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Art-To-Go is Red Hot at Festival of Arts

Art collectors who love red will enjoy the 2018 Art-To-Go collection at Festival of Arts. More than 100 exhibitors donated originals under the theme “RED HOT.” Works are available for purchase daily, now through August 26, during regular Festival hours.

Art To Go Cunningham

Photos courtesy Art-To-Go

Cunningham Haight’s Red Hot Mama

All media are represented, and subjects include Ferrari sports cars, firemen, sunbursts, and pepperoni pizza. Surprises include opposites – such as a moody photo of an ice cooler, and sexy portraits that convey a red hot theme. Visitors may cast votes for the People’s Choice artist through June 7. Ballots are available at the display. All buyers will qualify to win a two-night stay at The Tides Inn.

Art To Go Rivera

Red Hot by Hugo Rivera

Proceeds from Art-To-Go sales benefit The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts, providing hardship and disaster relief grants for artists in need. View the online gallery at www.theartistsfund-foa.org or call (949) 612-1949.

Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, visit www.foaapom.com.


Art-A-Fair VIP event was quite an affair to remember

By LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Photos by Scott Brashier

The happy crowd at the VIP opening of the Art-A-Fair this last Friday was having so much fun chatting and drinking that it took speaker and special guest Christian Okoye, Kansas Chiefs all-pro running back and NFL Hall-of-Famer, a while to catch their attention – but catch their attention he did.

He spoke about his childhood in Nigeria and how hard he had to work to achieve his goals – but how lucky he was to have people who urged him on. “This is what we try to do with our Foundation,” Okoye said. “We explain to kids that there’s a new way to set goals and it’s all about attitude.” The nonprofit, California Sports Hall of Fame, which hosts free athletic workshops for underprivileged kids, was the beneficiary of the event.

art a entrance

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The striking new façade of Art-A-Fair set the tone for the VIP event

Locals attending the celebration included the ubiquitous supporter of all things Laguna, the packaged dynamite that is Heidi Miller, as well as Leslie Mogul of the Playhouse, as well as several of the artists whose work is displayed at Art-A-Fair and their families, friends and fans.

Fifteen-year exhibitor Lynn Wiederman was impressed with the Art-A-Fair’s reinvigorated approach to marketing. “I love this area,” she said, gesturing toward the funky furniture that serves artistic as well as utilitarian purposes, connecting fine art with luxury home decor. “The new façade is a real change, too. It’s out of the box, which is what this festival is trying to achieve. It re-engages people.”

art a crowd

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The crowd was loud, happy to mingle with friends, colleagues and celebrities

Star of the show was not a person but a painting – an original Picasso curtained off from the crowd and a frequent backdrop used by the several photographers on hand to capture the moment with the mingling celebs.

Attendee and abstract artist Trudy Connor was checking the place out as a possible location to consider for her art. “The new entrance, it’s, well, it’s hard to miss,” she said. “It’s large, it’s colorful, and it attracts people.”

art a fair models

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Robert Palmer-esque models added glamour to the evening

Many of the people the affair attracted were beautifully dressed (one man was a symphony in pink), with several of the women (including Robert Palmer-style models) wearing stilettos to die for (or from, if a murderer were so motivated). Wide-legged jumpsuits were also much in evidence.

Petite hors d’oeuvres were provided by Maro Wood Grill, Nirvana, Newport Rib Company and Laguna Beach Brewery and Grill.

Art-A-Fair is located at 777 Laguna Cyn Road. For more information, visit www.art-a-fair.com.


Festival of Arts Foundation grant helps Laguna Beach Live! extend outreach programs to schools

A grant of $2,000 from the FOA Foundation supported the presentation of talented professional musicians at local Laguna elementary schools. 

Festival of Arts group

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Submitted photo

The Argus Quartet

This past March, the Argus Quartet performed at Top of the World and students were thrilled by their playing and willingness to talk about their work and to answer questions. The Argus Quartet has been the Graduate Quartet in Residence at the Julliard School and recently made their New York recital debut at Lincoln Center. 

After the school visit, the quartet also performed at the Laguna Boys & Girls Club and then at the Laguna Art Museum as part of the monthly Live! at the Museum music series.


Laguna Playhouse presents End of the Rainbow with tickets at high demand: get 25 percent off now

On August 8 through Sepember 2, Laguna Playhouse will present the show End of the Rainbow. This highly acclaimed production tells the story of Judy Garland’s 1968 comeback as she undertakes an exhausting series of concerts at London’s premiere cabaret. 

Laguna playhouse summer

Ticket prices are available between $62.25 - $84.75, with show starting times ranging from 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The average running time for this show is two hours and 15 minutes, including intermission. The show is recommended for audiences 12 and up. 

