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 Volume 13, Issue 61  |  July 30, 2021


A cultural cornucopia: Laguna’s local festivals attract a broad spectrum of international artists

By MARRIE STONE

Photos by Jeffrey Rovner

Although art speaks a universal language, it reflects personal experiences. Art exposes cultural customs, political norms, and religious practices. It can communicate private passions and individual fears. Often, and ironically, the more intimate the artistic expression, the more unifying it can feel. Even if artists’ backgrounds appear wholly different from our own, we might still find ourselves reflected in their imagery. Art knits us together through our shared human experience, evoking collective emotions – humor and whimsy, pleasure and beauty, sadness and despair. The more diverse the artistic voices, the richer the emotional encounters.

While the Festival of Arts requires its exhibitors to live in Orange County, many of them come from countries across the world. Almost 25 percent of the artists were born (and often raised) outside the United States. Twenty-nine of the 120 artists represent 21 countries located on six continents. There’s a South African glass artist and a South Korean oil painter. Photographers from Chile and Australia. Printmakers from Japan and India, and sculptors from Bulgaria and Germany. Two Taiwanese oil painters and jewelers from five different countries. 

The Sawdust Festival, which restricts exhibitor residency to Laguna Beach itself, includes artists from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Italy, and Sweden. The Laguna Art-A-Fair, not having any residency requirements, draws roughly 15 artists born and raised in countries like Nigeria, Turkey, Iran, Russia, Georgia, Belarus, Korea, France, and Cambodia. 

What these artists offer stretches beyond their talents. They bring cultural traditions, but they also bring unique upbringings, diverse perspectives, and rich educational backgrounds. Some grew up in nations that demanded conformity. Many received a rigorous and competitive education. Others enjoyed an uncommonly open childhood. A few endured wars and oppressive regimes. Several were saturated in European art, architecture, and literature. Some were isolated and oppressed while many were given free rein to explore the distant boundaries of their passions. They all contribute to the grand mixture of art on display at this year’s festivals. 

Here are a mere three of those many diverse stories.

India’s academic rigor allowed Vinita Voogd’s artistry to thrive

Born and raised in New Delhi to progressive parents who supported her artistic obsessions, Vinita Voogd studied in India’s finest institutions. By the age of three, she was enrolled in a competitive private school intended to educate the nation’s future leaders. Modeled after Britain’s prestigious Eton College and Harrow School, instruction took place ten hours a day, six days a week to students who were studying calculus and trigonometry by middle school. 

A cultural Vinita

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Vinita Voogd’s prints are on display at the Festival of Arts, Booth #72, through September 3

But rigorous study also meant monumental freedoms to follow individual passions. The school supported and indulged every whim. “From 2 to 5 p.m. every afternoon, students could study whatever they wanted,” Voogd says. “If you wanted to build remote control cars or make a plane, the school would hire an engineer to teach you. You could spend the afternoon in the sculpture studio. We had students doing drama, music, singing, anything you can think of.” 

It prepared Voogd well for her education at the University of Delhi, India’s equivalent of Harvard, where she received her BFA. Of the thousands of applicants to the College of Art, they accepted only 24 students. “You can imagine the education we got,” Voogd says. “The professors were all the highest in their fields. The best in India. Many of them had studios in Europe, so we were getting all the information and techniques from Paris, Berlin, and London.”

Though neither of Voogd’s parents were artists – her mother was an attorney and her father a businessman who came from a long lineage of bankers – they embraced her passions. At the age of 6, she announced her intent to become an artist. At the age of 20, she fell in love with an American man. “Some Indian men married European or American girls, but I was one of the first Indian girls to marry an American man.” 

Voogd followed her new husband back to Orange County, where she discovered her passion for printmaking. Though all her printmaking education was done in the United States, under the initial instruction of John Paul Jones at UCI – one of America’s foremost printmakers in the 1950s and 60s – Voogd brought a body of both discipline and deep knowledge of art with her from India. 

Today Voogd incorporates pieces of India into her prints. The vivid colors and saturated tones call out to India’s rich and vibrant culture. “Sometimes I’ll finish a piece, not knowing why I was putting those colors together. I’ll hang it in my studio and realize my mom had a sari in those colors, or my grandmother had something like that. The women wear really colorful clothes and a lot of my colors definitely come from that imagery.” 

Likewise, many of the papers she uses for printmaking reflect a diversity of cultures, particularly Korea, Thailand, Tibet and Nepal, as well as India. Some papers are embossed and other embroidered, a traditional Indian technique that goes back centuries. The papers are then mounted on a western rag paper. “In a subtle way, it’s a combination of eastern and western traditions in the print,” Voogd says. 

A cultural Voogd print

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Voogd’s prints reflect her cultural heritage through color choices, handmade papers, and her eye for composition and design

The prints contain flora and fauna, hints of nature that Voogd didn’t experience growing up in the crowded city of Delhi. “I started doing landscapes when I came to the U.S. because the landscape was so different here. The plants, the mustard growing on the hills in the summer. I’d never seen a Joshua tree. All that was so different.” But there are also elephants, camels, and other Indian iconography, reminiscent of home and reflecting a true melding of Voogd’s childhood traditions with her adult life in the United States.

“You have no choice but to draw from your experiences,” Voogd says. When she interrogates some of her young undergrad students about their artistic choices, they often confide they don’t know where their inspirations originate. “That’s fine,” she tells them. “But 20 years from now, you’ll know where it came from. Every decision comes from somewhere. It’s something subconscious. Even if you can’t articulate or understand it, hopefully one day you’ll know.” 

Yuri Kuznetsov’s charmed Russian childhood led to a life of artistic whimsy

“My childhood was a big time,” says mixed media artist Yuri Kuznetsov. “I feel like I was a child for 20 years. Thirty years. Maybe still. Now, every day, I’m playing, playing, playing.” 

Born and raised in Almet’evsk – the center of Russia’s oil industry where his father worked as an engineer – Kuznetsov’s childhood was fueled by folktales and physical and artistic freedoms. At age 9, after expressing an interest in art, his mother whitewashed his bedroom walls, armed him with colorful cans of paint, and allowed her son to spend his days expressing his imagination. He painted bright animals, animated people, cars, and creative creatures. When he ran out of room, she whitewashed over the old and Kuznetsov started anew.

Bedtime stories fed his creativity. Russian folklore and Egyptian iconography remain recurring themes in his work. “When mother said time for bed, I told her I like it so much, read me more,” he remembers.

A cultural Yuri

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Yuri Kuznetsov showcases one of his favorite acrylic oil paintings entitled “Funny Company”

Alongside the childhood tales, his mother read Pushkin and Dostoevsky. There were only two television channels that played an hour each day, so screen time was limited to 30 minutes. Kuznetsov spent his free time painting his walls, reading, or wandering the outdoors. “I could walk the streets without parents,” he says. “It was very safe, with big blocks of buildings that had playgrounds, parks, and yards. We knew everyone. We’d stay out until our parents called us home through the window.”

Although Kuznetsov was inspired by the work of Pieter Bruegel, Mikhail Vrubel, Magritte, Van Gogh, and Chagall, an academy teacher gave him some important artistic advice early in his career. “He told me, ‘You can study all these famous artists. But if you want to learn, you must go outside the building, lay face-down in the grass, and watch everything going on there. Look at all the creatures, listen to all the sounds. When you start to love nature and learn by experience, you can become great. Once you can imagine it, you can translate it into art.” 

Despite these whimsical freedoms, Kuznetsov’s education and artistic instruction were strict. In addition to the rigors of Russia’s traditional coursework in literature, history, mathematics, and science, training in the arts was regimented and controlled. By 14, Kuznetsov was sent to the bigger city of Kazan for his studies, and then to St. Petersburg where he attended the highly acclaimed Mukhina Art Academy. 

There, his training was methodical and disciplined. Students weren’t allowed to study certain artists – or even borrow books from the library – until they demonstrated certain proficiencies. “We were practicing all the time, all day long, making sketches, paintings, drawings,” says Kuznetsov. “We drew animals in a realistic way, practicing and gaining a lot of experience. Because once you know how to draw it realistically from experience, then your imagination can create something new.”

