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Laguna Art Museum announces exhibition of prints by
John Baldessari

On June 16, Laguna Art Museum will open the exhibition I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art: Prints by John Baldessari from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation. Featuring over seventy works made between 1971 and 2017, the exhibition will survey Baldessari’s dynamic use of the medium across the span of his career.

John Baldessari (born 1931) is among the most revered and influential figures in contemporary California art. His most familiar works are compositions in which he combines and alters photographic images to disruptive, thought-provoking, and often comic effect. Some of the photographs are his own; most are appropriated images such as movie stills. 

Laguna Art words

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John Baldessari, I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, edition 44/150, 1971, Lithograph, 22 7/16 x 30 1/16 inches

Having abandoned painting to work in media more suited to the conceptual direction in which his art was moving, Baldessari made his first venture in printmaking in 1971 with the now-famous lithograph I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art. Since that time he has embraced prints as a means of making his playful art available at relatively low cost to a wide audience, experimenting with various techniques and collaborating with print studios and publishers around the world. 

“John Baldessari is one of the most important artists in the world today,” comments Jordan D. Schnitzer. “His works are in every national and international museum. Baldessari likes to take common images and manipulate them; with circles of color, putting people upside down, whatever it takes to intrigue and confuse us. In so doing, he makes us stop and look at his art and say, ‘What is going on here?’ It is that moment he has got us thinking about whatever comes into our mind and, maybe in that moment, we will better understand our issues and the issues of our time.“ 

The museum is grateful to Mr. Schnitzer for his generosity and willingness to share his remarkable print collections with the public. I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art: Prints by John Baldessari from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation is curated by Elizabeth Rooklidge and will be on view through September 22, 2019.

At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon contemporary art gallery, evolving into a lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. 

Today, the collection exceeds 13,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions. The Foundation has organized over 110 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 150 museums.

For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, visit www.jordanschnitzer.org.

For more information on LAM, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

The Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Laguna Playhouse presents comic show Harvey as final show of the season

Laguna Playhouse is delighted to present French Stewart and Vanessa Claire Stewart starring in the wonderfully comic Harvey, written by Mary Chase and directed by Andrew Barnicle. Previews start on May 26 and the show will open Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m., and continue through June 16. 

Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard comment, “We could not think of a better play to end our 98th season with than Harvey, starring French and Vanessa Claire Stewart under the inspired direction of Andrew Barnicle. French Stewart will be the perfect Elwood, a role he has always wanted to play. Our subscribers and audiences are going to go crazy with laughter and believe in very tall rabbits once more!” 

Laguna Playhouse chairs

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

Laguna Playhouse presents final show of the season, “Harvey”

It’s a spring afternoon at the Dowd family home when Elwood P. Dowd starts to introduce his imaginary friend Harvey, a six-and-a-half-foot tall rabbit, to guests at his sister Veta’s society luncheon. Horrified that the embarrassing family secret is now exposed, Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium, but a mistake is made when Veta is committed rather than Elwood. 

French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun, Mom) and real-life wife Vanessa Claire Stewart (Laguna Playhouse’s “Keely” in Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara) star in Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy that has everyone questioning what exactly is real, and who is really crazy? 

Performances will be Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. There will be added performances on Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m.; Tuesday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, June 9 at 5:30 p.m., and Thursday, June 13 at 2 p.m. 

Tickets range from $60 - $85 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling (949) 497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices are subject to change. 

The box office is open Monday - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (open until showtime on all performance days).

For more information on all shows and programming, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Dr.


Newest public art installation “Changing Station” inspires viewers to “Be a hero any way you can”

Story by DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

On one side of the Forest Avenue art installation “Changing Station” by local Artist Robert Holton is a list of inspirational quotes, one being, “There is a Superhero in all of us, we need the courage to put on the cape.”

