eco-consciousness, inclusivity and forward-thinking solutions. Examples include rooftop gardens, green infrastructures, sustainable transportation, renewable energy sources and water management systems.

In addition to promoting artistic expression, YAAS encourages dialogue and collaboration among students from Laguna Beach and its sister cities of Menton, France; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico and St. Ives, England, fostering a global exchange of ideas on sustainability.

Entries will be accepted in three categories: Art, Music and Poetry. Cash prizes of $500 and $250 will be awarded to first- and second-place winners in each category, with additional recognition and opportunities to compete at the Sister Cities International level.

Entries for YAAS 2024 are due by Sunday, April 21. To learn more, or to fill out an entry application, visit www.lagunabeachsistercities.com.

To inspire creativity, participants can visit https://yaas2024.org/,

www.usgbc.org/ and www.globalgoals.org/goals/11-sustainable-cities-and-communities/ for additional resources and information on sustainable practices.

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Monks return to Laguna Beach for Tibetan Cultural Arts Tour to create mandala dedicated to world peace

After a five-year hiatus, the Drepung Gomang monks of India will return to Laguna Beach for a week for their Sacred Tibetan Arts Tour. Seven monks and their driver will offer a glimpse into their culture from April 14-21. The holy men are scholars from Tibet’s oldest monastery and direct disciples of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They will construct a mandala, an intricate design made from fine, multi-colored sand, sing their unique trichord chanting at the beginning and end of each day, perform blessings to conjure positive energy at homes and businesses, and present pujas.

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Photos courtesy of Drepung Gomang Monastery

 Making the world peace sand mandala

Pujas are stylized rituals that combine chanting, music, prayer and visualizations using Tibetan instruments and multi-tonal singing. Guests may visit to watch the monks construct the sand mandala at Healy House on the grounds of the Sawdust Art Festival. Events are open to the public; donations are gratefully accepted. All proceeds support the 2,000-plus monks who live at the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Mundgod, India, and their educational and spiritual efforts toward world peace.

A full schedule and details can be found by clicking here. Their mission and history can be found by clicking here.

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The monks in ceremonial garb

The mandala dissolution ceremony at the end of their visit on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. will be memorable. After laboring over their detailed design all week, the monks will sweep it into a pile of sand and give guests small packets to remind them of life’s impermanence and the importance of good works. They will then proceed to Main Beach on foot with anyone who cares to join, accompanied by drums and cymbals, then chant and cast the remaining sand into the ocean as a reminder of the transient nature of all things.

For the eighth time, a volunteer committee of organizers led by musician Pam Wicks has arranged their accommodations in a private home, as well as their meals and transportation. Wicks said, “We feel fortunate to welcome the monks to Laguna again. They have traveled across the United States to various communities like ours since last August. Having them as our guests to share their art, culture and blessings is a marvelous opportunity for everyone in our community to learn about this struggling nation’s history, culture and Tibetan Buddhism.

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The Drepung Gomang monks, direct disciples of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at the door of the monastery in Mundgod in southern India

“We wish to acknowledge and thank the Sawdust Festival community for once again opening their hearts and donating their beautiful property as the site of this event,” Wicks added. “Likewise, we are grateful to the Neighborhood Congregational Church for their collaboration and generosity in providing their campus for three evening events on April 15, 17 and 20.”

Visitors can observe morning and evening chanting rituals and watch the mandala creation from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, April 14-21. Note: On April 18 and 20, the hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

From April 14-21, the monks will offer house blessings at homes, offices, galleries, studios and churches by prior appointment. For information and scheduling or to volunteer, contact Pam Wicks at pwicks23@gmail.com.

The Sawdust Festival grounds are located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Metered parking is available. The Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach (parking off Glenneyre).

Tibetan prayer flags are available for $15 for a five-foot length. The bright cloth flags will fly at the Sawdust Festival grounds, be blessed by the monks and then be given to each donor at the conclusion of their visit. In Tibetan Buddhism, colorful prayer flags are printed with auspicious symbols, invocations, prayers and mantras promoting peace, wisdom and compassion. It is said that the wind spreads goodwill to all beings. For information about prayer flags, email monksvisitlaguna@gmail.com.

