Slider

 Volume 14, Issue 5  |  January 18, 2022


Artist and community art leader Kathy Jones delivers the next LOCA Art Talk at the LCAD Gallery

By MARRIE STONE

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Kathy Jones encountered this query on a billboard she passed one day. The message stuck with her. Considering the trajectory of Jones’s professional and artistic careers, and the intentional way she lives her daily life, it’s clear she takes these kinds of questions seriously. She seizes on opportunities, embraces adventure and never shrinks from a challenge. 

artist and KJ 1

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Kathy Jones will appear at the next LOCA Art Talk at the LCAD Gallery

Next Thursday, Jan. 20, the public is invited to join Jones and access her artistic headspace. The painter has mounds of practical wisdom to impart. She came to art after a long and successful career in academia, having served as the first female vice chancellor at UCI and as the vice president of Georgetown University. After leaving Georgetown, Jones worked in management consulting and as a strategic planning consultant. 

But art was always her passion. Jones began showing her paintings at the Festival of Arts in 2000. She served on the Festival board for 5 1/2 years and the LOCA Arts Education board for seven years, voluntarily retiring in 2019 to pursue other artistic opportunities. Today, she serves as the current president of the FOA Foundation and shows her paintings at the Sue Greenwood Gallery in Laguna Beach, the Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle, the Marshall Gallery in Scottsdale and The Lily Pad Gallery’s two locations in Milwaukee and Rhode Island.

artist and KJ 2

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Kathy Jones

“Trying to Make Sense of It All” (spring 2020), cold wax on panel, 40 x 30

Her impressive resume aside, Jones recognizes the impediments (both real and perceived) that artists face. Over the decades, she’s developed strategies to combat the inner critic, maintain a balanced lifestyle and continue posing fresh challenges to herself. 

“We all live with barriers and perceived obstacles,” Jones said. “Many people came to my booth at the Festival and said things like, ‘I would love to paint, but when I was in third grade somebody told me I didn’t have any talent,’ or ‘I don’t have the right to do this work,’ or ‘I should be doing something else.’ They spent their lives living under these shadows without taking opportunities to do things they loved because of these perceived slights. We all live with barriers and perceived obstacles.” 

Simply listening to Jones talk breaks some of those barriers down, or at least allows us to recognize their existence. Whether it’s her rich life experiences or her innate approach to life, Jones has a way of stripping away the superfluous and clarifying the issues that often constrain us.

artist and KJ 3

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Kathy Jones

This 2003 piece conveys the progression of Jones’s process. 

One piece of artistic advice has served Jones particularly well. “I had a teacher who emphasized the importance of making contracts with yourself,” Jones said. “That guide became a lodestar for me.” Jones pointed out how easy it became to get overwhelmed by artistic options. Choosing a medium, a canvas size, a color palette and a subject matter can paralyze any artist. Unbound freedom is the artist’s enemy. 

“You need a starting point and an end point,” Jones said. “When I’m interested in exploring something new, I make that contract with myself. I give myself a timeline and a set of things to explore. It may change as I go along, but the contract gives me a set of parameters that allows me to operate with some sense of order. For me, that’s important.” 

The contract usually includes a deadline. It might restrict Jones to certain colors, canvas sizes or subject matters. But, for her, those restrictions are liberating.

artist and KJ 4

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Kathy Jones

Kathy Jones at work in her studio on Laguna Canyon Road

“I also want to talk about not worrying about your work,” Jones said. “What is it you do that takes you completely out of your work, allows you to step away and then come back at it with a fresh eye?” It’s important, Jones said, to give yourself permission to take breaks and recharge your creative energy. “It may be cultural, but many of us get caught up in the pressure of producing the next piece. It’s all we think about. Instead, slow down and give yourself the opportunity to do things that have nothing to do with your work so you’ll come back with more energy and freedom. I don’t think that sense of freedom is innate in most of us. We’re not a very playful society.” 

Jones is an artist who works from the inside out, painting what she feels instead of what she sees. Her images walk an elegant line between the abstract and the figurative, but each one evokes an emotional response. 

When asked how the pandemic impacted her work, Jones said, “I recently had a chance to look at that issue. I sent a new batch of paintings to a gallery and realized my prior paintings – ones I’d done maybe four or six months earlier – were quite a bit more jagged. They almost looked constrained. They had all these lines that looked like barbed wire and seemed influenced by a sense that bad things were happening out there. My more recent paintings were quite cheerful. Maybe they shouldn’t be cheerful considering where we are today, but I painted them during a time where there seemed to be a lift in the world. A sense of optimism was reflected in those pieces.” Of course, Jones said, that’s all subconscious. She never strives to depict her awareness of the world or her moods. That’s simply the internal machinery of an artistic mind at work. 

artist and KJ 5

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Kathy Jones

“Shadowed” (spring 2020) showcases the internal struggles of an artist working during the pandemic

artist and KJ 6

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Kathy Jones

“Blessings” (late 2020), cold wax on panel, 12 x 9, captures a sense of hope and optimism

“I never know where a painting will go,” Jones said. “And I tend to work on multiple pieces at a time to give myself opportunities to see new things.” 