Newest public Holton

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Artist Robert Holton 

Holton says, “I pitched this idea to the Arts Commission because of the connection of the phone booth and Superman, that’s where he changed and emerged as a superhero. I applied to the Arts Commission two years ago, and I came in third out of 20. So this year, I pitched it again. The sayings on the side are positive affirmations. There is so much insecurity and drama in town, this is an inspiration that each of us can be a hero in the smallest of ways.”

Newest public quotes

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Inspirational quotes

Holton has owned his sign business, One Day Signs, Inc. for over 20 years. He has exhibited for five years at the Sawdust Festival – Drizzle Art by Robert Holton depicts pop culture icons that are digitally printed onto stretched canvas, then hand-painted using Robert’s “drizzle” technique. The final paintings are bright, colorful, fun, and often very meaningful to viewers who find their own unique links to the friendly imagery.

Newest public dog

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Robert with his dog dressed as a superhero, Heidi Miller, and Robert’s wife Marita

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl says, “It is important to have a diversity in the temporary art installation experience, both in content and duration and the combination of national and local artists. It is this diversity and opportunity that brings an energy and uniqueness to the experience of public art, and just for a fleeting moment you get to enjoy it, before it is gone. Robert Holton’s proposal was one of 25 submitted designs and I am excited for him to have had this opportunity to participate in his own community.”

Newest public Whalen

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Mayor Bob Whalen and Robert Holton 

In attendance for the dedication of the installation, Lorraine, who is visiting from London where phone booths are a staple, says, “The use of British phone booths with the comic superheroes is amazing, a good juxtaposition.”

Super Eddy, owner of Melrose Place just up from the phone booth, said the installation is “powerfully endowed.”

With a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers in attendance, Arts Commission Chair Michael Ervin dedicated the booth to the beauty of superheroes.

Newest public Heidi

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Heidi Miller, a true Wonder Woman 

Dressed as Wonder Woman, Heidi Miller, owner of Tight Assets, said, “I think it’s all about superheroes, but all of us are heroes in our own way. We forget that sometimes. This installation reminds us that we are.” Spoken as a true hero who donated one of her kidneys last year to save a life. 

In congratulating Holton on this vision of the phone booth, Mayor Bob Whalen said, “This is the first local artist selected. Holton sells at Sawdust. It’s great to have a local artist represented. Including this one, there are 18-20 temporary installations. The Arts Commission is on a roll.”

Newest public food

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Reception courtesy of Ashley Johnson of Visit Laguna Beach

In response to being honored, Holton said, “Thanks to the City and Arts Commission for choosing me. I moved here years ago, and when I would drive by the booth, I pictured Superman changing and then flying out. Although I’ve come from the sign making background, I’ve never made a fist like this before. It represents superheroes flying out of roof. It’s especially important in this time of negativity. We all need to be kinder or be a hero, even in a small way. My wife Marita says, ‘be a hero in any way you can.’”

So, hopefully, when passing the phone booth, we will all be inspired to “put on the cape” and be a hero in some modest way.

Courtesy of President & CEO of Visit Laguna Beach Ashley Johnson, following the dedication, a reception was held in the Visitors Center.


Laguna Beach Live! presents Bluegrass & BBQ featuring The Miskey Mountain Boys on June 8

Tickets are on sale now for Bluegrass & BBQ presented by Laguna Beach Live! on June 8 at LCAD. Doors open at 4 p.m. for the BBQ and social hour and the concert is from 5 - 7 p.m. 

The Miskey Mountain Boys is a powerhouse act that combines virtuosic musicianship with heartwarming comedy to create an unforgettable evening for their guests. 

Featuring their signature sound, “Classgrazz,” they infuse traditional bluegrass with jazz, swing, and classical music by incorporating such innovative elements as bluegrass cello, duo style mandolin, high-energy slap bass, stellar flat picking, and soaring vocals.

Laguna Beach band

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The Miskey Mountain Boys will perform for an unforgettable and fun Bluegrass & BBQ event on June 8

The cost for concert-only tickets is $20 in advance for adults, $25 at door; and $10 in advance for children 12 and under, $13 at the door.

VIP tickets are available in advance only for $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. No outside food or beverages will be permitted.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.

