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Iconic Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts Fine Arts Show return in July

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach has been dedicated to showcasing the most talented artists, promoting the finest art, and producing the most unique and fascinating art events in the country for over 85 years. 

Returning this summer, the 2019 Pageant of the Masters takes to the stage July 7 through August 31 to amaze audiences with its world-famous presentation of living pictures. 

The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show will showcase the work of 140 prestigious Orange County artists from July 5 to August 31, as well as host daily live concerts, hands-on art workshops, tours, special events, and more. 

Southern California Acura Dealers, Fidelity Investments, KOST Radio 103.5, San Diego County Credit Union, and The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel sponsor both events.

Iconic stage

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Get ready for the highly anticipated return of the FOA and Pageant of the Masters 

The Pageant of the Masters has been a Laguna Beach tradition since the 1930s and now attracts over 225,000 patrons every summer, along with the Fine Arts Show. 

The Pageant is accompanied by original, live music by the Pageant orchestra, with informative and engaging live narration presented by Richard Doyle and written by Dan Duling. Longtime Pageant Technical Director Richard “Butch” Hill is excited about advances in video production and special effects this year.

The 2019 showcase of The Time Machine is anticipated to be one of the most exciting productions yet with many surprises and new, elevated special effects. A first in the Pageant’s history, the story line will bring audiences on a journey through a series of clues and instructions from a notebook inspired by a famous artist.

Iconic gold

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The 2019 theme for the Pageant is “The Time Machine”

Offering a space for creativeness and imagination under the sunny Laguna Beach skies from July 5 - August 31 is the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, a professionally juried show featuring a diverse selection of artwork including paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and more from top artists around Orange County. 

Since opening in 1932, thousands have shown and sold their artwork at the Festival and many have their work featured in the private collections of leading art collectors, celebrities, and museums around the world.

In addition to the variety of artwork, the Festival of Arts offers a wide range of daily activities that the entire family can enjoy. The calendar includes nightly live music, guided art tours, artwork shops, and weekly series including Concerts on the Green (sponsored by Cambria Estates Vineyard and Winery) and Art, Jazz, Wine, and Chocolate (sponsored by Charles Schwab). Several special one-day events will return this year, including the very popular Festival Runway Fashion Show (August 18) and Family Art Day (July 14).

New to the 2019 entertainment calendar for the Festival of Arts is the Portraits on the Green and Art & Yoga with Lululemon. Offered every Tuesday at 1 p.m., attendees are invited to watch as Festival of Arts exhibitors paint, sculpt, or photograph live models on the Festival’s Concert Stage. 

Every Friday at 1 p.m., grab your yoga mat and get ready to flex your creative muscles at the Festival of Arts for Art and Yoga with Lululemon. Experienced yoga instructors will guide participants through a relaxing and meditative session outdoors surrounded by fine art. Whether you are brand new to yoga and want to test the waters or an experienced Yogi, all skill levels are welcome.

The 2019 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show will take place July 5 - August 31 with general admission tickets starting at $10 per person. The Pageant of the Masters, running in conjunction with the Fine Arts Show, is July 7 - August 31 with tickets now available starting at $15 per person. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

LagunaTunes continues to bring joy to the stage with music from The Beatles on Sunday


For over 15 years, LagunaTunes chorus has delighted audiences with spirited concerts such as “Swinging with Santa,” “Countdown to Motown,” and “Christmas Letters.”

On Sunday, June 23, come together and experience another spectacular performance as LagunaTunes Community Chorus presents “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles!” with special guest star Jason Feddy. Feddy, a transplanted Brit and Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Artist of the Year, is well-known for his captivating Beatles programs, witty asides, and audience participation.

The show begins at 4 p.m. at Artists’ Theatre at Laguna Beach High School, and it’s free. Where can one attend anything free, much less a fun-filled evening of great entertainment?

LagunaTunes Chorus (Laguna’s own all-community, no-audition vocal group) celebrates the TV appearance of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in

1964. The program includes high-energy hits that compel audience members to dance, smile, and sing along. Also included are a few poignant ballads and unforgettable melodies. 

LagunaTunes Director Bob Gunn also directs the St. Mary’s choir and Men Alive (the Orange County’s Gay Men’s Chorus). His Men Alive concerts have brought audiences to their feet all over southern California, across the U.S., and in Europe.