Jones envisions her upcoming talk more like an interactive dialogue with the audience. “What I really appreciate and value is the conversation,” she said. “I’m hopeful this talk will be informal. This is a chance to support one another. It’s about enhancing and strengthening the arts community. If I can contribute anything to that conversation, I’m really happy to do it.”

Jones’s talk promises to be inspiring for artists working across all mediums, and perhaps even for those who don’t identify as artists. Much of Jones’s advice has applications to everyday life. Start by asking yourself: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” 

artist and KJ 7

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Kathy Jones

Jones delivered a 2015 LOCA Talk with artist Betty Haight in her studio. Participants used Matisse’s cutouts as inspirations to make their own pieces, which were assembled into a mural.

The LOCA Art Talk is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. at the LCAD Gallery located at 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach. Due to a recent surge in COVID cases, there’s a possibility the event will be postponed. Visit LOCA’s website at www.locaarts.org for the latest updates and information. 

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR - JANUARY

DECEMBER 2, 2021 - JANUARY 3, 2022

2nd Annual LPAPA Squared All Member Show

Marshall

A celebration of artwork created by LPAPA Members in an 8″ x 8″ square format!

www.lpapa.org

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

LPAPA Gallery 414 North Coast Hwy Laguna Beach

Thurs - Mondays 11 am - 5 pm

FREE

949.376.3635

JANUARY 6, 2022

Artists on Artists

TAKEAKNEE

Join the Festival of Arts for Artists on Artists, a new series at foaSOUTH, the Festival's off-site gallery. Artist Kate Cohen will lead a fun, lively and intimate conversation about art and the creative process with a different Festival artist each month. Artist Mike Tauber will join Kate for Artists on Artists on January 6th. Tauber’s tile works not only exhibit advanced illustration, but also a painterly appearance through his signature use of blended glazes rarely seen in this medium. Cohen will put Tauber in the hot seat as she digs deep into his methods for creating his award-winning Golden State landscapes and explores the thought process behind Tauber’s series of classic cars, which was added to his landscape series in 2020. “Kate has no fear in talking bluntly and openly – no topics are off the table,” shared Tauber.

www.FestivalofArts.org

Festival of Arts

Festival of Arts at foaSOUTH (located in Active Culture)

1006 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, CA 92651

6 pm

FREE

949-494-1145

JANUARY 24 - APRIL 23, 2022

PIECEFUL PROTEST, by Allyson Allen, 2020 LBAA Seven-Degrees of Inspiration Grant Winner

TAKEAKNEE

Noted Textile Artist Allyson Allen's moving handmade quilts and journals covering timely topics from Climate Change, War, Animal Cruelty, Indigienous Rights, Prison Reform, to Racism, LGBTQ Communities, Human Trafficking, and more.

www.caplaguna.org

Community Art Project (CAP)

The CAP Gallery, 260 Ocean Avenue, 2nd Floor Rotunda @ Wells Fargo Bank

M-F 9-4, Sat 9-11

FREE

949-533-7507

JANUARY 29

LBCAC's Bare Bones Theatre Presents: Shakespeare's Fool

TAKEAKNEE

Bare Bones’ first event in its new home will be a time-honored Laguna favorite, Shakespeare’s Fool: Songs and Speeches from The Plays. A rambunctious and unpretentious romp through lyrics and lines of William Shakespeare featuring singer/songwriter Jason Feddy with actor Ava Burton and friends on Saturday, January 29, 2022. Doors open at 7pm, Performance at 8pm.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

door open at 7pm Starts at Performance at 7:30pm

Purchase tickets HERE.

949.652-ARTS (2787)

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR by the Week CLICK HERE


Ceramicist Mike Tauber joined Kate Cohen for this month’s Artists on Artists conversation at foaSouth

By MARRIE STONE

Festival of Arts exhibitor Mike Tauber describes himself as a “working class artist.” Maybe it’s an apt phrase for someone who first received monetary compensation for his artwork at the age of six, and who’s made a steady living from his designs since college. Still, it sounds a little modest once you understand the breadth of Tauber’s artistic accomplishments. 

