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Festival art student Paige Mushakian wins National Ceramic Exhibition award

A ceramic student from the Festival of Arts Youth Art Classes received high honors from the 21st Annual National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Orange County student, Paige Mushakian, was selected from hundreds of entries nationwide and had her work displayed at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in March.

Festival art student

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Seven-year-old Paige Mushakian captured the attention of patrons and judges with her ceramic piece “Fish Whistle”

Paige was awarded the Potter Council Elementary School Award (given out to only one student out of over 500), the Monstrously Talented cash award recognizing the “creative whizy and mad skillz of an emerging K-12 ceramic artist,” and a certificate for Artistic Merit.

 Paige’s colorful “Fish Whistle” was made at the Festival’s Youth Art Classes last summer with instructor Scott Young. “As her instructor, I was happy for Paige,” shared Scott. “Her piece really showed that she spent the time in creating the features of her fish and chose the right glaze colors that enhanced the piece.”

 The Annual National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition is the premier juried ceramic competition for Kindergarten through Grade 12 (K-12) students in the United States. Designed to showcase the best K-12 ceramic work made in the country, the exhibition takes place in conjunction with the annual conference of The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

 “I can›t believe my fish whistle went to the national competition in Pittsburgh, PA,” said Paige. “I was just having fun and doing my best and look what happened. Art isn’t just what people tell you, it’s using your imagination and having fun.”

 The Festival of Arts is now accepting reservations for Youth Art Classes, available July 5 - August 17, Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. In addition to ceramics, classes are available in painting, printmaking, mosaics, and more. Art classes are open to children ages 5-12. There is a $25-$35 material fee per child per class.

For more information visit or call (949) 464-4234.

Laguna Art Museum awarded $11,482 from The California Arts Council as part of Exposure grants

The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $11,482 to Laguna Art Museum as part of its Arts Education: Exposure program. As a segment of the California Arts Council Arts Education grant opportunities, Exposure grants support attendance at performances and exhibitions for students who may otherwise have limited access to these experiences. The impact of student attendance at these events is complemented by pre- and post-attendance activities. 

In 2016, Laguna Art Museum began an education outreach project with in-class art instruction and art-making activities at Heninger Elementary School in Santa Ana and monthly art-making sessions at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Orange Coast. The programs were designed to enhance cognitive and problem-solving skills; promote appreciation for diversity and help develop critical thinking and teamwork; and encourage self-expression and help cultivate a healthy self-esteem. 

Laguna Art building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LAM awarded grant from California Arts Council Arts Education: Exposure

With support from the California Arts Council’s Arts Education: Exposure program, the museum will expand its Santa Ana Art Education Outreach programs to bring art education addressing core curriculum standards to Heninger Elementary, Garfield Elementary, and Madison Elementary in 2018-19.   

“We are delighted to be able to continue expanding our audience in Santa Ana,” said Marinta Skupin, Laguna Art Museum’s Curator of Education. “The museum’s 2016 PST LA/LA exhibition, California Mexicana: Missions to Murals, 1820-1930, provided us with the perfect opportunity to launch education outreach efforts and to establish formal relationships with our Santa Ana neighbors. As Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art, we are proud to continue to reach out to all of California’s citizens and particularly to the growing Latino community.” 

Laguna Art F Deppe

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Ferdinand Deppe’s San Gabriel Mission, part of California Mexicana: Missions to Murals; 2016 exhibit launched educational outreach with Santa Ana neighbors

Laguna Art Museum is one of 113 grantees chosen for the Arts Education: Exposure program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council. 

“Studies have shown that projects like Laguna Art Museum’s Santa Ana Art Education Outreach programs that offer real-world, authentic interaction with the arts have a rewarding effect on learning ability,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “These early life experiences can spark interests, provoke thought, and build a student’s capacity for success. The path of what’s possible is widened by every opportunity to step outside the familiar.” 

To view a complete listing of all Arts Education Exposure grantees, visit

LAM is located at 307 Cliff Dr. For more information, go to 

LAM celebrates the hundred-year history of Laguna Beach Art Association as pioneer of LB art colony

Laguna Art Museum is preparing an exhibition titled, Art Colony and Laguna Beach Art Association 1918-1935, celebrating the centennial of the Laguna Beach Art Association with an opening on Sunday, June 24. (There will be a members preview on Saturday, June 23.) This is a tremendous milestone in both the history of the art association and the art colony in Laguna Beach.