LCAD is located at 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Dance Festival hosts 2019 Spring Soirée and Fundraiser on May 17

This year, Laguna Dance Festival commemorates its 15th anniversary in Laguna Beach, and to celebrate the occasion will host a 2019 Spring Soirée and Fundraiser at [seven-degrees] on Friday, May 17. The event begins with cocktails at 6 p.m. on the rooftop and includes complimentary whiskey tasting. Dinner is at 7 p.m. There will be entertainment, an auction, an opportunity drawing, and dancing to follow. Attire is black and white cocktail.

The evening will feature ballroom champions and TV stars from So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars, Oksana and Jonathan Platero. It will include dancers and choreographers from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance as well as  performances by Laguna Beach High School, Mater Dei, St. Margaret’s, OCHA, Corona Dance Academy, and many other students from across Orange County. 

Laguna Dance duo

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Courtesy of LDF

Oksana and Jonathan Platero from “Dancing with the Stars”

Additionally, there will be special performances by the 2018 Festival scholarship recipients Sophia Frilot, Jacob Kurihara, and Jessalyn Ward.

The Laguna Dance Festival uniquely offers sensational world-class dance on a theatre stage, art galleries, and site-specific outdoor venues. Audiences experience top-quality performances from international and national touring companies, get that up-close feeling during the performances, and have an opportunity to meet the dancers themselves.

The Laguna Dance Festival transforms the distant world of stage dance into the proximity of a living room setting because of its capacity to bring the best dancers in today’s world onto the varied and unique stage venues of Laguna Beach.

Laguna Dance solo

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Courtesy of LDF

LDF offers world-class dance in unique venues

Attracting both dancers and dance lovers to this idyllic resort setting, Laguna Dance Festival is dedicated to audience awareness and appreciation through major annual performances, as well as education and small group opportunities, as well as through major annual performances.

Since its inception, Laguna Dance Festival has presented companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Parsons Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, Trey McIntyre Project, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BalletX, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, MALPASO, and Ballet BC, among others. Additionally, it has showcased the world’s most exciting talents from the Broadway stage, TV, and big screen, including principal dancers from The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and The San Francisco Ballet.

Laguna Dance kids

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Courtesy of LDF

Students from OC high schools will perform at 2019 Spring Soirée

2019 Spring Soirée sponsors include: $25,000 – Lead Festival Company Title Sponsor, William J. Gillespie; $5,000 – Dance Duet Sponsor, Deborah and Cody Engle; $2,500 – Soloist Sponsor, Chris Quilter, Laura Tarbox; $1,000 – Educational/Scholarship/Master Class Sponsor, Jill and Steve Edwards, Duane Vaigrt MD and Jeffrey Benedick, Mary and Michael Dawe, Joy Dittberner and Tom Peters, MK Gustinella, Jan and Ken Kaplan, MacGillivray Family Foundation, Lauren and Richard Packard, Deborah and Robert Schlesinger, Cindy and Bill Shopoff, and Keiko Sakamoto and Bill Witte.

Wine for the event has been generously donated by Louise & Wayne Wright.

Funds raised will allow LDF to bring Parsons Dance, Ballet West, and RUBBERBANDance Company to the 2019 Festival hosted by Irvine Barclay Theater.

Individual tickets are $300 with tables of 10 for $3,000

To purchase tickets, go to www.lagunadancefestival.org.

[seven-degrees] is located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s “Waterworks” exhibition opens on Saturday

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) is proud to present “Waterworks,” a unique exhibition dedicated to watercolors, in collaboration with the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation for the Arts. The exhibition opens on Saturday, May 11 and runs through May 20. 

The public is invited to join the celebration at the Opening Reception with the artists on Saturday, May 11, from 5 - 7 p.m. (awards to be announced at 6 p.m.) at LPAPA in Residence located at Forest & Ocean Gallery. This is a free event – all art lovers are welcome. 

