Laguna Art Museum announces Gala 2019 will be at FOA grounds

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, Laguna Art Museum will host its Gala 2019 from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds in Laguna Beach. More than 350 guests will attend the new highlight of Orange County’s gala calendar in support one of the premiere museums of California art. The event promises performance art, dancing, exquisite wines, and fine dining crafted by celebrity chefs.

The museum will recognize longtime museum supporters and community philanthropists Jane and Joe Hanauer as the Honorary Chairs for Gala 2019, and will honor the acclaimed and beloved California artist Lita Albuquerque with its Wendt Award. Proceeds from the event will benefit the museum’s art education and exhibition programs.

Laguna Art Hanauer

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Honorees Jane and Joe Hanauer 

The Honorary Chairs for Gala 2019 are Laguna Beach residents and civic leaders Jane and Joe Hanauer. Even among the many individuals who have gone above and beyond in support of important causes in this city, Jane and Joe are exemplary. Both participate in the city’s arts organizations as trustees, tirelessly volunteering their time and expertise. 

Laguna Art Museum has been fortunate to count Jane as a Trustee for over eight years, fulfilling the critical role of Secretary of the Board. Joe has volunteered numerous times to the museum’s benefit and most recently has served as a vital advocate at the City, helping secure the four-year $1 million Matching Grant Program for both the museum and Laguna Playhouse. Because of this funding the museum has been able to make critical infrastructure improvements that will last for years to come. Joe also serves on the Board as a Trustee.

Lita Albuquerque is the Wendt Award recipient for 2019. Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work that ranges from painting, sculpture, poetry, and multi-media performances to large-scale ephemeral projects in sites around the globe. Active since the early 1970s, and often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, she has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using astronomical images, the earth, the body, color, motion, and time to explore human identity in its relation to the universal.

Laguna Art Lita

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Wendt Award recipient Lita Albuquerque 

Lita was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for her Stellar Axis: Antarctica project, which culminated in the first ephemeral artwork created on that continent. In 2014 her outdoor performance An Elongated Nowwas was the centerpiece of Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature festival, complementing the installation Particle Horizon inside the museum. Since 2015, Albuquerque has served on the museum’s Board of Trustees.

The Wendt Award is named for the great landscape painter William Wendt, a leading light in the museum’s founding organization, the Laguna Beach Art Association. It recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to California art. Previous recipients of the award include Ruth Westphal, Wayne Thiebaud, Peter Alexander, Yvonne Boseker, and Tony DeLap.

Laguna Art dance

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LAM’s Gala 2019 promises dancing, wine, art and more

The Gala 2019 committee is led by co-chairs Deborah Engle, Laura Rohl, Kristin Samuelian, and Leslie Weaver; and committee members Kathy Abel, Wendy Aird, Rick Balzer, Susan Davis, Michelle Fisher, Chuck Fry, Amy Fulford, Jane Hanauer, Betsy Jenkins, Lucetta Kallis, Lester Savit, Deborah Schlesinger, Marnie Wall, Blythe Wheaton, Lizanne Witte, and Susie Wood.

For more information, visit