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Laguna Beach Live! invites all to an afternoon delight at Bluegrass & BBQ on June 8

Enjoy a delightful afternoon of incredible bluegrass music and delicious BBQ on Saturday, June 8 at Bluegrass & BBQ presented by Laguna Beach Live!. 

Laguna Beach Live! is once again partnering with three very talented local companies to bring an even greater hometown experience. 

Laguna Beach Beer Company, established in 2014 by lifelong Laguna Beach residents, will be serving Tuava Guava (Hefeweizen) and Ruby St. (Grapefruit IPA). Purple Corduroy, a California culture inspired wine company produced by the three Bromigos, Dr. Riptide, SLi Dawg, and “Brandavi,” with a Laguna Beach-to-Lodi connection, will be offering Red Siren (Zinfandel) and Blonde Siren (Sauvignon Blanc). 

Gnarly Q will be there too, offering freshly smoked choices of Pulled Pork, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs, Tri Tip of beef or vegetable skewers (all plates include baked beans, baked corn mash, and Hawaiian style coleslaw).

Laguna Beach outside band

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Submitted photo

Enjoy a delightful afternoon with live bluegrass music, beer, and tasty bites at Bluegrass & BBQ on June 8

Entertaining the crowd will be The Miskey Mountain Boys, featuring world-class musicians who have performed all over the worl  and at such events and venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Disney Studios, Pops Symphony Orchestras, The Tournament of Roses, and The United Artists Theater In Los Angeles. They have also been featured performers in radio, televisio,  and film, including The Academy Awards, A Prairie Home Companion, and HBO’s Big Love

Bluegrass & BBQ will be held on the pastoral campus of Laguna College of Art & Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

The concert is from 5 - 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4 for BBQ and social hour. Concert-only tickets are $20 in advance for adults, $25 at the door. Children (12 and under) are $10 in advance, $13 at door. VIP tickets, available in advance only, are $100 and include reserved table seating, the concert, and your choice of BBQ served at your table. General admission includes seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Chairs are provided. Barbecue and beverages will be sold separately. Sorry, no outside food or beverages are permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (800) 595-4849. For more information, call (949) 715-9713.


Laguna Beach Live! hosts “Musical Petting Zoo” at Boys & Girls Club with LBHS Jazz Band students

Inspired and coordinated by Laguna Beach Live!, musicians from the Laguna Beach High School Jazz Band came to the Boys & Girls Club on Friday afternoon to give youngsters a chance to experience the feel and sound of instruments such as the violin, clarinet, and various saxophones. 

Laguna Beach instrument

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Submitted photo

LBHS Jazz Band students shared the gift of music with Boys & Girls Club youth

Before allowing the instruments to be tried and “petted” by B&G Club attendees, the musicians, Elijah Dawson, Adam Retana, and brothers Will and Theo Coffey, demonstrated their instruments and talked about the joys and benefits of being in a band. 

At the end of the visit, club director Hans Laroche encouraged an impromptu performance by the band members, enjoyed by everyone at the club. Laguna Beach Live! hopes to bring the Petting Zoo back to the B&G Club on a regular basis.

Laguna Beach Live!, a nonprofit organization, strives to increase the awareness of and participation in diverse musical experiences, enhancing the reputation of Laguna Beach as a music town.

To this end, Laguna Beach Live! presents high-quality live musical performances that are accessible…affordable, intimate, and in our community. Education for our kids is a high priority too.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


ART4KIDS, INC. receives $2,000 Grant Award from Festival of Arts Foundation

The Festival of Arts Foundation has awarded $2,000 to ART4KIDS, INC. to provide art materials for Laguna Beach children in distress. Since 2001, ART4KIDS, INC. has donated supplies of art materials to various Laguna Beach nonprofits that aid children. 

This year’s grant funds will be used to provide art materials to Waymakers Teen Shelter, Even Start Boys & Girls Club preschool, Laguna Beach Community Clinic, Laguna Art Museum’s children’s program, and Laguna Food Pantry. 

Funded by private donations and grant awards, ART4KIDS, INC., serves social service agencies in Orange County. Since its inception, ART4KIDS, INC. has helped 50,000 children – ill, hospitalized, abused, orphaned, or homeless children facing major life challenges.