“Waterworks” is a special juried exhibition of original works of art in watercolors created by members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. Close to 100 entries were received for this prestigious show with jurors Cindy Baron (Signature Artist Member of LPAPA), Celeste Gilles (LPAPA Board Member), and Ludo Leideritz (LPAPA Board Member & Forest & Ocean Gallery owner) choosing 38 original framed paintings for the show’s coveted spots. 

An expanded online gallery show is available through www.dailybrushwork.com.   

Laguna Plein surfer

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Tanabe Keiko, “Morning Surf, Laguna Beach”

In addition to the artwork, a selection of historical paintings by Joe Hanks Van Cleave from the family’s private collection will be exhibited. Joe Hanks Van Cleave painted in all media, and she was a member of the original Laguna Beach Art Association. 

The Foundation was founded in 2014 in memory of artist Joe Hanks Van Cleave and supports both individual and collaborations with established charitable organizations in the education and artist expression of Plein Air Watercolor artwork in its infinite forms. “Joe’s work tells the story of her family life, travels, her local community, and the architecture and landscapes of California and the southwest.”

LPAPA was founded in 1996 with a mission to preserve Laguna Beach’s rich artistic legacy founded by early plein air artists and promote the tradition of plein air painting in our community, across the nation, and around the world. 

LPAPA is one of the best recognized and most respected plein air art associations in the world with a growing roster of more than 600 local, national, and international artist members. In addition to providing opportunities for established and emerging artists to show their work, LPAPA has a strong commitment to education utilizing the organization’s Plein Air Project to benefit young and emerging artists and the greater community.

LPAPA in Residence is located at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave. 

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (closed on Mondays).

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call (949) 376-3635, or visit www.lpapa.org.


Local actor Luzma Ortiz gets rave reviews for her role as Tracy Turnblad in HAIRSPRAY

Local actor, Laguna’s Luzma Ortiz, is currently starring in a production of HAIRSPRAY at the Norris Theatre, Palos Verdes Performing Arts Center, through May 12 – and she is getting rave reviews.

local actor luzma“Outstanding performers of note in this Broadway-quality production, staged on a multi-level set designed by Matt Scarpino, Go Button Productions, begin with Luzma Ortiz as the always energetic and positive Tracy Turnblad. This musical could never succeed without a strong presence in this role, and Ortiz fits the bill to a tee, her never-ending energy a wonder to behold,” raves Shari Barrett of Broadway World.

The petite but dynamic actor – she’s less than five feet tall – has also starred in many shows, including playing Eva Peron in Evita as well as Emma Goldman in Ragtime and Dora in Dora the Explorer productions.

The Broadway World review continues, “Even if you have seen many productions of the totally entertaining Broadway musical-comedy HAIRSPRAY, do not miss the larger-than-life production, with its infectious music, show-stopping dance numbers and uplifting story…With a talented cast of 28 local triple-threat performers, directed to perfection by Kari Hayter with some of the most demanding and athletic constant choreography by Christopher M. Albrecht, producer Chris Gilbert is to congratulated for bringing one of the best total packages to the stage.”

Tickets are still available for this weekend’s performances. Visit www.palosverdesperformingarts.com for more information.


Sawdust Festival sets up for summer

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Sawdust Festival poppies

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Cliff Wassmann’s finished mural for the 2019 Summer Sawdust – 

California poppies with painted lady butterflies, bees and dragonflies 

Sawdust Festival outside

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Opening Day is June 28 and soon there’ll be lines outside

Sawdust Festival sycamores

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Three new sycamore trees were planted along the main aisle of the Sawdust Art Festival, part of the ongoing plan to reestablish a natural shade canopy and restore the original grove with native trees

Sawdust Festival booths

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Sawdust exhibitor’s Andrew Soliz, Carrie Rae Woodburn, Nevada Silva (with his son), and Beau Donnan stand in their booth spaces for the summer 2019 show.

Booth Picking Day was May 7th – each person picks his/her space according to years spent exhibiting in the show. Now they have a little over a month to get the main structures built before inspections and then finishing details and art hung for Opening Day!