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26th Annual John Gardiner Community Poetry Contest, deadline April 30

Entries for the 26th Annual John Gardiner Community Poetry Contest will be accepted April 1-30. The theme this year is “To Walk in Different Shoes.”

Prizes up to $100 gift certificates will be awarded in five age categories.

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach Library

Theme for the contest this year is “To Walk in Different Shoes”

Participants may submit one unpublished poem with the theme: “To Walk in Different Shoes.” Poem must be no more than 25 lines of text with a limit of 230 words. Submit poem within the body of an email to Laguna Beach Library at ocpl.lagunabeach@occr.ocgov.com. Include the following information: Name, Phone Number and Grade Level or “Adult.” No attachments, please.

The Public Reading of Winning Poems will be held on Saturday, June 1 at 11 a.m.

The annual contest is funded by the Friends of the Laguna Beach Library.

The Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. Call 949.497.1733 for more information.

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Join Laguna Beach Live! for Bluegrass & BBQ 2024 on June 9

Join Laguna Beach Live! on Sunday, June 9 from 4-7 p.m. for fun and wholesome musical entertainment at their annual Bluegrass & BBQ. Enjoy an afternoon of brilliant bluegrass music from musically gifted siblings the Wimberly Bluegrass Band, along with a delicious, authentic Texas BBQ.

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach Live!

The Wimberly Bluegrass Band will perform on June 9 at LCAD

The event takes place on the grounds of Laguna College of Art + Design located at 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. BBQ will be held from 4-6 p.m., with the concert performance between 5-7 p.m. Families are welcome, and there is free entry for kids 12 and under.

Named one of Los Angeles’ top five bluegrass bands by CBS-LA, Wimberley Bluegrass Band brings their sensational high energy to stages across the country, carefully weaving the perfect mixture of original music, traditional bluegrass fare, and oft remembered tunes thoughtfully re-crafted in the bluegrass genre. Walking the road between tradition and innovation, the Wimberley Bluegrass Band holds high the torch of the tradition of good old-fashioned bluegrass music.

Richard Jones Pit BBQ will be catering. Jones has been serving some of the best Texas BBQ in California for more than 32 years.

Salty Bear Brewing Company will also be onsite offering beers along with Bianchi Winery who will offer a selection of wines.

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

For tickets and more information, go to www.lagunabeachlive.org, or call 949.715.9713.

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An Evening of Blues with Eli Cook at LBCAC on April 27

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) will host An Evening of Blues with Eli Cook on Saturday, April 27 from 8-10 p.m.

With his super slick slide guitar sound and a husky voice that is sexy and heartfelt, this Virginia bluesman is considered one of the top blues soloists in the world.

Cook was born in a Blue Ridge Mountain hollow full of “old cars, chainsaws and guitars.” Radio still reigned, and telephones and television failed. He began playing gospel at revivals when he was 15, and still never forgets to “take you to church” at some moment in his performance today.

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Submitted photo

Eli Cook performs at LBCAC on April 27

Cook’s career was launched when he opened for B.B. King at the Paramount Theatre to a standing ovation and was featured in Guitar Player Magazine. Today, he tours throughout the United States and internationally with venues ranging from the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress to B.B. King’s Night Club of NYC.

Known for his adrenalized performances, original compositions, and brilliant guitar playing, Cook is revolutionizing the Blues experience for the 21st century. Described as “the best blues singer of his generation: (All Music Guide), and “one of the top three blues soloists worldwide” (Blues Matters Magazine), he is equal master of slide and 12-string guitar.

Cook explodes the blues horizon. There are no boundaries, no stop signs. With fresh arrangements of classics by Skip James, John Hurt, Elmore James and Jimi Hendrix, as well as his own critically acclaimed words from seven recorded albums, Cook opens the door for listeners to enter a dimension of blues guitar playing never before seen in the musical world.

For tickets, click here.