LagunaTunes continues group

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Come join in the fun at LBHS on Sunday

Founded in 2003 by Pat Kollenda, Roxanna Ward, and Alicia Morrice as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community chorus, the group was a place where one could come, sing, and be joyful. Ward and Christin Cornell were the first directors. 

Kollenda says, “We started with 12 members and only one guy. We rehearsed at Neighborhood Congregational Church and St. Mary’s Church, and then we were able to rehearse at Thurston Middle School because Roxanna taught a course there. Then as we grew in size, we went from performing at the churches to the high school.”

Although I’ve enjoyed Kollenda’s performances at No Square Theatre, I was unaware of her extensive background in music and singing. To name only a few of her accomplishments – she’s been director of Women’s Chorus, Harbor Singers, and a women’s barbershop group. But most surprising to learn was that she was part of quartet that traveled to Vietnam in 1972 with the USO. 

However, singing ability is not a requirement of joining LagunaTunes. New members are encouraged to become part of the group without the daunting fear of an audition. 

“All you have to do is show up,” Kollenda says.

LagunaTunes continues Feddy

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Courtesy of

Special appearance by Jason Feddy

By all descriptions, it’s a friendly and inclusive group, and singers of all training and experience levels are welcome. Some members read music, some do not, age levels cover a broad range, and all are united by a love of music. Emphasis is on fun, learning, improving performance skills, and the joy of group singing. After a few weeks of rehearsal, new members are typically surprised at how well they can sing. The group practices on Monday nights from 7 until 9 p.m. at Thurston. Two or three Saturday practices are also held in preparation for the concert.

Accolades for LagunaTunes include comments such as, “The community chorus, ably directed by the inspiring Bob Gunn, is a local treasure,” and 

“Succinctly put, LagunaTunes concerts are short, sweet, free, and fun, and truly the voice(s) of the community.”

So don’t miss the opportunity to reminisce to the music of The Beatles on Sunday and experience the voice(s) of Laguna.

LagunaTunes Chorus also presents another concert in December, with fall rehearsals starting September 16.

LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone and presents two free concerts per year. Funding is provided by the Festival of Arts Foundation and The Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

The Artists’ Theatre at LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave

For more information, go to or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Peter Blake Gallery celebrates 25 years of fine art with exhibit and reception on June 30


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

To commemorate its 25th anniversary, Peter Blake Gallery presents an exhibit aptly named “Twenty Five Years,” which incorporates both historic and recent West Coast Abstraction. Blake invites the community to join the opening celebration at a reception on Sunday, June 30 from noon to 2 p.m.

To date Peter Blake Gallery is the longest-running gallery exhibiting West Coast Minimalism and has become internationally known as a gallery that has carved a niche. The Gallery honors this longevity with a presentation of works by Lita Albuquerque, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Ron Cooper, Mary Corse, Tony Delap, Laddie John Dill, Joe Goode, James Hayward, Scot Heywood, Craig Kauffman, John McCracken, John M. Miller, Marcia Hafif, Ron Nagle, Helen Pashgian, Hadi Tabatabai, and De Wain Valentine. 

Over half of the pieces in the exhibit are on loan from major collections and Blake says, “This gives visitors the opportunity to view works they might never have had the opportunity to see.” At the close of the exhibit in August, they will go back to their owners. 

Peter Blake sign

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Peter Blake Gallery relocated to the current location in 2008

When entering the gallery, it’s immediately apparent that it is an extraordinary space – three to be exact. It has a serene and almost sacred feeling, as if stepping through the door of a church. This peaceful aura wasn’t created by happenstance.

Blake says, “Some contemporary fine art is politically driven, everything has a strong message. These works are peaceful and quiet, they reflect and absorb light like the ocean and sand.”

A shift to minimalism

In 2008 when Blake moved his gallery from North Laguna to Ocean Ave – it was a beauty supply store and before that The Diane Nelson Gallery – he shifted exclusively into minimalism. He gutted the interior and divided it into three areas, the first with natural light, the second with natural and controlled light, the third contains totally controlled light. “The pieces capture the traveling of light. Sometimes the shadows are as beautiful as the work itself,” he says.

The snow-blink white walls are hung with a scattering of works, some have their own “nooks and crannies” as he describes them. Blake has the opinion that less is more, and the austere quality only adds to the mystique of the space. 

Peter Blake Alexander

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Work by Peter Alexander 1-10-14

Blake explains, “West Coast Minimalism originated in the 1960s and 1970s. Artists visiting the California Coast weren’t interested in brushes to capture the white light of the beaches and ocean. They were using resin and metal with auto paint.”