Due to the high demand of tickets, a 25 percent discount will only be available until end of day on June 30. 

Don’t miss out on this limited time sale; use the code SUMMER when purchasing your tickets at www.lagunaplayhouse.com/box-office/buy-tickets.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Sawdust sizzles at 52, gets better with age

By SUZIE HARRISON

Sawdust Art Festival seems to get better with age. If Tuesday’s Preview Night is any indication, a barometer of this summer’s show, well, it’s my fave to date!

While checking out all the spectacular new art, the live music always adds to the cool vibe. Truly there are so many incredible artists, so little time…

To kick off my Sawdust ARTiculation, I interviewed two freshmen and two seasoned artists to get their perspective on the opening, preparation, their booth and their work.

Lisa Mansour, painting, first-year exhibitor

“I have wanted to be in the Sawdust for a very long time. Every summer I would bump into Tom Klingenmeier on the grounds and he would say “are you applying for next year?” Lisa Mansour said. 

Fast forward to this year her “Yes, I think so!” reply became definitive.

“I decided to take a leap of faith and submit my application last November for the 2018 Summer Festival,” Mansour said. “My preparations began from that point on.” 

Graduating last December from LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate program, Mansour said she’s building on a series of paintings that she completed while studying at LCAD. 

“I tried to paint everyday, and finish at least one painting a week,” Mansour said. “Right now I have about 30 pieces of original art hanging in my booth, and about a dozen in the wings.” 

The charming tagline on her booth sign says “Donuts, Dress Forms, Other Delights.” 

“I love exploring the playful side of fine art and finding a balance between classic technique and exuberant expression,” Mansour said.

Sawdust Sizzles Mansour

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Photo by Scott Brashier 

Recent LCAD grad Lisa Mansour, excited to finally say yes to exhibit at the Sawdust, pictured joyfully with her husband John on opening night

Regarding her booth, “I chose my booth because it was on a shady corner on one of the main paths of the Sawdust, the one that leads to the glass blowing booth.”

She had it built with a triangle wall at the open corner and angled the wall so that when people are entering the Sawdust and walking down the path, they can readily see her work. 

“The great thing about the Sawdust is we can paint in our booths – in fact six hours a week of demo time is required of Sawdust artists,” Mansour said. “I plan on painting all summer long.”

Leading up to opening night, Mansour admits she was a little stressed out, but it turned out well. 

“My longtime dream to be in the Sawdust had arrived and I had art on the walls and donuts as my snack,” said Mansour. “So many friends and well-wishers were there – really the whole community of Laguna Beach – and it was such a warm and wonderful evening. It flew by.”

Catherine Reade, jewelry, 18-year exhibitor

Preparing for the Sawdust is not so literal – she does shows all spring, as well as the winter shows including Winter Fantasy. While she is preparing for the other shows she’s also preparing for the Sawdust summer show, with the end of May to the end of June, of course, the big push.

“I’m also making a lot of custom work, most people don’t buy ready to wear, they want something custom,” Reade said. “They want something that’s different, within my style more personalized to them, more intimate detail.” 

Sawdust Sizzles crowds

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Artist Catherine Reade loves the energy and the crowds, like on opening night

As for her booth, she’s coveted the same spot 14 of her 18 years in the show.

“The importance is to always have a corner booth and have my counter space, so people can walk up and have room to look at my work and spread out and talk to me,” Reade said. “My whole interest is to educate clients and prospective clients about what the materials are, how I’ve created this, what goes into it. I want them to walk away with a really positive feeling about my work.”

Because she is a fabricator she creates every piece from start to finish.

“Nothing is prefabricated. I make all my links, all my settings, I have to cast wax…so it’s all individually made, everything is a one-of-a kind piece,” Reade said.

Her booth is sort of minimalist. Reade said she just wants it to be clean and industrial like her jewelry.

“I love that space because it’s very energetic. I have all the energy from Studio One, across from me, with all these children and adults creating all these art projects,” Reade said.

“It’s very energized in that neighborhood. I love the energy, excitement and openness.”

Lisa Rainey, oil painting and painting, first-year exhibitor

“I started preparing last year before I submitted my artwork for review. I knew that I wanted to be in the show this year building a body of work the past few years since I moved back here from Chicago in 2015,” Rainey said. “There is a lot that goes into it. I always want to grow and I want my work to be authentic to who I am every moment I create.” 

Currently she has about 35 pieces and will be working in her booth all summer in oils and mixed media to create new work. 

“I choose the pieces that speak to me and make me feel something when I look at them,” Rainey said. “I constantly bring work home from my studio so that I can live with them for a while to see how they speak to me.”

She added, “Meditating on my subjects, I’ve learned more and more about color and finding techniques that were new and different.”