For more information about Eli Cook, go to www.elicook.com.

For more information about LBCAC, go to www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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LCAD’s 49th Annual Color it Orange exhibition runs through April 21

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Courtesy of LCAD

“Color it Orange” at LCAD Gallery until April 4

49th Annual Color it Orange

Laguna College of Art + Design is presenting the 49th Annual Color It Orange exhibition showcasing a collection of original works from across Orange County high school students.

The exhibition will run through April 21.

Color It Orange is one of the longest running collaborative exhibitions between a college and Orange County high schools. LCAD’s goal is to inspire and encourage the next generation of artistic expression, and to honor teachers by providing the opportunity to showcase works by their most talented students. Color It Orange was founded 49 years ago by the Designing Women, LCAD’s founding support group. LCAD will host an opening reception at the LCAD Gallery to provide special recognition and to award scholarships to their Summer Pre-College Program.

LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

LCAD Gallery admission is always free.

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Gallery Q celebrates Beach Cities this spring at the Susi Q Senior Center

By MARRIE STONE

This spring, Gallery Q at the Susi Q Community Center is making it possible to bring a bit of the beach home with you. Their latest show, Beach Cities, is on display through May 2. The exhibition features 44 artists showing 72 works across a variety of mediums including oils, watercolors, collages, photographs and even two porcelain sculptures and an intricate mosaic. Each piece pays homage to our bluebelt and the ever-changing ocean in our backyard. And most are offered at reasonably affordable price points.

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Photo by Bill Atkins

“Beach Cities” is currently on display at Gallery Q, located inside the Susi Q Community Center. “Laguna at Night” by acrylic artist Al Esquerra appears center above.

Now entering its 15th year, Gallery Q has welcomed thousands of artists in the five gallery shows it hosts each year. “The arts have become an integral part of our programs where seniors’ emotional, mental and spiritual health, and vitality are achieved through creative artistic expressions,” said Executive Director Nadia Babayi.

Longtime Gallery Q exhibitor Ellen Rose proved the point. Her latest acrylic painting, Ophelia (inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet), emerged from her brush as a fully formed allegory. “It was a metaphor for a period of my life when things were out of my control,” Rose said. “I did feel as if I were drowning. Painting my feelings has always been a great stress reducer for me.”

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Photo by Jo Ann Ekblad

“Ophelia” by Ellen Rose became a metaphor for a difficult time in Rose’s own life

For other artists, their work reflects various aspects of their identities. Porcelain sculptor Bobby Jaber brings both his Arabic heritage and his mathematical mind to his creations. Jaber spent a long career teaching high school chemistry. When he retired more than 30 years ago, he brought all those scientific principles to bear on his sculptures.

View Porcelainia, the 2013 video by David Altizer about artist/scientist Bobby Jaber, below.

“Porcelainia,” a 2013 video created by David Altizer, describes Bobby Jaber’s inspiration and process

“My favorite shape is called a truncated icosahedron,” Jaber said. “It’s a spherical molecule, supposedly the most beautiful molecule in existence.” The 32-faced structure is made up of both pentagons and hexagons with 60 vertices and 90 edges, making it a complex problem to solve when working with clay.

Jaber models the shapes of his porcelain vessels after structures found in the natural world. He then uses mathematical patterns inspired by Islamic art to adorn the work. Historically, Islamic artists applied mathematics to their designs because artistic works could contain no graven images. Jaber’s pieces – Coral Oceania and Asteroidia – reflect those 30 years of controlled craftsmanship and the decades of scientific knowledge Jaber acquired before that. “Clay is chemistry,” Jaber said.

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Photo by Marrie Stone

(L-R) “Coral Oceania” and “Asteroidia” by Bobby Jaber

Despite R. Scott Elgram’s parents owning several one-hour photo shops around South Orange County throughout his childhood, it took Elgram’s girlfriend to introduce him to photography about seven years ago. Once she placed a camera in his hand, he was hooked. “The shutter lifted – pun intended – and I saw everything differently after that,” he said.