His work cuts across genres, from ceramic tiles to paintings to cement reliefs. The size of his pieces ranges from block-long murals to single square tiles. He’s created numerous public installations around the world (many here in our hometown). Laguna credits Tauber for its largest public mural – 120 feet – outside the Neighborhood Congregational Church on Glenneyre Street. He also painted the aquatic-themed mural outside Whole Foods. Tauber teamed with artist Michele Taylor in 2006 to install another mural at the Water Department. At the L.A. Wilshire Grand Center, Tauber oversaw the creation of a 16,000-square-foot mural as its lead painter. He has several other smaller commissions peppered around Laguna.

ceramicist mike AOA 1

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Mike Tauber in front of his mural at Whole Foods Market in Laguna Beach

In addition to exhibiting at the Festival since 1998, Tauber’s work has hung in several museums, businesses and public spaces, as well as countless private collections. His work is in the Festival of Arts Permanent Collection, and public art collections in Laguna Beach, Fullerton, Tustin, as well as abroad in Australia and Brazil. His pieces are also collected by such corporations as Kaiser Permanente, K. Hovnanian Homes, PIMCO Foundation, Whole Foods Markets and many more. 

Tauber seems equally comfortable creating fine art and functional art. His pieces depict the whimsical as well as the serene. Having proven himself successful in the industry for decades, Tauber’s insights and approach to his career make for fascinating conversations about what it means to be a working artist.

Last week, Tauber joined fellow Festival of Arts exhibitor Kate Cohen for her third installment of the Artists on Artists series at foaSouth. The monthly salon aims to give the public access to a variety of artistic minds across mediums and educate audiences about various approaches to the creative process. 

Cohen’s goal is not only to demystify the hidden lives of artists, but to encourage people to slow down and spend quality time analyzing their art. 

Although the conversations are usually held in person, the duo quickly pivoted to an online discussion in light of the recent surge in COVID cases. Their conversation was recorded and can be viewed in its entirety on the Festival of Arts Facebook page. We captured some of the talk’s highlights.

ceramicist mike AOA 2

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Kate Cohen’s Artists on Artists series at foaSouth continued on Thursday, Jan. 6, with ceramic tile artist Mike Tauber

The early signs of an artist

Like Cohen, Tauber seemed born to become an artist, recognizing his interest from an early age. While still in first grade, he won a poster contest hosted by his parents’ bank in Elmhurst, Illinois. Tauber created four images depicting why it’s wise to save money. The effort earned him $50. “That was a big influence on me,” he said. “I was ready to go.”

Soon after, Tauber’s third-grade teacher again validated his talent. “I did a Crayola crayon picture of grapes. I really focused on it,” Tauber said. “At the end of class, Miss Bertolino took my piece, put it up on the wall, and said, ‘This is what art should look like.’” 

Cohen, too, knew she was destined to become an artist. Her mother was a portrait artist and wouldn’t allow Cohen to play with coloring books. “She’d take them away,” Cohen said, “telling us, ‘We don’t do that in this house. We make originals here.’”

A practical education

While Cohen followed a conventional artistic education, gaining her BFA in ceramics, printmaking and sculpture, as well as two masters’ degrees in fine art (painting and sculpture), Tauber majored in environmental design at San Diego State. He took an architectural illustration class in college and worked as an architectural illustrator in his post-graduate years. “I learned how to draft, to render three-dimensional drawings and read blueprints,” Tauber said. “Somehow, I’ve always worked as an artist, which was great practice. It kept me very prolific. I never needed some separate job in an unrelated industry [although he did a little pizza throwing in college].” 

Most of his college jobs related to art. Tauber worked as a newspaper illustrator and in kitchen design centers. “I could read blueprints and do these beautiful renderings,” he said. “They paid $200 a pop, which was good money for a college sophomore.” 

All that education and experience have paid dividends throughout Tauber’s career. Much of his work continues to be architectural, and his tilework benefits from all those years painting and illustrating. “I do architectural work to this day. A lot of my public art projects are for buildings yet to become,” he said. “They’re site specific. I have to talk to architects and builders and create the art to scale, know what the sightlines are, and study these buildings that don’t exist yet.” 

ceramicist mike AOA 3

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Tauber appears with designer Krista Schaeffer at The Crab Cooker in Newport Beach where he installed his bathroom tile series

Working on the grid

Because much of Tauber’s work is on tile, he’s comfortable working in grid patterns, unlike Cohen whose work is inspired by circles, squiggles and lines. But within that structured form, the possibilities are endless, particularly when introducing the uncertainty of the kiln. Tauber shared his process. 

“I usually start with a photograph. I sketch it out on paper, some hybrid of drawing and painting,” said Tauber. “At the Festival of Arts, I’m considered a ceramicist, but my aesthetic is painting. I use glaze the same way I use acrylic paint. By mixing pigment with a clear medium, you get those transparent washes. Ceramic glaze is just particles suspended in a water-based medium. If you apply a very thin glaze – which I do – the washes look almost like watercolor. You can see the different layers. It’s a very simple transition from my use of acrylic paints to ceramic glazes.” 