Sawdust Sizzles Rainey

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo courtesy of the artist

Lisa Rainey can’t wait to share her work as a new exhibitor at the Sawdust

Her large paintings, created within this last year, sparked something new in her. Rainey calls them dream-scapes.

“I mainly have worked in a style that I call impressionistic realism. I work from life so that I can really see the nuances of color and light in flowers and nature,” Rainey said. “I also have recently gone back to working in watercolors, I don’t want people to only see a pretty still life, I paint to tell a story.”

For her booth, Rainey wanted to have a light roof so the sun would shine through. 

“I wanted this space to be light and bright, a nice backdrop for the color in my work and choosing colors to help the work to stand out,” Rainey said.

“Opening night, I was nervous knowing how many people come to preview night, but once it got going I was feeling comfortable and having a great time,” Rainey said. “My friends came to support me, see my booth and my artwork. It was truly a celebration.”

Doug Miller, painting and photography, 48-year exhibitor

“This is my 48th summer at Sawdust – I got out of the Navy in 1971 and got a booth – I bought my booth space from a girl who was moving to San Francisco for $70, which was what she paid,” Miller said. “That was in the early Sawdust days before rules were adopted that would not allow such a transaction to take place.”

He’s been at the same location for 21 years, perfect to be near the music since Miller plays violin and with various musicians during the show. 

“I paint every day – I have painted every day without missing a day for 24 years. I number my paintings and record them in a book,” Miller said. 

His self-imposed rule is to at least begin a painting every day. 

A friend suggested that he record his pieces in a daily journal, that was the impetus he wanted to see how many days he could go in a row…24 years.

Sawdust Sizzles Miller

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Doug Miller is a staple at the Sawdust always wanting to make others smile

“I’m up past 17,500 paintings. There are days I have painted more than one. in fact, I painted an average of two pieces per day most of the time,” Miller said.

He paints about 400 to 1,000 acrylic paintings per year, mostly the small canvasses up to 6 x 8 inches. “I sell an average of about 500 pieces per year. My best year was 2008 when I sold 651 pieces, mostly beaches,” Miller explained.

Larger pieces go on the walls. “I finished painting of Crystal Cove in one evening, two days before the Opening party. A big quick piece that is a real attention-getter,” Miller said. “Opening night party, I sold five pieces and saw so many Laguna friends – several will come back and purchase during the show. They always do.”

Here’s the skinny on locals’ nights – interestingly, 15 places not Laguna Beach, such as Dana Point, the other Lagunas, and the surrounding cities, get in free on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from 5 to 10 p.m., whereas Laguna locals only get in free Mondays, Thursdays, also after 5 p.m., and the First Friday of the month all day.

To check out Sawdust central, including the live entertainment schedule, art classes and workshops, theme days, special events and more, visit https://sawdustartfestival.org. Sawdust Festival is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road. For information, call 494-3030.

Until next time…so much Sawdust art, entertainment, socializing, and so little time!


Art-To-Go is Red Hot at Festival of Arts

Art collectors who love red will enjoy the 2018 Art-To-Go collection at Festival of Arts. More than 100 exhibitors donated originals under the theme “RED HOT.” Works are available for purchase daily, July 2 through August 26, during regular Festival hours.

Art To Go Cunningham

Photos courtesy Art-To-Go

Cunningham Haight’s Red Hot Mama

All media are represented, and subjects include Ferrari sports cars, firemen, sunbursts, and pepperoni pizza. Surprises include opposites – such as a moody photo of an ice cooler, and sexy portraits that convey a red hot theme. Visitors may cast votes for the People’s Choice artist through June 7. Ballots are available at the display. All buyers will qualify to win a two-night stay at The Tides Inn.

Art To Go Rivera

Red Hot by Hugo Rivera

Proceeds from Art-To-Go sales benefit The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts, providing hardship and disaster relief grants for artists in need. View the online gallery at www.theartistsfund-foa.org or call (949) 612-1949.

Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, visit www.foaapom.com.


No Square Theatre promises a royal time at The Disney Princess Concert & Tea Party this weekend

No Square Theatre presents The Disney Princess Concert in three performances this weekend, June 29 (tonight), June 30, and July 1. This is the perfect concert for a princess, with favorite songs and a tea party with ladies performing a long list of Disney songs.

No Square Belle

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Charlee Rubino (sophomore at OCSA) as Belle

Some of the 30 songs included will be A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes, A Whole New World, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen. No Square Theatre reminds princesses to dress up for this special occasion. 

Concert performances will be tonight, June 29 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 1 at 3 p.m. The cost for the concert will be $20 for adults, and $10 for children and students.

No Square Elsa

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Maggie Anderson (graduate of San Clemente High School) as Elsa

The Preshow Tea Party with a Princess takes place on Saturday, June 30 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1 at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for children and students. Non-tea partying adults are free with a child’s paid ticket. It will be open seating. 