Raised as an Eagle Scout, Elgram gravitates toward nature and the outdoors. His photography reflects his obsessions, as much of his work centers around national parks. He makes a point of doing at least one photography trip a month.

His two pieces on display at Gallery Q each reflect the different moods of our ever-evolving ocean. “That Woods Cove piece was taken during a very high tide. It’s a rough ocean,” he said.

Contrast that with his long exposure shot of the San Clemente pier, taken early in Elgram’s photographic career. “I got hooked on long exposures. I like the way it softens the water and adds emotion to the clouds,” he said. “This one is a personal favorite of mine.”

More works by Elgram can be found on his website by clicking here and on Instagram by clicking here.

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Photo by ©2024 R. Scott Elgram

Untitled photograph of the San Clemente Pier by R. Scott Elgram

Local oil painter Carole Boller, who regularly shows her work at both the annual Sawdust Festival and Festival of Arts, is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, as well as an active member of LPAPA and LOCA in Laguna Beach. Her murals and banners have also appeared around town.

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Third Street Writers and Laguna Beach’s phone booth artists announce conversation collaboration

No need to hang up the line! Third Street Writers have joined forces with Laguna Beach artists Candice Brokenshire and Julie Setterholm, who created the Forest Avenue phone booth art installation “We Need to Talk.”

The non-profit writing group has created 14 prose pieces inspired by the project and is converting them into audio pieces in response to this public art project.

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Photo by Jennifer Griffiths

Third Street Writers gather at the phone booth

Ranging from prose to poetry, the pieces address the human impact on Laguna Beach’s unique geography and ecosystems – from the ocean to the canyon. Each selected author has recorded their piece, and the audio version will be available on Third Street’s website at www.thirdstreetwriters.org/we-need-to-talk in April, which is Earth Month.

“The booth and the telephone represent a two-way conversation, a space of speaking and listening,” said Third Street President Amy Dechary. “We viewed the installation as the epicenter of conversation about the environment, and we asked contributors to envision conversations about Laguna Beach’s unique environs and our role in greater global ecosystems.”

The collaboration builds upon the installation’s planned partnerships to create discourse between Laguna Beach’s art and environmental groups.

“The written submissions have truly exceeded expectations. And what a range – we have stories of both tragedy and hope. Some are scribed with warmth and sensitivity, while others tickle us with their imaginative angles and sardonic flair,” said Brokenshire. “Each piece is a delight to read, and very soon hear. This is a deeply meaningful collaboration and extension of the ‘We Need to Talk’ installation, for which we are very grateful.”

The collaboration between the writers and the art group builds upon a rich heritage.

“Third Street members are used to writing in response to art (a process known as ekphrastic writing) but we were challenged by the message in this piece by Brokenshire and Setterholm,” said Theresa Keegan, vice president of Third Street Writers. “This environmental message is an important topic and we wanted to contribute, making this a very personal and interactive experience.”

In a leap of technology, there’s a QR code on the exhibit, where the authors’ works can be accessed as an auditory piece, essentially inviting participants to come inside the booth metaphorically and eavesdrop on these important “conversations.” This outreach builds upon the installation’s dedication in June 2023, when Sian Poeschl, Laguna Beach Cultural Arts manager, noted that the project requires viewers to approach the phone booth to really explore what is inside.

“Being a part of the ‘We Need to Talk’ installation has been such a connecting experience,” said Setterholm. “It’s like being re-introduced to the town I grew up in. I’m thankful for all these lovely humans supporting this project.”

“We Need to Talk,” part of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission collection, will be displayed through June 2025. Third Street Writers compendium will be available throughout the month of April on the group’s website.

Founded in 2015, the Third Street Writers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to fostering the growth of the writing community in Laguna Beach through weekly workshops, reading events and creating various publications.

For more information, contact Amy Dechary at amy@thirdstreetwriters.org, visit the group’s website, like them on Facebook @ThirdStreetWriters, or follow them on Instagram @thirdstreetwriters.

