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Breathing life into art: Rehearsals for Pageant of the Masters are heating up

The Pageant of the Masters, presented by Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts, is heating up the beachside community with preparations and rehearsals underway for the highly-anticipated 2018 production of “Under the Sun.” 

Celebrating its 85th anniversary, the 2018 Pageant of the Masters will amaze audiences nightly July 7 - September 1 with 90 minutes of tableaux vivants. These “living pictures” are re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. Tickets are available now at www.PageantTickets.com.

“We started work on pre-production for “Under the Sun” in October 2017. Currently we are building different sets each week, and conducting dress rehearsals every Thursday night for 3-4 set pieces,” said Richard “Butch” Hill, Technical Director and Lighting Designer for the Pageant. “This will be my 34th year with the Pageant and the passion and dedication from the designers, volunteers, make-up artists, Pageant Director, and everyone involved truly shows in the masterpieces created.”

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Pageant Sculptor Daniel Stonebreaker (far right) helps volunteer cast members (left to right) Sunshine Iller of Lake Forest, Ferne Ames of Laguna Beach and Caroline Reese of Ladera Ranch, into their poses at a rehearsal for the 2018 Pageant of the Masters

Since opening in 1933, the Pageant has welcomed approximately 500 volunteers each year who eagerly contribute more than 60,000 hours of their time in total. Many staff members, like Butch, have worked with Pageant of the Masters for decades, creating a family-reunion-like environment that attracts mass numbers of volunteers and crowds to learn, appreciate and perform in the fine arts. The volunteers vary in ages with the youngest volunteer at just four years old, and the oldest in his late 80s.

Every Thursday night through June, staff and volunteers gather in the Irvine Bowl studying details from stage lighting to specific pose placement, and unique make-up art to complicated set designs. Volunteer actors fill the backstage area during rehearsals, along with Allyson Doherty, Makeup Director, who coaches the make-up volunteers with step-by-step tutorials on how to transform the actors into living art. To complete the final picture, Costume Director Reagan Foy and her team help cast members into their costumes and make final adjustments.

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Scene from Under the Sun: Garden Wall

The Director, Diane Challis Davy, selects the pieces in the Pageant and oversees pre-production and each rehearsal to perfect the living pictures and transform their presentation, with help from the Pageant staff, into a full production with music, narration and backdrops.

In the 2018 Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” theatrical magic, live music and light-hearted storytelling will honor masterpieces including work by Leonardo da Vinci, Kleitsch, Rosenthal, Monet, Kuntz, Sargent, and Wasil. Staying with tradition, the finale of the Pageant will feature Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”

The Pageant of the Masters runs July 7 - September 1 with advance tickets now available starting at $15 per person. A Pageant ticket is also a season pass to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. 

The 2018 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show will take place in conjunction with the Pageant of the Masters, July 5 - September 1, with general admission tickets starting at $10 per person. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

The 2018 Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” delivers an endless summer of Laguna-style fun

By SUZIE HARRISON

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Everything “Under the Sun” in Laguna has been considered for this year’s Pageant, with the theme a tribute to our town’s creative heritage as an artists’ colony as well as a recognition of its contributions to the surf culture – and the show features the quintessential origins of the Missions in addition to some of the most iconic works throughout time. 

It doesn’t get any better than this. Now celebrating its 85th anniversary of masterfully bringing works of art to life, the Pageant of the Masters is a true treasure. 

Laguna’s history as an artist colony will take center stage, illustrated in works by some of the founders, including creative masters William Griffith, Edgar Payne, Anna Althea Hills and Joseph Kleitsch, to mention a few, spanning to a work by current Festival exhibitor, Jorge Fernandez, a 2010 bronze piece, “From the Beginning,” which aptly opens Act I.

I can’t count how many years I’ve been to the press preview event of the Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts, but it’s truly magical, unique, and awe inspiring. 

To experience the behind-the-scenes action, see the inner workings of each specific department and all the different facets and detail that go into each recreated artwork and each Pageant – it’s fascinating beyond belief. 

the 2018 Flag Festival

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A recreation of “Flag Raising Over Irvine,” kicked off the evening a 1946 Pageant tableaux, which symbolized this year’s return of the American flag at the Festival

Technical Director Butch Hill in his 34th year puts it all together with his choreography of lights and movement – a major challenge, as all moving pieces must be synchronized just right.

“We have some beautiful colorful pieces this year and a lot of landscapes, very impressionistic local work,” Hill said. “The whole story that we’re going to tell in the first act is awesome. Just the history of Laguna and art. It’s super colorful.” 

The Pageant is featuring a lot of paintings this year. 

“So the lights are tied into the set design. When I am thinking of the set design I have to think of how it’s going to work within the set,” Hill said.

To get the lighting down for all the pieces Hill said it takes about two rehearsals for each piece; which is what they’ve been doing since February.

Reagan Foy, Costume Director, explained that the costumes are all made out of muslin, a finely-woven cotton fabric, introduced to Europe from the Middle East in the 17th century. The costumes are all painted using a textile paint to look like the pieces, and fit both sets of cast members.

the 2018 cool orange crates

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Seeing the cast in the living pictures up close is always exciting, “The Orange Crate Labels” are deliciously fantastic, a sure crowd pleaser

“With the ‘Under the Sun’ theme, we have a lot of sunbathers, and people at the beach,” Foy said. “One of the most challenging pieces we did this year for costumes was ‘Surfriders’ because we had to manipulate the body shapes to be a little bit different than the average person. So it’s a lot of foam pieces that we cut and created those extreme shapes on the bodies.”

Each costume is about a week’s worth of work between cutting the patterns, building the costumes, fitting a cast member, making alterations, and bringing a cast member back in for a second fitting.

 “It’s a challenge in and of itself. It becomes a lot of manipulating and draping on our cast members and once they’re in the set, figuring out where we need to manipulate the fabric either by putting in darts or putting Velcro in pieces to something on the set or other pieces of the costume so we really get that movement,” Foy explained. “Plus in addition to that our painters really help us out with all of those paintbrush strokes in there to really get that movement as well.”

Director extraordinaire Dee Challis Davy said her favorite works this year are, “Pleasures of the Beach-Mosaic by Millard Sheets. Public Mural art in Santa Monica. A very challenging piece to reproduce. The music to accompany is “Surf’s Up” by Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks.”

She enjoys some of the short vignettes in this year’s show, and “a very fun and rousing end of Act 1.”

Watching the sculptors work, I can tell the completed Serra Chapel Retablo is going to be sensational.

“We have recreated it twice in the past,” Challis Davy said. “This time it is presented on our turntable stage and is preceded by a procession of Father Serra on the “Camino Real.”

the 2018 rymar scenic

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David Rymar (pictured) and David Cooke are just remarkable at recreating the original works into sets

Scriptwriter Dan Duling is also masterful at his work.

“Themes make the research just that much more fun because even if we were to select a piece we’d done before, we’d be looking at presenting it in a different context, perhaps from a completely different angle, and always with a vision of its place within the entire production,” Duling said. 

He explained that much must be taken into account since every second of the Pageant involves so much work by every department. 

“It’s a daunting task that’s still fun after all these years (this is the 38th Pageant script I’ve written) because of my pride in what we’ve managed to accomplish and the thrill of being part of such a unique production,” Duling said. “Dee and I remain united in our commitment to making the show as theatrically exciting and fresh as possible for both our returning audiences and a new generation of audiences we hope will want to come back again.”

the 2018 builder POM

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Showing how the works are put together with the cast, and how it’s assembled, is called “the builder” and is a definite fan favorite

He added, “But, as always, the Pageant remains a win-win, because by being able to celebrate their works and in many cases introduce them to audiences who may not have known about them before, we’re adding to their creative legacies.”

Creative indeed.

Not only was the sun shining on the Irvine Bowl, the evening also threw a spotlight on the new Terra restaurant, which is phenomenal. 

“I saw this hidden treasure and I fell in love with it and I said I have to do something to show this magnificent piece of art in the City. [We looked around for historic items only] to find we had this beautiful, magnificent artwork just sitting and hidden [right here]. And I am so happy to bring it out and show it,” said Mo Honarkar. “And that’s my gift to the city.”

the 2018 terra

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The extraordinary new Terra restaurant is a phenomenal feast for the senses 

“Dora [Wexell Orgill] is part of the team, so is my daughter Hasty, so is Mark [Orgill], and you know I couldn’t be successful without a good team. I am very appreciative of them,” Honarkar added.

The juried Festival of Arts features 140 artists who work in a spectrum of art mediums. Plus guests enjoy a chockfull menu of art workshops, classes, concerts, and special events at the Festival.

The Pageant of the Masters runs nightly at 8:30 p.m. from July 7 to September 1. Advance tickets are $15 to $260. Tickets sell fast so it’s best to get them early.

The Pageant is located on the Festival of Arts grounds, 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For information and tickets visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org or call (949) 494-1145 or (800) 487-3378.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Music in the Park – the community’s favorite summer concert series says sayonara for the season Sunday

Story by SUZIE HARRISON

Photos by Scott Brashier

Last dance, last chance to enjoy Laguna’s best kept secret, the favorite Sunday summer ritual know as Music in the Park will end another sensational season this Sunday with SantanaWays, a Santana tribute band, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bluebird Park.

For many locals, the popular community concert series is a highlight of the summer, a shared tradition for friends and family since 1983, established as a passion project by the late Doris Shields when she served on the City’s Arts Commission.

That first year, Shields had a month to put the inaugural concert together. To facilitate, she called on Leigh Unger, a harpsichordist and music professor at Fullerton College at the time. He was able to gather some of his students and fellow musicians to perform in the first concert.

A lot has changed from those days. Now, the community can thank the Arts commissioners, the Cultural Arts Department, and namely Siân Poeschl, the City Cultural Arts Manager, for making the popular series what it is today. 

“I feel incredibly fortunate to work and live in a community that appreciates the importance of music to our lives. But Music in the Park goes far beyond that, it’s an opportunity to see friends and neighbors, share food, stories, to dance and hang out as a community,” Poeschl said. “That’s very rare and should not be understated as to its importance.” 

music in the one

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Families and friends love to gather at Music in the Park, a local favorite summer tradition since 1983

In 1994, Music in the Park Inc. formed and entered into a public private partnership with the City in 1995 through 2005. The Arts Commission has funded the concerts through the Business Improvement District since 2005.

The concert series started with three concerts at Nita Carman Park. Only four bands played and 30 people came that first summer. Traffic noise was an issue, so the next year, Bluebird Park became its fitting home. 

After the new digs were found, a berm was built for performers. Poeschl kindly gave me a bit of music history, Music in the Park history:

--From 1984 – 1987 the number of concerts increased to four and were held from late June through September.

--In 1986, a sound system was introduced for amplified sound.

--Two years later concerts increased to five with an estimated 800 – 1,000 attendance.

--From 1989 – 1990 the concerts increased to six.

--The following three years the concerts were increased to seven and ran from late July through September.

--The following decade, from 1994 – 2004, eight concerts were held each summer.

--But in 2005, the number of concerts was reduced to seven.

“The concerts are a community orientated event, in a community park setting,” Poeschl said. “Since 2000 a professional audio company has been hired to do the sound. Decibel levels are recorded every 15 minutes throughout the concert.”

Both funded by the City, the beloved sculpture “Laguna Tortoise” was installed by Michele Taylor in 2003 and “Bluebird Park Gate” was installed by Jon Seeman. 

music in the tortoise

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Michele Taylor’s ‘Laguna Tortoise’ is a favorite public art piece adored by people of all ages at Bluebird Park

To find the best entertainment, the Arts Commission reviews hundreds of bands starting in January. Although some concerts are more popular than others, attendance has remained the same over the last five years around 800 to 1,000.

“We are very appreciative to the Bluebird Park neighbors and because of this we encourage audience members to be respectful of where they park,” Poeschl said.

The rules: No dogs are ever allowed at Bluebird Park; there is no smoking in any Laguna Beach park; no set up before 3 p.m.; no open alcohol is allowed outside the park; alcohol is allowed with a meal; no umbrellas are allowed up; and bring only low beach chairs, so that everyone can enjoy the concert. 

“Facilitating Music in the Park requires the collaboration of the Public Works, Police and Cultural Arts Departments,” Poeschl said. “Although the concerts look effortless, it takes months of planning and organization.”

Poeschl has been working with Rick Weirs from Public Works since she started running the series 20 years ago. Last year, Mike McGregor, Arts Program Coordinator, was added to the team.

music in the dancing

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Dancing, laughing, fun and merriment abound at Music in the Park

“Every concert is attended by a member of the Arts Commission, you will see them at the gate handing out the schedule, or hear them introduce the band,” Poeschl said.

Longtime Arts Commissioner Pat Kollenda lauds the series and what it brings to our community.