The exhibition will be part of a year-long celebration marking the museum’s history and legacy, honoring those early artists who influenced the fabric of the developing community and surveys the evolution of the art association through the 1930s.

A special LAM Centennial program presented by Eric Jessen, titled “Along the Old Coast Road,” will kick off the exhibition on Thursday, June 28 at 6 p.m. The program will feature detective work to find the spots where several pioneering plein art artists plopped down their easels from north to south along the Old Coast Road, and some fun videos covering the auction of Wendt’s “Old Coast Road.”

LAM celebrates Wendt

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Laguna Coast by William Wendt, 1930, one of founders of LBAA

Art associations were a phenomenon of the late nineteenth-century, both on the East and West Coasts. But no two art associations were alike. The Laguna Beach Art Association was a pioneering organization, whose inception helped determine the fortunes of the Laguna Beach art colony and its artists. It grew from a relatively small organization to one that included hundreds of members throughout the country. 

Attendance records at exhibitions were impressive. Its leadership was devoted to promoting art in Southern California, but it also traveled its exhibitions to cities outside of California, and it championed arts education in schools. The Laguna Beach Art Association charted its own course, but its development and struggles were also a mirror of artistic and economic issues that confronted many art colonies in the early twentieth-century. Its membership included Laguna luminaries – those artists who exhibited on the national and international fronts – as well as many artists whose reputations never extended far beyond the local confines.

LAM celebrates Kleitsch

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The Old Post Office by Joseph Kleitsch, 1922-23

Although monographs have been published on several members of the art association – and some scholarship has focused on aspects of the organization –this will be the first large-scale, critical study to focus exclusively on the art association’s growth and development. The exhibition will include over one hundred works by sixty-six artists, including a number of works by major artists that were seen in the original exhibitions.

Major support for Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935 was generously provided by the Draper Family Foundation, Ranney and Priscilla Draper, Peter and Gail Ochs, Thomas B. Stiles II and Barbara Alexander, Yvonne Boseker, Kelvin Davis, and the Historical Collections Council.

Additional support was provided by Diane and E. Gene Crain, John and Patty Dilks, Whitney and Sue Ganz, William C. Georges, Mark Judy, Mary and Matt Lawson, Dr. Eric McDonald and Brian Yaw, Lindy Narver, Earl and Elma Payton, Ray and Beverly Redfern, Joan Rehnborg, Herb and Earlene Seymour, George and Irene Stern, Jon and Dee Dee Stuart, and James Zidell.

LAM is located at  Cliff Dr. For more information, visit or call (949) 494-8971.

Tickets are going fast for Ohana Gala, June 22, honoring women surfers who have made a difference

The Surfing Heritage & Culture Center (SHACC) is presenting a gallery exhibit, “Women Making Waves,” highlighting accomplished female surfers. Four of the notable women – Joyce Hoffman, Lisa Andersen, Stephanie Gilmore, and Rell Sunn – are featured in the photography exhibit at the SHACC gallery, 110 Calle Iglesia, in San Clemente.

Then, SHACC’s Annual Ohana Gala, will honor these women at their big bash at The Ranch at Laguna Beach on June 22.

Tickets Ohana Rell Sunn

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Photo by Bolster/SHACC

Rell Sunn, Hawaii’s most prominent female surfer, also known as the “Queen of Makaha,” will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Promising an “Aloha Vibe,” the gala includes an intimate dinner, silent auction, entertainment, and awards ceremony. Joyce Hoffman, Lisa Andersen, and Stephanie Gilmore will be honored as women who have changed the world through surfing.

SHACC’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Jan Sunn-Carreira on behalf of her mother, Rell Sunn.

Tickets are going fast for the event. So, bring your Aloha Vibes, wear cocktail attire and join the celebration of women surfers. The Ohana Gala on June 22 is from 6:30 - 11 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at www.ohanagalatickets.

LCAD offers The Intensive Journal Process workshop as tool for self-exploration on Monday, June 18

A workshop on self-exploration, The Intensive Journal, a writing method recognized as the leader in self-development writing programs, is being held on Monday, June 18 from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) library. 