Blake brings together the sub-categories of West Coast Minimalism – Light and Space, Finish Fetish, Cool School, and Hard-Edge – in the installation, and it appears as a wonderfully cohesive whole.

Each work of art is strategically placed. Blake says, “The installation is done over time. As works come in, they are placed in composition with the other pieces, so they form a collage. Each new show presents a challenge.” 


Milestones often bring reflections on the past, and as Blake observes the occasion of the Gallery’s 25th anniversary, he contemplates his history in Laguna, his 55th birthday on Thursday, his first six months as a Council member, and his recent purchase of the building that houses the Gallery, the first property he has owned in Laguna.

As exquisite as the Gallery is, Blake says, “A brick and mortar location isn’t necessary, most of my business is done online and at art fairs, but I love Laguna and being part of the community and its rich artistic history.”

Peter Blake interior

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Blake recently purchased the building that houses the Gallery

He and his wife Stephanie Bachiero travel all over the world for the art fairs – London, Paris, Sydney. 

The Gallery has been accepted into this year’s edition of Salon Art + Design New York, and this fall, they will be highlighting Brazilian Design and California Minimalism in their booth at the fair. They have also applied the Antoine Philippon & Jacqueline Lecoq solo presentation to Design Miami. 

Art fairs

Some of the recent fairs they’ve attended are: Seattle Art Fair 2017, Peter Alexander Solo Presentation at Expo Chicago 2018, and Fred Eversley Solo Presentation at the Armory Show 2018.

“I’m very proud to represent Laguna Beach at these art fairs,” Blake says.

When he came here in the 1980s, he said, “I’d never lived in a small town.” But he was smitten once he drove past the house on top of the ridge at the south end of Crystal Cove. He was born in Long Island, NY, lived in Dallas and Washington, D.C., and when he arrived here, worked as a waiter at Romeo Cucina. 

Peter Blake Valentine and Miller

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On left, De Wain Valentine, “Concave Circle Rose,” 1968; on right, John Miller, “Untitled,” 1995

With the new Gallery location came a different artistic direction, which he felt intuitively he should focus on, but it wasn’t without its downsides. The move took place just as the recession hit in September of 2008.

“It was a huge transition,” he says. “But as an art dealer, I couldn’t realize my full potential, so I made a dramatic shift. It took a while to get the Gallery off the ground. I worked at Romeo Cucina for five years until it became profitable. Now a lot of my business is buying and selling and remarketing of works we sold in the 1990s.”

Highs and lows

Blake and his wife, artist Stephanie Bachiero, have entered another artistic realm, incorporating design into collectible pieces. They have recently shown at Palm Springs Modernism Show Spring Edition 2019, KEM Weber Walt Disney Studio Designs at Design Miami 2018, and The Tendency of the Moment | International Deign: The Bauhaus Through Modern, Peter Blake Gallery 2017.

He has also survived through three recessions. “People stop buying art,” he says.

Even though there have been lows, Blake says the best part of being an art dealer is “doing exactly what you love to do, knowing you won’t get rich, but it’s rewarding.”

Peter Blake Lita

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Lita Albuquerque, “Untitled,” 2019, 24K gold leaf on resin, pigment on panel

“We do most of our business online and at fairs, so we could live anywhere in the world, but we choose to live in Laguna because we love this place. By purchasing this building, I’m saying I’m going to be here for the rest of my life.”

Excerpted from an essay written for the anniversary by prominent collector/Gallery friend Gisela Colon, she says, “Peter Blake falls into this category of the classic quintessential old-fashioned gallerist. He is one of them, not because he has been in the art world for twenty-five years – though this in and of itself is a feat of endurance and undeterred presence – but most importantly because he has the eye. By any tangible metric, Peter possesses the intangible asset of seeing the aesthetic of the future.”

Peter Blake Gallery is located at 435 Ocean Ave.

For more information, go to or call (949) 376-9994.

Laguna Dance Festival receives $3,000 grant from the FOA Foundation

The Laguna Dance Festival (LDF) is honored to receive a generous grant of $3,000 from the FOA Foundation in support of LDF’s second Summer Intensive. 

This week-long dance class, taught by acclaimed choreographers and teachers, will take place June 24 - 28 at Laguna Beach High School Dance Studio. 

Students will train with Jodie Gates and other faculty from University of Southern California. At the end of class the students will perform a portion of a routine taught throughout the week to friends and family. Once again the class is full. 