While working in Sochi from 1990 to 1998 with a group of artists and poets who called themselves the “Guild of the Beautiful,” his talents were spotted. He was recruited to the United States through the “People to People International Art Ambassador Program.” 

The rest, as they say, is history. Kuznetsov has been creating mixed media acrylic oil paintings ever since, showing his work in galleries, museums, and art shows across the United States, Germany, and Russia. His 24-foot public mural entitled Adventure – which depicts various fantastical creatures riding in a white limousine – has been on display at the corner of Ocean and Forest Avenue since 2002.

A cultural Yuri wall

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Yuri Kuznetsov’s work is on display at the Festival of Arts, Booth #17, and the Laguna Art-A-Fair, Booth B8 through September

“Of all the evils in the world, I choose none,” says Kuznetsov. “I prefer not to show dark sides. My only goal is to make people happy and smile.”

Pegah Samaie’s work responds to Iran’s cultural misogyny and oppression 

In contrast to her colleagues, Pegah Samaie’s upbringing in Tehran neither cultivated her creativity nor fostered her ambitions. Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the country embraced a patriarchal system, severely restricting the rights of women. In 2017, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report ranked the nation 140th out of 144 countries for gender parity. From voting restrictions to mandatory dress codes, women also have no legal protections against domestic violence or sexual harassment. Men dictate their movements, their careers, their clothing, and other personal decisions. 

A cultural Samaie

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Pegah Samaie’s oil paintings are on display at the Festival of Arts, Booth #28, through September 3

“I felt that in my family,” Samaie says. “Household and society are together. When society wants something, that’s how families behave. My father had two girls and we lived in an apartment, so he wanted to be more in control of the family.” 

Beyond her personal freedoms and the onerous rules and restrictions during childhood, her father also wanted Samaie to study engineering. “Because I wanted to study art, I had a lot of difficulties in my family,” she says. “My father controlled me and didn’t want me to be an artist. He pushed me to study engineering. I studied two years and then got married. My husband pushed me to do whatever I wanted to do.”

Samaie lived in Tehran for thirty years. When she immigrated to the United States with her Iranian husband ten years ago, a psychological window opened for her. Free from her father’s career expectations, Samaie pursued an education in the arts, receiving both her BFA and MFA at the Laguna College of Art and Design. 

Now her work explores the contrast between her upbringing and her new life – and freedom – in the United States. The paintings represent the oppressions she experienced in Iran and the opportunities she’s enjoyed since leaving. “I eventually learned to use my past experiences consciously and subconsciously to express the reconciliation I am making with all the storms of my life,” she says. “In rising from the wreckage and painting politics and issues related to women’s rights, I am recovering, reclaiming, and redesigning what it means to be a woman.” 

Her paintings depict a lot of lace, which is worn during wedding ceremonies and represents marriage. In one of the more disturbing pieces entitled Am I Homemaker?, Samaie paints a five-year-old naked girl holding a doll. She’s surrounded by her childhood drawings but draped in the traditional red lace wedding attire. Child marriage in Iran remains a common phenomenon. Girls as young as nine can be married against their will, with over 40,000 girls under the age of 14 married in the past five years. The image explores the tension between a little girl’s childhood fantasy to playact motherhood with her doll, and an Iranian patriarchal culture that strips her of innocence at an early age. 

A cultural Samaie Wall

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“Am I Homemaker?” lays bare Iran’s cultural tolerance for child brides and the oppression of girls from a young age

“Women behind lace reflect my observation and experience as a woman in Iran,” Samaie says. “Lace is like a wall that separates women from the outside world. It shows them being pushed into darkness and into being second class.” 

Influenced by Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat, Samaie’s paintings are filled with iconography and symbolism. Birds represent freedom. Cups are the symbol of women, representing their inner strength and ability to bloom. Mars, a planet we’re only beginning to understand and explore, represents the aspiration of a new frontier for women. Fire signifies Iranian wars, protests, and revolution, while the sky holds hope for freedom and limitless possibility. Samaie’s women exist inside both spaces. 

Although Farsi is Samaie’s primary language, art is her voice. Her paintings provide the purest expression of her experiences and aspirations. They allow her to directly communicate both her past pain and the joy she’s now found in motherhood. Leaving Iran lifted Samaie’s veil, but art gave her the language to talk about it.

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR - JULY

ArtWalkLogo

JULY 1

First Thursdays Art Walk

The museum offers free admission from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Now on view: Wayne Thiebaud: Clowns, Hymns to the Silence, and Matthew Rolston, Art People: The Pageant Portraits.

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum

5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

FREE

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-494-8971

CLB EllenReidSOUNDWALK2JULY 1, 2021 – ON-GOING

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK

Starting July 1, 2021, Heisler Park will serve as host to a new temporary interactive audio installation. Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is a GPS-enabled work of public art, tailor-made to its setting, that uses music to illuminate the natural environment. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

www.ellenreidsoundwalk.com/download

City of Laguna Beach

Heisler Park, Cliff Dr

All hours

Free

AAF Entrance smallJULY 2 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 5TH

Laguna Art-A-Fair 2021

One of three art festivals on Laguna Canyon Rd. Featuring over 100 artists in essentially all mediums. Open every day at 10am. We offer daily artist workshops for all levels from beginner to advanced. Live entertainment on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Please see our web site for lots more information.

www.art-a-fair.com

Laguna Art-A-Fair

Sun-Thur 10am-7pm; Fri & Sat 10am-8pm

$9 all tickets (season passes); $7 seniors, children; military free

777 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach

949-494-4514

JULY 5 – SEPTEMBER 3

Festival of Arts Fine Art Show

FOA LookingAtArt CreditRonAzevedo 03

Reconnect with the arts this summer at the Festival of Arts! Set in a beautiful open-air gallery, this highly acclaimed juried fine art show features the work of over 100 award-winning Orange County artists. From paintings, glass, ceramics, photography and more, the Festival showcases a variety of mediums and artwork styles for avid collectors and festivalgoers to browse and purchase directly from the artists. In addition to the artwork on display, visitors can enjoy art demonstrations, live music performances on select days, opportunities to meet the artists and more.

www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org

Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach

650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Weekdays from 4pm to 11:30pm and weekends 10am to 11:30pm

General Admission: Weekdays $10, Weekends $15; Students & Seniors: Weekdays $7, Weekends $11; Children 6-12: $5; Free Admission for Children 5 and under, Military, and Laguna Beach Residents.

949-494-1145

JULY 5 - 11

15th Annual “Less is More” juried exhibition

15th Annual “Less is More” Juried Small Works Art Show

Showcasing Exceptional Small Paintings created by LPAPA artists

A celebration of small works with big impact!

Demers, Don Laguna Breakers 10 x 16 oil copy

www.lpapa.org

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

LPAPA in Residence

(located at Forest & Ocean Gallery 480 Ocean Ave Laguna Beach)

Gallery hours - Artist Reception Thursday, July 8, 2021 5 - 6 pm

FREE

949-376-3635

JULY 6

Beth’s Tuesdays

Beth Wood’s monthly songwriter’s showcase on the first Tuesday of every month.

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center

Streamed live on Laguna Live! Facebook page & YouTube channel

7:00 p.m.

Check website for ticket price.

949-715-9713

JULY 7 – SEPTEMBER 3

Pageant of the Masters

POM BreezingUp Homer

The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Each evening during the summer season, classic and contemporary works of art are faithfully re-created with theatrical illusion and real people posing as living pictures. Enjoy art that comes to life under the stars in the Pageant’s outdoor amphitheater.