“MIP is a gift to our wonderful town. I’ve been involved for 25 years and been amazed at how it has grown and how much it is cherished by our ‘Lagunatics,’” Kollenda said. “I am also very proud of the collaboration between City Departments and the support of our City Council! and, of course, much gratitude to Sian Poeschl.” 

The concerts follow the rules of the City’s noise ordinance. To address the concerns of neighbors, the City guaranteed the concerts would be concluded by 7 p.m. with no exception. Although, at every concert, Poeschl or staff get guff from people wanting the bands to play longer. But that’s not an option if locals want the series to continue as they are.

“It is important to retain the community feel of the event, to have generations of family and friends spend two hours together enjoying a variety of live music,” Poeschl said.

music in the musician

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Catch the final Music in the Park Concert on Sunday to savor the sounds

The City funds and presents 16 free concerts – two World Music, seven Music in the Park, and seven Sunset Serenades, which kicks off for the fall with jazz vocalist Valerie Geason at Heisler Park Amphitheater on Friday, Sept 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Until next time…so many City concerts to enjoy, so little time!


LCAD’s art takes center stage at the 28th Annual Collectors’ Choice (not so) Silent Auction

Story by MARRIE STONE

Photos by Jeff Rovner

No one stayed silent about their love of art – and appreciation for LCAD – at Laguna College of Art + Design’s 28th Annual Collector’s Choice Silent Auction last Friday night. Artists, patrons and community members poured into [seven-degrees] for a festive night of live jazz, seasonal bites, cocktails and, of course, lots of art. The proceeds benefited the college, supporting its students and programs, and helped fund the $2.5 million in scholarships the school awards each year.

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Not only the art was colorful at the Collectors’ Choice Gala

LCAD faculty, alumni and other celebrated professional artists offered up oils, charcoals, photographs and sculptures. There were watercolors, wooden boxes, and blown glass. As guests gathered, sipped and ate, one woman painted another’s portrait onto her canvas in the corner of the room. 

There’s plenty to love about Laguna Beach, but the LCAD event summed up one of my favorite things about our town: this community is authentically passionate. Art auctions have the potential to feel pretentious. For someone like me, who barely knows her Jasper Johns from her Jackson Pollocks, that can be intimidating. Yes, this town appreciates art. But, more importantly, people just dig it. You can feel the difference between folks who are politely supportive and those who are sincerely passionate. 

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Artist in action at the Collectors’ Choice Gala

I pulled LCAD’s president, Jonathan Burke, aside to talk about this. Burke has been with LCAD for 38 years, serving in various capacities as professor, dean and president. He embodies passion, and he’s focused on making LCAD one of the premiere art institutes in the United States. He explains that recently, the live auction (held this year at Montage Resort) is now separate from the silent event, giving guests on each occasion an entirely different experience. For serious collectors, or donors looking for a more extravagant evening, Montage Laguna Beach provides that ambience. But Burke is committed to making art available to everyone.

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LCAD’s president, Jonathan Burke, addresses guests

“We wanted to have a party in town and make it more accessible,” says Burke. “We brought the price point down to embrace more of the community. The artists here love the college and want to donate.” Burke himself donated a piece, as he does every year, often to both the silent and live auction, and sometimes more than one. 

As the evening wound down, I watched people pick up their art. Couples talked about where new pieces would hang. A man was hurrying to bring the car around, having won three wooden boxes. He’d lost a few paintings he wanted, but he still looked like a little boy on Christmas morning, triumphant and giddy. The artists watched their work going off to new homes, elated they made someone happy. 

And LCAD is now able to do more of what it does best . . . produce another generation of artists who instill this passion and carry the torch for art. 

That circle of love for art sums up what it feels like to live in Laguna.

To view more of Jeff Rovner’s outstanding photographs, click on the gallery below. Jeff will be exhibiting his fine art photography at the Festival of Arts for the second year this summer. The theme of his exhibit is Cirque Noir.

 


Art Museum publishes tribute to artist Marcia Hafif, 1929-2018

The news of Marcia Hafif’s death has saddened us all. She was a good friend to the museum, and in 2015 we had the privilege of presenting an exhibition of her paintings. 

Marcia considered an exhibition to be a work of art in itself, and the experience of discussing, designing, installing, and lighting the show, along with the production of the accompanying book, was an education in the aesthetics of perfection. 

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Courtesy LAM website

Exhibition of Marcia Hafif’s work

Knowing and working closely with an artist of her stature was an honor made all the more memorable by her graciousness, her humor, and the sheer liveliness of her mind. 

Although she made her reputation on the east coast and in Europe, we have reason to be proud of this celebrated artist who grew up in Laguna Beach and returned to live here, largely under the radar, for the last twenty years of her life. She loved Laguna, and the natural beauty of the place was an important source of inspiration for her art. 

“Walking often on the shore,” she wrote, “I was influenced by the colors of the sea, the sky and the sand, by the seashells and seaweed, the dark clouds over the horizon in the evening, the shining colors reflected in the sand as the waves fell back.”


Laguna Beach Live! presents Live Music Insights with Dr. Robert Istad at Mozambique on May 22

On May 22, Laguna Beach Live! presents Live! Music Insights with Dr. Robert Istad who will explore “The Grass is Blue: America’s Legacy of Bluegrass and Spirituals.”

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Dr. Robert Istad

Dr. Istad is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at California State University at Fullerton, and has been serving as Pacific Chorale’s Artistic Director since July 2017. Demonstrating the musical highlights of his talk will be Denean Dyson, mezzo-soprano; Jeff Askew, guitar and banjo; and Chris Booke, bass.

The evening takes place in the Boma Room at Mozambique where guests are invited to come starting at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy social time and the Happy Hour menu. The talk and music will begin at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are $10 and can be made online at www.lagunabeachlive.org or by phone at (800) 595-4849. Seating is limited.

Coming up on June 10 is the Great Bluegrass music by the Barefoot Movement at Laguna College of Art & Design.


Doheny Blues Festival rocks it May 19 and 20

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

Right down the road there’s a little something to get you on your dancing feet. Looking for lively music fun? Go no further than Dana Point for the Blues Festival. 

Dana Point’s Doheny Blues Festival returns with a rockin’ lineup May 19 and 20. Participating musicians include legendary blues rocker George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Buddy Guy, Blues Traveler, Jimmie Vaughan, Beth Hart, Larkin Poe, The California Honeydrops, and many others. There will be more than 20 performers, on three stages.

The Blues event is Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at www.dohenybluesfestival.com and also available for purchase at Wahoo’s.

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Buddy Guy will be performing at Doheny Blues Festival

By the way, this year’s festival has found a new home. The event producers, Omega Events state that, “After 20 successful years of bringing the world’s finest Blues musicians to Orange County, we are also excited to announce our new venue, Dana Point’s Sea Terrace Park. The award-winning festival will be reimagined at its new seaside home, with more intimate stage areas, elevated food and beverage offerings, and involvement from many local businesses.”

The new location means that the Laguna Beach trolleys can take visitors and locals all the way to the festival entrance this year.

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There will be a Blues Festival pre-party on Thursday, May 17 at Mozambique.  Featured will be international artist from Sweden, Knock-Out Greg and the Jukes, pictured here.


Dance Festival dazzles and Lagunatics a hoot

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Last weekend was a bonanza in Laguna Beach.

The Laguna Dance Festival awed the audiences and Lagunatics made us chortle. What more could anyone ask? Oh, maybe the Angels playing in the post season, but let’s not be greedy.

For 14 years, the Festival has brought top dancers to Laguna Beach, enriching our lives and helping to keep alive Laguna’s identity as an art colony. All three performances were sold out. 

“We are so lucky to live in Laguna and get to see performances of this caliber,” said Betsy Jenkins who was in the audience both Friday and Saturday night.

Festival board member Bob Braun called the opening night’s tribute to the late David Bowie “transcendent,” Jenkins said and couldn’t have agreed more. 

“It was incredible,” said Joy Dittberner, executive director of the Festival. “It took us to another level. After the performance the dancers said they could feel the energy from the audience.” 

The Saturday night audience was equally enamored. And there was an added attraction for long-time Laguna residents, National Ballet of Canada principal dancer Skylar Campbell, who grew up in Laguna and is the grandson of the late Lida Lenney, who was instrumental in the acquisition of Laguna Canyon in the 1980s.

Dance Festival Skylar

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Photo by Karolina Kuras

Skylar Campbell wows crowd

“He was the best male dancer,” said former Mayor Cheryl Kinsman.

 It’s been more than 15 years since a group of dance-lovers met in Stuart Byer’s North Laguna home to hear retiring ballerina Jodie Gates propose some kind of dance performances in Laguna Beach. The meeting gave birth to CA Dance, which was the cradle for the Dance Festival. Rocking that cradle were Byer, Janet Eggers and Christine Rhoades, all three emeritus Festival board members; Nancy Meyer and Kathy Conway, current board members.

“It is Jodie who brings this quality of dancers to Laguna,” said Rhoades on Saturday. “She danced with many of them.”

Gates was a principal dancer with the Joffrey, Frankfurt, and Pennsylvania ballet companies and with Complexions Modern Ballet. She has choreographed and directed dance performances. She is also an educator of some renown. 

Gates began her academic career as an associate professor at UC Irvine. In 2012, Gates was appointed professor of dance and the inaugural vice dean and director of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, the university’s first new school in almost 40 years. 

Among the audience at Saturday’s performance: Eggers, Byer, Karyn Philippsen, Randy Kraft, Chris Quilter, Beth Majors and Bobbi Cox, a Festival donor, who also ponied up funding for one of the dance studios at the Third Street Centers. 

In addition to providing an extraordinary weekend of dance, the Festival also raises funds for educational programs and scholarships for young dancers, several of whom attended Saturday’s performance. 

The 2018 Festival also honored the late Lila Zali, who was born in 1918. Zali moved to Laguna in 1959 after a career in dance that included classical ballet and appearances in films such as “An American in Paris” and “Silk Stockings.”

She founded a dance school in Laguna and a group that became known as Ballet Pacifica, which performed at the Playhouse and later at the Center for Performing Arts. Skylar Campbell’s early training was at Zali’s school.

Dancers Chase O’Connell and Beckanne Sisk of Ballet West performed the classic “White Swan,” dedicated to Zali.

Dance lovers will have to wait a whole year before the Festival returns to Laguna. So sad. 

But lovers of satire and just plain fun have three more opportunities to attend Lagunatics’ annual Roast of the Coast: weekends through October 28.

Lagunatics

The 2018 show opened on OctOBER 5. Bree Burgess Rosen conceived Lagunatics about the same time she conceived her son – the show that year had to be rewritten to accommodate her bump. 

Dance Festival Rosen

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Bree Burgess Rosen welcomes the crowd on opening night of Lagunatics

For the seriously impaired or who come from another planet, Burgess Rosen directs, stars and writes parody lyrics for the show, complemented by writers Rufino Cabang, Bridget English, Rebecca M. Lyles (who showed up at the opening costumed as Minnie Mouse – which ought to tell you something), Paul Nygro, Chris Quilter and Ella Wyatt

Quitler also contributed dialogue, some of it spoken by Musical Director Roxanne Ward, tongue in cheek. 

As always, the dialogue and parodies are designed to puncture the pompous, pinpoint the ridiculous and make the audience laugh even when their own pet projects get skewered. 

There was no lack of subject matter for this year’s show. Jennifer Zieter particularly laughed at “Underground/I will survive,” performed by Ella Wyatt, Burgess Rosen, English, Charlee Rubino, Rebecca Butkivich, Jay Rechter and Rob Harryman

Dance Festival parody

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Parodies Galore

Other topical parodies included “Hotel Laguna/There’s a Small Hotel,” sung by English and Mark Marger; “The Village Entrance/It’s DeParking,” performed by Eric T. Anderson and Yvonne Browning; “The Public Garden, Help Our Garden Grow,” featuring Fernando Acevedo and Butkivich; “Accessory Dwelling Units/A Town that Can’t Say No,” soloed by Kristen Matson; “Trees/Less is More,” performed by Anderson and the cast – and that was just Act One. 

Act Two featured “Parking Fees/The Rates Go Up,” sung by Harryman; “Nest Door/I Feel Petty,” soloed by Ward; “Pop Up Public Art/A Waste of Money;” featuring Marger, English, Butkivich and Harryman.

The entire cast performed the closing number: “The Candidates for City Council/Tap your Troubles Away.”

In the audience: former Mayor Jane Egly, Carolyn and Dr. Tom Bent, Dee Perry (costumed as Medusa), Pageant of the Master’s Director Diane Challis Davy, and No Square Theatre President Rick Gold.

The show is sponsored by the Business Improvement District, the City, the Festival of Arts Foundation, Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, Ketel One, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Pavilions.