The Intensive Journal Process is a dynamic tool for self-exploration that Joseph Campbell described as “one of the great inventions of our time.” It’s a structured method of writing that evokes creative potentials and draws forth new sparks of inspiration as one moves toward wholeness. It offers a non-judgmental way to clarify personal relationships, address career concerns, face transitions, meet change, and overcome blockages.

LCAD offers Boonyad

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Artist and LCAD graduate Sansanee Boonyad was instrumental in bringing workshop leader Joanne Ching to LCAD to teach the workshop

Workshop leader Joanne Hackett Ching began leading Intensive Journal workshops in 1980 while she was working at Dialogue House in NYC. For 25 years, she was an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in Fresno, CA. She has a MA in Creation Spirituality from Naropa University, is a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant® (creating celebrations for significant life events) and is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church. 

Without using dogma or self-analysis, one can gain new insights and integrate life experiences. A series of exercises allows the writer to access deeper than conscious levels of awareness, which hold the key to problems and helps one realize their fullest potential. Attendees discover the benefits of using a non-judgmental way of evoking inner wisdom and becoming more self-reliant. 

This event is free. To RSVP or for more information, contact Sansanee Boonyad, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call (310) 597-2750.

Late Night Catechism 3: Til Death Do Us Part performance at the Playhouse on June 18 at 7:30 p.m.

After teaching countless students about the saints, venial sins, limbo and more, Sister is now offering up hilarious lessons on the Sacraments of Marriage and the Last Rites, including her own wacky version of the Newlywed Game. 

Classroom participation is a must, so bring along your sweetie and your sense of humor for a session with the country’s feistiest couples counselor! ‘Til Death Do Us Part is the latest class to be unveiled in this sinfully funny series.

Late Nite catechism

Writer Maripat Donovan originated the role of Sister in “Late Nite Catechism” and has toured internationally, receiving rave reviews for her work in Chicago, Boston, Providence, New York, Toronto, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, London, and Dublin. She worked in Chicago theatre for more than 20 years, winning Joseph Jefferson citations for her work in “Portrait of a Shiksa” and “The Good Times are Killing Me.” 

For her work in “Late Nite Catechism,” she was nominated for the coveted “Outer Critics Circle Award in New York for Outstanding Solo Performance. Maripat won the Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Solo Performance in Los Angeles.

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, visit or call (949) 497-2787.

11th Annual Fête de la Musique will fill the streets of Laguna with music and fanfare on Saturday, June 16

On Saturday, June 16, the streets of Laguna Beach will be filled with music and much fanfare when the 11th Annual Laguna Beach Fête de la Musique presented by Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association (LBSCA) takes place. The day’s festivities start at 12 p.m. at Main Beach with The Swing Set Band playing their first swing/jazz set on a 20’ x 20’ stage. 

From 12 - 12:30 p.m., youngsters can join in the Children’s Parade (with music by the Swing Set). Starting on the Main Street Cobblestones, kids will march up and down the boardwalk, and finish with dancing on the cobblestones. Face painting adds to the fun.

Opening ceremonies with local dignitaries take place from 1 - 1:20 p.m. on the cobblestones, with welcoming speeches by a Laguna Beach City Councilmember, Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and Karyn Phillippsen, founding president of the LBSCA. The US national anthem will be sung by 12-year-old Sydney Haik and La Marseillaise (the French national anthem) will be performed in a group sing along, accompanied by the Swing Set.

11 annual anthem

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Sydney Haik (11) sings the national anthem at the 2017 Fête de la Musique

Additional performances take place at Main Beach throughout the afternoon, including a second set by Swing Set; The Andersons, a five-piece soft rock band; JJ and the Habibis (Laguna Beach belly dancers); Corazones Alegres Folkloric Dancers; and Andrew Bloom (who appeared on American Idol, season 14) with his rock band, among others.

Throughout the streets, artists will perform at approximately 40 locations, with most along Ocean and Forest avenues, and spreading south along Coast Highway. A few musicians will be located in the HIP District. 

11 annual color

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Colorful dancer from the Mexican folkloric dance group Corazones Alegres

This year, among the popular returning performers are The Montones with their island-inspired melodies at Wells Fargo Bank; The Andersons, a five-member band from LA, performing on Main Beach; April Walsh, Chanteuse, on the steps of 2Bella Boutique; Caramelle at the Water District garden; The Agave Brothers at Skyloft; the bluesy guitar/vocals of Yael & Vlady at the Coffee Pub in the Lumberyard patio; Charles Fullwood inside Hobie Sports; student performances in the Presbyterian Church garden; Elvis; and mimes, to name just a few. Expect lots of new surprises! Look for the red, white and blue balloons delineating where the performers are located.