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Beautification Team to present 2024 Laguna Terrace Plein Air Painting Contest

The Laguna Terrace Beautification Team has been working for several years to improve the quality of life for local citizens. The team has been beautifying community open space; maintaining green spaces to encourage outdoor activities and socialization and preserving urban forests, among other activities. As Harry Huggins, Beautification Team president, and retired Orange County Parks asset manager, explained, “Community gardens, storytelling events, mentorship programs and collaborative workshops can provide platforms for sharing wisdom and experiences between generations, fostering a strong sense of community in a neighborhood. These activities create opportunities for meaningful interactions and the exchange of valuable insights.”

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Photos by Harry Huggins

Heisler Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon

The Beautification Team’s latest undertaking will be its “2024 Laguna Terrace Plein Air Painting Contest,” to be held on Saturday, May 11 at three parks and one open space area. For a $10 fee, participants will spend the afternoon painting the bucolic outdoor scenery “en plein air,” or painting in the outdoors. Artists will begin arriving at the site at 8 a.m. and may stay there until 5 p.m.

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Surprise announcement: Painter, photographer and musician Doug Miller will be playing at all four painting locations

The painting contest is expected to encourage the participants in their artistry, to immerse the many anticipated attendees in art appreciation and community engagement, and to foster community involvement with California native plants.

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Laguna artist at the end of the Ridge Route Road that would have connected to Laguna Canyon

Artists will compete from at least six organizations, including: Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Association; Laguna Woods Art Association; Laguna Hills High School, Art Students; Irvine Valley College, Art Students; Saddleback Valley College, Art Students and Laguna College of Arts+ Design, Art Students.

Local environmental companies and nurseries are expected to sponsor the 2024 Laguna Terrace Plein Air Painting Contest. Nearby framing shops will be available to frame the completed paintings.

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Woman artist at the end of Ridge Route showing no structures

Judging will be by the Laguna Woods Art Association, Laguna Hills Parks and Recreation and the Laguna Terrace Beautification Team. Prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to the top three paintings. Winners will be announced by Mayor Dave Wheeler of Laguna Hills and by Mayor Noel Hatch of Laguna Woods.

Following the Painting Contest, paintings will be displayed on easels at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center, 235, Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, (www.lbculturalartscenter.org) and at the Moulton Museum, 25256 Cabot Road, Laguna Hills, (www.moultonmuseum.org).

For the registration form, maps (Gazebo Park, San Remo Drive, San Remo Park and Santa Victoria Park) and more information, visit www.lagunaterracebeautification.com.

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Laguna Beach Arts Alliance to celebrate “The Future is Bright” at 16th Annual Art Star Awards

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance (LBAA) has announced that the 16th Annual Art Star Awards is set to take place on Friday, April 26, at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach at 5:30 p.m. Sponsored in part by the Crevier Family Foundation, this event promises an unforgettable celebration of artistic excellence and community spirit.

The evening’s highlight will be the presentation of awards in four categories, along with a special lifetime achievement award, acknowledging the remarkable contributions of individuals, businesses, and organizations to Laguna Beach’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Winners will be presented with Art Star award sculptures, “Louies,” created by renowned artist Louis Longi. Alongside the awards ceremony, guests will enjoy live pop-up art demonstrations and performances by LBAA members, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) students and special guest artists. The event will also feature exhibits of artwork created by local students, including young artists from the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach afterschool art program.

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Photo by Jeff Rover

Winners will be presented with Art Star award sculptures, “Louies,” created by renowned artist Louis Longi

“We’re thrilled to honor this year’s nominees as well as to showcase the many ways our member organizations support youth and emerging artists,” said LBAA President and Art Star Committee Chair Amy Dechary. “As the nominees’ impressive work shows, Laguna has a vibrant art scene that is nurtured and developed through a variety of efforts ranging from inspiring youth programming to impactful artist mentorships and scholarships.”

