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Celebrate summer at Laguna Art-A-Fair 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Celebrate summer outside

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Start the summer right at Art-A-Fair, which runs from June 28 - September 1 with exhibits, live music, and events; for more information, go to www.art-a-fair.com

Celebrate summer Tara

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Artist Tara Luther: Art-A-Fair features 100 artists from all over the world 

Celebrate summer quilts

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Colorful quilts: Art-A-Fair offers exciting artist workshops for adults and children

Celebrate summer Scott

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Children’s book author and Illustrator Scott Sutton, who specializes in whimsical and colorful fine art paintings for children of all ages – drop by to take a look


Forest & Ocean Gallery hosts book signing with artist David Solomon and author, his daughter, on July 11

On Thursday, July 11 from 6 - 8 p.m., Forest & Ocean Gallery will host a special book signing event for the release of David Solomon: 50 Years an Artist. Guests can meet the artist and the author, his daughter Gaylen Solomon Corbett. 

Born in East Los Angeles in 1943, David Solomon was first exposed to the arts by his uncle who taught him how to paint signs. “He encouraged me to watch how the big billboards were painted in the city around us. I could watch these billboard artists paint everything from new cars to high fashion. That was my first 

art class.” 

Forest and closeup

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David Solomon on location

It was his interests in art and engineering that helped him find his way out of the barrio. “I first studied engineering and geology, then architecture and design.”  In his late teens, he left the electronics firm he was working for and enrolled in Art Center College of Design, then located in Los Angeles. After a career as a product and architectural designer, he hung up his T-square and triangle to focus on fine art. He has never regretted that decision. It has led to a full life of travel and painting with fellow artists for over 50 years.

Forest and book cover

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Book launch on July 11

In the late 1960s, Solomon moved to Laguna Beach where he became immersed in the local arts culture. He was a regular exhibitor at the Festival of Arts for 30 years and was the first artist ever commissioned to create a painting especially for display in the Pageant of the Masters. David is a signature member of Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) and participates in the organization’s annual events and shows.

The book chronicles Solomon’s career from his early beginnings in East L.A. to his discovery of Laguna Beach in the early 1970s, through to the present day. Plein air history, photos, and stories by other local artists are also included. Selected works by David Solomon will be on display and for sale.

Forest and Ocean Gallery is located at 480 Ocean Ave.

For more information, go to www.forestoceangallery.com or call (949) 371-3313.


Art-To-Go Full Circle opens at Festival of Arts

Art collectors who love circles will enjoy the 2019 Art-To-Go collection at Festival of Arts. More than 100 exhibitors donated originals under the theme “Full Circle” in celebration of the fundraisers’ 20th Anniversary.

Works are available for purchase daily, July 3 through August 25, during regular Festival hours.

Art To Go Full vase

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Photo by Gar Cropser

Glass vessel by Marcus Thesing is among 100 items for sale

Those visiting the Festival July 3 - 6 may cast votes for the People’s Choice artist. All ballots will be entered into a drawing for a free prize from the Festival Gift Shop. Find ballots at the Art-To Go displays. The winning voter and artists will be announced on July 7 at 5:15 p.m. on the Festival stage. 

Art To Go Full ballots

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Photo by Gar Cropser

Kyle Larsen and Wendy Wirth count ballots for the People’s Choice artist

Proceeds from Art-To-Go sales benefit The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts, providing hardship and disaster relief grants for artists in need. 

To view the online gallery, visit www.theartistsfund-foa.org. For more information, call (949) 612-1949.

Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters are located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Beach Live! welcomes Susan Davis to Board of Trustees

Laguna Beach Live! is pleased to welcome Susan Davis to its Board of Trustees. Susan grew up in New York and has also lived in Boston, Chicago, Houston, and in Laguna Niguel for the past 22 years. 

Davis has a BA in Art History from Emmanuel College in Boston. She is currently the Director of Special Events and Member Services at Laguna’s Festival of Arts where she has been for almost 20 years.

Laguna Beach Susan

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The newest Laguna Beach Live! Board of Trustees member, Susan Davis

The nonprofit organization Laguna Beach Live! formed in 2001 to increase the awareness of and participation in diverse musical experiences, enhancing the reputation of Laguna Beach as a music town and enriching the lives of residents, students, and visitors to Laguna Beach. The organization annually presents over 30 live music concerts and free education events. 

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


The Latin Jazz Syndicate kicks off LB Live! Jazz Summer International series on July 16

World-renowned trumpeter and Artistic Director of Jazz for Laguna Beach Live! Bijon Watson leads the commencing concert of the 2019 Laguna Beach Live! Jazz Summer International series. 

The Latin Jazz Syndicate introduces a fusion of Latin and World rhythms through famous jazz standards. These all-star musicians pay homage to America’s indigenous music, Jazz, while maintaining the rhythmic and harmonic authenticity required of a variety of ethnic styles.