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading StuNewsLaguna.com. Contributions are welcomed.


Sawdust guest artist Jwan Peres Ramos experiences the best of Laguna Beach benevolence

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

At the Sawdust Festival Benevolence Art Auction last Sunday, guest artist, 20-year-old Jwan Perez Ramos, saw his mural auctioned off at $800. 

Perez Ramos, who is from Puerto Rico, is attempting to make enough money this summer to put a roof back on his home, shared with his father, grandmother and aunt. Their home was leveled by Hurricane Maria last fall.

Perez Ramos and his father, Billy Joe Perez, painted murals depicting Aguadilla before the hurricane to help inspire the reeling community.

sawdust guest jwan

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Jwan Perez Ramos

“The customer had heard that the board was going to match the price of the mural up to $1,000,” explains Sawdust trustee Jay Grant. “When she came to pay, she gave us $200 more for the piece so Jwan would receive the full matching amount. Just so heartwarming for all of the trustees who facilitated the auction. And Jwan was so touched.”

The Sawdust Artists’ Benevolence Fund is a source of financial assistance for artists in Laguna Beach who have suffered a catastrophic event, leaving them unable to work. 

“Over the years, our art auction has raised over $150,000. It’s encouraging to see how much our community of art patrons values local artists,” said Monica Prado, president of the Artists’ Benevolence Fund board of trustees.

sawdust guest mural

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Mural depicting Aguadilla before Hurricane Maria

The auction featured an exciting selection of art created by Sawdust artists, including paintings, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, photography, and more. These artists generously donated their work with the goal of raising funds for fellow artists in times of need. 

Professional auctioneer Tony DeZao, who presided over the live auction, packed the experience with lots of laughs and entertaining stories.

Perez Ramos has his own booth and is staying in a local home, organized by the Festival.

sawdust guest booth

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Jwan Perez Ramos working at his booth

“Our goal with this is to help somebody in distress,” Grant is quoted as saying. “We want to encourage him, his family and community. We will do everything we can to let him know there are people who care.”


Laguna Dance Festival Gala takes on a musical theme with tribute to legacy of West Side Story on May 18

Laguna Dance Festival’s 2018 gala will celebrate the launch of the festival’s 14th season with a West Side Story theme in honor of the centennial birthdays of two of the production’s artistic luminaries, composer Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins. 

The gala will be held at [seven-degrees] on Friday, May 18, and includes a live auction, fine dining, wines donated by Hall Winery of Napa, and dancing into the night. 

The program will include live music and dance from West Side Story and vocal renditions of select songs, and an iconic dance excerpt from “America,” performed by dancers from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. There will also be several new commissions performed by professional artists - each inspired by the musical, but with their very own “west coast story” flair. 

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Jerome Robbins with George Chakiris during rehearsals of West Side Story

Additionally, Clifford Williams from Complexions Contemporary Ballet will perform a solo as well as the three recipients of the 2017 Laguna Dance Festival scholarship – Emily Eckert, Jocelyn Magana, and Marcus Sarjeant. 

“This year’s gala event not only marks the centennial of two great artists, it also celebrates Laguna Dance Festival’s commitment to quality education and innovative programming. The night will be full of glorious music and dance that represents the brightest stars of today and tomorrow,” says Artistic Director and Founder, Jodie Gates. 

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West Side Story dance number - America

Laguna Dance Festival offers world-class dance on a theatre stage, art galleries and site-specific outdoor venues throughout Laguna Beach and Orange County. Since its inception in 2005, Laguna Dance Festival has presented companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Parsons Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BalletX, and Ballet BC, among others. In addition, the festival is committed to providing quality dance education to the west coast through master classes, a summer intensive workshop, and scholarships for young dancers.

Go to www.lagunadancefestival.org for tickets and more information.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Sawdust sizzles at 52, gets better with age

By SUZIE HARRISON

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

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

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

Lisa Mansour, painting, first-year exhibitor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sawdust Sizzles Mansour

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Photo by Scott Brashier 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine Reade, jewelry, 18-year exhibitor

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

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

Sawdust Sizzles crowds

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Photo by Scott Brashier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sawdust Sizzles Rainey

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Photo courtesy of the artist

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doug Miller, painting and photography, 48-year exhibitor

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

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

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

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

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

Sawdust Sizzles Miller

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Photo by Scott Brashier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Snow and Santa

Sawdust Winter Fantasy

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Snow and arriving

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Santa arrives at 10:30 a.m. to waiting crowd

Snow and snowfalling

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Yes, it does snow in Laguna

Snow and Skipper

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Naughty or nice, Skipper’s been nice!

Santa’s hours: Available for photo ops in Santa’s cottage 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 

2 to 5 p.m. all days of the show. Remaining days of Winter Fantasy: December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre opens classic tale of A Little Princess on May 5 at Laguna Playhouse

The award-winning Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre opens A Little Princess on Saturday, May 5 on the Moulton Stage at The Laguna Playhouse. Adapted by June Walker Rodgers, from the story Sara Crewe by Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess tells the story of young Sara Crewe, privileged daughter of a wealthy diamond merchant. 

All the other girls at Miss Minchin’s school treat Sara as if she truly were a princess. But when Captain Crewe’s fortune is sadly lost, Sara’s luck changes. Suddenly she is treated no better than a scullery maid. Her own fierce determination to maintain her dignity and remain a princess on the inside has intrigued and delighted readers for over a hundred years.

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Little Princess runs from Saturday, May 5, through Sunday, May 13

Actors include; Bridget Phillips as Sara Crewe, Claire Day as Miss Minchin, Cassidy Morgan as Becky, Erin Sawyer as Amelia, Grace Hahn as Ermengarde, Bethany Klause as Lavinia, Lyndsey Grace Stradwick as Jessie, Sienna Voisin as Lottie, Abigail Williams as Anne, Elisa Rodriguez as Marie and Mrs. Perrens, Ella Thimons as Janet, Charlie Grace Goubran as Nora, Carson Kubelun as Guy Lawrence, and Chloe Lawson, Fiona McCue, Sophia Pachl and Raquel Temesvary as School Girls. Terry Christopher will perform as Captain Crewe and Mr. Carrisford, Charles McClung as Mr. Barrows and Mr. Michaels, and Aaron McGee as Monsieur Thibault and Ram Dass. 

A Little Princess is directed by Kelly Herman with costumes by Kaitlyn Kaufman, set by Jim Prodger, lights by Glenn Powell, and sound by Mike Ritchey, and includes a cast of 20.

Performances will be: Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Thursday, May 10 at 10 a.m.; Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and Sunday, May 13 at 1 p.m.  

Tickets are $20 for Adults and $10 for youth and can be purchased by calling (949) 497-2787 x1, or going online to www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


Laguna Canyon Artist’s Spring Open Studios celebrates Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, May 5

On Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Laguna Canyon artists (LCA) open their studios to the public. LCA suggests that the public celebrate the Cinco de Mayo edition of the Laguna Canyon Artist’s Spring Open Studios by visiting these talented artists’ workspaces and viewing their unique art.

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Dynamic Color Abstract by LCA Paul Gardner

The work of these artists, representing a diverse mix of styles and mediums including drawing and painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and ceramics, will be on display.

Attendees can start the Cinco de Mayo holiday festivities by taking a drive to beautiful Laguna Canyon for this rare opportunity to visit these artists in their studios to see how the work is created. 

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Laguna Canyon Artist’s Studios open for Cinco de Mayo on Sat, May 5

Parking is free; refreshments will be served. Drivers should look for signs at the Laguna Canyon Artists complex.

The studios are located at 3251 & 3275 Laguna Canyon Rd.


No Square Theatre presents A Little Night Music

Love under the chandeliers! This is the delightful musical that gave us the popular and haunting “Send in the Clowns.” A Little Night Music is based on the book by Hugh Wheeler and features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This production, opening on May 11, is directed by Joe Lauderdale, with music direction by Diane King Vann, choreography by Ellen Prince, and costume design by Brigitte Harper.

Performances will be May 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m., May 13 at 6:30 p.m., May 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m., and May 20 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 (VIP seating $35) and can be purchased at www.nosquare.org.

A Little Night Music is the witty, delicate, sophisticated, and occasionally heartbreaking story of actress Desirée Armfeldt and the men who love her – a lawyer from her past and a Dragoon from her present. Both men, as well as their jealous wives, agree to join Desirée and her family for a weekend in the country at Desirée’s mother’s estate. With everyone in one place, infinite possibilities of new romances and second chances bring endless surprises under the magical chandeliers floating above.

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The cast in rehearsal for A Little Night Music

The talented, veteran cast includes (in order of appearance): Gary Greene, Alexandria Goforth, Rebecca Butkivich, Eric T. Anderson, Chloe Lovato, Olivia Tewksbury, Karen Rymar, McKay Mangum, Marisol Zamora, Rob Harryman, Ashley Montgomery, Alexis Acevedo, and Chelsea Vann. Audience members will be delighted to see many of their favorite actors from touring companies, area theater shows, and past No Square productions (including Annie, Chicago, Rocky Horror Show, and Lagunatics).

Award-winning director Joe Lauderdale has directed or produced more than 70 productions for both youth and adults.

No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by The Lodging Establishments & City of Laguna Beach, Patrick Quilter, Dorene & Lee Butler Family Foundation, Yvonne & John Browning, The City of Laguna Beach, Stella Charton in Memory of Lloyd Charton, Ann & Charlie Quilter in Honor of Joe Lauderdale, Carolyn & Tom Bent, Festival of Arts Foundation, Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, and Patrick Quilter/Quilter Labs.

No Square Theatre is in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of the High School. The High School has ample free parking. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance.


Laguna Playhouse open during facelift

Laguna Playhouse construction

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Renovation continues on Laguna Playhouse with building updates

which include the replacement of the existing textured stucco with a smooth finish, lowering the front screen walls, additions to the metal canopy, landscaping, and new signage and color palette programs. The Playhouse remains open with Driving Miss Daisy, which runs from January 9 - 27, and Forever Motown from Jan 30 - Feb. 2. The groundbreaking took place on Nov 5, and the project will take six months, which puts the completion date in April.


Coastal Eddy, A Gallery, is five years young and ready to celebrate the milestone 

Coastal Eddy, A Gallery, celebrates five years in Laguna this month. Since May 2013, the gallery has showcased many exciting artists’ ceramic works. Laguna Beach has a rich history in ceramic art and needed a gallery to represent both the past and present in ceramic techniques. 

Starting with local artists, the gallery has grown to 32 artists, including artists from around the country and Canada. From functional ware to abstract sculpture, the ever- changing collection is meant to inspire. 

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The vibrant storefront of Coastal Eddy

Over the last five years Coastal Eddy has hosted over 30 exhibitions, including several installations, with the idea that “art for art’s sake” is just as important as the sale. If you have creative, edgy art that is evocative, people will connect and find a place for art in their lives. 

Owner Robin Lee Riddell plans a Cinco de Mayo party to celebrate this anniversary and to thank the residents of Laguna Beach for their support. The party is Saturday, May 5 from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Visit the gallery for an evening of art, music, food & fun. 

Coastal Eddy, the only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, is located at 1417 S. Coast Highway, in the HIP district of Laguna. 

For more information or to RSVP, contact (949) 715-4113 or visit www.coastaleddyagallery.com.


Plein Air artists paint their hearts out at the Great Paint Out hosted by LPAPA at Heisler Park

By DIANNE RUSSELL

At any given time of day or evening, walkers never know what they will come across at Heisler Park; a bearded lizard or a bevy of monks in orange garments (and I didn’t have my phone to document it that time), or a wedding held on rose petal hearts spread across the grass.

Plein air guy with moustache

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Plein air artists enjoy the beautiful day as they paint their hearts out

On Saturday morning, I came across a long line of people with painting gear waiting to sign in for a plein air competition, and of course, I had to investigate. Artists had already set up their easels all along the walkway, so something was obviously in the air.

President of The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) Toni Kellenberg explained that it was the Grand Paint Out, and later provided additional information along with photos of the winning pieces.

Plein air on rock

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Submitted by LPAPA

LPAPA Artist Member Will Thompson perches on the rocks to create his painting

“LPAPA sent out an open call to all artists to come out and paint en plein air with LPAPA Members at Heisler Park from 9 a.m. to noon. The community was treated to exciting demonstrations of plein air painting by more than 70 artists of all levels. The artwork created by a number of LPAPA’s artists at the Grand Paint Out were entered into the Centennial Paint Out Exhibition being held at LPAPA in Residence located at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave, and will be available for viewing and purchase through Sunday, Sept 2, 2018,” Toni explained.

Plein air popular area

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Photo by Scott Brashier

A popular area for painters

LPAPA Artist Member Erich Neubert received the 1st Place Award, LPAPA Signature Artist Member Durre Waseem received 2nd Place, and LPAPA Artist Member Steven Grieco received the 3rd Place Award. 