In the 2021 Pageant of the Masters, “Made in America: Trailblazing Artists and Their Stories,” audiences will meet the artists who not only made this country their home, but let their creativity be inspired by moments of which this nation was founded on. Through a collection of tributes to artists who made their mark in American Art, a compelling portrait of our artists will come to life with all the theatrical magic that makes the Pageant a one-of-a-kind, must-see summer tradition.

www.PageantTickets.com

Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach

650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Shows Nightly at 8:30pm

Tickets start at $30 per person (Includes season pass to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show)

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-497-6582

JULY 7 – SEPTEMBER 5

55th Annual Sawdust Art Festival

Shop handcrafted art by 168 Laguna Beach artists, and enjoy three stages of live music, daily art demonstrations, festival classes, and a variety of food and beverage options.

artist demoing

www.sawdustartfestival.org

Sawdust Art Festival

935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

11am to 7pm, Sun-Thurs | 11am to 10pm, Fri and Sat

$10 adult, $7 senior, $5 child age 6-12, free for ages 5 and under

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-494-3030

JULY 8

Live! at the Museum

Chamber Music Concert with violinist, Iryna Krechkovsky and violist, Sorah Myung

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Art Museum

Streamed live on Laguna Live! Facebook page & YouTube channel

7 pm – 8 pm

Free for museum members and included with museum admission for non-members. Admission $5/$7

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-715-9713

NOW – AUGUST 7

Summer Lift

Schmitt AlleyWayOfArches18x36

Venturing out again to rediscover our wanderlust and reconnect with family and friends, artists Ron Azevedo, Mike Ishikawa, Russell Pierce, Troy Poeschl, Mitch Ridder, Veronica Schmitt & Cheyne Walls give us their perspectives on this timely subject.

www.caplaguna.org

Community Art Project (CAP)

Laguna Beach City Hall - 505 Forest Avenue

M-Th 7:30 am – 5:30 pm Every other Friday 7:30 am – 4:30 pm

FREE

JULY 10TH

An Evening with the Kalama Brothers

Kalama Brothers by Kalama Brothers

Genre: Island Soul - Ryan and Kai Kalama, two fabulously accomplished musician brothers are always crowd pleasers. The Kalama Brothers tell their story through original music, eclectic covers, and their own brand of humor.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

949.652-ARTS (2787)

8-10pm (doors open at 7pm)

$30 GA/$50 VIP

Purchase tickets HERE.

JULY16 – NOVEMBER 12

Reframing Nature

Differing perspectives on Art & Nature, capturing the essence of Nature and its connection to art. As a supporting art organization for the Laguna Art Museum, this exhibit coincides with the museum’s Art & Nature program in November 2021.

Artists: Vilma Mendillo, Sheryl Seltzer, Laura Stickney & Patricia Prescott Sueme.

CAP2

www.caplaguna.org

Community Art Project (CAP)

The CAP Gallery - 260 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach

Wells Fargo Bldg., 2nd floor

M-F 9-6 Every other Sat 9-4

FREE

949-533-7570

JULY 17

Trevor Green, Multi-Instrumental Magic

Spirited, deep, and thought-provoking are just a few words to describe the artist known as Trevor Green. His music is fresh and distinctly new, yet is deeply woven in the spiritual fabric of our ancient ancestors. Weaving together sing-able and uplifting melodies, dynamic instrumentation, heart-pounding rhythms, and the haunting sounds of the didgeridoo, with his spontaneous improvisational ability. Green’s performance is a one-man powerhouse with universal appeal that seems to come from the ground up. With his honest delivery and ability to extract the music from a deep place of truth, he leads his audience through vast landscapes of soundtracks, creating a magnetic and spellbinding performance.

Trevor Green by Trevor Green

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

949.652-ARTS (2787)

8-10pm (doors open at 7pm)

$30 GA/$50 VIP

Purchase tickets HERE.

JULY 18, JULY 25, AUGUST 8 AND AUGUST 22

Music in the Park at the Festival of Arts

The City of Laguna Beach’s 2021 Music in the Park concert series will be presented at the Festival of Arts grounds on select Sundays.

July 18 - Upstream (Caribbean)

July 25 - Woodie and the Longboards (Surf)

August 8 - LA Sound Machine (Gloria Estefan)

August 22 - Tom Nolan (R&B)

The City will be offering a free trolley service from Bluebird Park to the Festival of Arts on the day of the concerts. The dedicated trolley services will run in loop from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This program is a collaboration of the Festival of Arts and City of Laguna Beach and funded by the Festival of Arts, lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts

City of Laguna Beach

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Concerts are free with Festival of Arts Admission ($15). Laguna Beach residents receive free Festival admission.

949-497-0722

JULY 21

A Night of Big Band and Swinging Jazz

Ginger1

The Laguna Community Jazz Band, featuring vocalists Ginger Hatfield and Rick Evans plays its exciting blend of big band, pop, and jazz standards during the FOA Summer Series.

www.lagunaconcertband.com

Laguna Community Jazz Band

At the Festival of Arts.

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Free to Laguna Beach residents

949-294-2714

JULY 21

Art House Cinema: “Cinema Paradiso”

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore - Cinema Paradiso is the beautiful, enchanting story of a young boy’s lifelong love affair with the movies. Set in an Italian village, Salvatore finds himself enchanted by the flickering images at the Cinema Paradiso, yearning for the secret of the cinema’s magic. When the projectionist, Alfredo, agrees to reveal the mysteries of moviemaking, a deep friendship is born. The day comes for Salvatore to leave the village and pursue his dream of making movies of his own. Thirty years later he receives a message that beckons him back home to a secret and beautiful discovery that awaits him.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

949.652-ARTS (2787)

8-10pm (doors open at 7pm)

$20 GA; $15 Senior; $10 under 18

Purchase tickets HERE.

JUL 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, AUG 1

CRY-BABY The Musical

Based on the film written and directed by John Waters “…campy, cynical, totally insincere and fabulously well crafted. And funny. Madly, outrageously funny.” -WSJ

CRY BABY LOGO FULL EXTENDED 4C

www.NoSquare.org

NO SQUARE THEATRE

At the NO SQUARE THEATRE

7:30

$25

949-310-6955

JULY 24

O’Malley Jones and the Keepin’ It Real Band

O Malley Jones by Jeff Degrate

Funk, Soul, & Blues Revue/Tribute to James Brown with O’Malley Jones. With its thrilling big orchestra sound and compelling vocal performance by O’Malley Jones, KEEP IT REAL has got what it takes to bring an audience to their feet. It makes women swoon and generally bring back the joy of a time when music was filled with soul. Whether you’re a GenXer or Baby Boomer, KEEP IT REAL’s brew of high-energy, vintage funk, soul and blues means everyone will find something they like to listen and dance to.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

949.652-ARTS (2787)

8-10pm

$30 GA/$50 VIP

Purchase tickets HERE.

JULY 28

On The Green

Miskey Mountain Boys

Laguna Live! is celebrating our community with two free concerts from past popular groups: on July 28th The Miskey Mountain Boys blend jazz, classical and swing with traditional Bluegrass

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Festival of Arts

5.30 – 7 pm

Free with Festival admission

949-715-9713

JULY 28

Art House Cinema: “Jean de Florette”

Winner of 4 BAFTA Film Awards. A greedy landowner and his backward nephew conspire to block the only water source for an adjoining property in order to bankrupt the owner and force him to sell.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

949.652-ARTS (2787)

7-9pm

$20 GA; $15 Senior; $10 under 18

Purchase tickets HERE.

JULY 29

In Person: Jacques Garnier

Photographer Jacques Garnier, whose solo exhibition Hymns to Silence is currently on view in the museum, discusses his work.

Eternal Recurrence,Jacques Garnier

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

6:00 p.m.

$5 - $7

949-494-8971

Jul 31 Platters FoA Mike TauberJULY 31

“Collectors Night”

Enjoy a special night out at the Festival of Arts! Meet artists in their booths, visit the artists Platter Painting Party, take part in the conga-line group photo, enjoy docent led tours, and much more. Cocktail attire suggested.

www.TheArtistsFund-FoA.org

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts

Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd

8:30pm-10:30pm

Free, with regular Festival admission

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-612-1949

JULY 31

James Clay Garrison, “Unregulated”

James Clay Garrison by James Ahn

James will take the audience from Spain to Laguna in two hours.The styles, rhythms, melodies and words of life on the move.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

949.652-ARTS (2787)

8-10pm

$30 GA/$50 VIP

Purchase tickets HERE.