Laguna Dance class

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Submitted photo

LDF’s Summer Intensive class will be from June 24 - 28

This grant is important to LDF, enabling the organization to continue fulfilling its mission of providing outstanding dance education to young artists, free community performances, and presenting world-class dance at the annual Festival. 

The Laguna Dance Festival is one of Orange County’s major cultural art events as well as an important showcase for new and established dance companies and artists. 

The 15th Fall Festival will take place September 27 - 29 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. There will be free performances throughout the year in Laguna Beach. 

For details, visit or call (949) 715-5578.

Carole Zavala to be featured Guest Artist at PRINTPAINTDRAW at Showcase Gallery

Carole Zavala, Laguna artist and facilitator of the City’s Friday Art Salon, will be a featured Guest Artist at the PRINTPAINDRAW show at the Showcase Gallery/ArtShop and Bear Street Gallery in South Coast Village. 

The show opens on June 24 and runs through August 4. A reception honoring Carole and Featured Artist Dominique McKenzie will be held on Saturday, June 29 from 5 - 7 p.m.

Carole Zavala painting

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Mont St. Michel by Carole Zavala

Carole was the founding Director of Gallery Q at the Susi Q and has taught several “Painting with Passion” courses during the past five years. She is also known for her documentary of James Koch, a well-known sculptor of found objects at our local Sawdust Festival. 

Watercolors, as well as acrylics and mixed media work, will be included in her exhibit. A limited number of giclees are available as well.

For more information, call (714) 540-6430 or visit

Showcase Gallery is part of the Orange County Fine Arts Association, celebrating 55 years of support for the visual arts in Orange County.

The Gallery is located at South Coast Plaza Village, 3851 S. Bear St. Ste. B-15 (next to the Corner Bakery).

Laguna Playhouse presents Gypsy, Celebrating the Music of Stevie Nicks & Fleetwood Mac

Laguna Playhouse presents another unforgettable evening of music with Gypsy, Celebrating the Music of Stevie Nicks & Fleetwood Mac on Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 22 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 23 at 1 p.m. 

The feel of authenticity in Rikki Lee Wilson’s performance as Stevie Nicks is enhanced by the lush backing vocals of Deanna Carroll and Terry Pavia. The ever-talented Kyle Wilson fills the role of a Stevie Nicks guitarist with effortless fidelity. 

Laguna Playhouse Rikki Lee Wilson

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Courtesy of @missrikkileewilson Instagram

Rikki Lee Wilson will perform as Stevie Nicks at Laguna Playhouse

From the other side of the stage comes authentic synth textures and keyboard parts tastefully executed by Sid Cherry who has all the right sounds from Stevie Nicks’ biggest hits. A blazing performance by Adam Tese on saxophone is matched by his skills around the array of percussion instruments he plays throughout the show. 

Anthony Lombardo’s melodious bass playing and the steadfast drumming and exceptional vocals of Steve Stewart complete the eight-piece lineup. Gypsy, Celebrating the Music of Stevie Nicks & Fleetwood Mac has a production value that gives audiences a stellar experience second only to the real thing.

Tickets range from $56 - $71 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. Prices are subject to change.     

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

BC Cultural Arts Center hosts fundraiser to preserve vision of historic BC Space on Saturday

Rick Conkey, who is undertaking the transformation of BC Space into BC Cultural Arts Center, maintains that venues such as BC Space are irreplaceable because they present valuable performing and visual arts for the public. To this end, there will be an event to raise funds to bring this vision to fruition.

On Saturday, June 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Moss Point, the festive fundraiser will feature an open bar, silent auction, and live music from Jason Feddy. Admission is $50.

Participants can be a part of launching Laguna’s first Cultural Arts Center on historic Forest Avenue and maintaining Mark Chamberlain’s legacy. Sadly, Mark, co-founder, owner, and curator of BC Space Gallery, passed away from cancer last year.

This art-filled fundraising event will bring like-minded art loving people together to ensure a bright future of Laguna’s first Cultural Arts Center. The funds raised will help us harness the power of the arts for the benefit of the community.

BC Space Chamberlain

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Mark Chamberlain leaves long legacy

As more than an art gallery, and more than a music venue, BC Cultural Arts Center’s 2,400 square feet will also present the history of Laguna Beach’s visual and performing arts, while introducing new artists. 