Kellenberg continued, “Additionally, LPAPA was delighted to be one of Laguna Art Museum’s community partners in commemorating the Centennial Birthday celebrating the official day on which the original Laguna Beach Art Association was founded in 1918.”

Plein air Neubert

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Submitted by LPAPA

LPAPA Artist Member Erich Neubert wins First 1st Place Award for “High Tide”

On Saturday, the museum hosted a free day with art activities, docent-guided tours, community partner programs, and a birthday cake. At the celebration event, LPAPA invited visitors to become part of the legacy of plein air paintings by being photographed putting themselves into the actual paintings. Two of these photos are included in this edition of Stu News. 

Plein air Waseem

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Submitted by LPAPA

LPAPA Signature Artist Member Durre Waseem wins 2nd Place for “On the Bench”

For more information about LPAPA, or to become an artist or supporter member, visit www.LPAPA.org.


Fun for everyone

Sawdust Winter Fantasy

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Fun for marionettes

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Rene’s Marionettes will be back Dec 1 and 2

Fun for poinsettias

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Experience Sawdust’s magical 3-acre art village during the holiday season, transformed into a picture perfect winter wonderland in the heart of Laguna 

Fun for bakers dozen

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This Baker’s Dozen says, “Don’t forget to come back for Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec 8 at 8:30 a.m.”

For tickets, go to www.sawdustartfestival.org.


LagunaTunes performs Christmas Letters

LagunaTunes performs Kollenda

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Photo by Scott Brashier

What exactly was Pat Kollenda reading at the LagunaTunes production on Sunday? A long Christmas Letter? Details in the story on our Front Page II


Joseph and his talented technicolor cast wows the audience during matinee performance at LBHS

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Johanna Ellis

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is based on the story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. However, that’s where the similarity ends. Nowhere in the Book of Genesis does one encounter a Pharaoh/Elvis Presley impersonator, Joseph’s brother Reuben wearing a beret and dancing like a Beatnik, or the brothers wearing leis and rocking to Calypso music.

Joseph and emsemble

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Ensemble cast

Sunday’s performance at Laguna Beach High School (LBHS), while not “biblical” in terms of religious significance, was nevertheless “biblical” on the entertainment scale. Originally created by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, this production was masterfully brought to the stage by LBHS staff members Alexis Karol (Producer), Calena Marie DelPizzo-Howell (Hair and Makeup Design), and Peter Roche (Technical Director). Guest Director and Choreographer Paul Nygro, a professional theater veteran, is thrilled to be back at Artist’s Theatre, and Music Director Tim Nelson, a leading force in OC Theatre for 30 years, welcomes the opportunity to work with Alexis Karol. 

Joseph and prisoner

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Tanner Burton as Joseph and the narrators, (L-R) Claire Tigner, Rylee Bullington, and Zoe Waters 

Lexie LeFevre, a sophomore from Yorba Linda, who attended the performance said, “The play was great! The actors were spot-on when portraying the story, and amazing at bringing the right emotion to the audience!”

In a nutshell, the story unfolds – among his 12 sons, Joseph is most favored by his father who bestows on him a technicolor dream coat, his brothers are jealous, get rid of him (they think), but Joseph is taken to Egypt, becomes a slave, works his way up to running the household, but the Potiphar throws him in jail (mistakenly thinking he’s involved with his wife). 

Joseph and Elvis

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Nick Reardon as the Pharaoh

Soon after, his reputation for deciphering dreams brings him to be right-hand man for the Pharaoh. Meanwhile, Joseph’s family back home is struggling due to the famine, with his brothers regretting what they did to him, and they travel there to beg for supplies. In Egypt, the brothers request food, not realizing who he is. Joseph gives them sacks of food, but puts a golden cup in the one belonging to Benjamin, his youngest brother, whom he has never met. When the brothers attempt to depart, Joseph stops them, accusing them of theft. 

Joseph and calypso

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Noah Novick, (middle) leads brothers in "Benjamin Calypso"

Each brother empties his sack and when the cup is found in Benjamin’s sack, Joseph accuses him of stealing. The other brothers beg Joseph to take them prisoner instead and let Benjamin go free. Ultimately, Joseph sees that his brothers have changed and reveals who he really is. Joseph sends for his father, the pair is reunited, and he wears his coat of many colors again. Granted, that’s a lot of territory to cover.

Bringing this story to life is a company of versatile and talented performers, many of whom interchange parts seamlessly. The company includes more than 50 LBHS student cast and crew members and 12 students from El Morro Elementary, Top of the World Elementary, and Thurston Middle School in the children’s choir. 

Joseph and beatnik

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Luka Salib as Beatnik brother – Reuben

Presented entirely in song, the story’s three narrators guide the audience on the journey. Rylee Bullington, Claire Tigner, and Zoe Waters do an excellent job. All of the players wonderfully populate the Artist Theatre’s stage. Tanner Burton does a fine job of portraying Joseph as the vulnerable dreamer who has lost his way. His final song, “Any Dream Will Do,” is one of his best. 

There are a few numbers that can’t help but be standouts. Nick Reardon as the Pharaoh “wannabe” Elvis, does an admirable impersonation and fully inhabits his character with “Poor, Poor Pharaoh & Song of the King.” Isadora Duskin-Feinberg brings the Potiphar’s wife to life with her seductive dance number. 

Joseph and coat

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Joseph, cast and the amazing technicolor coat

As brother Reuben, Luka Salib gives it his all in the number “Those Canaan Days,” both singing and dancing like a true ‘60s Beatnik. Noah Novick was also memorable for his “Benjamin Calypso” performance. Drew Fink as the Potiphar was great as well.

The impressive cast worked together to bring this legendary story to the stage for a fun and engaging afternoon. Don’t miss the chance to see one of the remaining performances. (Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 24 at 2:30 p.m.)

For tickets, go to www.lbhs.booktix.com. Tickets are $22 for Premium, $17 for adults, and $12 for students. 

LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.


Playhouse façade to be updated

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Laguna Playhouse will get a facelift. 

Plans for the updated exterior were approved by the City Council at the August 7 meeting. Approval had been recommended by the Planning Commission. 

“It will be a definite improvement,” said Commissioner Anne Johnson. 

The Laguna Playhouse is believed to the oldest continuing theater operation on the West Coast. It was established in 1920. The Moulton Theater inside the Playhouse opened in 1968 and was named for Nellie Gail Moulton who contributed to the funding for the project. 

It is home to the Laguna Dance Festival, the Youth Theater, and in the past to Laguna Concert Band and “Lagunatics” performances, as well as other theatrical productions. 

Laguna Beach owns the 1.3-acre site, but leases it to the Playhouse, which is an annual recipient of Business Improvement District funding from voluntary hoteliers in Laguna. The theater was awarded $240,000 this year and also has received a matching grant from the City for up to $250,000 for four years for a total of $1 million.

One of the goals for the matching grant was to determine whether or when to undertake a capital improvement plan to renovate the theater. 

The proposed building update includes the replacement of the existing textured stucco with a smooth finish, lowering the front screen walls, additions to the metal canopy, landscaping and new signage and color palette programs. 

Playhouse facade to

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Playhouse is the oldest continuing theater operation on the West Coast

Council approval of a conditional use permit required the commission recommendation to permit improvements on the canopy to exceed the 18-foot height limit in the Civic Arts District. The canopy, as approved, will stretch 26 feet above the adjacent grade. 

However, the Civic Arts District development standards recognize that art organizations and other art festival-compatible land uses may have special needs in terms of building height, according to the staff report submitted by Community Development Director Greg Pfost.

Five special findings must be made in addition to the standard CUP findings. 

Commissioners did balk at the street tree plan at the July 18 meeting. Commissioners requested substitutions for the proposed four red ironbark eucalypti proposed as complementary to the landscaping in the adjacent office building at 580 Broadway. The commission cited the recent failure of a eucalyptus as reason to be concerned about its suitability for the location.    

“Playhouse executives will have to work with Caltrans on some of the landscaping,” said Johnson.

The project is exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, because there was no proposal to expand the building footprint and no expansion of use. Parking requirements will not be increased and the project, as designed and submitted by architect Mark Abel, does not have a negative effect on biologically sensitive resources.


Opening night of Driving Miss Daisy at the Playhouse driven by a splendid cast and powerful storytelling

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Ed Krieger

The brilliance is in the details, and the opening performance of Driving Miss Daisy at Laguna Playhouse on Sunday certainly proves that adage to be true. Fine-tuned by an incredible cast of Michael Learned (Daisy Werthan), Lance E. Nichols (Hoke Colburn), and David Nevell (Boolie Werthan), each actor superbly grounds and propels the story over a span of 25 years. 

Together, they form a trifecta of remarkable talent.

Michael Learned won a record four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in The Waltons (1973, 1974, 1976) and Nurse (1982).

Lance E. Nichols is a veteran character actor, best remembered for his starring role as dentist Larry Williams in HBO’s critically acclaimed Treme.

David Nevell returns to Laguna Playhouse, having previously appeared in Twelve Angry Men and The Odd Couple

Opening night three

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(L-R) Michael Learned, Lance E. Nichols, and David Nevell star in the Playhouse production of “Driving Miss Daisy” by Alfred Uhry, directed by Michael Bloom

To most, this is not an unfamiliar story. Playwright Alfred Uhry’s groundbreaking Pulitzer-prize winning story chronicles the decades-long relationship between a strong-willed, well-to-do Jewish woman and her black chauffer in the Jim Crow South. Set against the backdrop of changing world events between the late 1940s and the early 1970s, what begins as a hostile pairing blossoms into a life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries between them.

Driving Miss Daisy has absorbed audiences since its off-Broadway opening in 1987, productions meandering their way from three national tours, to an Oscar-nominated film, to London’s West End, and a Broadway opening – finally – in 2010. 

Clearly, covering a wide range of subjects like aging, race, class, and religion, particularly in an iconic play and Academy Award-winning movie, is tricky, but this production handles it with delicacy and heart.

Opening night Daisy

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Michael Learned as Daisy Werthan

As directed by Michael Bloom, who is the former artistic director of Cleveland Playhouse, it is masterfully orchestrated in all respects. 

Learned has perfected the look, voice, accent, and prickly personality of Daisy as well as the hard shell that barely hides her vulnerability. Measuring every scene with subtle yet profound nuances, Daisy’s brittle nature is reflected in the stiffness of Learned’s movements, and the quavering of her mouth and chin in the last scenes, underscoring that she’s no longer in control of even her own body. I challenge anyone over the age of 60 not to tear up during the scene in which Daisy thinks she’s still a teacher and can’t find her papers. That interaction with Hoke is worth the price of admission. 

Nichols approaches Hoke’s character with confidence and calm resolve, and the humorous jockeying with Miss Daisy is a delight to witness, although one of the best scenes is when they have a disagreement over his need to stop the car to go to the bathroom. He is a strong entity on stage and a formidable counter to Learned.

Opening night in car

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Michael Learned and Lance E. Nichols star in “Driving Miss Daisy,” now playing at the Laguna Playhouse through Jan 27

In one moving scene, Miss Daisy finds out from Hoke that her temple has been bombed, and although she doesn’t want to believe it, when Hoke relates the story of his friend’s father being hanged, there’s a moment of quiet revelation that these two characters are more alike than different. 

Nevell’s “Boolie” is less stereotypical than the son in the movie version, and however disturbed the audience might be about his beliefs, we do care about him. Nevell has great command of his character and he’s a pleasure to watch. One of his best scenes is when he’s trying to talk his mother out of going to the Martin Luther King dinner.

Adding to the overall atmosphere is the minimal setting, which never changes. It serves to emphasize the aging of the cast as time passes. And the benches (standing in for the automobile) make audience members feel as if they’re riding in the car with Miss Daisy and Hoke.

Opening night Boolie

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Michael Learned as Daisy Werthan and David Nevell as Boolie Werthan

Each aspect of the production adds to its authenticity. The entire design team should be commended: Scenic Design by James Fouchard; Lighting Design by Martha Carter; Original Sound Design by Aerick Harbert; Sound Design by Kate Weeker; Original Costume and Wig Design by Jackie Rebok; and Production State Manager Karen Schleifer.

Even though Uhry’s play was first performed in 1987, neither the story or the production is dated in any way. (He has the distinguishing honor of being the only American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize, an Oscar, and a Tony.) The moment Learned, Nichols, and Nevell take the stage, they fill the theater with their presence and take us back to marvel again at the timeless impact of Driving Miss Daisy

Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard says, “We are thrilled to ring in 2019 with this powerful and still vitally important play.”

As evidenced by the long-standing ovation on Sunday, it’s a “not to be missed” event.