FIRST THURSDAYS ART WALK

FTAW Logo and ImageFirst Thursdays Art Walk’s mission is to promote Laguna Beach as a leading year-round destination and community of fine art galleries.

Art brings us joy and improves individual well-being. It is a foundation of a healthy community. As a patron of the arts, and by supporting Art Walk and its member galleries and sponsors, you are supporting a wide variety of skills and workmanship by local painters, sculptors, photographers, designers, glass blowers, gallery owners, framers and students of the arts, and workshops, just to name a few.

We truly appreciate all those who participate in and support this unique art community in Laguna Beach.

www.Firstthursdaysartwalk.org

First Thursdays Art Walk

Member galleries and sponsors throughout Laguna

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

FREE

949-463-4800

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR by the Week CLICK HERE


Laguna Art-A-Fair’s summer Sip & Pour and other daily workshops unlock both the inner-artist and the inner-child

By MARRIE STONE

“If you made it through kindergarten, you can do this,” says acrylic pour instructor Emilee Reed. Laguna Art-A-Fair’s last scheduled Sip & Pour of the season happens this Friday evening, July 30th, at 4:15 p.m. Participants will be given two canvases and a drink voucher for a glass of wine. Aprons are provided and casual clothing is encouraged because things are about to get messy…and fun. 

Laguna Art A Fair workshop group

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Barbara Palmer Davis

Instructor Emilee Reed guides participants Pennilee Fallow, Kelli Amador, Mark Amador, Geri Medway, Richard Jenkins, and Lorna Jenkins at a July Sip & Pour event

Using metal chains, inflated balloons, egg cartons, ice cube trays, bubble wrap, and anything else Reed can conjure – and her imagination is active! – participants will produce two different acrylic pours. Swipe, smash, pull, or pour the paint, and every creation will look unique. 

“I get most of my tools at the hardware store,” says Reed. “I see something and think, ‘What if I tried that?’” Reed even adds silicone to the paint to create bubbles in the image which burst when the paint is spread. “It almost paints itself,” says Reed. “There’s no limit to the things you can do.” The effects are spectacular.

Laguna Art A Fair workshop pour

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Emilee Reed

An example of one of the pieces produced in the acrylic pour workshop

Originally a watercolor artist whose work is on display in local galleries and the Art-A-Fair, Reed discovered acrylic pours more recently. “Pour painting allows me to loosen up in a way much different than my watercolor style,” she says. “Paint flow and canvas manipulation combine to create endless unique and exciting design possibilities.” 

Although Friday evening’s event is the last scheduled Sip & Pour this season, additional August dates may be announced depending on participation and interest. 

Laguna Art A Fair workshop Emilee

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Barbara Palmer David

Instructor Emilee Reed begins her acrylic pour

For those more attracted to pouring paint than sipping wine, acrylic pour workshops are offered every Thursday and Friday afternoon on the Art-A-Fair grounds. Reed teaches the Friday class through August 27, introducing a different pour technique each week, ensuring no two classes will be the same. Barbara Palmer-Davis teaches on Thursday afternoons through September 2. Each class is limited to six participants, so students are guaranteed personal attention. “Look forward to controlling the uncontrollable and celebrating the unexpected,” Palmer-Davis says. 

Laguna Art A Fair workshop Gayle

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Emilee Reed

Participant Gayle Kerfoot demonstrates one of the techniques used in the acrylic pour

Daily summer workshops

In addition to the Friday night Sip & Pour and weekly acrylic pour classes, the Laguna Art-A-Fair offers daily artist workshops over a wide variety of mediums. Courses cover jewelry making and design, an old masters’ style oil painting class, printmaking, watercolor, basketry, and more.

“These workshops are the best kept secret of the festivals,” says veteran workshop participant Chalyn Newman. “Not enough people know about them. It’s an amazing opportunity to create pieces with people who make art their life’s work.” 

Newman has been taking Art-A-Fair summer workshops for years. Her parents took classes, and now Newman attends several different sessions with her 16-year-old daughter. “They’re good for all ages,” she says. “Three generations of my family have done these workshops.”

Laguna Art A Fair workshop jewelry

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Marrie Stone

Instructor Patrick Sullivan (shown with participants Pamela George and Julianne Zimmer) teaches a jewelry workshop on Sunday mornings

Class sizes are limited to four or six students to ensure personalized attention. Each session runs for four hours, either mornings or afternoons, and generally sell out fast. 

Here are just a few of their workshop offerings.

Beginning Watercolor with Geri Medway

Geri Medway’s watercolor class is an ideal choice for beginners. The workshop explores different watercolor papers and their qualities, as well as color theory, pigment types, transparency, and glazing.

“This is a total beginner watercolor class,” says Medway. “People need that solid foundation. We’ll cover basic washes and fundamental techniques about how much paint is on the brush versus the paper.”

Although each course is intended to be self-contained, and every week is roughly the same instruction, there are a few students who return. “I tell them not to expect anything new,” Medway laughs. But they enjoy practicing on their own.

“After lunch, students apply what they learn. They use a maple leaf and a philodendron leaf, and they practice the principles.”

A signature member of the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West, Medway’s work has been showcased in several Walter Foster publications, and is included in Art of the American West. Medway is an experienced instructor, having taught workshops in France, Yosemite National Park, and throughout southern California. She’s a longtime exhibitor who has garnered several awards and accolades for her paintings.

Laguna Art A Fair workshop Geri

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Marrie Stone

Watercolor artist Geri Medway showcasing her pieces in Booth A22 at Laguna’s Art-A-Fair

“When I’m working alongside the students and make a mistake, I’ll talk it out loud so they can learn from my process,” Medway says. “I’ve got no ego involved. We’re all learning.”

Emilee Reed, a watercolor profession in her own right, says, “Even I’m tempted to take Medway’s workshop. I know she can teach me some things.” 

Classes are held every Tuesday morning through August 31. 

Oil & Metal Leaf with Shaney Watters

Every artist can bring home the gold this Olympic season in Shaney Watters’ metal leaf workshop. Another ideal class for beginners, participants will learn how to work with metal leaf, and how to combine different mediums on paper. 

Each workshop is self-contained, meaning students will leave with a painting they could hang on their walls. “So far, one woman has come twice,” Watters says. “The first time she came, she didn’t know what to expect. When she came back, she had a full plan, and I was able to help her execute it. That was a lot of fun!”

Although Watters is a nature lover and gravitates towards wildlife in her art, participants can select their own subject matter. Watters provides a stack of magazines for inspiration. Or students can search their phones or bring their own images if they wish. “I’m teaching a technique,” says Watters. “I don’t have pre-planned images and require we’re absolutely doing these images today.”

Laguna Art A Fair workshop demo booth 1

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Marrie Stone

Laguna Art-A-Fair’s Demo Booth showcases the various pieces produced in the workshops. The gold leaf flamingo painting in the foreground is an example of Shaney Watters’ work, which is on display at Booth D27 through September.

Of course, the technique has been modified for time. In her own work, Watters takes days to paint the layers and allow the leaf to dry. In a four-hour workshop, participants will lay down the image separate from the gold leaf and paint around the oil. “It’s a very similar effect,” says Watters. And saves a lot of time.

Using solvent-free oil paints and other nontoxic materials, Watters remains conscious of people’s hesitations. “Some people shy away from oil painting because of the mediums and the chemicals,” says Watters. “I use solvent-free mediums. I try to be conscious of that in my own painting practice and pass that on in my workshops.” 

Watters has extensive experience in both fine art and instruction. She also brings a laid back, humorous, and calm demeanor to her courses. “My goal is for people to be engaged in some element of a new process and enjoy their time,” she says. “I see myself as an assistant. It’s not about copying what I do. It’s about me facilitating your process. Nothing beats the environment of creating within such a creative place. It’s just been amazing.”

Classes are held every Saturday morning through August 28 and are limited to four students.

Printmaking with Mo McGee

Not every printmaker requires a press. Discover the basic techniques of printmaking without the cost of expensive and bulky equipment with instructor Mo McGee. Students will learn how to cut linoleum and how to backwards plan their designs by thinking in reverse. 

