Art-A-Fair VIP event was quite an affair to remember


Photos by Scott Brashier

The happy crowd at the VIP opening of the Art-A-Fair this last Friday was having so much fun chatting and drinking that it took speaker and special guest Christian Okoye, Kansas Chiefs all-pro running back and NFL Hall-of-Famer, a while to catch their attention – but catch their attention he did.

He spoke about his childhood in Nigeria and how hard he had to work to achieve his goals – but how lucky he was to have people who urged him on. “This is what we try to do with our Foundation,” Okoye said. “We explain to kids that there’s a new way to set goals and it’s all about attitude.” The nonprofit, California Sports Hall of Fame, which hosts free athletic workshops for underprivileged kids, was the beneficiary of the event.

art a entrance

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The striking new façade of Art-A-Fair set the tone for the VIP event

Locals attending the celebration included the ubiquitous supporter of all things Laguna, the packaged dynamite that is Heidi Miller, as well as Leslie Mogul of the Playhouse, as well as several of the artists whose work is displayed at Art-A-Fair and their families, friends and fans.

Fifteen-year exhibitor Lynn Wiederman was impressed with the Art-A-Fair’s reinvigorated approach to marketing. “I love this area,” she said, gesturing toward the funky furniture that serves artistic as well as utilitarian purposes, connecting fine art with luxury home decor. “The new façade is a real change, too. It’s out of the box, which is what this festival is trying to achieve. It re-engages people.”

art a crowd

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The crowd was loud, happy to mingle with friends, colleagues and celebrities

Star of the show was not a person but a painting – an original Picasso curtained off from the crowd and a frequent backdrop used by the several photographers on hand to capture the moment with the mingling celebs.

Attendee and abstract artist Trudy Connor was checking the place out as a possible location to consider for her art. “The new entrance, it’s, well, it’s hard to miss,” she said. “It’s large, it’s colorful, and it attracts people.”

art a fair models

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Robert Palmer-esque models added glamour to the evening

Many of the people the affair attracted were beautifully dressed (one man was a symphony in pink), with several of the women (including Robert Palmer-style models) wearing stilettos to die for (or from, if a murderer were so motivated). Wide-legged jumpsuits were also much in evidence.

Petite hors d’oeuvres were provided by Maro Wood Grill, Nirvana, Newport Rib Company and Laguna Beach Brewery and Grill.

Art-A-Fair is located at 777 Laguna Cyn Road. For more information, visit