Fabulously funny Avenue Q opens tonight at No Square Theatre

No Square Theatre’s Avenue Q debuts tonight, Friday, May 10. For older teens and adults, Avenue Q will be a rollicking good time and includes puppets and lots of humor. The 2004 Tony Award Triple Crown winner (Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book) Avenue Q is the funny and touching story of a starry-eyed college grad named Princeton in New York with big dreams and little money. Although he can only afford to live on Avenue Q, he lands in an intriguing neighborhood full of funny characters. 

Avenue Q has music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and is based on a book by Jeff Whitty and an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. The story, complete with puppets and plenty of humor, follows a group of young adults seeking their purpose in big city life.

Avenue Q comes to No Square Theatre directed by Joe Lauderdale, with music directed by Roxanna Ward, and with the puppetry skills of Puppet Master McKay Mangum teaching the talented singers and actors how to maneuver their alter-egos, the puppets. The cast includes Eileen Goodwin, Ella Wyatt, Eric Anderson, Gloria Henderson, Jonathan Haidl, Richard Kilgo II, and Sarah Loya.

Fabulously funny puppet

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Submitted photo

Eric T. Anderson rehearses with his (un-costumed) puppet

With all those adorable puppets, is Avenue Q appropriate for kids? Adults love Avenue Q, but they seem a little fuzzy on whether it’s appropriate for kids. Avenue Q is great for teenagers because it’s about real life. It may not be appropriate for young children because Avenue Q addresses issues like sex, drinking, and surfing the web for porn. It’s hard to say what exact age is right to see Avenue Q – parents should use their discretion based on the maturity level of their children. But No Square promises that if parents bring their teenagers to Avenue Q, they’ll think you’re really cool.

Performances are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, May 10-26. Performances on May 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 are at 7:30 p.m., and on May 19 and 26 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.nosquare.org for $25 and $35. 

Other upcoming No Square productions include: Bugsy Malone, July 18-21; Heathers, July 26-August 4; My Midlife Crisis, September 15; and Hilarious, September 22. 

Fabulously funny group

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“Avenue Q” cast: (L-R) Richard Kilgo II, Gloria Henderson, Eric T. Anderson, Eileen Goodwin (center), Sarah Loya (partially covered in the back), Ella Wyatt, Jonathan Haidl,) and un-costumed puppets rehearse

No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by the Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach, Yvonne & John Browning, Dorene and Lee Butler Family Foundation, Patrick Quilter, and FOA Foundation, with additional support from Stella Charton in Memory of Lloyd Charton, Ann & Charlie Quilter in Honor of Joe Lauderdale, Patrick Quilter/Quilter Labs, Dr. Korey Jorgensen/Jorgensen Family Charitable Gift Fund, William, Jeff, & Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, Laguna Beach Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, Vicki & Steve McIntosh and the Hall Family Foundation, Nolet Spirits USA, Chris Quilter, Nina & Larry Ragle, and Mark Brisley DDS.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St, two blocks south of Laguna Beach High School, which has ample free parking. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance. Drinks and refreshments are available for purchase.

For additional information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, visit www.nosquare.org.


Laguna Art Museum presents Murder, My Sweet at May 16 Film Night

On Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m., Laguna Art Museum presents Murder, My Sweet during its monthly Film Night. Curator of historical art Janet Blake introduces the 1944 film noir that was a key influence in the development of the genre.

Laguna Art couple

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1944 film “Murder, My Sweet” will play at LAM on May 16

In Murder, My Sweet, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit after being hired to find an ex-con’s former girlfriend. Based on Raymond Chandler’s 1940 novel Farewell, My Lovely, the film was the first to feature Chandler’s primary character, the hard-boiled private detective Philip Marlowe, and was a key influence in the development of the film noir genre.

Film Night is generously sponsored by Compass.

Tickets are included with museum admission. Advance tickets are recommended.

For questions or to purchase tickets by phone, call (949) 494-8971 ext. 203 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

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