McGee will teach various inking processes, how to use the tools and inks, and how to create gorgeous prints without a press. Subject matter will include monoprint-making, linoleum, and etching. 

“I enjoy randomness and trying new simple things,” says McGee. “As an instructor, I hope to help students find not only their creative voice but also their artistic confidence.” 

McGee holds both a BFA and an MFA and has worked with formal illustrations as well as printmaking. She can’t wait to share her enthusiasms with her students. 

Classes will take place on Friday, Aug 27 and Friday, Sept 3. 

Laguna Art A Fair workshop demo booth 2

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Marrie Stone

The art workshop demo booth showcases examples of jewelry, old masters’ style oil paintings, printmaking, watercolor, and collage

Collage with Agnes Copeland

Agnes Copeland’s collage workshops are quick to fill, and it’s easy to see why. The enthusiasm of her students is palpable. Participants learn the different materials and tools used in collage, and work with a wide variety of colorfully patterned papers. 

“I don’t think we can underestimate the value and benefit of the different paper choices Agnes provides,” says one participant. “The interesting textures and colors lead to creativity and wanting to try different things.” 

Using texture techniques and patterns to layer their collages, students also learn how to construct a painting through composition and design.

“Agnes is very creative and makes it all easy,” says workshop participant Fran Greenbaum.

“No experience is required,” says Chalyn Newman. “All the materials are there for you, so it’s a fun and relaxed environment, and a great way to feel like you can be an artist with someone there to guide you.” 

Copeland’s workshop is different each week, so students can sign up for successive weeks and expect to try something new. One week they collaged with koi fish, another with palm trees and buildings. “People keep repeating, so I have to work my brain to think of something new,” Copeland says. “We’re going to do elephants at the circus next time. That’s going to be a real challenge.”

Copeland has been teaching collage classes for eight years, though has done other workshops at Art-A-Fair since 1990. 

“We provide everything from beginning to end,” says Copeland. “Just come with an imagination.”

Classes are held on Wednesday mornings through September 1. 

Laguna Art-A-Fair is located at 777 Laguna Canyon Rd.

More information on these and other artist workshops can be found on the Laguna Art-A-Fair website (www.art-a-fair.com/workshops) or by calling (949) 494-4514.

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR - AUGUST

Beth's Tuesdays Banner

AUGUST 2

Beth’s Tuesdays

Beth Wood’s monthly songwriter’s showcase on the first Tuesday of every month.

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center

Streamed live on Laguna Live! Facebook page & YouTube channel

7 pm

Check website for ticket price.

949-715-9713

Rolston Hottorff Neptune webAUGUST 5

First Thursdays Art Walk

The museum offers free admission from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Now on view: Wayne Thiebaud: Clowns, Hymns to the Silence, and Matthew Rolston, Art People: The Pageant Portraits.

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

FREE

949-494-8971

AUGUST 9 - SEPTEMBER 30

Laguna Beach City Hall “Dusk to Dawn’ Juried Exhibition

Annual “From Dusk to Dawn” Juried Nocturne Art Show at City Hall

Nocturne Paintings created by LPAPA artists

A celebration of artwork created between dusk and dawn!

www.lpapa.org

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

At the Laguna Beach City Hall

City hall hours Reception to be announced

FREE

949-376-3635

AUGUST 12

Live! at the Museum

Duo Gliss

Chamber Music Concert with Harp duo, Duo Gliss

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Art Museum

7 pm – 8 pm

Free for museum members and included with museum admission for non-members. Admission $5/$7

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-715-9713

AUGUST 12

Live! at the Museum

Duo Gliss, founded by professional harpists Hee Jin Yoon and Ko Ni Choi, perform a concert inside the museum. Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live!

Purchase tickets HERE.

LAM exterior (2)

Laguna Art Museum

7:00 p.m.

$5 - $7

949-494-8971

LAM exterior evening

AUG 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22

The Show We Can’t Tell You The Name Of Until August 3

Fun for the whole family but we can’t tell you the name yet due to licensing restrictions. Mirth. Music. Mystery. How can you resist?

Purchase tickets HERE.

NO SQUARE THEATRE

7:30 p.m.

$25

949-310-6955

AUGUST 25

On The Green

Laguna Live! is Celebrating our community with two free concerts from past popular groups: on August 25th Hot Club of LA performs the Gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt and beyond.

Hot Club of LA

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Festival of Arts

5.30 – 7 pm

Free with Festival admission

949-715-9713

AUGUST 26

In Conversation: Matthew Rolston

Cultural critic and journalist Christina Binkley interviews acclaimed photographer Matthew Rolston, whose solo exhibition Art People: The Pageant Portraits is currently on view, as well as the exhibition’s curator and former director of Laguna Art Museum, Dr. Malcolm Warner.

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

6:00 p.m.

$5 - $7

949-494-8971

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR by the Week CLICK HERE


In Pencil Walking, FOA artist Katlin Evans beckons viewers to feel the power of silent reflection 

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Artist Katlin Evans, in her fifth year as an exhibitor at the Festival of Arts, says her drawings are quiet for a reason – and that stillness speaks volumes. In her exhibit Pencil Walking, Katlin takes visitors on a journey of discovery, inviting them to get lost in what they see.

Further describing her graphite drawings and 3D sculptures as calming, Katlin says, “We’re all on sensory overload. In my drawings, it’s about each moment leading to the next moment. It’s not the big things, but the tiny pieces on top of each other – the collective.”

Layers of meaning

Katlin’s work is layered in both meaning and method. She starts with two sheets of vellum and a graphite pencil. She draws on one side and then turns it over. “It’s a call and response,” she says, “and it either works out or it doesn’t.”

She explains that it’s not a 3D form, but it still has layers that create depth – a depth that warrants attentiveness.

“Be in the moment when you’re walking around, slow it down,” she says. “It becomes not so much about the process of looking. It’s the whole idea of recognition – the forms I depict are both recognizable and not. You recognize it, but then you don’t, and it pulls you away from everything.”

This concept comes into play when viewing her piece Tidal. One experiences something akin to shapeshifting – is it seaweed, is it intestines, or some type of sea creature? It’s for certain, one gets lost in the discovery.

In Pencil holding drawing

Click on photo for a larger image

Katlin uses gold in “Pencil Walking” 

Katlin first exhibited at FOA in 2007, then from 2016-2018, and now in 2021. Over the years, she’s also been part of the Sawdust Festival and had numerous shows in Southern California, as well as in Texas, Oregon, and New York, to name just a few. 

In her new work Pencil Walking, she uses imitation gold, which is shinier and less expensive than real gold. There’s something beautifully fluid about the gold. It reflects the light as one passes by, morphing into different forms.

“I was influenced by the commission work I did in the spring to put the gold in the drawing,” Katlin says. “However, the gold does have meaning. It’s about a disruption in our pencil walking journey. Disruptions aren’t always negative. It can be a positive to have our visual and mental ‘journeys’ disrupted, leading us down a path we didn’t plan.” 

Always an artist

In an interview with Voyage LA Magazine in 2019, Katlin said, “When I was five years old, I use to sit out on the street with my drawings and tried to sell them. Kind of like a lemonade stand but with my drawings. I suppose I’ve never stopped from there. Pursuing art as a profession was never looked down upon nor encouraged, it just was. ‘If you wanted to do it, you just did it’ seemed to be the family motto.”

However, Katlin admits, “My dad said, ‘You’re going to have a hard life.’”

In Pencil wall

Click on photo for a larger image

Katlin Evans is exhibiting for the fifth time at the Festival of Arts

Originally from New Jersey, Kaitlin moved here when she was 10 years old and went to Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School. After graduation, she attended the University of Montana, Missoula for her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting/Drawing. In 2008, she owned the Flower Stand next to the Lumberyard before she went to California State University, Fullerton, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting/Drawing in 2014. 

Katlin comes from an artistic family. Her grandmother was an actress at the Laguna Playhouse, her mother a writer and singer, and her father was an actor and director for the soap opera Ryan’s Hope. Once that series ended, her father wanted to move back to this area from the East Coast.

