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Laguna Art Museum announces Artemio Sepúlveda Exhibition

On February 23, Laguna Art Museum will open an exhibition of works by Artemio Sepúlveda. Well-known and respected in his native Mexico, Sepúlveda lived and worked in Laguna Beach from 1977 until 1999. 

The museum recently acquired a large-scale charcoal drawing that was made during his time in Laguna, and the exhibition will bring together other works from this period of his career. It is the first exhibition of Sepúlveda’s work in the U.S. since his return to Mexico twenty years ago, and it will be on view through May 25.

Born in 1935, Sepúlveda came from a working-class family living in the mining town of Nueva Rosita, in the state of Coahuila. His father was a miner and active trade unionist. 

Laguna Art guitar

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Artemio Sepúlveda’s works of art will be on display until May 25

In 1949 the family moved to Mexico City where the young Sepúlveda won a scholarship to the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado. The co-founder of the school, Carlos Orozco Romero, accepted Sepúlveda as an assistant after his studies, and he left Orozco’s studio in 1955 to pursue a career in art. 

For a period in the later 1950s he lived at the Casino de la Selva in Cuernavaca, paying for board and lodging with paintings and murals. He later worked as an assistant for the renowned Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, assimilating the influence of modern painters from Picasso to the German Expressionists. From 1962 he was associated with Nueva Presencia, a group of fellow figure-painters working in expressionistic styles.

During the 1960s and 70s Sepúlveda showed his work in galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Mexico. In 1977 he moved to Laguna Beach with his American wife and their two children, but the couple parted, and the children stayed with their mother. 

Sepúlveda remained in Laguna until 1999, for much of the time living in a studio behind the house of friend and fellow artist María Bertrán. He taught at the Laguna Beach School of Art (now Laguna College of Art and Design), and sold his work at the Festival of Arts, the Fine Arts Gallery on Lumberyard Plaza, and the Diane Nelson Gallery.

Laguna Art girl

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LAM is proud to showcase Sepúlveda’s work of his richly creative years in Laguna Beach

Sepúlveda is still active as a painter, living and working in a rural community outside San Miguel de Allende. Although he is represented in numerous private and public collections, notably the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, he has received relatively scant recognition, especially outside his native country. He is an important figure in the story of modern art in Southern California, and the museum is proud to showcase the work of his richly creative years in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. It collects, cares for, and exhibits works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field. 

Laguna Art Museum stands just steps from the Pacific Ocean in the beautiful city of Laguna Beach. The museum is proud to continue the tradition of the Laguna Beach Art Association, founded in 1918 by the early California artists who fostered a vibrant arts community. The gallery that the association built in 1929 is part of today’s Laguna Art Museum.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Cliff Drive.

For more information, visit www.lagunartmuseum.org.

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Laguna Art Museum presents Impact on Feb 20

On Thursday, Feb 20 at 6 p.m., Laguna Art Museum will host its monthly Film Night featuring Impact. The 1949 film noir crime drama starring Brian Donlevy and Ella Raines was filmed entirely in California. The museum’s curator of historical art, Janet Blake, will introduce the film.

In Impact (1949), a wealthy industrialist is presumed dead after an accident engineered by his wife and her lover. However, he is alive – and plotting revenge behind the cover of a newly assumed identity.

Laguna Art couple

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“Impact” was filmed entirely in California 

Filmed entirely in California, the film includes scenes filmed in Sausalito, and at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and other locations around the city.

Admission is free with museum tickets, although advance reservations are recommended.

For questions or to reserve your spot by phone, call (949) 494-8971 x203.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr. 

For more information, visit www.lagunartmuseum.org.

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California Cool exhibit, featuring LGOCA art, brightens halls at the Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel welcomes back Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA) to the oceanfront resort’s rotating art gallery space with the new exhibit California Cool

On display now until May, the contemporary-inspired exhibit features 23 vibrant pieces by 11 local artists, highlighting California’s natural environment with cool ocean blues, whimsical glass butterflies, and coral colored skies.

The new exhibit provides guests and art enthusiasts alike a chance to enjoy a cultural-meets-local escape and the opportunity to purchase a piece to take home with them. 

California Cool hallway

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LGOCA’s “California Cool” exhibit fills the Ritz-Carlton halls

Bridgette Shaw, exhibit curator and owner of Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art, introduces unique artwork to each exhibit. With California Cool, a must-see artwork includes She’s the One by Ricky Hunt, a black and white piece made entirely of string and nails that depicts a picture of a woman’s face. 