Driving Miss Daisy will run through Sunday, Jan 27 with performances on Wednesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m. There will be added performances today, Jan 15, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan 20, at 5:30p.m., and Thurs, Jan 24, at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $55 - $85 and can be purchased online at www.lagunplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-2787.

For complete biographies of the actors and director, go to the Playhouse website listed above.

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Playhouse Gala will feature Davis Gaines, Phantom of the Opera star, on May 12 

The spotlight will shine bright at the Laguna Playhouse’s annual gala on May 12, with special performances by “Phantom of the Opera” star Davis Gaines, a tribute to the Moulton Theatre’s 50th anniversary, and a host of highlights celebrated throughout the much-anticipated, elegant affair.

The nearly sold out 2018 Laguna Playhouse Gala will once again be held at Fashion Island Hotel, Newport Beach, featuring an elegant cocktail reception, fine dining, and live and silent auctions with exotic trips and Lugano Diamonds jewelry.

An intimate VIP experience with Davis Gaines, Los Angeles’ longest running Phantom star, special performances by the talented Playhouse Youth Theatre Conservatory kids and a performance by Davis are some of the evening’s highlights, followed by dancing to the sounds of a nine-piece band.

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Special performances that night will include Davis Gaines 

“Honoring the Moulton family on the 50th Anniversary of the Moulton Theatre is such a wonderful time to share the story of Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton. Nellie Gail Moulton generously contributed to building the Laguna Moulton Playhouse in 1967,” said Event Co-chair and Season Producer Lisa Hale. “The Playhouse opened with its first performances in 1968 and the same structure continues today as The Laguna Playhouse and Moulton Theatre.”

“Nellie Gail loved Laguna and she loved The Playhouse. Our family helping to protect its history and secure its future is the right thing to do,” said great grandson and Playhouse Board Member, Jared Mathis. “This wonderful season at the Playhouse is the result off a huge increase in underwriting. Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Anne Wareham said if we can get $250,000 in underwriting we can produce this season,” explained Hale. “I believed in them and the season, so I wrote the check.”

Popular actor Richard Burgi lauds the Moulton family and the Playhouse. He recently performed in back-to-back Laguna Playhouse hits, “The Graduate,” with Golden Globe winner Melanie Griffith, and “12 Angry Men.”

“Any family that puts their heart and resources into the arts I have a lot of admiration and gratitude for,” Burgi said. “I think there’s not enough of that in the world.”

Burgi added, “The resources at the theater, it’s just incredible. They put on incredible shows. I just encourage people to go out and support their local arts.” 

The Gala is the Laguna Playhouse’s biggest fundraising event of the year. “Last year’s Gala, under co-chairs Glenn Gray and Kathryn Burton Gray, grossed more than $600,000. It is a very large part of our annual fundraising number,” said Hale.

For more information on this upcoming event, contact Doug Vogel at (949) 204-5341.


Laguna Craft Guild will hold Art Show this Sunday from 9 a.m. – sundown at Main Beach

This Sunday, January 20 from 9 a.m. – sundown, the Laguna Craft Guild will hold an Art Show at Main Beach featuring local artists. There are always many treasures to be found at the show, you really never know what you’ll find. 

Laguna Craft table

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Stop by the Main Beach cobblestones on Sunday for local handmade goods

Laguna Craft Guild is a small group of local Laguna Beach artists that sell their handmade goods on the cobblestones at Main Beach one to two times a month. Many of them are also Sawdust Festival artists.

The show is very special and a fun way to spend a Sunday strolling along the boardwalk with friends, family, and pets while gazing at the ocean. The Art Show is kind of like looking for that perfect seashell along the shoreline. 

For more information, visit www.lagunacraftguild.org or follow on Instagram at @lagunacraftguild.


LagunaTots is a hilarious show on what the next generation faces…with a serious edge

By STACIA STABLER

It was my first show at No Square Theatre on Saturday, and from the moment I got there, I felt the excitement all around. Once we entered the theatre, smiling faces greeted us from every corner.

The show kicked off with an exciting entrance and performance, “Main Event,” led by Jonah Goldstein. Once the kids came out with the level of talent and passion that they did, I knew it was going to be a show our whole family would remember. 

LagunaTots Tower

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Lula Buckle shines in “YouTube Star” 

Kids today have serious things to worry about: dress codes, vaccinations, phones, lice, social media…this original musical parody portrays these things they are facing with hilarious results. 

The highlight of the show for me was “Fortnite,” led by Chase Benson and Mason Bruderer, an amusing dance and song written to “Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart, replaced with lyrics on the youth’s obsession with Fortnite.

LagunaTots Fortnite

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 “Fortnite” was a crowd favorite

“Adopt this Feline,” a skit on Laguna’s cat café Catmosphere, had me in tears from laughter. We had actually just been to the café that morning so it made it all the more relatable.

“Better Man,” a take on the Me Too Movement, set to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” highlighted the show’s second act.

No Square’s Youth Theatre Director Ella Wyatt wrote and directed the show (what a talent!), with additional lyrics by Rufino Cabang and some of the kids in the cast. Music direction for the show is by Susan Thoren. The show is choreographed by Ella with Rylee Bullington, a LagunaTots alumnus and senior at Laguna Beach High School. Rylee is featured in the high school’s current production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

LagunaTots Better Man

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“Better Man” highlighted the second act

The talented cast of LagunaTots includes Katie Baker, Chase Benson, Tatum Brennan, Will Briggs, Mason Bruderer, Lula Buckle, Story Bullington, Quinn Butler, Elisa Camacho, Nicolas Camacho, Harlo Cozzens, Sarina Doshi-O’Neil, Chloe Flaherty, Anna Gabriel, Laird Garcia, Grace Gilchrist, Jonah Goldstein, Lila Goldstein, Kate Hennessy, Hadley Hunt, Piper Hunt, Hannah Kaiser, Lauren Kimball, Lydia Kimball, Marco Lapayese-Calderon, Jude Lifeset, Sienna Mason, Maris Morgan, Douglas Nottage, Chloe O’Kane, Karina Pitz, Nathan Ryan, Kate Storke, Allie Swellen, Lila Tacklind, and Leah Turner.

Shows will continue on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Go check it out and prepare to do some serious laughing. 

Tickets are $12 for kids (ages 12 and under) and $25 for adults. All seats are reserved, and this show always sells out. So plan ahead and get your tickets now at www.nosquare.org.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. It is a small venue and all seats are good.


Opening night of Lagunatics brings out locals in outlandish costumes who laughed the night away

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

This year’s Lagunatics festivities began with an opening night costume party, “Pimp My Premiere.” Attendees wore creative garb, the sillier the better, while enjoying nibbles and libations.

Opening night Bree and friend

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No Square Theatre Founding Artistic Director, Bree Burgess Rosen, and friend

Opening night Buckle

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Laura Buckle and daughter Lula

Opening night goats

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Goats crossing Laguna Canyon Rd

Opening night community garden

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South Laguna Community Gardens

Opening night summer breeze

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Spoof of Summer Breeze

Opening night councilmembers

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Grand Finale – Council Candidates – “Someone just dropped out”

Lagunatics runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October, and closes on Sunday, Oct 28 with a FinalaGala party catered by Pavilions Newport Coast, and beverages provided by Absolution Brewing Company. 

Snacks and beverages are available at all other performances as well.

For ticket prices and more information, go to www.nosquare.org or call (949) 715-0333.

No Square Theatre is located at Legion Hall, 384 Legion St.


Laguna Beach Live! announces entertaining spring concert lineup to benefit kids

Laguna Beach Live! is pleased to present two unique and entertaining concerts coming this April and May to [seven-degrees]. The concerts benefit the award-winning Live! Music & Kids program. 

The program gives students the opportunity to connect to the joy and creativity of music, critical to their academic, social, and emotional growth. 

Laguna Beach Live! presents outreach programs, at no charge, to Laguna Boys & Girls Club and Laguna public schools. 

Laguna Beach guys

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M-PACT will take the stage on April 17

On April 17, M-PACT, hailed as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, will take the stage. Imagine the smooth soul of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band…all created by the human voice alone.

Laguna Beach girls

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Blues is a Woman plays on May 15

On May 15, Blues is a Woman takes the stage. This ensemble of six talented musicians blurs the boundaries between concert and theater, using storytelling and music to bring to life the colorful history of the bold and singular women who wrote and popularized the blues. The voices of these women are vibrant, challenging, inspirational, and dynamic. 

Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. A full bar and buffet menu is available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. when doors open for dinner and social hour. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. VIP tickets are $100 and include preferred seating, Meet & Greet with artists, and a signed CD. 

Reservations can be made at www.lagunabeachlive.org or by phone calling (800) 595-4849. 

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


Artists Fund at FOA exhibits Board members’ work at City Hall now through May 22

The Artist Fund at Festival of Arts is exhibiting a Board of Directors’ show at City Hall, located at 505 Forest Ave, now through May 22, during regular hours. Exhibiting board members include Geraldine Cropser, Anne England, Roger Folk, Elizabeth McGhee, Rick Graves, and Wendy Wirth.

Founded by Anne England in 2000, the organization provides financial aid to Festival artists suffering hardship due to disaster, medical or unfortunate circumstances. A separate scholarship fund provides grants to artists for professional growth. 

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Elizabeth McGhee’s portraits are among The Artists Fund show at City Hall 

The non-profit organization recently received a donation from the Gross Family Charitable Foundation, which will increase funding of both grants for artists. 

“We are extremely grateful to the Foundation for this generosity.” said Shirley Rush, President. Additional board members include Karen Alvarado, Angela Goodwin, Roseanne Nolan, and Hugo Rivera.

To contact The Artists Fund, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call (949) 612-1949 or log onto www.artistsfund-foa.org.


coastal eddy a gallery presents annual holiday party on Dec 9

On Sunday, Dec 9 from 3 - 6 p.m., coastal eddy presents #ThisIsNotNormal…still Holiday Party. The event will feature new art, a raffle drawing, music, food and fun, and will benefit Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation.

coastal eddy window

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coastal eddy is Laguna’s only ceramic art gallery

Laguna Beach has a rich history in ceramic art and needed a gallery to represent both the past and present in ceramic techniques, and coastal eddy does just that. 

Starting with local artists, the gallery has grown to 32 artists over that past 5 years, including artists from around the country and Canada. From functional ware to abstract sculpture, the ever-changing collection is meant to inspire. 

coastal eddy is located at 1417 S Coast Hwy, in the HIP district of Laguna. 

For more information or to RSVP, contact (949) 715-4113 or visit www.coastaleddyagallery.com.


Laguna Playhouse presents The Skivvies including special guest Jason Feddy on Dec 10 & 11

Laguna Playhouse brings back last year’s sensation in an all-new outrageous holiday event, The Skivvies: I Touch My Elf, with two performances only on Monday, Dec 10 and Tuesday, Dec 11 at 7:30 p.m. This year’s guests include: Jason Feddy, Laguna’s resident rock star; Nick Adams from the Falsettos national tour; Nicole Parker from the Wicked national tour; Seamus Dever from Castle; and Kirsten Vangsnes who plays Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds. 

Laguna Playhouse Jason

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Courtesy of Jasonfeddy.com

Laguna’s own rock star Jason Feddy will be a guest star in the show

Broadway’s Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley return to the Laguna Playhouse for two nights of the most outrageous holiday show of the season. This undie-rock, comedy pop, award-winning duo perform stripped down, mashed up versions of holiday favorites and more. Expect to see ukulele, electric cello, and an array of zany instruments as well as many special guest artists performing along with, and some even in their own “Skivvies.” 

Tickets range from $51 - $56 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. Prices are subject to change.     

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Jazz Wednesdays presented by Laguna Beach Live! features acclaimed guitarist Will Brahm on Feb 27

On Wednesday, Feb 27, acclaimed guitarist Will Brahm and the World Music All-Stars, featuring vocalist Adryon de Leon, will take the stage for another fantastic night of Jazz Wednesdays with Laguna Beach Live! at [seven-degrees]. 

Jazz Wednesdays Will

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Acclaimed guitarist Will Brahm 

Guitarist and composer Will Brahm tours extensively within the United States and has also toured to Asia, Canada, and Europe with his music. He also plays with the critically acclaimed New West Guitar Group and has worked with artists including The Gordon Goodwin Phat Band, Kim Richmond, Jimmy Branly, Otmaro Ruiz, Gretchen Parlato, Sara Gazarek, and Jane Monheit. His new album “Venture Atlas” is to be released in the spring of 2019. 

Jazz Wednesdays Leon

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Guest vocalist Adryon de Leon

Jazz Wednesdays concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5. A full bar and buffet dinner menu are available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. 

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Seating is assigned. Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out. The last two concerts have been sold out so buying your tickets early is recommended. 