A Laguna connection

While at LBHS, Katlin met her husband Ben Wagner – but they didn’t become friendly until a year and a half later. They’ve been together for 16 years – married for six – and live in Canyon Acres with their Akita Eila.

Currently, Katlin teaches freshman and sophomore Drawing and 2D Design at California State University Long Beach and at California State University Fullerton. She also taught at MSJC in Menifee for five years.

“Last year, it was a process to adjust to teaching online. I’ll be teaching four classes this next semester – two in-person at Cal State Fullerton and two online at Cal State Long Beach. It’s adjunct every semester, so there’s no guarantee of a position. I admit it’s hard to maintain a balance with my art and teaching.” 

In Pencil closeup

Click on photo for a larger image

The summer is off to a good start 

Shows

“I always name my shows,” Katlin says. “One year it was Short Stories with Long Endings.” 

She says the names typically elicit comments. The name for her exhibit this year – Pencil Walking – has drawn some unusual ones. One woman asked, “Is it [pencil walking] a thing?” and then, “so do you take LSD?”

Fortunately, most visitors just ask what pencil walking is and then Katlin explains her process. 

From painting to pencil

From 2010-2011, Katlin’s work evolved from painting large abstracts to pencil drawing.

“The act of the pencil is completely different than painting. I really like the material and how far you can push it, but my love affair with paint isn’t over.”

Katlin admits she doesn’t have a plan in mind when she begins drawing. “I don’t know why I’m doing something; the answer comes later, one thing leads to another.”

In Pencil gold

Click on photo for a larger image

Closeup of “Pencil Walking”

“The work is going to do what it’s going to do,” she says. “I also took old paintings and sewed them together. Polarity of Center is a single 5,000 strand of clothes pins. Each piece represents the individual part of a collection – and that we’re not alone but part of a community. I want to add another 5,000 because it’s said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.” 

During the last few months of 2020, Katlin did quite a bit of commission work for hotels. “I work with an art consultant, Daniel Fine Art Service in San Jan Capistrano. They work with a few artists, and the amount of work depends on what they need. Last year, there were lots of hotels doing remodeling.”

FOA 2021 

This summer is off to a good start,” she says. “I’ve sold two large pieces. People seem much happier this year to be at the festival and are glad to be out and about. They are more patient.”

The invitation Katlin has for viewers of her art is the same as the one she gives her students. “I tell my students draw what you see. Forget it’s a cup or whatever. Get lost in what you see.”

Take her advice, and there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy the journey. 

Katlin is in booth 63.

The Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information about Katlin and her work, go to www.katlinevans.com.

LAGUNA DANCE FESTIVAL SAWDUST M 0629  NOSQUARE H 0701

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR - SEPTEMBER

ArtWalkLogo

SEPTEMBER 2

First Thursdays Art Walk

The museum offers free admission from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Now on view: Wayne Thiebaud: Clowns, Hymns to the Silence, and Matthew Rolston, Art People: The Pageant Portraits.

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

FREE

949-494-8971

SEPTEMBER 3, 10, 17 AND 24

Sunset Serenades

Enjoy Friday evenings of free live music performances in scenic Heisler Park.

9/3 - Basset Brothers (Guitar duo)

9/10 - West Coast Woodwind Quintet (Classical)

9/17 - Ron Kobayashi Trio (Jazz)

9/24 - Acoustic Asylum (Eclectic strings and accordion)

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts

City of Laguna Beach

Heisler Park Amphitheater, Cliff Dr and Jasmine St

5:30 p.m. – sunset

Free

949-497-0722

SEPTEMBER 6

Beth’s Tuesdays

Beth Wood’s monthly songwriter’s showcase on the first Tuesday of every month.

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center

Streamed live on Laguna Live! Facebook page & YouTube channel

7 pm

Check website for ticket price.

949-715-9713

SEPTEMBER 9

Live! at the Museum

Chamber Music Concert with violinist, Parnas Harlin Duo, violin, and cello

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Art Museum

7 pm – 8 pm

Free for museum members and included with museum admission for non-members. Admission $5/$7

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-715-9713

Parnas Herlin Duo

SEPTEMBER 9

Live! at the Museum

The Parnas Herlin Duo, American violinist Madalyn Parnas Möller and French cellist Juliette Herlin, perform a concert inside the museum. Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live!

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

7:00 p.m.

$5 - $7

949-494-8971

SEPTEMBER 11

Voices In The Canyon

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

TBA

7 pm – 8 pm

TBA

949-715-9713

SEPTEMBER 18

Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day

Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket.

LAM exterior evening

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

FREE

949-494-8971

SEPTEMBER 23

Jazz at the Woman’s Club

The ever-popular Laguna Live! Jazz returns with the Latin Jazz Syndicate featuring Bijon Watson on trumpet and special guest, Adonis Puentes.

Bijon New 2

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach

5:30-7 pm

Check website for ticket price.

949-715-9713

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR by the Week CLICK HERE


“Art in Public Places” – Rock Pile Carve by George Stone

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

This is the nineteenth in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are over 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

Some of the art you see around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life; and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents.

Art in closeup

Click on photo for a larger image

“Rock Pile Carve” was dedicated in honor of Maryellen Enright Brannon, who passed away in 1999

Installed in 2000, Rock Pile Carve was created through a donation from the Brannon family. Bob Brannon funded the $8,000 artist-designed bench in Heisler Park where his wife, the late Maryellen Enright Brannon, used to walk every day. 

Rock Pile Carve by George Stone is an approximately 4-foot high by 9-foot by 4-foot stainless steel, stone, and concrete sculpture. The title of this sculpture references Rockpile, a Laguna Beach surfing spot named for a group of rocks, located to the south.

Art in distance

Click on photo for a larger image

The sculpture’s title references Rockpile, a south LB surfing spot 

Stone, an accomplished Los Angeles public artist, created this site-specific piece to convey his own experiences of surfing at Rockpile (a grouping of rocks located south of the installation). The sculpture lends itself not only to “check out the surf” but also to enjoy views of Catalina. 

A Los Angeles native, Stone received his Bachelor of Arts from Cal State Long Beach and a Master of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Stone is the recipient of numerous awards and has had his work exhibited and reviewed throughout the region, nationally, and in France and Japan. Stone incorporates advanced technologies, sound, movement, and a sense of irony into his work.

For a map of Art in Public Places (not every piece is listed), click here. 

To apply for the Arts in Public Places program, click here.

ORGANIZATION INFO

www.lagunabeacharts.org

City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission

www.lagunabeachcity.net

Community Art Project (CAP)

www.caplaguna.org

Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters

www.foapom.com

First Thursdays Art Walk

www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com

KX 93.5 Radio

www.kx935.com

Laguna Art-A-Fair

www.art-a-fair.com

Laguna Art Museum

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC)

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

Laguna Beach Live!

www.lagunabeachlive.org

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association

www.lagunabeachsistercities.org

Laguna College of Art + Design

www.lcad.edu

Laguna Concert Band

www.lagunaconcertband.com

Laguna Craft Guild

www.lagunacraftguild.org

Laguna Dance Festival

www.lagunadancefestival.org

LOCA Arts Education

www.locaarts.org

Laguna Playhouse

www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

www.lpapa.org

LagunaTunes

www.lagunatuneschorus.org

No Square Theatre

www.nosquare.org

Sawdust Art Festival

www.sawdustartfestival.org

[seven-degrees]

www.seven-degrees.com

Third Street Writers

www.thirdstreetwriters.org

Visit Laguna Beach

www.visitlagunabeach.com


Laguna Playhouse announces its 100th season of shows – a century of theatrical artistry

Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce its doors will open after a too-long 18 months, so they can (finally!) celebrate their 100th year of creating exceptional theatre in one of Southern California’s most beautiful and vibrant communities. 

Comments Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham, “We cannot wait to welcome you, our subscribers, and audiences back to the Laguna Playhouse after this unprecedented intermission. It may have been delayed, but we are going to celebrate our 100th season in style with shows that are uplifting, hilarious, and life-affirming!” 