New to the exhibit, artist Karl SoCal features two pieces of spray paint on composite brick, one in which reimagines the work of Banksy – an iconic English street artist. All of the artwork within the exhibit features different mediums like acrylic, house paint, oil, mixed media, hand blown glass, and more. 

California Cool artwork

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Artwork on display is also available for purchase 

Art on display includes: 

--Karl SoCal, Waiting in Vain: A Revision of Banksy – Spray Paint on Composite Brick 

--Karl SoCal, Wall Street – Spray Paint and Glitter on Composite Brick 

--Ricky Hunt, She’s The One – String, Nails on Wood Panel 

--Ricky Hunt, Open Tension 9 – Acrylic on Wood with Resin 

--Adolfo Girala, Meditation – Acrylic with Minerals 

--Nic McGuire – Hand Blown Glass Butterflies 

--Diana Carey, Sunset Beach – House Paint 

--Diana Carey, Molokai – House Paint 

--Kym De Los Reyes, Pray for Surf – Acrylic 

--Kym De Los Reyes, Hope Floats – Acrylic 

--Kym De Los Reyes, Love Connection – Acrylic 

--Greg Stogner, Turbulence – Mixed Media on Wood 

--Greg Stogner, Sky Dance – Mixed Media on Wood 

--Greg Stogner, Enduring Heart – Mixed Media on Wood 

--Robin Hiers, Look of Love – Acrylic 

--Jessica Osborne, Good Days Only – Acrylic 

--Jessica Osborne, Day in Newport – Acrylic 

--Jessica Osborne, Sweet Escape – Acrylic 

--Jessica Osborne, Day Dreaming – Acrylic 

--Clovis, That’s Deep – Acrylic 

--Clovis, I’m Not Blue – Acrylic 

--Clovis, Destination Green – Acrylic 

--Tania Alcala, Trust – Acrylic on Wood with Resin 

Guests can purchase the art by contacting Bridgette Shaw with the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art at (949) 677-8373.

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Bare Bones Theatre offers two new play readings at Laguna Playhouse in Feb and March

Bare Bones Theatre will present two new play readings at the Laguna Playhouse Brick Room to usher in the new decade and new year. Curated by Lojo Simon, Bare Bones Theatre presents Dust by Nicole Oglesby on Monday, Feb 3 at 7:30 p.m., and Perfect by Jonathan Luskin on Monday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Lojo Simon is a playwright, dramaturg, and published writer of prose and poetry. During the term from 2018-2019, she served as one of Laguna’s Literary Laureates. Simon’s recent plays include Relic (Queens Theatre), Adoration of Dora (KOLT Run, Idiom Theatre, KCACTF/ATHE David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award), One Foot (Minneapolis Fringe, Salt Lake City Fringe), Controlled Burn (MonoMyth Theatre), Love All (OC-Centric New Play Festival), Albert Porter: Boy Explorer (Creede Repertory 2017 Young Audience Outreach Tour), and Nice & Slow (Old Miner Playwriting Award, Noorda Center for Children and Youth Tour). She is a three-time winner of the Laguna Beach Poetry Contest, a former writer for Laguna Beach Magazine, and former Literary Manager at Laguna Playhouse. 

Bare Bones Lojo

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Lojo Simon, curator of Bare Bones Theatre

In the shadow of a dying Dust Bowl farm and a miraculous apricot tree, Dust by Nicole Oglesby follows three orphaned sisters as they fight to stay alive during the worst of the Depression. With little money and no real community, they struggle to find resilience in faith, love, and each other. Directed by Lojo Simon, the production features Lily Gibson, Rachel Rosenfeld, Veltria Roman, Erika Schindele, and Brent Schindele. There will be a post-play conversation about how we find resilience in difficult times, with John Becknell, PhD. 

Perfect by Jonathan Luskin explores the nature of disability and genetic enhancement and what parents will do to give their children the best advantages in life. The play is inspired by the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9, a faster, less expensive, more accurate DNA editing technology. Cast members include Joseph Kibler, Deb Conroy, Ava Burton, Ben Farrow, David Šášik, Sarah Levin, and Andy Clark.

Bare Bones play readings are held in the Brick Room at Laguna Playhouse, 580 Laguna Canyon Dr. The Brick Room is located just west of the main Playhouse entrance, down the stairs from the Box Office. Parking for the new venue is available in the Village Entrance city lot and the Playhouse lot, conveniently located near many pre-performance dining options. 