ART4KIDS INC painting

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Photo by Pam Schader

A two-year-old chemotherapy patient carefully creates her first painting, using materials supplied by ART4KIDS

The value of the program is supported by research showing visual art to be one of the most effective modalities for processing trauma. 

Founder Pam Schader, M.A., has directed the nonprofit for 18 years. She commented, “ART4KIDS serves children at more than 50 Orange County social service agencies each year. We are striving to meet the demand for donated art materials. The message of ART4KIDS is that art is a life skill available to all at difficult times. Therefore we hope to increase our capacity to include ‘to go’ artpacks for the teen clients at the Waymakers shelter to take with them when they leave. We currently supply one Laguna agency with 45 artpacks per year but they have expressed their need for 250 per week!”

ART4KIDS provides workshops for children at the Braille Institute, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, and special needs classrooms. 

ART4KIDS, Inc. welcomes donors and volunteers to assemble artpacks, work at art booths and workshops, make handmade cards, and identify children in distress.

Learn more at www.art4kidsinc.org.


Local artists host fourth annual Art Show and Open Studio on June 1

Award-winning sculptor Ron Whitacre and author/artist Kathryn Lang-Slattery will be hosting their fourth annual Art Show, Open Studio, and champagne reception on Saturday, June 1, from 4 to 9 p.m. 

This exhibition will be held at their private residence on the intimate and historical Fredrick M. Lang estate in South Laguna. 

Local artists toast

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Submitted photo

Ron Whitacre and Kathryn Lang-Slattery will host the fourth annual Art Show and Open Studio in their beautiful home on June 1

In Laguna Beach, Ron Whitacre’s best known work is “Harmony,” a large steel sculpture of a man, woman, and child, installed in 1998 over the entrance to the Art-A-Fair. 

Ron Whitacre will be available to discuss his process and his inspirations. His welded steel sculptural works are unusual in their fluidity and movement. 

Classic legends, mythical creatures, and the human figure in motion such as dancers, acrobats, musicians, and contortionists inspire him. In addition, his humorous greeter figures are popular with art collectors. 

Pen and ink drawings and pastel paintings by Kathryn Lang-Slattery will also be on display. 

Sip champagne, nibble chocolate treats, and enjoy the art. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive address.


Community Art Project presents “Expressions Grand,” opening June 8

Starting June 8 and showing through September 27, Community Art Project (CAP) will present “Expressions Grand.” The opening reception is Saturday, June 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited to come meet the artists and see their work up close and personal.

The CAP Gallery celebrates summer with abstract art in “Expressions Grand,” showcasing two remarkable Laguna Beach abstract artists, Elizabeth Bridy and Elaine Cohen.

Abstract art, not unlike the summer season, is pure fun. Swirling shapes, an array of colorful patterns or maybe pure energy is what the viewers see. It is open to interpretation and only requires an open, inquiring mind. It gives you the freedom to explore the artwork and assign your own meaning to it.

Form, colour, line, texture, pattern, composition, and process are the formal qualities of abstract art: they describe what the art looks like and how it is created. Meaning is derived from how these formal qualities are used to create a visual, emotional or cerebral experience.

The paintings by Elizabeth Bridy and Elaine Cohen feature abstract art consisting of bold colors, original designs, layered compositions, and the use of mixed media. Their art reflects passion, spontaneity, and emotional freedom.

Community Art Bridy

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Submitted photo

Elizabeth Bridy, “Jamais,” Mixed Media, 84” x 60”

Art has been a part of Elizabeth Bridy’s life since her youth. Growing up in Quebec, Canada, she was always fascinated by the seasons and the way the colors, textures, and materials could blend together to form something new and beautiful.

Bridy has studied various art mediums over the years, and her paintings have been displayed and collected locally and internationally. She has been particularly drawn to mixed media because of her desire to incorporate various materials on a blank canvas. She takes different aesthetics to create compositions that speak to the viewer in many ways.

Each layer tells a story. Each layer evokes a different emotion. The compositions of her mixed media works are layered with fabrics, magazines, clippings, charcoals, crayons, and acrylic paint. Colors, textures, and the overall composition define this artist’s emotions.