This year’s nominees will be considered for their contributions to the arts in 2023. They include:

Best Arts Program

Lagunatics

Laguna Art Museum – Joseph Kleitsch: Abroad and Home in Old Laguna

Laguna Playhouse – 2023 Season Program

Arts Patron of the Year

Ed Hanke

Elie Weaver and Hilton Weinberg

Laguna Beach Seniors

Best Arts Collaboration

Festival of Arts – Pageant of the Monsters

Laguna Beach Live! And Laguna Art Museum – Live! At the Museum matinee performances

Laguna Community Concert Band – Sailing with Whales Concert for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Artist of the Year

133 Band

Elizabeth McGhee

Casey Parlette

Laguna Beach Arts Alliance will also honor artist G. Rey Kerciu with a special Art Star Award for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of his many accomplishments as an artist and contributions to the arts community in Laguna Beach.

To purchase tickets to attend the 16th Annual Art Star Awards, contact Amy Dechary at adechary@gmail.com. Limited tickets are available at $140 each and include passed heavy hors d’oeuvres and a dessert bar by Starfish and wine, as well as all the festivities.

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance was established in 2002 as the result of an exciting partnership among 29 Laguna Beach organizations. The mission is to serve as an advocate for the arts, promote collaboration and networking among the arts organizations of Laguna Beach and serve as a united voice for the arts in the city. Members of the Arts Alliance include: 3340 Recital Series, City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission, Coast Film & Musical Festival, Community Art Project, Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters, First Thursdays Art Walk, Friends of the Laguna Beach Library, Gallery Q at the Susi Q, Laguna Art-A-Fair Festival, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach Craft Guild, Laguna Beach Live!, Laguna Beach Seniors, Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, Laguna College of Art + Design, Laguna Community Concert Band, Laguna Dance Festival, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, LagunaTunes Community Chorus, Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center, LOCA Arts Education, Music History Hall Foundation, Neighborhood Congregational Church, No Square Theatre, Pacific Vocal Series, Sawdust Art Festival, The Honarkar Foundation, Third Street Writers and Visit Laguna Beach.

Learn more about LBAA at https://lagunabeacharts.org/ and follow them on Instagram @lbartsalliance and Facebook @lagunabeachartsalliance.

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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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LAM ushers in spring with more events

Spring is busting out all over and LAM has added more exciting events to its calendar. In addition to the ongoing exhibits.

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Photos 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.

Through many years of trial and error, Neeley developed a never-before-seen technique that he calls Spectra Gold, which seamlessly changes one color of gold into another. This is accomplished by a labor-intensive forging process to create a subtle gradient, or ombré, of color from yellow gold to white gold and more. This, along with his creation of totally new colors of gold, adds to the sense that his jewelry is created by a modern-day alchemist.

This exhibition will explore both the creative working processes of this innovative jeweler, and some of the raw and faceted gems and minerals used by him to create his art. Collaborating with world-class lapidaries, such as Stephen Avery, Neeley creates truly imaginative pieces that go beyond contemporary designs into the realm of dreams and fantasy inspired by imagination and the world around him. Neeley is a true 21st century alchemist.

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“Girl in a Hammock” by Donna Schuster

Sunday, April 14, 10 a.m.

Jean Stern presents The Life and Art of Donna Schuster

In this lecture, art historian and LAM Curatorial Fellow Jean Stern will discuss the life and art of Donna Norine Schuster (1883-1953) in a slide-illustrated lecture.

Schuster was a superb artist born into a wealthy family in Milwaukee. While many other women artists of her generation could not get steady representation and income from a commercial art gallery, Schuster’s income was secure and as such, she was free to experiment with a variety of artistic styles. She arrived in Los Angeles in 1913 and quickly became a member of the California Art Club and in 1918, the Laguna Beach Art Association. She maintained homes in Los Angeles and for a while in Laguna Beach. She was proficient in oil paint and watercolor.

The Life and Art of Donna Schuster comprises about 85 images and lasts approximately 50 minutes, with time afterwards for questions.

John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers are the exclusive auctioneer/appraiser business for the 2024 Jean Stern Presents lectures.

Advance tickets are recommended. Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18. For tickets, click here.

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New Moms at the Museum – April 14

Thursday, April 18, 9-10:30 a.m.