Tickets are $20 (plus a modest online ticketing fee) and are available at https://artwow.tix.com/. Limited $25 seating may be available at the door; however, readings usually sell out, so plan accordingly.

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Local Hans Rey screens film and discusses his career at fundraiser for Wheels 4 Life on Feb 24

Laguna Beach resident Hans Rey presents “An Evening with Hans Rey & TransHongKong Film Premiere,” a fundraiser for his nonprofit charity Wheels 4 Life, on Monday, Feb 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Ranch. One hundred percent of the ticket sales will benefit the charity. 

The event will include a one-hour talk by Rey about this career highlights, favorite trails, and adventures. It will be followed by the TransHongKong film premiere, and a Q&A with Rey and the filmmaker Cedric Tassan.

TransHongKong, Rey’s latest adventure production, will have its world premiere at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival two days prior to the event at The Ranch.

Wheels 4 Life is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity founded in 2005 and operated by Hans and Carmen Rey, with the goal of providing people in Third World countries with bikes for transportation. The organization’s mission states: “The gift of mobility can make all the difference to a person’s life and help them to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty.”

Local Hans group

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Photo by Martin Bissig

Hans Rey (on left) with villagers in Kenya who received bikes from Wheels 4 Life

Rey says, “It was a way for us to give back, bicycles have been good to me and my career. People in developing countries often need the bikes for mobility to get to school, to receive or give healthcare, to go to the markets, to fetch water, etc. Bicycles can change lives. Our organization is very pure and effective – everybody works on a volunteer basis, and we have hardly any overhead. To date we have donated over 13,100 bicycles in 32 different countries.”

Wheels 4 Life works with volunteers in the field, local organizations and nonprofits, schools, community leaders, and health care clinics to help identify those people in genuine need of a bike. These people are those that live in both primitive and remote areas, with no access to, nor the means of affording, public transportation. The closest school, doctor, or work place might be as far as 10 to 20 miles away. 

Local Hans boy

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Photo by Martin Bissig

Hans Rey in Kenya with recipient of bike from Wheels 4 Life

Rey was born in Germany in 1966. This Swiss/American national now resides in Laguna Beach with his wife Carmen. Rey is considered the world’s leader in extreme mountain biking. He is a former Trials World Champion and inductee of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and is widely considered to be a pioneer of both the Mountain Bike Freeride movement and the Trials riding scene. As a professional rider and ambassador for the sport, he continues to travel the world and has thus far visited seventy different countries.

During the mid-nineties, Rey created the Hans Rey Adventure Team, visiting remote and extreme locations around the globe, often riding his bike where a bicycle had never been ridden before. In addition, he would seek out locations that were both historic and held some mystery, always capturing his exploits for the media.

Local Hans Hong Kong

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Photo by Carmen Rey/Bill Freeman

Hans Rey in Hong Kong for filming of “TransHongKong”

The Hans Rey Adventure Team was inspired by Rey’s desire to utilize his unique mountain biking talents and go outside the competitive arena and explore the world, capturing all the cultural and spiritual qualities of his destinations for the benefit of millions of TV, video, and publication viewers. Riding waterfalls in Jamaica, looking for pyramids and a dwarf tribe in China, amongst wild animals in Africa, in the footsteps of the Inca in Bolivia, searching for headhunters in Borneo – are just a few of Rey’s journeys with his adventure team.

Rey says of the fundraising event at The Ranch, “It will be an entertaining and inspiring evening for a good cause.” 

For more information about Hans Rey, go to www.hansrey.com. For more information on Wheels 4 Life, go to www.wheels4life.org.

To order tickets, click here

The Ranch is located at 31106 S Coast Hwy.

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Mr. Rock N’ Roll keeps the Beach Boys’ music alive with Surfin’ at the Playhouse this weekend

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Anyone who has been on the radio for 40 years knows music, and Brian Beirne, who was on KRTH 101 for 30 of those 40 years – the longest continuous stint in FM radio history – is one of our foremost music historians. 

In 2004, after retiring from KRTH 101, Beirne, who is known as Mr. Rock N’ Roll, began promoting tribute bands for musicians such as The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty. 

For the last nine years, Beirne has been the producer and host of Surfin’, a tribute to the Beach Boys, which will be performed tonight (and through the weekend) at Laguna Playhouse. 