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.orgor call (949) 715-9713.

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


Arts supporters get an early call, coffee and snacks provided

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance (LBAA) will host a forum this Saturday, Sept 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Laguna Playhouse. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts served on the terrace. Seating is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

 Former Mayor Jane Egly will moderate the forum, which will address arts and cultural issues in Laguna Beach.

“The forum is a great opportunity to get to know the candidates and learn where they stand on arts and cultural issues,” said LBAA Marketing Coordinator Deena Harros. 

 Candidates will be asked to respond to pre-selected questions, including the need for performance space, artist work live and affordable housing, parking needs in the Civic Art District and comments on public art. They will also be questioned on whether the City should require arts supporting elements in the design of artists’ affordable housing, exhibit space, performance space, and meeting space in any major new or remodeling construction in the Art District.

Questions were selected by the Forum Committee: LBAA President Rosemary Swimm, past President Wayne Baglin, Arts Commissioner Pat Kolllenda, Laguna College of Art and Design President Jonathan Burke, Laguna Dance Festival Executive Director Joy Deitberner, Laguna Playhouse Marketing Director Dee Dee Irwin and Harros.

No questions will be taken from the audience. 

Candidates will have the opportunity to give opening and closing statements, limited to one minute. If time allows, five questions will be posed, with a one-minute limit on responses.


Sawdust Art Festival embraces holiday spirit with 28th Annual Winter Fantasy starting this Saturday

Sawdust Art & Craft Festival is pleased to announce the official start of its 28th annual Winter Fantasy this Saturday, Nov 17 with a community tree lighting ceremony featuring local students from Top of the World Elementary Honor Choir and over a dozen trees decorated by local organizations. 

Sawdust Art outside

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Walking in a Sawdust winter wonderland

For five weekends, through Sunday, Dec 16, event-goers of all ages can experience a festive wonderland aglow with thousands of lights and decorations, featuring 182 artists and makers, live holiday performances, glassblowing demos, festival classes, and satisfying offerings from various eateries, cafes and saloon.

Breakfast with Santa

An extra special occasion this year will be Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec 8 with the Laguna Beach Firefighters Association. All proceeds of the pancake breakfast will go towards Spark of Love, and Sawdust Art Festival will also be a drop-off location for the Spark of Love toy drive throughout the festival season. 

To further encourage the giving spirit, attendees will receive free admission on Sundays with the donation of an unwrapped toy.

Sawdust Art santa

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Say hi to Santa at a special pancake breakfast and toy drive 

Community Tree Night

Another highlight of the season is the Community Tree Night on Saturday, Dec 1 at 5 p.m., an evening honoring the 12 local organizations participating in Winter Fantasy’s annual community tree program. 

There will also be an enchanting Towne Square featuring daily photo opportunities with Santa at his cottage, in addition to a host of other magical moments with puppeteers, a balloon diva, falling snow, and the beloved gingerbread playhouse.

Lastly, there will be three stages of holiday music and entertainment, with food and refreshments from Deb’s Deli, Espresso on the Go, Fran’s Popcorn, Sawdust Saloon, Evan’s Gourmet Bistro, Tacos Durrell, and GG’s Mediterranean Express.

Presale tickets are available and the cost is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (65+), and $4 for children (6– 12). Admission is free for children five years and younger. Season passes are $12. 

For more information, as well as a comprehensive list of events and special features at this year’s Winter Fantasy, visit www.sawdustartfestival.org/festivals/winter-fantasy.


No Square Theatre’s Annie is one of the best shows you will see in Laguna all year

No Square Annie 1

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It’s a Hard Knock Life: No Square Theatre’s Annie production receives five stars and a standing ovation from Stu News Laguna

No Square Annie 2

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I Don’t Need Anything But You: Rob Harryman (Oliver Warbucks) and Tessa Espinola (Annie) shine in this heartwarming tale of father-daughter love, hope, and redemption

No Square Annie 3

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Easy Street: Laura Buckle (Lily St. Regis), Karen Rymar (Miss Hannigan), and Tyler Below (Rooster) executed their parts to perfection

No Square Annie 4

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Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow makes a cameo appearance as Judge Brandeis

For tickets to Annie, go to www.nosquare.org


Film Night at LAM: Dr. Strangelove will be shown on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m. – free admission

Artist Jorg Dubin will introduce a personal favorite at Film Night at Laguna Art Museum on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m.: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

More commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, the film is a 1964 political satire/black comedy that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. 

In it, an insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop. The film was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, and is loosely based on Peter George’s thriller novel Red Alert.

Advance tickets are recommended. Reserve tickets online at www.lagunaartmuseum.org or call (949) 494.8971 x203.


Don’t miss exciting new LAM exhibit, Self-Help Graphics

Laguna Art Museum announces the opening of Self-Help Graphics, 1983-1991, an exhibition of prints from the large Self-Help Graphics collection purchased by the museum in 1992 with the help of Charlie Miller, René and Norma Molina, and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, on exhibit through May 27.

Self-Help Graphics is an East Los Angeles printmaking workshop and arts center that emerged from the Chicano movement of the 1960s. It was founded by Sister Karen Boccalero, who was inspired by the committed social and political commentary she saw in the silkscreen prints made by her fellow nun, the celebrated Sister Corita Kent. In 1982, Boccalero launched the Screenprint Atelier program, which provided Chicano and Latino artists of the Los Angeles region with studio facilities, materials, and the technical guidance of a master printer. The result was an extraordinary and exuberant flowering of the silkscreen print.

Check out LAM

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Ricardo Gonsalves, “Don Juan’s Got the Blues,” 1988, silkscreen (18 colors) is on display at Laguna Art Museum

Self-Help Graphics, 1983-1991 includes 16 works by Glenna Boltuch Avila, Alfredo de Batuc, Yreina Cervántez, Sam Coronado, Alex Donis, Ricardo Gonsalves, José Lozano, Delilah Montoya, Malaquías Montoya, Raoul de La Sota, Gilbert “Magu” Luján, Miguel Angel Reyes, Frank Romero, Eloy Torrez, and Patssi Valdez. The exhibit is on view through May 27.

In conjunction with the exhibition, on May 23, the museum will host Victor Hugo Viesca, Cal State LA professor and co-producer of the Self-Help Graphics oral history project, for a talk titled “Creating Our Own World Where We Belong: The Cultural Value of Self Help Graphics & Art.”

Admission is free for members and students 17 and younger, $15 for adults, and $5 for students 18 plus and seniors 60 plus. 

For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Lagunatics opens this Friday at No Square Theatre

The latest edition of Lagunatics, a locals favorite send-up of everything loved (and not) about our beloved city, opens this Friday, Oct 5 at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night in October.

Lagunatics opens Oct sign

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This year’s parody of all the goofy stuff that happens in Laguna, directed by founding Artistic Director Bree Burgess Rosen, opens on Friday

This year’s targets include goats, the City Council, undergrounding the power lines, Prop P, pocket parks, the Village Entrance, LBPD, Accessory Dwelling Units, public art, tree trimming, Laguna Art Museum, parking fees, Gay Pride, and the return of the echinoderms. 

Festivities begin with an opening night costume party, “Pimp My Premiere.” Attendees are encouraged to enjoy great hors d’oeuvres and beverages in creative garb, the sillier the better. 

The show’s run closes on Sunday, Oct 28 with a FinalaGala party catered by Pavilions Newport Coast, and beverages provided by Absolution Brewing Company. Snacks and beverages are available at all other performances as well.

Tickets are $60 for the Pimp My Premiere and party, $35 and $40 for Sunday performances, $45 and $55 for Fridays and Saturdays, and $100 and $110 (VIP) for the final night FinalaGala.

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


Laguna Playhouse to present “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose,” starting Dec 5

Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard present “Beauty and The Beast: A Christmas Rose,” with performances from Wednesday, Dec 5 through Dec 30 at Laguna Playhouse. 

The production is written by Kris Lythgoe, directed by Sheldon Epps, choreographed by Mandy Moore, with musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervisor Michael Orland.

It will star Ashley Argota, Thomas Hobson, Heath Calvert, Andrew Jackson, Riley Costello, David Engel, and more.

Laguna Playhouse Rose Ashley Argota

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Ashley Argota to star in Laguna Playhouse production of “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose” starting on December 5 with other key actors

For information or tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com or call 497-2787 ext. 229. Tickets range from $41 - $76.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


2018 FOA/POM season is a big success reporting $10.6 million in revenue

At the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters annual membership meeting on November 14, members were updated on recent achievements and given a glimpse of the future. The event, held at the Festival’s Forum Theater, featured reports on the past fiscal year’s activities, an overview of the Pageant’s 85th anniversary, recognition of longtime volunteers and staff, and a preview of the 2019 Pageant of the Masters.

Festival President David Perry began the meeting reporting the 2018 season an enormous success for both the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and Pageant of the Masters. After his opening remarks, Perry presented an upbeat and entertaining video that captured the 2018 season and the Pageant’s 85th Anniversary. It featured the fine art show, the junior art exhibit, art education programs, special events, Pageant of the Masters, and the recent Pageant of the Monsters.

Perry then introduced City Council member Bob Whalen to remark on the season in the absence of Kelly Boyd, Laguna Beach mayor and ex-officio member of the Festival Board.

Julie Kirchen, an eight-year Pageant of the Masters volunteer and the Wellness Strategy and Integration Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, presented the Festival of Arts and Perry with a $5,000 check from the Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund to support community outreach art education programs.

FOA Festival Board

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Festival of Arts board members report a successful year

The 2017-2018 year was a fiscal as well as an artistic success, according to Treasurer Fred Sattler, who presented the unaudited annual financial report. Sattler reported unaudited revenues of roughly $10.6 million, and expenses $9.8 million, resulting in a net income of about $802,000. 2018 unaudited Festival of Arts net assets were reported at $26.3 million with liabilities at $8.2 million, resulting in net assets at $18 million.

Board member Pat Kollenda proudly announced that the Festival of Arts awarded $87,400 in scholarships to college students in 2018. There were 17 freshmen awards in the amount of $29,800. There were two scholarships in Dance, six in Music, one in Theater, seven in Visual Arts and one in Writing. The freshmen average high school GPA was 3.56. There were a total of 31 freshman applicants that applied in 33 areas. In addition, there were also scholarships awarded to 31 returning scholarship recipients.

Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy presented a slideshow of artwork to be presented in the 2019 Pageant of the Masters, The Time Machine, including works of art by Norman Rockwell, Paul Manship, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Johannes Vermeer, Georges Seurat, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Perry recognized and congratulated employees Reagan Foy, Costume Director, for her 10 years of service; Michelle Reindl, Accounting Assistant, for her 15 years of service; Sharbie Higuchi, Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Merchandising, for her 20 years of service; and Caryn Werfelmann, Director of Guest Services, for her 25 years of service. He thanked them for hard work and commitment to the Festival of Arts.

There was no election for the Board of Directors this year as the three incumbents ran unopposed. Tom Lamb, Pat Kollenda, and Anita Mangels will each serve new three-year terms on the board. Elected board officers for the 2018-2019 season are David Perry, president; Scott Moore, vice president; Fred Sattler treasurer; and Pat Kollenda, secretary.

The Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For more information, visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


Festival of Arts, the premier showcase for the arts, runs from July 5 – September 1

Laguna Beach Festival of Arts will let creativity run wild this summer with the prestigious Fine Arts Show on Thursday, July 5 – Saturday, September 1 and Pageant of the Masters’ “Under the Sun” Saturday, July 7 – Saturday, September 1. 

Celebrating its 86th year, the Festival of Arts’ prestigious juried Fine Arts Show showcases original artworks from 140 of Orange County’s finest artists and offers interactive art workshops, demos, special events, live music, wine and chocolate pairings, guided art tours, and more. 

In conjunction with the Fine Arts Show, the Pageant of the Masters world-famous theatrical celebration of art recreated in tableaux vivants – “living pictures”– will awe audiences nightly with spectacular stage illusions choreographed to original, live orchestra performance and engaging narration.

Festival of Arts Fine Art Show runs from July 5 – September 1, weekdays noon – 11:30 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. There will be early closing on August 25 at 1:30 p.m. 

Pageant of the Masters runs from July 7 – Septemger 1, with performances nightly at 8:30 p.m.

Festival of Arts Painting

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Franz A. Bischoff’s painting, Catching Fish at the Beach, at the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show

Festival of Arts Fine Art Show tickets are available online at www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org. General Admission tickets are $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends; Student tickets are $7 on weekdays and $11 on weekends; tickets for Children 6-12 are $5 daily; admission is free for Children 5 and under, Military, and Laguna Beach Residents.

For Pageant of the Masters ticket information and to purchase tickets, visit www.pageantickets.com. Tickets start at $15 per person. Pageant of the Masters ticket grants access to the Fine Arts Show.

Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.


Laguna Art Museum presents One Night/One Painting

Author and critic Peter Clothier invites participants to spend a full hour in front of a single work of art at Laguna Art Museum on Thursday, Feb 28 at 6 p.m. Participants are encouraged to practice meditation and contemplation during the hour.

Laguna Art green

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Courtesy of lagunaartmuseum.org

Join Laguna Art Museum for a night of contemplating art

Clothier is an internationally-known writer, speaker, and creative consultant who specializes in writing about contemporary art and artists, including the popular “Slow Looking: The Art of Looking at Art.” He has given talks for TEDx Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, and many other venues.

Advance reservations are recommended.

For more information, visit www.lagunartmuseum.org or call (949) 494-8971 x203

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


LCAD Bi-Annual Art Market Sale 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) hosted its Bi-Annual Art Market Sale last weekend. Julian Velarde, Assistant Dean of Students at LCAD, says of the sale, “This [year]…forty talented students showcased paintings, prints, jewelry, pins, stickers, t-shirts, totes and other handmade unique creations…the event was a great success and the atmosphere was festive throughout. A special thank you to 4G Ventures for the generous use of their venue.”

LCAD Bi Annual shopping

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LCAD students Rachel Villanueva (left) and Angeline Chen

LCAD Bi Annual Mo

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Mo Honarkar (on right) greets shoppers at 4G Ventures showroom

LCAD Bi Annual chatting

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Festive atmosphere 

LCAD Bi annual table

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One-of-a-kind merchandise


Shana Morrison performs her special brand of music at The Cliff this Friday, May 11 from 7 – 10 p.m.

Shana Morrison will perform her special brand of music at The Cliff this Friday night, May 11, from 7 - 10 p.m.

Shana Morrison with her band

From the release of her 1996 debut CD Caledonia, to the recent recording of “Rough God Goes Riding” on father Van Morrison’s “Duets: Re-working The Catalogue,”Shana makes music on her own terms. 

In the process of recording five original CDs, touring with her band, and being a featured guest artist touring with her father Van spanning over 25 years, Shana has developed a unique and wide-ranging vocal style, bending the blues and R&B to make for a powerful performance that proves family talent runs deep.  

Starting out as a pop/rock artist in the ‘90s, she has always incorporated American roots music into her live shows.

Shana will be joined by a stellar group featuring Bob Hawkins on guitar, Dave Batti on bass, John Hoke on drums, and Andy Hill on “everything else”.

The Cliff is located at 577 S Coast Hwy.


LAM recommends signs that recall the City’s history as an art colony – informative rather than directional

As part of the museum’s centennial celebrations, and in celebration of the Laguna Beach’s artistic legacy, Laguna Art Museum earlier this year proposed that the City install informational signs above existing street signs on several streets that are named for the great early artists who lived and/or worked in Laguna Beach. 

LAM recommends Wendt

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Submitted photo

Example of signs pointing to Laguna’s historic and artistic heritage

The museum’s curator of historical art, Janet Blake, identified six artists whose names became the following street names:

Cuprien Way (Frank Cuprien)

Galen Drive (William Galen Doss)

Griffith Way (William Griffith)

Hill Street, originally Hills (Anna Hills)

Hinkle Place (Clarence Hinkle)

Wendt Terrace (William Wendt)

With great support from Centennial Executive Committee co-chair Betsy Jenkins (Woman of the Year 2018) and City Council member Bob Whalen, and a sign design by Bill Atkins, the city has approved the signs. 

The signs are set to be installed soon, and will be a nice way to educate visitors and residents about this history, show pride for the city’s heritage, and help reinforce Laguna Beach’s legacy as an artist colony.


Laguna Beach Music Festival kicks off tomorrow, Feb 6 and continues through the weekend

The 2019 Laguna Beach Music Festival kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb 6, featuring Festival Artistic Director and Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Conrad Tao, and Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich.

The world-renowned Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Peter Jay Sharp Prize winner cellist Efe Baltacigil, and violinist/violist Yura Lee, who was the only first prizewinner across four categories at the prestigious ARD Competition in Germany, will also be performing at the festival. 

Laguna Beach Joyce

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Photo KT Kim

Festival Director Joyce Yang

The concerts take place at the Laguna Playhouse and the outreach events take place at various venues in Laguna Beach. Join Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society for this week of discovery and celebration of outstanding music.

On Wednesday, Feb 6 at 6 p.m., the festival starts with a prelude featuring Joyce Yang on the piano at the Laguna Art Museum. 

Festival supporters will meet the musicians and mingle with fellow music lovers for a festive evening of delicious food, fine wine, and incredible music. Attendees will enjoy an exclusive performance by Joyce Yang and experience her vision of the synergy of music and visual art as multimedia artist Tripp Derrick Barnes creates a masterpiece to Yang’s performance. 

On Thursday, Feb 7 at 10:45 a.m., Laguna Beach High School students are invited to a private lecture and piano performance with festival Director Joyce Yang. 

Cellist Efe Balticigil will perform and talk to guests on Friday Feb 8 at 10 a.m. at the Susi Q. Space is limited.

The Opening Night Concert on Friday, Feb 8 starts at 8 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse and features Joyce Yang and cellist Efe Baltacigil in a program of dance-inspired musical works. The second half features Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in “Dream Play,” a work by acclaimed choreographer Fernando Melo. (This performance is co-presented and in collaboration with Laguna Dance Festival.)

On Saturday, Feb 9 at 8 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse, a duo recital built around André Previn’s “Tango, Song, and Dance,” Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich and Joyce Yang showcase dance-inspired pieces from various cultures influenced by tango, jazz, and folk melodies.

The Laguna Beach Music Festival ends on Sunday, Feb 10 at 3 p.m. with a Finale Concert: Romantic Masterworks at the Laguna Playhouse. The Festival culminates in a passionate musical exploration of romance-themed masterworks by Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev. In this pre-Valentine’s Day concert, violinist/violist Yura Lee, pianist Conrad Tao, and cellist Efe Baltacigil join Joyce Yang.

For tickets to Laguna Beach Music Festival concerts, visit https://philharmonicsociety.org/LBMF.


Laguna Beach Arts Alliance to host City Council candidates forum at Laguna Playhouse

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance (LBAA) will hold a candidates forum on Saturday, Sept 29 from 9 - 11 a.m. at the Laguna Playhouse. The public is cordially invited to attend in addition to all city council candidates. 

Laguna Beach Arts Playhouse

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LBAA will host a candidates forum at the Laguna Playhouse on Sept 29

This year’s city council candidates include: Peter Blake, Ann Christoph, Sue Marie Connolly, Sue Kempf, Cheryl Kinsman, Toni Iseman, Lorene Laguna, Judie Mancuso, Allison Mathews, Paul Merritt, and Rob Zur Schmiede.

The discussion will be moderated by former Mayor Jane Egly and is generously hosted by the Laguna Playhouse. LBAA has prepared a series of questions that address the arts in Laguna Beach on topics that range from the need for performance space to parking in the Arts District. The arts community is encouraged to participate and show their support for the arts, which is responsible for generating substantial City revenue. 

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance was established in 2002 as the result of an exciting partnership among more than 20 Laguna Beach organizations. The mission is to serve as an advocate for the arts, promote collaboration and networking among the arts organizations of Laguna Beach, and to serve as a united voice for the arts in the city. 

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts served on the terrace, and the forum will begin 9 a.m. Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, contact Rosemary Swimm at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Don’t miss No Square Theatre’s amazing production of “Annie,” starting this Friday

No Square Theatre presents “Annie” starting this Friday, Nov 30. Performances will run Friday through Sunday, through December 22, and will include both matinee and evening showings.

This wildly popular, Tony Award-winning musical “Annie”, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, is directed by Joe Lauderdale and choreographed by Ellen Prince. Vocal Music is directed by Roxanna Ward and the band is directed by Christopher W. Smith at the piano. David Cowan is the Stage Manager, and costumes are done by the brilliant Brigitte Harper. Costumes for this production are underwritten by a generous grant from FOA Foundation.

Little Orphan Annie, played but Tessa Espinola, embodies human optimism at its best, as she rises from humble beginnings in 1930s New York City. The show treats audiences to one of the best musical scores ever composed including favorites like “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the ultimate anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”  With a heartfelt and positive message, the show is the perfect entertainment choice for the holiday season.

The show stars Tessa Espinola as Annie, Rob Harryman as Warbucks, Rebecca Butkivich as Grace, Karen Rymar as Miss Hannigan, Tyler Below as Rooster, Laura Buckle as Lily St Regis, and Kipling as Sandy the dog. The orphans are played by Lula Buckle, Grace Gilchrist, Ava Madison Gray, Raegan Larson, Alexandra Nottage, and Libby Rue, while all the other roles are played by a talented ensemble including Lulu Arundale, Chase Benson, Lori Freeman, Rick Gold, Jonah Goldstein, Gary Greene, Jay Kramer, Ari Paltin, and Bridget Rago.

Shows are for adults and children 6 and older with evening performances at 7 p.m. on November 30, December 1, 8, 14, and 21, and 2 p.m. matinees on December 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, and 22. Tickets are available at www.nosquare.org and are $12.50 for children 6-11 and $25-$35 for adults. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance. There will be no late seating, so come early.

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


LCAD’s Professional Mentoring Program makes a difference in young artist students’ careers

One of the nation’s top colleges of art and design, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) announced that 16 students from its BFA program in Drawing + Painting will exhibit their art as part of LCAD’s Professional Mentoring Program, an annual collaboration between the College and participating Laguna Beach First Thursdays Art Walk galleries. 

The 2018 LCAD Professional Mentoring Program exhibition will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on December 6, during the December First Thursdays Art Walk. Everyone can view student artwork at participating galleries that are listed at www.facebook.com/lcadprofessionalmentorprogram, www.lcad.edu or www.firstthursdaysartwalk.org

LCAD’s Professional Mentoring Program pairs LCAD BFA Drawing + Painting seniors with local galleries. For two months, gallery owners and managers mentor students through the fundamentals of exhibiting their work and educate them about the business side of operating a gallery. For many students, this will be the first time they exhibit their work in a professional gallery. Proceeds from art sales go to the student artists and LCAD student scholarships.

LCADs Professional Benajmin

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Submitted photo

Benjamin Askevold is one of the LCAD students involved in the mentoring program with local Art Walk galleries. His piece Public Transportation, seen here, will be on display at Todd Kenyon’s Pure Laguna Beach.

Now in the 16th year of their collaboration, First Thursdays Art Walk and LCAD received the 2018 Outstanding Arts Collaboration Award for the Professional Mentoring Program. The award, from the Laguna Beach Art Alliance, recognized the program’s excellence in outstanding achievements and contributions in the Laguna Beach arts community.

After 14 years of teaching the Professional Studies course, Robin Fuld, director of LCAD’s Career Services, is handing the reins to Charity Oetgen, an alumna of LCAD’s BFA program in Drawing + Painting (2014) and its MFA in Painting (2017), who, last year, co-taught the course with Fuld. 

“As an alumna of LCAD, of the course, and of the Professional Mentor program, Charity brings a unique and refined perspective,” Fuld said. “She is a successful working artist and is perfect to mentor LCAD Drawing + Painting majors as they prepare for careers as professional artists.”

For more information about the December 2018 LCAD + FTAW exhibitions, visit www.lcad.edu.


No Square to hold My Ridiculous Valentine auditions tomorrow by appointment

No Square Theatre is looking for talented adult singers to audition for My Ridiculous Valentine. Auditions will be held tomorrow, Saturday, Jan 5, by appointment from noon to 3 p.m.

My Ridiculous Valentine, a not-so-romantic concert of dysfunctional love and laughter, is directed by Bree Burgess Rosen, with music direction by Roxanna Ward.

No Square My Ridiculous Bree

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Bree Burgess Rosen will direct No Square’s production of “My Ridiculous Valentine” with auditions by appointment tomorrow, Saturday, Jan 5

No Square is seeking strong adult singers. Limited rehearsal schedule requires every performer to be a self-motivated quick study. The concert will consist of solos, duets, and group numbers. Forms and auditions for this nontraditional Valentine concert are available on No Square’s website at www.nosquare.org/auditions.

Performances are on Friday, Feb 8 and Saturday, Feb 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tech/dress rehearsal is Wednesday, Feb 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. 

To make an audition appointment, contact the director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Before auditioning:

--Download and fill out the audition form and conflict calendar from www.nosquare.org/auditions. 

--Prepare about two minutes of an up-tempo or ballad from a Broadway score or the American Songbook. 

“If you have something that reflects the theme of the concert, please do that – but the directors, not the performers, will determine the content of the concert,” Burgess Rosen said.

--Prepare to bring sheet music in the proper key. No a capella or accompaniment tracks are allowed.