“Mark had a vision for BC Space. In order to preserve this historic Laguna Beach venue for the future, the building’s owner will generously invest $80,000 to protect the historical aspects of the space, while making the improvements to meet the cultural, visual, and performing arts needs of Laguna Beach. This fundraiser will help finance the final improvements necessary to make this BC Cultural Arts Center a reality,” says Conkey.

According to Conkey, BC Cultural Arts Center will provide an opportunity for our residents and visitors to understand the town’s rich art culture and history. It will also serve as an epicenter and engine for music, pre-screenings for films, classes, dance, poetry readings, artists’ talks and more. 

The BC Space remodel will amplify visitors’ sensory experiences by presenting artists of all kinds in a setting that ascends to the quality of their talents.

 “Mark Chamberlain would call you an ‘Artivist’ if you loved Laguna and love making a difference,” says Conkey.

As a community, the goal is to get together and ensure top-notch programming and experiences for residents and visitors.

BC Space Gardiner

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Local Poet John Gardiner often read at BC Space

Event planners are still looking for silent auction items.

For those who want to help but can’t attend the fundraiser, it is still possible to become an “Artivist” by joining this GoFundMe effort and making Mark’s vision a reality. 

To make an impact, go to the GoFundMe page here.

--The Fan - $50 Contribution

--The Local - $100 Contribution

--The Artivist - $200 Contribution 

--Performer’s Patron - $500 Contribution 

--Buy A Brick (engraved name displayed in venue) - $1,000 Contribution 

--Arts Underwriter (branding tastefully displayed in venue) - $5,000 Contribution

Moss Point is located at the end of Moss St at PCH.

BC Cultural Arts Center is located at 235 Forest Ave. 

For more information or to RSVP, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 573-8624.

Fete de la Musique 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Fete de parade

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Boardwalk parade – Elvis (David Gorgie) on left

Fete de Chutney

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Love Chutney at Areo 

Fete de Mike

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Mike DeBellis, jazz saxophonist at Pepper Tree Lane 

Fete de Tamara

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Sandro and Tamara, multilingual vocalists at LCAD Gallery parking cave

Fete de Blacktongue

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Blacktongue Bells, a real crowd-pleaser at the Water District…But the music never stops, so tune in on Friday to get the rest of the melodic missive from Barbara Diamond

Behind-the-scene creation of 2019 Pageant of the Masters dazzles previewers


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

The Time Traveler in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine says, “Scientific people know very well that Time is only a kind of Space.” This year’s Pageant of the Masters’ themed presentation of “The Time Machine” promises to amaze audiences with a trip around the globe and into the past, present, and future in search of great art and incredible stories. It’s described as a journey through both time and space. 

On Monday evening, previewers had the opportunity to visit the spaces where the wizards of costume, makeup, set design, sculpture design, technicians, as well as the people who wrangle the models onto the sets play their parts in contributing to the magic of tableaux vivants or “living pictures.” During this year’s show, real people will step into famous works of art by artists like Vermeer, Dali, Rockwell, and Da Vinci for a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience.

Behind the festival

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Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s “The Vintage Festival” Can you spot the five cast members in this scene?

This extraordinarily talented team behind the world-famous Pageant of the Masters is rockin’ around the clock with preparations and rehearsals for the highly anticipated production. 

Preparations are also underway for the new on-site concessionaire Intermission by Terra, and Monday’s attendees gleefully sampled some of their fare.

“To say this summer’s show is a very different Pageant is an understatement!” says Diane Challis Davy, now in her 24th season as the Pageant Director. “The story line will bring audiences on a journey through a series of clues and instructions from a notebook inspired by a famous artist, a first in the Pageant’s history.”

“We don’t want to give away too many surprises, but some over-the-top innovations for this year include laser lights, an authentic 1959 jukebox, and if you are paying attention…you may even see a UFO,” commented Challis Davy. 

In his introduction to preview attendees, Festival of Arts President David Perry said, “Without the volunteers, the Pageant wouldn’t exist. It takes 500 volunteers and collectively, they put in 60,000 hours.”

Behind the Challis

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Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy (on left) and Brittany Clark-Charnley

Brittany, who was a cast member back in her teens

As an added bonus to attendees, four of the 140 juried fine artists exhibiting at the Festival of the Arts were on site to answer questions. 

Elizabeth McGhee was busy working on one of her Mythica series of 80 paintings in which she takes figures from Greek mythology and transforms them into modern-day versions. On this evening, she was concentrating on the Ancient Greek Lethe, who was the goddess of the underworld river of oblivion. (The dead drank of its waters to forget their mortal lives.)