Tauber uses several plein air painting techniques when working with ceramics. Light source and shadow, and everything that goes into creating a successful landscape portrait, are all reflected in his work. But instead of canvas, Tauber draws on bisque – clay that has been fired without a ceramic glaze – and then uses liquid wax. “I use a pinpoint detailer pen and squeeze out the wax. There’s a little pigment in there that creates a brown underglaze. When it dries, it turns into a brown line. Then I start painting in the glazes, going from bright to dark. I often start in the background, like the sky. The last thing I’ll do is work on the focus of the piece – like the trees – and create the highlights and shadows. Sometimes one firing is enough. Occasionally I’ll do a second firing.” 

ceramicist mike AOA 4

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Mike Tauber

Tauber’s ceramic tile pieces combine his controlled skill as a painter and the whimsical uncertainty created within the kiln. This forest landscape is representative of his work.

For someone as controlled and measured as Tauber, the uncertainty of what will happen inside the kiln is invigorating. “You have to be open to serendipity,” Tauber said. “Remember, I was a draftsman for many years. Talk about tight. Even the thickness of my line quality was measured. Ceramics helps me loosen up, which is one of the reasons I love the kiln. You go in and hope for the best.”

Tauber loves the unusual burns he gets out of his kiln. “Some of the crystal glazes are exotic,” he said. “They create beautiful special effects on the tile. Although I’m a painter and I’m controlling them, some crystals explode into weird things.”

Cohen’s work, by contrast, is influenced by circular patterns and unconventional shapes. Like Tauber, though, her pieces often convey recurring themes. She showcased a 1999 work called “The Passage,” which is now owned by the FOA Permanent Collection. “The piece is heavily steeped in symbolism,” she said. “The fish represent the circle of life as a woman passes from young adulthood into middle age. The bird she reaches for symbolizes wisdom.” Cohen used fabric dipped in tar and shaped into knots to create a sense of movement.

ceramicist mike AOA 5

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Tom Lamb

Kate Cohen’s 1999 piece “The Passage” is part of the FOA Permanent Collection

The DNA of an artist

For two artists who work across a variety of mediums and have been at work for decades, each piece they produce reflects the inescapable DNA of their creative minds. Cohen points to “The Passage” as a work that’s decades old but still contains hints of her current projects. All those same themes and obsessions are hidden within. “I look at this piece and see the rhythmic groundwork I’m still doing in my work today,” she said. 

“That hypnotic movement in ‘The Passage’ is evident in all your work,” Tauber told her. “To this day, even one of your small earrings has those same lines. And here we go with the birds again.” Tauber points to the dove soaring over the woman’s head, then to Cohen’s magpie sculpture and finally to her ceramic bird installations. “Birds are everywhere,” Tauber said. “Everything is in there, whether it’s a wall installation or a piece of jewelry. To be able to carry a theme from a piece of small metal to an enormous painting to ceramic sculptures to other mixed mediums and into your two-dimensional pieces and realize it’s still readable as the same artist – that’s extremely sophisticated.” 

“You do the same thing,” said Cohen. “Making art is almost like making babies. Our DNA runs through all our work.”

It’s true. There’s something uniquely Tauber-esque across much of his work, whether he’s depicting oceanic life, nature scenes or 1950s classic cars. Once you recognize Tauber’s signature style, you can’t mistake it. 

ceramicist mike AOA 6

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Mike Tauber

Tauber’s underwater kelp design in this home shower showcases the broad range of his talent, applying light and shadow at scale

The pragmatic concerns of artistry

The two also discussed practical considerations like pricing their work, knowing when a piece is finished and titling their creations. For Tauber, who works with large-scale public installations, pricing can be both tricky to estimate and imperative to get right. Most artists don’t have to consider issues like scaffolding, insurance and the electric costs associated with running a kiln at the scale Tauber’s work requires. “I can easily get myself into big trouble if I don’t bid the jobs correctly,” he said.

Both artists agreed that titles should convey something to the audience they wouldn’t otherwise deduce from looking at the piece. An ideal title will add another layer of meaning to the work, inviting the viewer to explore further.

What it means to be a “working class artist”

But back to the concept of the “working class artist” and what that’s meant for Tauber’s career. “I worked in the model homes industry for many years,” Tauber said. “That bread-and-butter work paid all my bills. And I cranked out a lot of work as a production artist. I had good toggle skills. Clients would want a landscape, a figure painting, a mural, or other art. I just cranked it out. It kept my brushes wet and I enjoyed it.” 