First time at the Playhouse

This will be Beirne’s first time producing a show at Laguna Playhouse. “I’m looking forward to the performances. It’s a wonderful venue.”

Surfin’ is comprised of five professional musicians – all of whom have played with major rock artists, including one of the members who toured with the real Beach Boys and has been a long-standing member of the Brian Wilson Band.

Beirne says, “Surfin’ is a faithful recreation of what it would have been like to see the Beach Boys live, in concert, in their prime. It’s all there: the incomparable beauty of their vocal harmonies, the crashing back beat of Dennis Wilson’s drums, the soaring surf guitar of Carl Wilson, and the genius of Brian Wilson’s music, the Fender guitar lineup, the famous custom striped shirts, all the way down to the black suede Beach Boys boots.” 

Mr. Rock Boys

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Courtesy of the Playhouse

Beach Boys tribute band to perform at Laguna Playhouse this weekend

“Their music is timeless,” Beirne says. “They actually do the show as if they were the Beach Boys. That’s what separates them from other tribute bands.”

Everyone recognizes the Beach Boy songs, as evidenced by the fact that Surfin’ was recently invited to perform at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. It’s also been performed in Macau, Hong Kong, and Canada. With all the touring, Beirne is on the road quite a bit and produces 70-90 shows a year. 

Career in radio

How did Beirne initially get into radio, which led him down the path of becoming a musical historian, and eventually, a producer? 

Beirne says, “I was fascinated by music as a kid, and there were no books or the internet to get information. My dad took me to a radio station when I was 10 years old. The DJs got to handle the records, and talk to the artists, and once the records were off the playlist, they could take home the records. 

“When I was 13 years old and living in Oregon, I hung out at a radio station, and one Saturday night the DJ got sick, and they offered me the show. At 17, I was at the radio station full time.”

Mr. Rock close up

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Courtesy of the Playhouse

Brian Beirne, host and producer of “Surfin’”

During his 40-year career, Beirne has talked with hundreds and hundreds of artists, and admits that he has a near photographic memory for records and labels. “I toured with the Rolling Stones. I had so many experiences. I got to meet the artists of the records I bought as a kid. It’s been a wonderful life.”

As a result, he’s made a CD of his interviews with musical artists over the years, which will be on sale at the Playhouse this weekend.

Presenting the Beach Boys’ timeless and easily recognizable songs, Surfin’ truly portrays that Golden Age of music. Beirne says, “The music stands for itself, and the band stays in the characters of the Beach Boys. I hope folks come to the Playhouse and have fun, fun, fun.”

So come out tonight – or over the weekend – as Beirne keeps the music of the Beach Boys alive.

Surfin’ will be performed tonight at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Jan 26 at 1 p.m.

For ticket information, go to www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

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John Jorgenson Quintet mesmerizes crowd and brings Gypsy Jazz alive at Laguna Beach Live! 

By DIANNE RUSSELL

The music of the John Jorgenson Quintet has been described as saucy and infectious – and there’s no doubt about that – yet it can go from sassy to melancholy to romantic to sentimental with the turn of a tune, or the shift of a note. Bringing the world of Gypsy Jazz and World Music to [seven-degrees] on Wednesday evening, the Quintet enthralled the sold-out audience with their pure musical artistry.

Thanks to friends, I was fortunate to be sitting right up front, which allowed  for the rare privilege of watching Jorgenson’s fingers work their magic on the strings of the acoustic guitar and the bouzouki. 

Quintet musicians

The John Jorgenson Quintet is comprised of five distinguished musicians: Jorgenson (acoustic guitar, bouzouki, clarinet, vocals), Casey Driscoll (jazz violin), Rory Hoffman (guitar, piano, accordion), Simon Planting (bass), and Rick Reed (percussion).

The ensemble as a whole is spectacular, but as Jorgenson said, “Each is a soloist in his own right.” To the delight of the crowd, each took his respective turn proving that statement to be true.

Last year, a review in the New York Times claimed, “[Jorgenson is] perhaps the best jazz guitarist alive.” 

Along with the other four members of the quintet – who blend together so magnificently as to make the performances transcendent – it seems a match made in heaven.