The Playhouse’s 100th season begins with Denny and the Dreamers singing all your favorite 1960s songs in the smash-hit, jukebox musical Sh-Boom! Life Could Be A Dream; followed by the heart-warming musical drama, based on the hit film, The Spitfire Grill; then Ella Fitzgerald will take the stage in First Lady of Song: Alexis J. Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald; next is a play you’ll find almost perfect as you experience the funny and heartwarming, Almost, Maine; the summer will bring the musicals you are going to dance in the aisles to, starting with the infectious songs of the Bee Gees in Saturday Night Fever; and the Playhouse will complete its season with the exhilarating Xanadu! It is a season worth the wait and a spectacular way to welcome you back to the Laguna Playhouse.

Sh-Boom! Life Could Be A Dream October 13-31, 2021

Take a trip to Springfield and meet the Crooning Crabcakes as they prepare to enter the Big Whopper Radio contest and realize their dreams of making it to the big time! The 60s hits say it all: “Fools Fall in Love,” “Tears on my Pillow,” “Runaround Sue,” “Earth Angel,” “Stay,” “Unchained Melody,” “Lonely Teardrops,” and “The Glory of Love.” This delightful, award-winning jukebox musical, written and created by Roger Bean (The Marvelous Wonderettes), will leave you laughing, singing, and cheering – let’s hear it for the boys!

The Spitfire Grill – January 26-February 13, 2022 

Run away to a small town where they “roll the streets up at night” and find yourself in a café that serves up a soul-stirring story with a strong cup of joe. This joyous musical bubbles over with toe-tapping fun and soaring, heart-felt melodies – and is proof that a new beginning is as close as your own back porch.   

The music and book are by James Valcq, the lyrics and book are by Fred Alley, and it is based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff

Laguna Playhouse Ella

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Artists Lounge Live

Alexis J. Roston stars in “First Lady Of Song: Alexis J. Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald”  

First Lady Of Song: Alexis J. Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald – March 2-20, 2022

Presented by Artists Lounge Live, award-winner Alexis J. Roston salutes America’s favorite jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. Roston is known for her mesmerizing star turn as Billie Holiday in multiple productions of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, earning Chicago’s Jeff Award and Black Theatre Alliance Award. In a spellbinding concert performance, Roston effortlessly emits the sultry swing and playful joy that made Ella an American treasure. 

Almost, Maine – April 20-May 8, 2022 

Written by John Cariani. Propelled by the mystical energy of the aurora borealis and populated with characters who are humorous, plain-spoken, thoughtful, and sincere, Almost, Maine is a series of loosely connected tales about love, each with a compelling couple at its center, each with its own touch of sorcery. Strangers become friends, friends become lovers, and lovers turn into strangers. On one cold and magical winter night, the citizens of Almost experience the life-altering power of the human heart.

Another Spectacular Show! TBA – May 25-June 12, 2022 

The Playhouse is working hard to find the perfect show to fit into this special season. 

Saturday Night FeverJune 29-July 17, 2022 

Tony Manero doesn’t have much going for him during the weekdays. On the weekends, however, he is the king of the dance floor at the local disco where he and his friends go to dance the night away. When a big dance competition is announced, he wrangles the beautiful and talented Stephanie to be his partner. As the two train for the big night, they start to fall for each other as well. Packed with disco classics including the Bee Gees’ hits “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever,” “Tragedy” and “More Than A Woman,” the musical is filled with explosive energy and sensational choreography.

The show is based on the Paramount/RSO Picture, based on a story by Nik Cohn, the screenplay is by Norman Wexler, stage adaption is by Nan Knighton, and it features songs by The Bee Gees.

Xanadu August 3-21, 2022 

Xanadu follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, Calif., in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first Roller Disco. (Hey, it’s 1980!) But, when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation.

The book is by Douglas Carter Beane; music and lyrics are by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar.

Subscriptions to the 100th Anniversary Season are now available. Seven-play season tickets range from $268-$408 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.comor by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787).                                                                                                                   

The box office is open Mondays through Saturdays from 12 to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (The box office will open in September and will be open until showtime on performance days).

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Laguna Playhouse COVID-19 protocols: Laguna Playhouse will offer both vaccination-only and open-to-all performances this season. The first two weeks of each run will be for fully vaccinated patrons only, followed by a week of open performances for all audiences. Subscribers who would like to move to a week that better serves their needs can do so. Any additional protocol will depend, of course, on governmental regulations.

How to get there

Visit Laguna Beach City Map Visit Laguna Beach Coast Map

Funds for this calendar are provided by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

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Festival artists paint platters at Collector’s Night on Saturday

A special ceramic glazing demonstration will be presented at the Festival of Arts on Saturday, July 31 from 8:30-10:30 p.m. during the Collector’s Night events. Visitors to the art center will enjoy watching 12 exhibitors paint signature designs on ceramic platters. 

“It’s the first time I’ve ever done this,” said textile artist Lisa Kijack, known for her vintage neon sign-themed quilts. “I’m deciding between a neon star and an ‘eat’ sign from a diner,” she said.

Festival artists group

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Photo by Cheryl Walsh

Platter artists and event supporters

Other artists stepping out of their comfort zone include wildlife illustrator Ray Brown, who will use both wax and underglaze pencils in creating his piece featuring swallows. Scratchboard artist Maaria Kader will do a platter in black and white – her signature palette – and printmaker Vinita Voogd will do a design inspired by a topographical map of Laguna Beach. 

“I’m sure you’ll all do a great job,” said Bryan Vansell, owner of Laguna Clay Company, who furnished the materials. Additional artists include Paul Bond, Bruce Burr, Kate Cohen, Monica Edwards, Brian Giberson, Mark Jacobucci, Yuri Kuznetsov, and Anthony Salvo. The fired platters will be available alongside the Art-To-Go display in late-August.

Festival artists Mike

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Photo by Cheryl Walsh

Mike Tauber explains the glazing prosess to platter artists

Collector’s Night is an all-new nighttime experience at Festival of Arts, featuring pop-up art performances, a make-your-mark graffiti wall, a mystery mural in progress, a strike-a-pose conga line photo activity, an opportunity drawing to win $250 in “Buyers Bucks,” and much more. 

Collector’s Night is free with regular Festival admission. It is presented by The Artists Fund with support from the Festival of Arts and Laguna Clay Company. 

For more information, visit www.theartistsfund-foa.org or call (949) 612-1949. 

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


Laguna Live! welcomes legendary songwriters to upcoming Beth’s Tuesdays

Laguna Live! is delighted to welcome the legendary Jack Tempchin and Alfred Johnson along with an in-person audience to the nonprofit’s upcoming Beth’s Tuesdays. The event will take place on Tuesday, Aug 3 at 7 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center. Tickets are $10 in advance ($15 at the door) and can be purchased at www.lagunalive.org.

Laguna Live Jack

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Legendary hit songwriter Jack Tempchin 

Jack Tempchin is a legendary hit songwriter, whose compositions “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Already Gone” are synonymous with the Southern California sound. 

Alfred Johnson is a highly regarded singer/songwriter and funky piano player. He is considered by some as one of this century’s most animated and original songwriters.

Laguna Live Alfred

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Acclaimed singer/songwriter and funky piano player Alfred Johnson 

The show can also be viewed virtually, starting at 7 p.m., on the Laguna Beach Live! Facebook page, YouTube channel, or at www.lagunalive.orgafter the concert. 

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is located at 235 Forest Ave.


Signature Gallery hosts Chuck Joseph on Saturday

The Signature Gallery will host Las Vegas-based artist Chuck Joseph for his opening and reception on Saturday, July 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. on Forest Avenue. The public is invited to an evening showcasing his latest palette knife paintings, and to enjoy a night of excitement while soaking in the beauty. 

With a timeless rendering of scenes depicting the glamorous energy from locations like Paris, Monte Carlo, and Venice, Chuck Joseph has a stylized, illustrative approach to his palette knife techniques that makes his work stand out against the crowd. He has even been known to embed vintage material onto the canvas, and then paint the subject matter over it in oil for texture and a piece of history. Above all, Chuck strives to create art that is unique, interesting, and beautiful. 