Closing ceremonies will take place on the cobblestones at 4 p.m. with music by Andrew Bloom. For the first time, a one-night stay at the luxurious Montage Laguna Beach will be available as an opportunity drawing prize. Register online prior to the Fete for $20; tickets will be available for purchase the day of Fete, only. The winner will be announced at the Closing Ceremonies.

Originating in France in the 1980s, Fête, also known as the International Day of Music, celebrates the beginning of summer and the close affiliation Laguna Beach has with its sister city, Menton, France. The day’s events are free, and promote the lively arts through music by a variety of musicians, singers and performers.

Sponsors include OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, City of Laguna Beach, Visit Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, The OC, Montage Laguna Beach, Cox Communications, Skyloft, Mozambique, Sparkle Films, Bill Atkins Design & Illustration, OC Register, The Ranch, C’est La Vie, KX 93.5 FM, The UPS Store, Royal Hawaiian, Shot Hunters and Saddleback Golf Cars.

For Laguna Beach parking information, visit and download the Visit Laguna Beach app for a real-time Trolley Tracker.

To view photos and videos from past Fêtes and to register for a chance to win the one-night stay at Montage Laguna Beach, visit

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association has three sister cities: Menton, France; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; and St. Ives, England. Since its inception, Laguna Beach Sister Cities, established in 2008, has been focused on cultural, educational and social exchanges. It is a broad-based, Laguna Beach City Council approved, all volunteer, nonprofit organization. For more information, call (949) 492.0883 or visit

DeBilzan Gallery celebrates great art every ArtWalk and also awards prizes

DeBilzan Gallery celebrates great art during ArtWalk on the first Thursday of every month from 6 - 9 p.m., serving wine and hors d’oeuvres. 

DeBilzan Gallery also features giveaways during ArtWalk.

DeBilzan winner

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Scott Cohen, Director of DeBilzan Gallery (left) and Randy Gardner (right), who won a DeBilzan signed, limited-edition print at ArtWalk on June 7

DeBilzan Gallery is located at 224 Forest Ave. The website is

Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry wins first place for Vision Award 

The 2018 Vision Award for first place has been awarded to Adam Neeley in the category of Professional Design Excellence for his pendant entitled “Ombré”. The pendant displays a 25.39 ct bi-color tourmaline which alternates colors from emerald green to blue, with canary diamonds transitioning into white diamonds. 

The overall vision for this design was to put gradient colors on display in two forms, in stone and in precious metal. 

Adam Neeley Pendant

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“Ombré” pendant by Adam Neely wins first place 

Award-winning lapidary Stephen Avery presented Adam with this dramatic tourmaline, inspiration struck.

“It’s completely eye clean,” Adam describes, “and the color makes a vivid transition from blue to green. Stephen did an amazing job on the cut, which has long facets that run through it vertically and don’t take away from the transition.” 

The concept behind his design was using a sleek, modern form to put gradient colors on display, both in stone and in precious metal. This gem’s vivid colors and impeccable cut proved the perfect complement to SpectraGold™, Adam’s signature color gradient material. “This was the most minimal of the designs. I wanted to get the eye to focus in on the subtle color gradients,” Adam says.

Though simple enough to say, the fabrication of this pendant, which maintains perfect the ombré effect without evidence of a seam required the delicate and labor-intensive creation of SpectraGold™, followed by flawless technical execution.

For more on the 2018 Vision Awards, visit MJSA’s website at for their announcement of the winners.

No Square Theatre presents the Disney Princess Concert on June 29, 30 and July 1

Join No Square Theatre for the perfect concert for your princess on June 29 and June 30 at 6:30 p.m. and July 1 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children/students. 

The show will features some favorite songs, including Let It Go, When You Wish Upon A Star, Beauty and the Beast, and so much more. 

No Square Disney

There will be a pre-show Tea Party with a princess on June 30 at 5:30 p.m. Don’t forget to dress up in your favorite princess costume for this event. For more information or to buy tickets, visit

No Square Theatre is located at 384 Legion Street in Historic Legion Hall.

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