“But it wasn’t exactly your soul,” said Cohen. 

“It was not my soul, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve survived as a self-employed, working-class guy on my own. But now I feel pretty successful because I’m able to do more adventurous things and my clients trust me.” 

One of the conversation’s many useful takeaways was the wide range of ways to make a living as an artist. Both Cohen and Tauber work across a variety of mediums and are willing to pivot when required. Tauber’s added skills in architecture and design, and his ability to read blueprints and create architectural renderings, opened a variety of commercial projects that financially sustained him and, as he said, “kept his brushes wet.” It enabled Tauber to both follow his passion and sustain a secure lifestyle. A strong message for young, up-and-coming artists.

Submitted video

Tauber has worked for Geppetto’s Toy Stores (located in 10 storefronts throughout San Diego) for 25 years, once again proving himself a “working class artist”

The entirety of their hour-long conversation can be viewed on the Festival of Art Facebook page. Next month, Cohen will moderate a discussion between FOA artists Paul Bond and Dagmar Chaplin. The event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. Follow the Festival of Arts’ website, or their Facebook page, for updates on COVID protocols.

ceramicist mike AOA 7

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Kate Cohen’s Artists on Artists series at foaSouth will continue on Thursday, Feb. 3 with Dagmar Chaplin and Paul Bond

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR - FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY 1

Beth's Tuesdays

TAKEAKNEE

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

$15

949.652-ARTS (2787)

FEBRUARY 3

ArtWalk Jorg, Tom and Carrie

TAKEAKNEE

2020 Three artists respond to an historic year In the pantheon of recorded history, how will those who write about the year 2020 view the impact it had on humanity, societal change and the environment? Creatives have always played a significant role in recording those changes. In an unprecedented year the world was impacted by a worldwide pandemic, political upheaval and social injustice. Working in the solitary confines of their individual studios and without knowledge of each other’s efforts, Jorg Dubin, Carrie Zeller and Tom Lamb set about to document through various mediums and methods a record of this unprecedented year. Dubin’s work is often driven by the immediacy of current events. Social injustice and political division are often depicted in sometimes brutal realism that commands the attention of the viewer to respond driving complacency into the rearview mirror. Carrie Zeller’s work takes on more global and universal themes. Dealing again with current events, Zeller’s photographic collages bring to the forefront compelling images of basic human rights that often motivate people to take a closer look at their personal existence and how they treat those around them keeping a sense of optimism just beneath the surface. Tom Lamb approached the turmoil of 2020 by considering the impact of Black Life matters as seen In Minneapolis, climate change as seen from above and the global pandemic had on parts of the world that lacked resources to survive Covid-19 either from a health standpoint but also economically. He set about to transform his aerial photographs into functional artworks by collaborating with Tibetan and Nepalese artisans in Nepal to carry on their traditional weaving skills to create visually beautiful carpets of his aerial views. In the greatest tradition of helping those less fortunate, Lamb helped these craftspeople survive the terrible onslaught of the global pandemic. These three artists created bodies of work that for future generations will be a small part of the documented history of a once in a multi-generational and unprecedented year.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

8-10pm

949.652-ARTS (2787)

FEBRUARY 5

LBCAC Presents: James Clay Garrison Band and Multi Instrumentalists Jerry Segura

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

8-10PM doorsa open at 7:30PM

$30 GA/$50 VIP

949.652-ARTS (2787)

FEBRUARY 12

LBCAC Presents: Opera Reimagined Valentine's Day w/Laguna Tenor Rick Weber

TAKEAKNEE

Please join us Valentine's Day Weekend at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center for another special "Opera Reimagined" evening, celebrating the wonder of love, including all of its trials and tribulations.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

8-10pm

Purchase tickets HERE.

949.652-ARTS (2787)

FEBRUARY 22

LBCAC Presents: Bare Bones Theatre' L'Dor V'Dor

TAKEAKNEE

The premiere of Lojo Simon’s newest play, L’Dor v’Dor (from Generation to Generation). This play explores assimilation, identity and what we inherit from the generations who have gone before us though the story of one ordinary American family on the morning of their daughter’s bat mitzvah. The reading will be followed by a curated community conversation.

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

LBCAC

235 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach

door open at 7pm Starts at Performance at 7:30pm

Purchase tickets HERE.

949.652-ARTS (2787)

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR by the Week CLICK HERE


“Art in Public Places” – Postcards from Laguna

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

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. 

Created by four local artists, The Postcards from Laguna series depicts different views of Laguna Beach. Commissioned through a competition, these postcards are changed every five years, offering an opportunity for another four artists to show their favorite places in Laguna Beach. They are displayed on the Verizon building, next to Whole Foods at 283 Broadway.