Paying homage to Django Reinhardt

Jorgenson is known as one of the pioneers of the American gypsy jazz movement. Gypsy jazz is a style of jazz developed by the Romani guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt in Paris during the 1930s. Reinhardt was his father’s favorite guitarist, and Jorgenson paid tribute to Reinhardt. “We wouldn’t have jazz guitar without him.” Jorgenson was twice asked to recreate Django Reinhardt’s music for feature films, Gattica and Head in The Clouds

During the concert, Jorgenson played one of Reinhardt’s songs using two fingers (due to an injury, Reinhardt had the use of only two fingers). It was hypnotic to witness the seemingly impossible movements.

John Jorgenson playing

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Photo by Dianne Russell

(L-R) Rory Hoffman, Rick Reed, John Jorgenson, Simon Planting, and Casey Driscoll

Hitting all the emotional notes

One of the first songs of the concert was “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” by Elton John – with whom Jorgenson shares a long history. In 1994, he invited Jorgenson to join his band for an 18-month tour that stretched into a six-year stint of touring, recording, and TV appearances with the British superstar.

Prior to performing “One Stolen Night,” a beautiful romantic piece played on the bouzouki, Jorgenson asked the audience members to imagine themselves in Greece looking out at the ocean. It wasn’t difficult to evoke a Mediterranean vista and a lover nearby; it was bewitching. 

Forlorn is the best word to describe “Waiting for the Fog to Rise.” It was written by Jorgenson after he developed a new chord while passing time in a dressing room at an engagement. 

In 2006 Peter Frampton won the Best Instrumental Album Grammy for Fingerprints, which featured a song performed and composed with Jorgenson called “Souvenirs de Nos Pères” (Memories of Our Fathers), an emotional piece written with Frampton to honor memories of Frampton’s father as well as his own. This was hauntingly played on the clarinet by Jorgenson.

Not to shy away from popular songs, Jorgenson sang “Ex’s & Oh’s” by Elle King, while the audience happily snapped their fingers.

Surrounded by music

Raised in Southern California by a mother who was a music teacher and a father who was a conductor, Jorgenson was playing both the piano and the clarinet by age eight. By age 14, he was playing professionally. Learning first to play rock guitar, he absorbed other guitar styles as quickly as he discovered them. Reviewers have commented that it’s difficult to pin him down to one style due to his broad musical palette. Jorgenson is an “A-List” session player working in LA, Nashville, and London and has appeared on numerous platinum-selling and Grammy-winning CDs. 

John Jorgenson crowd

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Photo by Ava Burton

Quintet wows sold-out crowd

In the mid 1980s, he co-founded The Desert Rose Band, and the band earned five number one singles and garnered several awards. During this time, Jorgenson won the ACM’s “Guitarist of the Year” award three consecutive times.  Following The Desert Rose Band, he formed another award-winning group, the virtuosic guitar trio The Hellecasters. 

Tours worldwide

Currently living in Nashville, Jorgenson tours worldwide playing gypsy jazz with The John Jorgenson Quintet. He also performs in the UK with his electric band, John Jorgenson & Friends, and continues to collaborate with other artists live and in the studio.

Glen Anderson, who was attending the Jazz Series for the first time, said, “A fantastic show on Wednesday, showcasing the incredible talents of the John Jorgenson Quintet. John is certainly considered one of the premier guitarists in the world for his dazzling technique and impeccable taste. He is a gifted bandleader, but who knew he also was a great clarinet player! The Quintet demonstrated a wide range of emotional performances from ripping gypsy swing numbers to very delicate, moving compositions The rest of his band were all outstanding, especially violinist Casey Driscoll, who soared. Laguna Beach Live! is a great setting to see live music so check it out.”

Don’t miss the upcoming Laguna Beach Live! Jazz Wednesdays: February 12, Grammy Award-winning drummer Peter Erskine Trio; February 26, Black Market Reverie (speakeasy jazz); March 11, Blues vocalist Barbara Morrison; March 25, Latin jazz flutist Danilo Lozano; April 8, Tribute to Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong/performed by Bijon Watson and Meloney Collins; and April 15, critically acclaimed vocalist Kathleen Grace Quartet. 

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

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LAM presents Auction Tour with Malcom Warner and Julia Friedman on Jan 30

On Thursday, Jan 30 at 6 p.m., Laguna Art Museum Executive Director Malcolm Warner and art historian Julia Friedman will give a walk-through tour of LAM’s California Cool Art Auction. The event is free with museum admission, although advance tickets are recommended.

The California Cool Art Auction features works by over 100 important California artists for competitive bidding. Proceeds from the event support Laguna Art Museum’s mission of collecting and preserving California art, providing critically acclaimed exhibitions, and enhancing art education.