New Moms at the Museum

Navigating the waters of new parenthood? Join LAM and engage with fellow new parents 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 lay on and a comfy blanket for extra warmth. This program is for pregnant moms to six months postpartum and they also welcome new dads. Small bites and beverages are included.

Advance tickets are recommended. Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18, Children under 12 are free. For tickets, click here.

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Art Workshop – April 19

Friday, April 19, 4-7 p.m.

Art Workshop, Figure Drawing

Class Dates: April 19, May 24, June 21, July 19

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.

Please note that the model will be nude.

Advance tickets are recommended. Adults (18+) only, Museum members: $30, Non-members: $45, 5 Class Series Members: $150,

5 Class Series Non-Members: $180.

For tickets, click here.

Fine Art of Jewelry – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 11 a.m.

Fine Art of Jewelry

Join LAM for an insightful panel discussion featuring esteemed experts and connoisseurs in the realm of jewelry. Discover the secrets behind what makes a piece of jewelry truly exceptional, learn about the market trends shaping the industry, and gain practical tips on how to protect your jewelry to ensure its longevity and enduring beauty.

Whether you’re an avid collector, a budding designer, or simply passionate about the artistry of jewelry, this panel discussion is a not-to-be-missed event.

Moran Auctioneers and Appraisers will value your timepieces, fine jewelry, designer jewelry, costume jewelry, etc.

Note: Ticket holders to both the panel discussion and What’s It Worth? – Jewelry Edition will receive priority entry to the John Moran Auctioneers and Appraisers for an exclusive valuation for one hour immediately following the panel discussion.

Advance tickets are recommended. Ticket purchase includes access to all museum exhibits. Museum members: $25, Non-members: $35.

For tickets, click here.

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Storytime Saturday – Rescheduled for April 27

Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m.

Storytime Saturday, Two Cats, a Mermaid and the Disappearing Moon

Bring your little ones to Laguna Art Museum for an interactive storytime and art-making experience unlike any other.

This Month’s Session

Join this special, exclusive reading of Two Cats, a Mermaid and the Disappearing Moon led by the book’s author, Pamela K. Knudsen. Follow alongside the story’s inquisitive feline main characters as they try to solve the mystery of the disappearing moon with the beautiful local Laguna Beach landscape as the backdrop. Knudsen leads this immersive storytime experience followed by a watercolor pencil activity placing kids at the center of an adventure of their own.

Free with admission: Members: Free, Adults: $12, Youth 12 and under: Free, Active Military, Seniors, Students: $9. For tickets, click here.

The museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

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

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LPAPA holds Inaugural Spring Fling Fundraiser, through April 15

LPAPA is hosting its Inaugural Spring Fling Fundraiser during the month of April to help raise the much-needed funds to sustain and grow its Art and Education Programs that are designed to promote and preserve the century-old Laguna Plein Air Painting Tradition and Legacy.

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Photos courtesy of LPAPA

Spring Fling Fundraiser – April 1-15

LPAPA kicked off the fundraiser with a Silent Auction that opened online at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 1 with artwork, art lessons and more, with an opening auction price based on 50% of the value! The online silent auction will end at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 15.

Annual Waterworks Juried Art Show

Notifications for Artwork Entries for the 8th Annual “Waterworks” Juried Art Show, a celebration of paintings created by LPAPA members using transparent watercolors were sent out yesterday (April 1) earlier in the week or as soon as jurying is complete. This show is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation.

This show is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation.

Show Overview & Timeline:

Shipped Artwork Delivery: Needs to arrive at the LPAPA Gallery by 5 p.m., Friday, April 26.

Hand-carried Artwork Delivery: Gallery open for delivery Tuesday, April 30 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Online Art Catalog Exhibition (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): April 29 through June 3.

Online Preview Auction (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): 10 a.m., April 29 to 8 p.m., May 2.

LPAPA Gallery Show (Finalists): Thursday, May 2 through Monday, June 3.

Art Walk Gallery Reception: Thursday, May 2, 6-9 p.m. (awards at 7 p.m.).