Michael Hallinan, Robin Wethe Altman, David P. Cooke and Carole Boller were chosen during the 2015 competition.

art in public girl with surfboard

Click on photo for a larger image

Laguna scene created by Michael Hallinan 

As an avid lifelong surfer, Hallinan was drawn to Laguna Beach and soon after was awarded an art scholarship to Laguna College of Art + Design. Once in Laguna, he studied and painted with local artists Dave Solomon, Mike Logan and Pat Tobin. 

In 1984, Hallinan was featured on the cover of American Artist magazine and in 1988 was the first living artist whose painting was ever recreated in the Pageant of the Masters. Around that same time, he was named in Who’s Who in American Art. In addition to the Festival of Arts, Hallinan was also an exhibitor at the Sawdust Festival for more than 30 years. Sadly, he passed away in November 2020.

art in public altman

Click on photo for a larger image

A watercolor of a painter by Robin Wethe Altman 

Altman grew up in the 1970s in Laguna, with her long blonde hair flowing, and stitching macramé necklaces woven with seashells she dove for that morning. Altman gathered her paintings and displayed them in a booth at the Sawdust during the day and helped run a concession at the Pageant of the Masters at night. She is a long-time watercolor artist who has shown at all three Laguna summer art venues. One of her watercolors, a view of Main Beach, graced the cover of the Passport to the Arts 2015 brochure. 

The overriding theme of Altman’s artwork is idyll. That’s no doubt in part because she grew up in an idyllic place and sees beauty everywhere.

In a 2015 interview with Stu News, she said, “It’s my always theme. It’s the idealist in me. Creating art makes me feel so happy. I put my spin on things with color and whimsy – make everything brighter. Like heaven on earth, I paint it the way it could be.”

art in public lawn bowling

Click on photo for a larger image

“Lawn Bowling in Laguna Beach” by David P. Cooke

An oil painter, local artist Cooke was born in Easton, PA in 1952. His first exhibition was the 6th Annual Summer Salon at Eleanor Ettinger Gallery in New York City, NY in 2003. Cooke is exclusively exhibited in the United States. One of his notable shows was the 12th Annual Art of Baseball Exhibition at George Krevsky Gallery in San Francisco in 2009

For several years, Cooke has created the visually stunning sets for Pageant of the Masters. Each year, the Pageant’s artists are tasked with creating one set about every two weeks over the course of six months. 

Cooke was there during the initial stages of the Laguna Canyon Artists Studio complex. In the early ‘90s, Cooke, a carpenter with a woodworking shop in the complex, took up painting. To accommodate his new passion, he converted the adjoining space to an artist’s studio. 

art in public walking on beach

Click on photo for a larger image

“Celebrate Laguna Beach” by Carole Boller 

Boller grew up in the Midwest, got her pilot’s license and graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago with a Masters of Fine Art before moving here. Boller is an exhibitor at the Sawdust Festival. In 2018, the Newport Ocean Sailing Association commissioned her to create its annual artwork, a celebrated tradition that captures the spirit of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race (N2E).

Transformation is at the heart of Boller’s paintings. Intrigued by light, she relies on the sensitivity of her eye and clarity of her memory to keep the scene alive as she intuitively reaches for opaque pigments that transform into translucent atmosphere when juxtaposed on canvas. “Color is my day long obsession and joy,” she said. “It washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 

This is the 42nd article in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are more than 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

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


LBCAC presents “2020 Three Artists Response To An Historic Year”

In the pantheon of recorded history, how will those who write about the year 2020 view the impact it had on humanity, societal change and the environment? Creatives have always played a significant role in recording those changes. In an unprecedented year, the world was impacted by a worldwide pandemic, political upheaval and social injustice.

Working in the solitary confines of their individual studios and without knowledge of each other’s efforts, Jorg Dubin, Carrie Zeller and Tom Lamb set about to document through various mediums and methods a record of this unprecedented year.

On Friday, Jan. 28 from 7-10 p.m., Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) presents, “2020 Three Artists Response To An Historic Year.”

LBCAC presents 2020 Three Dubin

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of LBCAC

“The Orange Stand” by Jorg Dubin

Dubin’s work is often driven by the immediacy of current events. Social injustice and political division are often depicted in sometimes brutal realism that commands the attention of the viewer to respond driving complacency into the rearview mirror.

LBCAC presents 2020 Three Zeller

Click on photo for a larger image

“Triple Threat” by Carrie Zeller

Zeller’s work takes on more global and universal themes. Dealing again with current events, Zeller’s photographic collages bring to the forefront compelling images of basic human rights that often motivate people to take a closer look at their personal existence and how they treat those around them keeping a sense of optimism just beneath the surface. 