In her depiction of volunteers as ancient Greek figures, McGhee aims to modernize the interpretation of their stories and how they fit into present day. McGhee, who also paints vintage toys, graduated from LCAD in 2009 and has been exhibiting at FOA since 2010. 

“My favorite part of exhibiting here is the community of artists and collectors here at FOA. It’s like summer camp. Painting tends to be isolating.” 

For Artist Jeff Horn, who primarily paints landscapes, this is his 19th year at FOA. “I like the interaction with the people and their reactions to my work. You have to put yourself out there, it’s like hanging your children on the wall. I learned that I can’t please everyone. But there’s not a day I paint that I don’t feel alive in the world. It’s not the easiest way to make a living, but it gives form to my experience…in trying to record my emotional responses. If it resonates with someone, then it’s fulfilling.”

Behind the Jeff

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Jeff Horn, who has been exhibiting for 19 years

We soon move on to a warehouse where the scenic artists David Rymar and David Cooke recreate the original paintings into sets. 

Cooke, who has been creating sets for 14 years, says, “We have two weeks to paint each background scene. Every Thursday, we have a rehearsal, knowing there’s work to do on the scene, so we light it up and look at it. Then we have a second rehearsal, finish it up and move on to the next piece. We do 10-12 scenes in six months.” 

Describing this year’s production, Technical Director Richard Hall said, “The show is very entertaining. There’s a lot going on. It’s a very lively production with a great story line that will carry the audience on a journey through time.”

When asked if he has a favorite scene, he said, “It’s the show in its entirety, as a whole. It becomes something personal that we’ll never see again.”

Behind the sculpture

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Daniel Stonebreaker presenting a partially finished piece

Costume Director Reagan Foy, who has been part of the Pageant for 11 seasons, the last three as costume director, explains that given the cast doubles members for each scene, every costume has to fit two people. In addition, she has to figure out the best way to flatten out a three-dimensional costume into a realized piece that works with the scenic builders.”

Foy said, “This year it’s fun because we are recreating time traveling with colorful pieces and different time periods.” 

And what would the recreations be without the proper makeup?

Allyson Doherty, head of the makeup department, started as supervisor of makeup with the Pageant in the 1980s. There are 90 makeup people – one makeup artist does two cast members. Every night, they work from the head sculptures that Doherty paints as mockups beginning in January. She has a Fine Arts Degree in painting.

Doherty said, “Our busiest time is during the summer, because the makeup has to be redone every night.” 

Behind the close makeup

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Makeup artist prepares cast member 

What happens to the mockup heads? “At the end of the season, the heads are washed and reused. They have layers of paint on them,” Doherty said.

And, one assumes, a plentiful and intriguing history from past shows.

Next stop, where it all comes together backstage.

Volunteers and technicians help the costumed cast members onto their respective scenes, matching their positions perfectly to the original work of art, adjusting an arm here or a prop there. Then, in order to bring the scene to life for the audience, the behind-the-scenes professionals and volunteers must move the sets in and out of position. At intermission, the first half sets are removed, and the new sets brought in for the second half of the show. An arduous process.

As night began to fall, we previewed three of the scenes, Johannes Vermeer’s The Music Lesson, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s The Vintage Festival, and A Collection of Empire Clocks, each jaw-dropping in its own right.

Behind the posers

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Backstage five cast members are helped onto the set of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s “The Vintage Festival”

During the tour, more than one of the Pageant staff mentions the word “surprise.” One even cautions Pageant goers not to leave before the end of the show otherwise they will miss a big one.

I can’t wait to see entire production of The Time Machine, which I would travel through time and space to see now that I’ve gotten a peek at it. And anyone who witnessed the preparation that goes into the production can’t help but be in awe of the finished performances. Prepare to be dazzled. I will not budge from my seat until the final surprise.

For more information or tickets, go to

Troy Lee Design hosts benefit for LCF trails

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Troy Lee table

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Sponsored by Specialized and hosted by Troy Lee Designs on June 15, all proceeds benefitted Laguna Canyon Foundation trails

Troy Lee crowd

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Party goers enjoyed a night under the stars with free tacos, local drinks, live music, and a silent auction

Troy Lee Hallie

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Bosch eBike team and (on right) Executive Director of Laguna Canyon Foundation Hallie Jones. Jones says, “The only thing better than a fun party is a fun party for a great cause. All of us at Laguna Canyon Foundation are so grateful for the support of Troy Lee, Specialized, and everyone in the community who came together to support our trails!”

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