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

Friday, April 12, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor – Eileen McCullough

Register to join LPAPA Signature Artist Eileen McCullough for this fun and informative in-person LPAPA+LOCA “Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor” Paint Together session. In this Mentor lesson, McCullough will demonstrate her watercolor painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a local scene in Laguna Beach. The objective of the session will be to understand working from life “en plein air” and the importance of values. Come be inspired by McCullough’s unique style in watercolor. Limited to 15 registrants.

This is an in-person on location painting lesson. Registrants will bring their own outdoor painting supplies. Location details and a recommended supply list will be sent after registration, in advance of the event date.

Cost: $60 for LPAPA and LOCA Members or $75 for Non-Members.

This in-person painting lesson is made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of an art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

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Artist Debra Huse

LPAPA’s 3rd Annual World Arts Day Celebration & Paint Out on April 15

Join LPAPA’s 3rd Annual World Arts Day Celebration & Paint Out on April 15. On this day, LPAPA recognizes and celebrates Laguna’s community of artists, art organizations, art educators, art businesses, galleries and all those who participate and support the arts.

LPAPA is inviting everyone to visit the LPAPA Gallery to “Make Your Mark” on their Community Canvas at the LPAPA Gallery where lead Signature Artist Debra Huse will be laying in a painting and inviting you to add your brush stroke to the painting in progress! Mentor Artists will be at the gallery to answer questions, mixing paint and encouraging you to make your mark for art. This is a free interactive art event, but donations in support of their nonprofit’s mission are gratefully accepted, and new artist and supporter members are welcomed.

In addition, plan to enjoy a walk through Laguna’s Heisler Park and watch Laguna Plein Air Artists in action as they paint en plein air. LPAPA Artists will be in Heisler Park (from dawn to dusk) for an All-Member Paint Out celebrating plein air painting and the arts, as well as painting around town for the LPAPA Gallery “Spring Fling” Art Show.

Tuesday, April 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Mentor Paint Together – Wendy Wirth

Join LPAPA Signature Artist ember Wendy Wirth online for a two-hour fun and informative LPAPA+LOCA live-streamed Mentor Paint Together. In this online virtual painting lesson, Wirth will demonstrate her acrylic painting process, step-by-step, brush stroke by brush stroke, as she paints an Iconic Laguna Scene using a photo reference. Registrants can choose to paint together with Wirth or watch live as she paints, describes her process, and answers your questions. All paid registrants will have unlimited access to the post-event “play, pause and paint” recording.

The photo reference and recommended supply list will be provided after registration, prior to the live-stream and with the post-event recording link. The Zoom link to tune-in live will be provided with the registration confirmation and again prior to the event date. The post-event recording link is typically available within 48 hours after the live stream.

Cost: $50 (Discounted to $30 for LPAPA and LOCA Members.).

This live-streamed painting lesson is one of a sic-part series made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of the art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

For assistance, call the LPAPA Gallery at 949.376.3635, or contact Bonnie Lander at bonnie@lpapa.org, or Toni Kellenberg at toni@lpapa.org, or by phone at 949.291.0882

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 presents Spring Collection at City Hall

Hardship Grant Given

The Artists Fund serves past and present FOA exhibitors by promoting their work, providing professional development webinars, and enrichment grants for exciting career expansion. A major service is the Hardship Grant, funded mostly by Art-To-Go sales, which helps artists suffering economic hardship from exceptional medical needs or unexpected circumstances.

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Photos courtesy of Artists Fund

Main Beach by Patrick Kelly, circa 1970s

Recently, a Hardship Grant was awarded for the burial and interment of Patrick Kelly, long-time exhibitor, and former board member of Festival of Arts where he also worked on the Permanent Collection and as membership director.

The following is among the notes received by The Artists Fund: “Thank you for your grant on behalf of Patrick Kelly’s family and myself – his friend of 50 years. It was most generous in this hour of need. He will be missed!” –Sandra Jones Campbell

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.

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.

To view them online, click here.

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