Born in New York, Elaine Cohen was raised in California. She first dreamed of becoming an artist when she was five years old. After raising a family and a career in several fields, she eventually studied sculpture with Robert Cunningham, a former Artist-in-Residence at the Getty Museum.

Cohen has since received numerous commissions for sculpted and pencil portraits. She was the featured “Emerging Artist” on PBS White House Chronicles on three separate occasions. She has developed a passion for abstract art, which is completely different from the figurative sculptures she has created. She creates her paintings with mixed media, which consists of acrylic paint, found objects, ink, pastels, and printed materials. Her paintings are all original, no reproductions, and as she forms her creative process, she may take a few minutes or weeks or months to complete a painting.

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of art and serve as a catalyst for art education. Ongoing exhibitions can be enjoyed at The CAP Gallery, in the unique Rotunda Gallery space located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Ave. 

Visit www.caplaguna.orgfor information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits, to be added to the email list, or to become a member and supporter of CAP. 

CAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by the member supporters, the Festival of Arts Foundation, the lodging establishments, and the City of Laguna Beach.


First LagunaPalooza Concert this weekend will raise money for great causes

The first-ever LagunaPalooza Concert for Charity, featuring American Idol contestant Andrew Bloom, will raise money for Waymakers Laguna Beach Youth Shelter and the National 9-99 Police and Sheriff Foundation.

The concert takes place this Saturday, May 25, from 4 - 11 p.m. at HotelSeven4one in Laguna, and will include an open bar, gourmet cuisine, silent auction items, and other special entertainment to raise funds for the two worthy causes.

The 9-99 Foundation, which organized the event, is thrilled that Andrew Bloom will be headlining the show. Bloom, a pop and R&B guitarist and vocalist, counts among his influences Allen Stone, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and John Mayer. He was just 17 years old when he was a contestant on American Idol Season 14. (He is now 21.)

With an emphasis on resolving the crisis and providing long-term stability, Waymakers works with families and leverages community resources to create healthier situations at home. Waymakers Youth Shelters have touched more than 13,457 family members and served more than 5,317 at-risk Orange County youth since opening in 1979.

first laguna bloom

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Submitted photo

American Idol contestant Andrew Bloom

The National 9-99 Police and Sheriff Foundation assists the law enforcement officers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our community. Their bravery brings great sacrifices of career-ending injuries, post-traumatic stress, and line of duty deaths. The 9-99 Foundation is there for these heroes when they need it most, providing support, guidance, and relief to injured law enforcement officers and their families through financial aid and mental health.

The 9-99 Foundation Grant Recipient Justin Ellis is just one example of the wonderful work that the Foundation does to help law enforcement personnel.

“Thanks to the donation from the 9-99 Foundation, I was able to complete four physical therapy training sessions at REACT. These are two-hour sessions where I worked with two different trainers who pushed me towards a goal. Mine was to stand in my leg braces and build up my endurance & strength,” Ellis says.

“Due to me pushing myself and having this money to make these sessions happen, for the first time in two years I was able to stand without a walker in my leg braces for our family Christmas photos. This was an incredible experience for me, and for both my children and wife to see me stand after it being so long since I last stood. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

There are several opportunities for Lagunans to make a difference in the lives of local youth and law enforcement heroes. Tickets to attend the event can be purchased online for $150. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. The event organizers also appreciate donations and silent auction items. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 11683, Newport Beach, CA 92658 and checks made payable to The 9-99 Foundation.

For more information, visit www.lagunapalooza.org.


LCAD Game Art students win Blizzard Student Art Competition

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) announced that an LCAD student won and another placed in the Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Contest. Leah Jackson’s “Enchanted Cottage on a Cliff” won the Environment Art category and Josh Shelnutt’s “Kuhn’Vusa Battle Tank” was a Character Art category runner-up.

“I wouldn’t be where I stand if it weren’t for the kind souls that have guided me here,” Leah said. “There have been times when I lost belief in myself and felt wrapped in darkness. It was those people who gave me golden glimmers of knowledge and empathy that lead me to find a path to greatness.” 