LBCAC presents 2020 Three Lamb

Click on photo for a larger image

“Bolsa,” a handwoven Tibetan 100 knot wool and silk carpet by Tom Lamb

Lamb approached the turmoil of 2020 by considering the impact of Black Life Matters as seen In Minneapolis, climate change as seen from above and the global pandemic had on parts of the world that lacked resources to survive Covid-19 either from a health standpoint but also economically. He set about to transform his aerial photographs into functional artworks by collaborating with Tibetan and Nepalese artisans in Nepal to carry on their traditional weaving skills to create visually beautiful carpets of his aerial views. In the greatest tradition of helping those less fortunate, Lamb helped these craftspeople survive the terrible onslaught of the global pandemic. 

These three artists created bodies of work that for future generations will be a small part of the documented history in a multi-generational and unprecedented year.

Doors open at 5 p.m. with the performance taking place from 7-10 p.m. This is a seated event for all ages. Admission is free. Metered parking is available until 7 p.m. For more information, go here.

The LBCAC Arthouse Theatre is located at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach. www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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.

LBArtsAllianceLogo

Laguna Art Museum presents Lit to Life at LAM: “The Snail and the Whale” this Saturday

Lit to LAM brings literature to life during a participatory storytime that will have you making and moving. On the fourth Saturday of each month, you’ll craft a storytelling experience inspired by a museum artwork or exhibition to foster children’s understanding of art’s role in their lives. Read-alouds will be supplemented with mindfulness exercises, art-making projects, or in-gallery activities that promote meaningful connections with caregivers and others. Sessions are designed for PreK-5 learners and their families.

On Saturday, Jan. 22, the Laguna Art Museum presents, Lit to Life at LAM: “The Snail and the Whale” by Julia Donaldson from 10-11:30 a.m. The session is in collaboration with a finish-at-home clay sculpture project.

Laguna Art Museum presents whale

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LAM

“The Snail and the Whale” is featured during Lit to Life at LAM this Saturday, Jan. 22

Cost: Museum members: $7; Non-members: $14. For tickets, go here.

New and exciting events are added on a regular basis. Find more information about events being offered in 2022 at www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.


Carolyn Johnson’s Recycled Surfboard Art is among pieces donated to Laguna Art Museum’s 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction

Laguna Art Museum announced the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction taking place February 5 through March 5 with both online and in-person auction events. Registration for the online auction began via Artsy on Wednesday, Jan. 12 with bidding starting on Saturday, Feb. 5. The in-person event will be held at the museum on Saturday, March 5 from 6-9 p.m. The silent online auction will close on March 5, during the event, at 7:50 p.m. PST. The live auction will begin at 8 p.m. 

“This is Laguna Art Museum’s most anticipated and lively event of the year. From contemporary artworks to plein air painting, the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction will showcase emerging, as well as seasoned California-based artists,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “Through the past four decades of curating the Art Auction, the museum has cultivated artists like Kim Abeles and Scot Heywood who have made their way to the forefront of the California art scene, and we are pleased to offer such an array of impactful work to the community.”

Carolyn Johnson s Recycled art

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Carolyn Johnson

Carolyn Johnson’s Recycled Surfboard Art piece “With Every Breath,” is among the featured auction items at California Cool

Among the many pieces donated to the LAM’s California Cool Auction is Carolyn Johnson’s Recycled Surfboard Art. “This feels like a year of new beginnings even as business struggles around us because now is the time to lean in and support the businesses, groups and causes that we love,” said Johnson. “To hear that this year’s donations are up greatly, makes me so encouraged. This is the first year I have donated one of my Recycled Surfboard Art pieces. The Recycled Surfboard Art I am donating is “With Every Breath,” a 20”x 78” board which has beautiful rich blues, foamy ocean waves and depth of color with the metallic paints and inks that I use.”

In addition to Johnson’s work, the museum-curated auction will feature works by more than 100 of California’s most coveted artists including Maria Bertran, Judy Chicago, Alex Couwenberg, Woods Davy, Laddie John Dill, Phil Dike, Jacques Garnier, Jimi Gleason, Kelsey Irvin, David Krovblit, Andy Moses, Kenton Nelson, Ed Ruscha, Millard Sheets, Beth Davila Waldman and many more. Proceeds from the annual auction provide support of the museum’s mission of collecting and preserving California art, providing critically acclaimed exhibitions and expanding art education for all ages.

On the evening of March 5, the live in-person auction will attract hundreds of competitive bidding art collectors, a hosted bar with creative cocktails and hors d’oeuvres crafted by Kora Kroep and West Coast Event Productions. The live auction will be presented by auctioneer Aaron Bastian from Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers.