The Latin Jazz group

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The Latin Jazz Syndicate hits the stage on July 16 

Jazz Summer International takes place every other Tuesday from July 16 to August 27 at the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach. 

Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m.; doors open at 5 for food, drinks, and social hour.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, or $100 for the full season. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders, and Laguna Beach Live! membership. Reservations are accepted until noon on the day of the concert or until sold out.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.

The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach is located at 286 St Ann’s Dr.


Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund receives grant from FOA 

The Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund has been awarded a generous grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation. The grant will assist in providing funds for art classes that are offered free to military personnel and their spouses. 

This successful and rewarding program began in 2016 and offers classes in a variety of media including jewelry fabrication, print making, drawing, painting, and more. SAEF classes are taught by professional local artists on the Sawdust grounds. The classes provide an opportunity to receive art as therapy, or as a pathway to making a business for entrepreneurship. 

Sawdust Art project

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Students working on a project with SAEF 

The Sawdust Art Education Fund is a philanthropic effort which supports educating the public through art programs that provide hands-on experiences. The art workshops are offered to seniors, at-risk youth, and military and their families. SAEF has also worked alongside the nonprofit organization American Family Housing to provide art classes to formerly homeless at-risk youth. 

For more information about the Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund or to make a contribution, visit www.sawdustartfestival.org/about/saef.


Laguna Beach Live! and LBHS Jazz bring music to Boys & Girls Club of LB

Laguna Beach Live! recently brought musicians from the Laguna Beach High School Jazz Band to the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach to give members a chance to experience the feel and sound of instruments such as the violin, clarinet, and various saxophones. 

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. 

Laguna Beach classroom

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LBHS Jazz Band students performing for the Boys & Girls Club of LB

At the end of the visit, club director Hans Laroche encouraged an impromptu performance by the band members, enjoyed by everyone at the club. 

The Instrument Petting Zoo is one of the free programs presented at the Club by Laguna Beach Live! that is made possible by a $3,000 grant from Festival of Arts Foundation. 

Laguna Beach instrument

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Students had a chance to feel the instruments

Other education programs include performances at the Club and public schools by musicians who perform in the Live! at the Museum on the second Thursday of each month and free concerts at the Susi Q Senior Center.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Laguna Plein Air Painters Association announces 2019 Invitational artists

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) will host its 21st Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational at the Laguna Festival of Arts the week of October 5 - 13.

LPAPA has invited 30 of the nation’s top award-winning contemporary landscape painters to gather in Laguna Beach and compete for over $40,000 in cash and prizes. 

Laguna Plein hat

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30 of the nation’s top painters will gather in Laguna Beach for the 21st Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational

The artists will arrive on Saturday, Oct 5 and start painting the town. Daily events and opportunities to watch the artists in action as they paint are planned, with the week-long festivities culminating with the highly anticipated Collectors Gala on Saturday October 12 (ticketed event) and the Invitational Art Show & Plein Air Festival on Sunday October 13 (free entry).

As LPAPA’s flagship annual event, the Invitational has become an important megaphone for sharing the tradition of plein air painting and the picturesque landscape of Laguna Beach and the beauty of our natural environments with the world. 

Laguna Plein crowd

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Crowds love the Quick Draw Competition at Heisler Park

LPAPA’s mission is to promote and preserve the outdoor painting tradition that helped establish Laguna Beach as an artists’ colony more than 100 years ago.

LPAPA is a nonprofit art organization based in Laguna Beach that was originally established in 1996 and has artist members across the nation and globally. Proceeds from Invitational ticket sales and the sale of paintings helps to support and sustain nonprofit LPAPA and its education programs. 

More information can be found at https://lpapa.org/2019-invitational-events/.

2019 Invitational Roster of Invited Artists:

--Ebrahim Amin, Laguna Beach

--Joe Anna Arnett, Santa Fe, N.M.

--Suzie Baker, Shenandoah, Texas

--Cindy Baron, North Kingston, R.I.

--Carl Bretzke, Minneapolis, Minn.

--John Budicin, San Bernardino, Calif.

--Bill Davidson, Monterey, Calif.

--Judd Mercer, Denver, Colo.

--Terry Miura, Fair Oaks, Calif.

--Dan Mondloch, Saint Cloud, Minn.

--Michael Obermeyer, Laguna Beach

--Kathie Odom, Knoxville, Tenn.

--Anthony Salvo, Newport Beach, Calif.

--Patrick Saunders, St. Louis, Mo.

--Aaron Schuerr, Livingston, Mont.

--Jeff Sewell, Costa Mesa, Calif.

--Michael Situ, Irvine, Calif.

--Michele Usibelli, Woodway, Wash.

--Jim Wodark, Orange, Calif.

--Vladislav Yeliseyev, Sarasota, Fla.

--Rick J. Delanty, San Clemente, Calif.