Malcolm Warner joined Laguna Art Museum as Executive Director in January 2012. Previously he was Deputy Director at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; and Curator of European Art at the San Diego Museum of Art.

Laguna Art group

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LAM presents walk-through tour of California Cool Art Auction on Jan 30

He was born in Aldershot (U.K.) and pursued both undergraduate and graduate studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He received his PhD from the Courtauld in 1985. His doctoral dissertation was on the British Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. He remains the leading authority on Millais and, as a long-term project, is preparing a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works.

Julia Friedman is an art historian, critic, and curator based in Orange County. She began her art historical studies at the Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, where she grew up. In 2005 she received a PhD in Art History from Brown University, and has since researched and taught in the U.S., U.K., and Japan. Her trans-disciplinary work on European Modernism, Russian emigration, and book art resulted in the illustrated monograph Beyond Symbolism and Surrealism: Alexei Remizov’s Synthetic Art, published by Northwestern University Press in 2011. 

In 2016 she completed a project based on the digital writings of Dave Hickey, editing Dust Bunnies and Wasted Words – two pendant volumes of the critic’s Facebook exchanges. She has been a regular contributor to Artforum, the Huffington Post, and the New Criterion. Her current research explores the tragicomic genesis of Wayne Thiebaud’s clown paintings. 

For questions or to purchase tickets by phone, call (949) 494-8971 x203.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr. For more information, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

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Tickets on sale for Friendship Shelter’s Rock the Cause on Feb 12

Tickets are on sale now for the annual Rock for the Cause event to benefit Friendship Shelter on Wednesday, Feb 12 from 6 - 10 p.m. 

Each ticket will include entry into the event, two hosted drinks, and appetizers. Additionally, Mozambique is generously donating 20 percent of all food and beverage sales back to Friendship Shelter. 

Hosted by Marshall Ininns, Shaena Stabler, and Mozambique, Rock for the Cause is a fun, raucous event to benefit Friendship Shelter’s work ending homelessness in south Orange County. “I always look forward to this event!” says Dawn Price, Friendship Shelter Executive Director. “Rock for the Cause brings our community together to have a great time while listening to amazing live music and supporting our work ending homelessness.” 

Tickets on group

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Photo by Aga Stuchlik

Bob Mister and Friendship Shelter Board Members Shaena Stabler and Marshall Innins at past Rock for the Cause event

Legendary Grammy-nominated musician Frank Simes will provide live entertainment for the evening. Simes is the current musical director and lead guitarist for Roger Daltrey and Don Felder and has recorded and performed with various rock stars including Mick Jagger, Don Henley, and Stevie Nicks. 

Friendship Shelter was founded in 1988 and provides a full complement of services for the most vulnerable homeless people in our community. The organization operates two shelter programs based in Laguna Beach, and a housing program throughout south Orange County. The goal for each person who walks through the doors of a Friendship Shelter program is always to find the most appropriate permanent housing solution to meet their individual needs. 

Tickets start at $75 and are available on Friendship Shelter’s website at www.friendshipshelter.org/events

For more information on Friendship Shelter’s programs and services, visit www.friendshipshelter.org

Mozambique is located at 1740 South Coast Hwy.

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Laguna Community Concert Band presents special anniversary concert on Sunday

The Laguna Community Concert Band celebrates its 20th anniversary with a nostalgic “Thanks for the Memories” concert on Sunday, Jan 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. 

Music Director Mark Lowery will raise the curtain on Broadway favorites, international marches, and American classics at the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre.

The musical travelogue also includes “Pirates of the Caribbean” conducted by maestro Pete Fournier, “Salute to Bob Hope” led by Dr. Bill Nicholls, and a special guest will close the concert with John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Laguna Community group

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Front (L-R): Tommy Bridges, Jay Kramer, and Sue White; Back (L-R): Shelli Alston, Lisa Morrice, and Dr. Bill Nicholls

Twenty years ago, Carol Reynolds, Theresa Marino, and Bill Nicholls met at Zinc Café, and the Laguna Community Concert Band was born. Nine members met in the Parks & Recreation Dance Studio. 

There are fond “memories” of Ray Lowery, father of the current Musical Director Mark Lowery, coaching Dennis White, one of the band’s first presidents. Now, the band, at 60 members strong, performs at major art venues throughout the community.

For more information, contact Roger Dennis, Community Liaison for Laguna Community Concert Band, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 339-0113. 

Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre is located at 625 Park Ave.

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