Tickets to the live auction event on March 5 are $160 and are available for purchase at www.lagunaartmuseum.org/events. To participate in the online auction starting February 5 via Artsy, register at www.artsy.net.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction are available. For more information, contact the office of Julie Perlin Lee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. As a special thank you for supporting Laguna Art Museum, sponsors will be invited to join a VIP Preview and Artist Reception on March 4.

For more information about the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction and Laguna Art Museum, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

To stay connected and learn about upcoming events, follow the museum on 

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


LOCA Instagram Challenge “Color of the Month” continues throughout the winter months

This month, take the LOCA Instagram Challenge “Color of the Month,” which kick offs seasonal arts challenges on Instagram. Creative types can get inspired by sharing their photos, and photos of their artwork, that follows easy themes.

“It’s been so fun seeing the variety of responses we get from our followers – all so creative!,” said Lisa Mansour, LOCA board member.

LOCA hosts Instagram art.jpg 1.18

Click on photo for a larger image

Artwork by Mada Leach

Courtesy of LOCA 

The LOCA Instagram Challenge “Color of the Month” is blue for January

The challenge for winter is “Color of the Month” featuring images with a dominant or obvious color. The theme for January is blue, February is red and March is green. All mediums are invited including collage, drawing, printmaking, painting, photography and sculpture.

To participate now, post photos or images of artworks featuring blue, to LOCA Instagram and be sure to tag @locaarts and use the hashtag #locaartschallenge.


Laguna Art Museum announces new dates for the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction

Laguna Art Museum announces the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction taking place February 5 through March 5 with both online and in-person auction events. Registration for the online auction will begin via Artsy on Wednesday, Jan. 12 with bidding starting on Saturday, Feb. 5. The in-person event will be held at the museum on Saturday, March 5 from 6-9 p.m. The silent online auction will close on March 5, during the event, at 7:50 p.m. PST. The live auction will begin at 8 p.m. 

“This is Laguna Art Museum’s most anticipated and lively event of the year. From contemporary artworks to plein air painting, the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction will showcase emerging, as well as seasoned California-based artists,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “Through the past four decades of curating the Art Auction, the museum has cultivated artists like Kim Abeles and Scot Heywood who have made their way to the forefront of the California art scene, and we are pleased to offer such an array of impactful work to the community.”

Laguna Art Museum Cool Art.PNG 1.11 NEW

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LAM

The museum-curated auction will feature works by more than 100 of California’s most coveted artists

The museum-curated auction will feature works by more than 100 of California’s most coveted artists including Maria Bertran, Judy Chicago, Alex Couwenberg, Woods Davy, Laddie John Dill, Phil Dike, Jacques Garnier, Jimi Gleason, Kelsey Irvin, David Krovblit, Andy Moses, Kenton Nelson, Ed Ruscha, Millard Sheets, Beth Davila Waldman and many more. Proceeds from the annual auction provide support of the museum’s mission of collecting and preserving California art, providing critically acclaimed exhibitions and expanding art education for all ages.

On the evening of March 5, the live in-person auction will attract hundreds of competitive bidding art collectors, a hosted bar with creative cocktails and hors d’oeuvres crafted by Kora Kroep and West Coast Event Productions. The live auction will be presented by auctioneer Aaron Bastian from Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers.

Tickets to the live auction event on March 5 are $160 and are available for purchase at www.lagunaartmuseum.org/events. To participate in the online auction starting February 5 via Artsy, register at www.artsy.net.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction are available. For more information, contact the office of Julie Perlin Lee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. As a special thank you for supporting Laguna Art Museum, sponsors will be invited to join a VIP Preview and Artist Reception on March 4.

For more information about the 40th Annual California Cool Art Auction and Laguna Art Museum, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

To stay connected and learn about upcoming events, follow the museum on 

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


LBCAC presents Shakespeare’s Fool on January 29

On Saturday, Jan. 29, the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) presents Shakespeare’s Fool, an evening of song and speeches from the plays.

Synopsis: Shakespeare’s Fool, produced by Bare Bones Theatre, is a rambunctious and unpretentious romp through lines and lyrics from Shakespeare with LBAA “Artist of the Year” Jason Feddy and actors Ava Burton & friends.

LBCAC presents Shakespeare's Fool

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBCAC

“Shakespeare’s Fool” is an evening of song and speeches from the bard’s plays

Doors open at 7 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. Proof of vaccination, negative test or mask is required. General admission is $30; VIP is $50. To purchase tickets, click here.

Grant funding was made possible by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

The LBCAC Arthouse Theatre is located at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach. www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

Email: Editor@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc.

949.212.1499

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

© 2022 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.