--Gil Dellinger, Laguna Beach

--Jennifer Diehl, Mt. Angel

--Aimee Erickson, Portland, Ore.

--Carole Gray-Weihman, Petaluma, Calif.

--Dan Graziano, Lancaster, Pa.

--Jane Hunt, Denver, Colo.

--Daniel Marshall, Denver, Colo.

--David Marty, Edmonds, Wash.

--Jim McVicker, Loleta, Calif.

Laguna Plein moody

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Talented artists will capture Laguna’s beauty during the invitational 

Highlight of 2019 Invitational Events:

--Saturday, Oct 5:  Warm-Up Paint Out & Mini Workshops

--Sunday, Oct 6: Quick Draw Competition at Heisler Park, Art Auction at Festival of Arts

--Monday, Oct 7: Kids Paint Out (morning), Plein Talk with the Artists (evening)

--Tuesday, Oct 8: Invitational “After Dark” Nocturne Paint Out

--Wednesday, Oct 9: Next Generation Paint Out (am), Plein Talk with the Experts (pm)

--Friday, Oct 11: Painting Demonstrations at Heisler Park, Main Beach & Treasure Island

--Saturday, Oct 12: 21st Annual Collectors Gala, Invitational Art Work Premiere & Awards

--Sunday Oct 13: Invitational Art Show & Plein Air Festival (free entry)

Event details can be found by visiting https://lpapa.org/laguna-plein-air-invitational/


53rd Annual Summer Sawdust Art Festival kicks off festivities with the expected and unexpected

Story by DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Just inside the gates of the Sawdust Festival, gold stars and a space ship greet visitors. It makes perfect sense, as the Sawdust, by all rights, is its own universe. One anticipates entering another world – the sights and sounds are exclusive to this particular space – and that’s the wonder of it.

53rd Annual mad hatter

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Mad Hatter – Robert Holton – welcome to the world of the Sawdust Art Festival 

Walking under the gold stars was the perfect introduction to the 53rd Annual Summer Sawdust Art Festival. “Expect the unexpected” is the theme this year, and who imagines looking up and seeing stars among the trees when it’s still light. But then who expects to see – the Mad Hatter, a fairy princess, a dragon, puppets, and a clothes designer doing a whirling dervish? Those are only a few of the delights among the 192 artists and makers (9 are guest artists) represented.

One always expects the work of the Sawdust artists to be unique, but this year seems particularly innovative. It’s a wonderful blend of seasoned and new exhibitors.

53rd Annual puppet

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Artists Natasha and Sandra Weir – mom and daughter dressed to match their booth themes

Heidi Miller, owner of Tight Assets downtown, said, “A little mist couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Preview night at Sawdust. Everyone kicked it up a notch this year, with themed booths and even an Avenue of the Stars and a spaceship to welcome all. With the new artists complimenting the seasoned veterans, fabulous décor, and a huge dragon watching over the festival, this year is out of this world! As I exited I overheard several people clutching purchases exclaim, “this is the best ‘Dust in years! Wow!”

53rd Annual artists

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Artists Katlin, Emily, Reem, Makaila, and Ora

Jane Slowsky is celebrating her 50th year exhibiting. She said of preview night, “Yes, I really enjoyed the evening. 50 years and planning more as I am now 91 working on 100. I was on the board when we created the Sawdust Festival and am one of the original exhibiters for our first year. My daughter Patty Slowsky has been my partner all these years as she made macramé keychains, that was the time we could sell our children’s artwork, and she has stayed with me all these years. We share our booth space with Patty’s husband, John Enfield, he does wood. Patty and John have combined their skills a few times. Patty and I try to make our glass fun and exciting and a new idea for glass each year.”

53rd Annual Slowsky

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Janet Koelle writing up a sale for Jane Slowsky, who is celebrating her 50th year in the Sawdust

Once local band Party Foul began to play, it was difficult not to gravitate toward the deck. The Sawdust continually hosts great musicians, and they were a terrific choice to usher in the summer season. 

The Sawdust Festival brochure explains, “During the process of making art, unexpected things will happen, and that is what makes it unique and beautiful. This year is about tapping into the creative power of art, which changes how we view the world.”

53rd Annual Evans

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Alex Evans, Father of dragons

After experiencing the 53rd Summer Sawdust, you can’t help but see the world a little differently. 

The Sawdust opens today, Friday, June 28, and runs through Sunday, September 1. It is open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.

Upcoming special events for the next week include Live Art Demos, every Monday at 5 p.m., Tropical Tuesdays beginning on July 2, Mardi Gras Day on July 6, and docent-led tours of the grounds every Wednesday at 3 and 5 p.m.

The Sawdust Festival is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information on events, workshops, and music, go to www.sawdustartfestival.org.

For more photos by Mary Hurlbut, see slideshow below


Plein Air Paradise

Plein Air canvas

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Photo by Tom Berndt

Every day, Laguna starts as a blank canvas

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