LCAD Game painting

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Submitted photo

“Enchanted Cottage on a Cliff” by LCAD student Leah Jackson

“We are extremely fortunate to have such a great collaborative relationship with Blizzard Entertainment,” said Gavin Rich, chair of LCAD Game Art. “We’re extremely proud of Leah and Josh for their achievements.”

LCAD’s reputation has attracted industry partners like Blizzard to teach and mentor students. Many LCAD Game Art alumni have been recruited to work with the game giant.

Blizzard Entertainment’s university relations and World of Warcraft development teams hold the annual contest for college and university students to submit original artwork that would be a great fit for World of Warcraft. Grand prizewinners receive a tour of Blizzard Entertainment’s headquarters in Irvine, two hours of mentorship with a senior artist, a one-year subscription to World of Warcraft, a Blizzard Entertainment notebook (featuring an original sketch by a Blizzard artist), and a Blizzard t-shirt.

For more information about LCAD Game Art, visit www.lcad.edu/game-art/program/program-overview


First LagunaPalooza Concert will feature American Idol’s Andrew Bloom & raise money for great causes

The first-ever LagunaPalooza Concert for Charity, featuring American Idol contestant Andrew Bloom, will raise money for Waymakers Laguna Beach Youth Shelter and the National 9-99 Police and Sheriff Foundation.

The concert takes place on Saturday, May 25, from 4 - 11 p.m. at HotelSeven4one in Laguna, and will include an open bar, gourmet cuisine, silent auction items, and other special entertainment to raise funds for the two worthy causes.

The 9-99 Foundation, which organized the event, is thrilled that Andrew Bloom will be headlining the show. Bloom, a pop and R&B guitarist and vocalist, counts among his influences Allen Stone, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and John Mayer. He was just 17 years old when he was a contestant on American Idol Season 14. (He is now 21.)

With an emphasis on resolving the crisis and providing long-term stability, Waymakers works with families and leverages community resources to create healthier situations at home. Waymakers Youth Shelters have touched more than 13,457 family members and served more than 5,317 at-risk Orange County youth since opening in 1979.

first laguna bloom

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

American Idol contestant Andrew Bloom

The National 9-99 Police and Sheriff Foundation assists the law enforcement officers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our community. Their bravery brings great sacrifices of career-ending injuries, post-traumatic stress, and line of duty deaths. The 9-99 Foundation is there for these heroes when they need it most, providing support, guidance, and relief to injured law enforcement officers and their families through financial aid and mental health.

The 9-99 Foundation Grant Recipient Justin Ellis is just one example of the wonderful work that the Foundation does to help law enforcement personnel.

“Thanks to the donation from the 9-99 Foundation, I was able to complete four physical therapy training sessions at REACT. These are two-hour sessions where I worked with two different trainers who pushed me towards a goal. Mine was to stand in my leg braces and build up my endurance & strength,” Ellis says.

“Due to me pushing myself and having this money to make these sessions happen, for the first time in two years I was able to stand without a walker in my leg braces for our family Christmas photos. This was an incredible experience for me, and for both my children and wife to see me stand after it being so long since I last stood. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

There are several opportunities for Lagunans to make a difference in the lives of local youth and law enforcement heroes. Tickets to attend the event can be purchased online for $150. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. The event organizers also appreciate donations and silent auction items. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 11683, Newport Beach, CA 92658 and checks made payable to The 9-99 Foundation.

For more information, visit www.lagunapalooza.org.


Laguna Art Museum presents Wayne Thiebaud: California Memories on May 30

On Thursday, May 30 at 6 p.m., Laguna Art Museum executive director Dr. Malcolm Warner will discuss the work of Wayne Thiebaud, California’s most beloved artist.

Wayne Thiebaud was born in 1920 in Mesa, Arizona, and resides in Sacramento, California. As a child he lived in Long Beach, California, and in Hurricane, Utah, where his family’s farm failed during the Depression. The family moved back to Long Beach in 1933, and Thiebaud worked in his youth as a sign painter and as an “in-betweener” in the animation department of Walt Disney studios. 

Thiebaud studied commercial art in a trade school, attended Long Beach Junior College, and worked as a shipfitter in the Long Beach harbor. In the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945, stationed in California, he drew a cartoon strip for the base newspaper.