Signature Gallery painting

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Chuck Joseph’s painting

Growing up in Huntington Beach, Chuck Joseph was fascinated by sketching people and coastal scenes as well as his father’s creations. He would spend countless hours watching his father, a gifted craftsman, sculpt both fine art and furniture. Fascinated with the intricate carving techniques, precision, and movement of the medium his father employed, the young artist began to work with palette knives to “sculpt” his ideas on canvas.

Chuck chose to teach himself the techniques involved in his craft rather than taking the more traditional classroom approach to studying art. He enjoyed the process of discovery in all areas from mixing paints to understanding color and developing his own style, often challenging traditional perceptions of art. Inspired by the work of Salvador Dali, he frequently added something a little unconventional to his work.

In 2008, Chuck broke into the Laguna Beach art scene with great success. He immediately captured the attention of collectors with his avant-garde style of using the palette knife to create sculpted strokes and flow in his art. Inspired by his surroundings, personal experiences, and eccentric styles, Chuck’s work has a familiarity that viewers can identify with.

Established on Forest Avenue over a decade ago, The Signature Gallery has held to its mission of “Inspiring and Uplifting the World through the Beauty of Artwork” by connecting hundreds of thousands of fine art collectors with the artists and the pieces that touch their soul. The gallery will offer live music, chilled refreshments, and an ensemble of cutting-edge new artwork on display for the summer season. View the excitement and drama of a recently updated gallery and experience a night out in Laguna with Chuck Joseph.

For more information and to view the gallery’s full roster of artists, visit www.thesignaturegallery.com.

The Signature Gallery is located at 220 Forest Ave.


Festival of Arts debuts new, free smartphone app

One of the nation’s most iconic art festivals is offering art at your fingertips with a new, state-of-the-art approach. The nonprofit Festival of Arts, producer of the popular Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, debuted the Festival of Arts Laguna Beach smartphone app just as the 2021 summer events returned following a year on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Now available on iOS and Google Play app stores, this free and easy-to-use app is a personal guide to all things Fine Art Show and Pageant of the Masters. Designed to help guests get more out of their experience, the app includes all the must-know information about planning your visit.

Festival of phone

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App offers easy access to event schedules, artists, pageant seats, maps, and more

“The Festival of Arts has so much to offer visitors. With more than 100 artists, the Pageant of the Masters production, dozens of live music events, art tours, special exhibits, and more, the experience can seem overwhelming,” shared Jeff Rovner, exhibiting artist and Festival of Arts Board Member. “But with our new mobile app, guests can plan their visits and navigate the grounds with confidence.”

The app project was spearheaded by Rovner and produced in collaboration with the Festival of Arts Marketing and PR team of Sharbie Higuchi and Meghan Perez with the goal of making art more accessible to patrons, collectors, and art lovers through technology. It offers guests an innovative and convenient way to stay informed and connected to the arts all summer long.

Users may browse a custom-made section featuring the 2021 Festival exhibitors, their artwork, and biographies. Plus, they will be able to browse by mediums, make a list of their favorite artists, locate artists’ booths on the interactive grounds map, and get in touch with the Festival artists directly from the app. 

The Festival of Arts app also allows users to learn about the Pageant’s theme and theater etiquette, locate their Pageant seats, discover upcoming events, see who’s performing on the Festival’s concert stage, purchase reserved concert seating, and so much more! 

Click here to download the free official Festival of Arts Laguna Beach App or go to your app store and search Festival of Arts Laguna Beach. 

Rovner adds, “Our new Festival of Arts mobile app is so simple and comprehensive, it’s like having a tour guide in your pocket. Our guests will soon wonder how they ever visited us without it.”

Connect with a click to the Festival’s over 100+ exhibiting artists and the Pageant of the Masters on the Festival’s new app. Another way to stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Fine Arts Show is to visit www.foapom.com or follow @FestivalPageant on social media.


LagunaTunes celebrates new optimism as COVID restrictions relax and summer begins

LagunaTunes Community Chorus celebrates downtown businesses – and renewed optimism – as COVID restrictions begin to relax and we ease into summer.

Throughout a long and difficult year, LagunaTunes members have continued to rehearse separately, record separately, and gather online to produce another mini-concert (three songs, only 11 minutes long). So, channel your inner Bee Gees and hum along with this tribute to community, the end of gray and gloom, and an invitation to enjoy downtown Laguna Beach!

Lagunatunes celebrates group

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LagunaTunes members celebrate renewed optimism

Watch “Comin’ Alive” at this link: https://youtu.be/5qNJQyCJr54, or view it on the group’s website at www.lagunatuneschorus.org.

It is with much gratitude that the group acknowledges the Festival of Arts Foundation Grant ($3,000 for 2021) and the City of Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Grant ($3,000 for 2021-22). Their support has helped to continue the survival of the arts through a dark time in our community.

Although LagunaTunes in-person rehearsals and performances are temporarily suspended, members look forward to safely resuming in the fall. The chorus is led by Bob Gunn, popular director of Orange County’s MenAlive chorus and Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. 

LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone (no auditions). Funding is by the Festival of Arts Foundation and The Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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


JoAnne Artman Gallery presents Color Stories: Featuring PunkMeTender and Lisa Bartleson

JoAnne Artman Gallery proudly presents Color Stories: Featuring PunkMeTender and Lisa Bartleson, currently on view until August 14.

Celebrating the use of color and its emotional potency, this exclusive exhibition allows for an investigation of how color intersects with subject and message. Bringing together the works of PunkMeTender and Lisa Bartleson and juxtaposing their sculptural, multidimensional techniques, the two artists exemplify color’s transformative ability to permeate our environments and surroundings.

JoAnne Artman PunkMeTender

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PunkMeTender, “Aluminum Butterfly,” oil on stretched canvas

PunkMeTender has been creating vibrant multimedia art, installations, and murals in Los Angeles since 2000. Influenced by art, fashion, and music, his moniker combines his admiration for the legendary Elvis Presley with Daft Punk. Inspired by butterflies and the freedom, spirit, and beauty they represent, their silhouette has become a constant in his work. Incorporating three-dimensional butterflies into his canvases and murals alike, their sculptural shapes create the illusion of flight. In a dramatic interplay of motion and light, swaths of color explode from the center of each painting, extending to the edges of the canvas. Saturated sections of pinks, blues, and blacks further emphasize the butterfly’s central position. Adding further whimsy and opulence, the pieces are finished with diamond dust. Designed with his audience in mind, PunkMeTender’s art is intended to be photographed, posed with, and shared on social media.

Lisa Bartleson is a California-based, interdisciplinary artist working across genres of painting, installation, sculpture, and ceramics. Bartleson is a part of the second generation Light and Space Movement – a label for West Coast Minimalist art concerned with how geometric shapes and use of light affects the perception of the viewer. Concentrating on light, color, and luminescence, Bartleson methodically captures discrete transitions between hues of color. 

JoAnne Artman Lisa Bartleson

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Lisa Bartleson, “Mexican Marigold,” acrylic on linen

Known for her exploration of materiality, her body of work consists of repetitive, meditative mark making and diffused swathes of color. Evoking a meditative state, the focal point of her works is always a horizon point within the composition. Often incorporating aspects of geometry with formed canvases, her work falls between painting and sculpture, with final compositions that radiate dimensionality and presence. Utilizing pigments that interact with the viewer’s perception of light and color, Bartleson attains work that shifts and reveals itself as the person observing moves to investigate. Intense and calming, kinetic and stagnant, each work is unexpectedly complex. Stripped down to only its most essential components, Bartleson’s keen attention to her materials, and consideration of her viewers’ experience, the work no longer becomes about the object itself, but rather about perception.

These works will inspire, provoke, engage, and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you’re sure to find the right artistic expression.

JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N Coast Hwy and is open by appointment.

For more information, contact JoAnne Artman at (949) 510-5481, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or go to www.joanneartmangallery.com.

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