For tickets, go to www.nosquare.tix.com.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall at 384 Legion St. For more information, call (949) 715-0333.


No Square Theatre promises a royal time at The Disney Princess Concert & Tea Party this weekend

No Square Theatre presents The Disney Princess Concert in three performances this weekend, June 29, June 30, and July 1. This is the perfect concert for a princess, with favorite songs and a tea party with ladies performing a long list of Disney songs.

No Square Belle

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Charlee Rubino (sophomore at OCSA) as Belle

Some of the 30 songs included will be A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes, A Whole New World, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen. No Square Theatre reminds princesses to dress up for this special occasion. 

Concert performances will be this Friday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 1 at 3 p.m. The cost for the concert will be $20 for adults, and $10 for children and students.

No Square Elsa

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Maggie Anderson (graduate of San Clemente High School) as Elsa

The Preshow Tea Party with a Princess takes place on Saturday, June 30 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1 at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for children and students. Non-tea partying adults are free with a child’s paid ticket. It will be open seating. 

For tickets, go to www.nosquare.tix.com.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall at 384 Legion St. For more information, call (949) 715-0333.


Free Summer Art Workshops at Hortense Miller Garden tomorrow June 26 and on July 21

Free Art Workshops in the Hortense Miller Garden will take place on several days during the summer (see dates below). No experience as an artist is necessary. To sign up, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 374.2696. Space is limited. Participants will meet at Riddle Field and carpool up.

On Wednesday, June 27, Nature Rocks! Children’s Art Workshop will take place. Participants will explore the world of Hortense Miller Garden, learning about the native plants and animals of Laguna Beach. 

Students will learn about coastal sage environment while painting a curious quail traveling the trails of the garden. Join the group for this fun three-hour adventure with local artist Amy Jackson – a wonderful start to summertime fun. The class is limited to 10 kids age five and above between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pack a lunch and water, but all materials will be provided.

free summer painting

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Hortense Miller Garden is an inspiring place to paint

On Saturday, July 21, there will be a Block Printing Workshop for Adults: Stories and Myths. Students will work in the beautiful gardens of the Hortense Miller estate and learn the art of printmaking. 

Inspired by the mythical stories explored in the works of Hortense Miller, participants will study themes of ocean and forest mythology in art. Students will carve their own block and print works on paper and fabric. Artist Amy Jackson will guide the journey through the magical gardens to find inspiration and fun in this printmaking adventure. This class is limited to 10 people and takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pack a sack lunch. All materials are provided, but feel free to bring any additional fabric items, napkins, pillowcases. T-shirts, to be printed.

“I hope you’ll have time to join us for one of these amazing workshops! The watercolor workshop is full with a long wait list, so I think we’ll be doing another one in the future!” note Diane Lannon and Dorothea Yellott for Friends of the Hortense Miller Garden.

For more information about the Hortense Miller Garden or to arrange a tour, visit www.hortensemillergarden.org.


LPAPA presents the 14th Annual “Best of Plein Air” Art Show from July 10 – 22: reception on July 14

LPAPA presents the
14th Annual “Best of Plein Air” Art Show
from July 10 - 22, with the Gallery Reception taking place on July 14 from 5 - 7 p.m. Awards will be given out at 6 p.m. The event takes place at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave. Entry is free. 

Art and nature come together with all paintings created outdoors in plein air by regional, national and international artist members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.

Five cash awards will be presented, with the 1st Place award-winning artist to receive a rare and highly coveted invitation to participate in the 2018 20th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational – considered to be the “powerhouse” of plein air painting invitationals.

LPAPA presents

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo from website

2017 1st Place Award winning painting “Wailua River” by LPAPA Artist Pierre Bouret

LPAPA offers its sincere thanks to distinguished jurors: LPAPA Founding Member Cynthia Britain, LPAPA Signature Artist Carl Bretzke, Forest & Ocean Gallery Owner & LPAPA Board Member Ludo Leideritz, and final Awards Judge Mr. Jean Stern, Associate Director of The University of California, Irvine Institute and Museum for California Art.

Gallery hours are Tuesday - Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays.

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association presents juried art shows at its “LPAPA in Residence” gallery home located at Forest & Ocean Gallery in Laguna Beach. The gallery creates opportunities for regional, national and international Signature, Artist and Student Members to show their work in Laguna’s thriving historical art colony, and provides LPAPA with the opportunity for the nonprofit art organization to connect with its members, community, supporters and art lovers, to further its Mission.

Laguna Plein Air Artists are dedicated to painting the landscape,

preserving Laguna’s artistic legacy and promoting the plein air painting tradition.

For more information, visit www.lpapa.org.

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