After leaving the service, he worked as a designer and cartoonist at the Rexall Drug Company in Los Angeles, where a fellow employee was painter Robert Mallary, who encouraged him to begin painting. Studying under the GI Bill, Thiebaud received a BA and an MA from California State College (now California State University) in Sacramento. His first solo exhibition was in 1951 at the E. B. Crocker Art Gallery (now the Crocker Art Museum).

Laguna Art birds

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Courtesy of LAM

Wayne Thiebaud, Palm Road, Soft-ground etching, second state, artist’s proof, 1965 - Laguna Art Museum Collection, Promised gift of the artist, 2013
Art © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Thiebaud began teaching at Sacramento Junior College in 1951. He has been a teacher ever since, working as a visiting professor in schools around the country, from Colorado University to Harvard and Yale. From 1960 he sustained a teaching commitment to the University of California, Davis. (He nominally retired in 1990).

In 1956-57, he lived for a year in New York City, became friendly with Elaine and Willem de Kooning, and met other abstract expressionist artists. His first exhibition in New York, at the Alan Stone Gallery in 1962, received tremendous critical attention, with reviews in Newsweek, Art News, the New York Times, and Life magazine. That same year he had a solo exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. He has been an active printmaker throughout his career, and began making etchings at Crown Point Press in 1964.

Thiebaud has shown in numerous exhibitions and received many awards, including the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Clinton in 1994. His paintings are in the collections of most major museums in the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Admission is free and advance tickets are recommended.

For questions or to reserve tickets by phone, call (949) 494.8971 x203.

For more information, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Laguna Beach Live! Blues is a Woman hits it out of the park with sensational show at [seven-degrees]

Story and photos by DIANNE RUSSELL

Blues is a Woman, described as “a mix of performance and history, with a cracker-jack all-woman band” blew it out of the water in a sensational musical show on Wednesday evening at [seven-degrees] in the Canyon. 

“Blues are the rhythm of life,” said one of the band members. And true to that statement, there was a lot of rhythm and blues going on for two jampacked hours. 

The show channeled storytelling and music to bring to life the contributions of generations of women to the blues, an art form too often associated with a man and a guitar. The musicians covered singers from Ma Rainey to Bonnie Raitt so authentically that the crowd might as well have been dancing in Congo Square in New Orleans.

Lustily-sung lines like “Don’t you feel it in your blood – don’t you feel it in your hips” reflected the energy in the packed room, a mix of men and women equally mesmerized. The musicians themselves vibrated with electricity, red hair bouncing, dreadlocks shaking, ponytails swinging to the beat.

Laguna Beach band

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(L-R) Pamela Rose, Ruth Davies, Pat Wilder, Kristen Strom, and Daria “Shani” Johnson

Each band member in her own right was a standout and together, they melded into a powerful combination that epitomized the “blues.”

Vocalist/author Pamela Rose has performed for decades both in and out of the country and has six recordings; Tammy Hall, music director/pianist/vocals has acted as music director and accompanied many acclaimed performers; Pat Wilder on guitar and vocals, has spent the past 30 years as guitarist in the Bay Area; Ruth Davies has lent her upright bass stylings to many internationally touring artists; Kristen Strom on saxophone and vocals has performed with many well-known artists; and Daria “Shani” Johnson on drums and vocals is one of the most sought after drummers in the Bay Area.

“Why wasn’t this on the stage at the Playhouse?” an attendee was overheard to say. True that the show deserved an even larger audience, but the intimacy of the venue and the packed crowd suited the show better.

Laguna Beach room

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Packed room for Blues is a Woman

“I’m loving it,” trustee Cindy Prewitt said. “Sold-out shows like this one hopefully get the message across that Laguna Beach Live! isn’t just about jazz – we bring Laguna a wide variety of high-quality musical performances, from a cappella to chamber music at the Art Museum to bluegrass at LCAD. And stay tuned for a truly international concert next year. We’re still working on the venue.”

The crowd left with favorite lyrics buzzing in their ears, from “If I only had my way, the graveyard is where my man would lay” to “If you don’t like my ocean, don’t fish in my sea.”

An awesome evening!

For more information on Laguna Beach Live!, go to www.LagunaBeachLive.org.

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