--Allow about one hour for the audition.

No Square My Ridiculous Roxanna

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Roxanna Ward will provide musical direction for No Square’s production of “My Ridiculous Valentine”

Note – there is no pay. No Square is a non-union, community theatre, but this is a “stand and sing” concert, not a book show, with no AEA conflict. 

“We can and will have a few professionals in the concert, volunteering alongside our talented amateurs,” Burgess Rosen said.

No Square Theatre is staged in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St, two blocks south of Laguna Beach High School. 

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


No Square Theatre needs you: Why you should invest in community theatre

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

All the world may be a stage, but local theatre is a tough way to make a buck.

Raising the curtain can be much more of a challenge than you could have imagined. 

Putting on a show can be fueled by great, infectious enthusiasm, but creating an organization to sustain a series of shows and build a place in the community takes much more sustained effort.

No Square Theatre’s dynamic and exciting calendar of shows and events is planned meticulously with the community audience in mind – despite often not having the budget.

No Square relies heavily on community support, and this year’s arrival of the membership scheme has been successful, but they need more members to sustain the quality and frequency for which they have become renowned.

But why? Why should you invest in local community theatre? 

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Actors become like family

Ok, I’ll admit, as a child born and raised in theatre I am a little biased, but as a researcher, I took it upon myself to explore just what the benefits are even to the most “un-thespian” of people.

“Theatre is one of the higher cultural activities that mark us as imaginative, creative and truly human,” says Dr. Glenn D Wilson, Chapman University.

Attending a performance of your favorite play can promote a connection with and understanding of humanity in a bigger sense, he says. Wilson explains that the inclusion of human conflict in many plays helps people relate to each other while providing subtle guidance in our own personal relationships. 

Watching a play also allows the audience to access emotions they often don’t in the daily course of their lives. “Whether you see a tragedy or a musical, there’s likely an element of the storyline that extends beyond your personal life experiences,” Wilson adds.

This notion was further proven when the University of Arkansas Department of Education conducted a study on the effects of live performances on students. Emotional benefits that surfaced included an increased ability to comprehend and empathize with other people’s feelings and reactions. Those results weren’t as apparent with the control group that read the play or watched a movie adaptation.

The Human Element

One of the key attributes that separate’s theatre from movies and books is liveliness. Have you seen plays that were adapted for film? According to the Guardian UK, movies often show the same performance, but watching it isn’t the same experience as in the theatre.

There’s a bond that forms between the performers and the viewer, not to mention the connection that bonds the members of the audience. The Guardian article explains how there are brief magical moments that can only happen when spectators and performers share a physical space.

Local Support

By attending local theatre, you’re supporting the community, especially if there are residents performing. The community support I received from doing Annie (after a 20 year break from MT) helped me so much with my nerves and confidence. 

There are benefits for you as well, such as the fact that community theatre shows are often much less expensive than other performances. Additionally, the plays and musicals are typically held in smaller venues, so the action is easy to see and hear. 

Its soooooo good for children

I know I have a theatre child, Lula – but I also have a theatre spectator, Jesse (who would rather poke himself in the eye than perform on a stage) and trust me when I say the performing arts has benefitted them both. It teaches children how to think creatively through imagination. Creative thinking skills are critical in the world of business leaders, where the ability to create solutions to problems is a necessary and valued asset.

Robert A Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, has said that the heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation. “Without creativity, there is nothing that makes an organization unique. Creative skills are one of the most important skills needed to be successful in any industry.”

Through theatre, audiences are immersed in stories about characters from every background imaginable. Live shows teach children how to appreciate people of all kinds and how to respect other points of view. Production brings a story with a unique viewpoint, characters from historic time periods give viewers a chance to learn about events and people from the past. 

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Rehearsals are fun

Not only is it important to learn about different kinds of people and aspects of life, but these shows also give a glimpse into other people’s lives. Theatre allows you to step into someone else’s shoes and see life from their point of view. This teaches young people lessons of empathy and cultural relativity.

Theatre exposes young people to new vocabulary and ways of communicating. Through the arts of dance, acting, and music, children learn how to communicate in a variety of unique ways.

Children need imagination to grow, create, think, and play. Theatre is the single most valuable place where kids can explore the endless possibilities of their imaginations and what they can do.

Without theatre, children not only miss out on an amazing artistic experience, but they lose the chance to experience an endless amount of learning opportunities. With exposure that not only raises school performance, but also encourages creativity, culture, communication, patience, morals, and imagination, an afternoon at the theatre is something that cannot be overlooked.

So hopefully by now I will have convinced you that becoming a member and supporting No Square Theatre will benefit everyone for generations. Check out their website at www.nosquare.org and click on “become a member” – this will give you various membership options.

While you are there now is the opportunity to purchase tickets to see “A Little Night Music” which opens May 11 and runs on the weekends until May 20– and also check out the summer camps available for your young people. 

No Square Theatre has been monumental in our family’s adjustment to moving over here. They are a family, we are a family – a family that just wants to grow and grow.


Celebrate First Thursdays Art Walk with free admission to LAM

Laguna Art Museum invites the public to celebrate the first Art Walk of 2019 this Thursday, Jan 3, with free to admission to the gallery from 5 to 9 p.m. First Thursdays Art Walk celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach with participation by more than 30 member galleries. 

Now on view at LAM, Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935 celebrates the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Laguna Beach Art Association with paintings by the leading artists who were founding members of the association and active during that period.

Celebrate the painting

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Courtesy of Facebook

Joseph Kleitsch, The Drug Store (detail) c. 1925, oil on canvas, 40 X 40 inches, Private collection

This exhibition is part of a yearlong celebration of the museum’s history and legacy, honoring the artists of a hundred years ago whose organization eventually became Laguna Art Museum.

Art associations were a phenomenon of the late nineteenth-century, both on the east and west coasts. But no two art associations were alike. The Laguna Beach Art Association was a pioneering organization whose inception helped determine the fortunes of the Laguna Beach art colony and its artists. 

It grew from a relatively small organization to one that included hundreds of members throughout the country. Attendance records at exhibitions were impressive. Its leadership was devoted to promoting art in Southern California, but it also traveled its exhibitions to cities outside California and championed arts education in schools. 

The Laguna Beach Art Association charted its own course, but its development and struggles was a mirror of artistic and economic issues that confronted many art colonies in the early twentieth century. Its membership included Laguna luminaries – artists who exhibited on the national and international fronts – as well as many artists whose reputations never extended far beyond the local confines.

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

For more information, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Jazz Wednesdays ends the season on March 27 with an exciting lineup of performers

On March 27, Laguna Beach Live! closes out a superb Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series with an All-Star Tribute to Chet Baker and Peggy Lee featuring world-renowned trumpeter Bijon Watson, guest vocalist Lucy Woodward, and the Laguna Beach Live! All-Stars. 

Jazz Wednesdays Bijon

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World-renowned trumpeter Bijon Watson

World-renowned trumpeter and Artistic Director of Jazz for Laguna Beach Live!, Bijon Watson leads the final concert of the 2019 Laguna Beach Live! Winter Jazz Series. 

Accompanied by the Laguna Beach Live All-Stars (Andy Langham – piano, Ben Shepherd – bass, Will Brahm – guitar, Jamey Tate – drums, Tom Luer – saxophone) and vocalist Lucy Woodward, the band will be performing a tribute to Chet Baker and Peggy Lee. Bijon and this stellar group of musicians will perform original arrangements and selections inspired by and made famous by Chet and Peggy. 

Jazz Wednesdays Lucy

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Courtesy of Lucy Woodward Facebook/Eric Morgensen

Guest vocalist Lucy Woodward 

Limited tickets are available. To add your name to the waiting list, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The concert is from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5. A full bar and buffet dinner menus are available for purchase starting at 5 p.m.

Jazz Wednesdays Winter 2019 has been held in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility. 

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713. 

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


Festival of Arts’ FOA Foundation awards $100,000 to twenty-three Arts Grants recipients 

The Festival of Arts’ FOA Foundation is pleased to announce the twenty-three selected recipients awarded $100,000 total in art grants for 2019. The FOA Foundation helps fund the many art-related non-profits in the Laguna Beach community, emphasizing the enrichment of children and young adults in all disciplines of art.

“The FOA Foundation is proud to be a longtime sponsor of the Laguna Beach communities’ non-profit art organizations. With an emphasis on educating our young students, the FOA Foundation supports our youth, both in their classrooms and through local venues in all the arts,” said FOA Foundation President Scott Moore. “We hope to increase the cultural experience for boys and girls, and young men and women, giving them a foundation for future appreciation and possibly a lifetime participation in the world of art.”

Festival of painting

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The FOA Foundation emphasizes the enrichment of children in all disciplines of art

The 2019 Art Grants recipients are:

--Art 4 Kids

--Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach

--Festival of Arts Education

--Lagunatunes

--Laguna Art Museum

--Laguna Beach Chamber Singers

--Laguna Beach High School Art Department

--Laguna Beach High School Ceramics Department

--Laguna Beach High School Drama Department

--Laguna Beach High School Music Department

--Laguna Beach Live!

--Laguna Beach Seniors

--Laguna Community Concert Band

--Laguna College of Art and Design

--Laguna Dance Festival

--Laguna Playhouse

--Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

--LOCA Arts Education

--No Square Theater

--The My Hero Project

--Thurston Middle School

--Thurston Middle School Drama

--Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund

In 1989, the Festival of Arts with a $1.5 million donation established the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, to guarantee annual financial support for the arts in Laguna Beach.

The FOA Foundation, co-founded by John Rayment and David Young, was designed to hold these funds in a permanent endowment. The earnings and income from this endowment would be distributed annually in the form of scholarships to graduates of Laguna Beach High School and as grants to nonprofit art organizations and educational institutions in and about the city of Laguna Beach.

The FOA Foundation operates independently from the Festival of Arts. In 2007, the Festival of Arts assumed the financial responsibility of the art scholarships, enabling the FOA Foundation to focus on its grant program for local non-profit art organizations. 

The FOA Foundation is comprised of a five-member board of trustees who oversees and administers the program including Scott Moore (president), John Campbell (vice president) Bob Earl (treasurer), Jacquie Moffett (secretary), and Kathy Jones (board member).


Laguna Beach Live! benefit concert on Wednesday features a cappella group m-pact

A handful of tickets are still available for this Wednesday’s Laguna Beach Live! benefit concert at [seven-degrees], featuring m-pact, a 6-man a cappella group hailed as “one of the best pop jazz vocal groups in the world.” 

The concert benefits the nonprofit’s award-winning Live! Music & Kids education programs, which bring professional musicians to the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach and the Laguna schools for performances and classes.

The a cappella group m-pact is known for using their voices to make music to the smooth sounds of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band.      

Laguna Beach mpact

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Submitted photo

Laguna Beach Live! benefit concert on Wednesday features a cappella group m-pact, hailed as “one of the best pop jazz vocal groups in the world”

Their sophisticated sound and accessible appeal have garnered vast accolades, from Vocal Group of the Year (LA Music Awards), an Indie nomination (Independent Grammy), and Artist of the Year (Seattle Music Awards), to Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. 

Touring renowned fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents, m-pact has performed with pop superstars and their signature sound has been used in both TV themes and animated Disney feature films, as well as on jazz and pop radio worldwide.

To hear a sneak peek of the group performing a mash-up of “I Just Called to Say I Love” by Stevie Wonder and “Black or White” by Michael Jackson, click here.

The benefit concert is from 6 - 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 with food and drinks available for purchase. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $100 for VIP, which includes VIP seating, a signed CD, and “Meet and Greet with the Artists.”

Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out. For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.orgor call (949) 715-9713.

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


Rita Rudner co-writes & stars in musical comedy Two’s A Crowd: Jason Feddy’s the songwriter

Laguna resident Rita Rudner will star with Davis Gaines in the musical comedy titled Two’s A Crowd, which will run at Laguna Playhouse from September 7-16. 

Songs are by Laguna’s own Jason Feddy, beloved musician and songwriter known throughout town. 

The play focuses on characters Tom and Wendy who are complete opposites. After a computer error, freewheeling Tom and uptight Wendy do their best to ruin each other’s vacations. Will they get to know each other well enough to reveal the real reasons behind their travel? Will they agree on sleeping arrangements? Will room service ever arrive? 

Rita Rudner and Rita Rudner

Rita Rudner takes the stage at Laguna Playhouse as Wendy 

The show was written by Martin Bergman and Rita Rudner, husband and wife. Martin is a producer and writer, known for movies like Pete’s Friends and A Weekend in the Country. Rita has starred on Broadway for many years in plays such as Annie Follies. Davis Gaines, is a well-known actor who has starred in the Broadway show Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times. 

Rita Rudner and Davis Gaines

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Davis Gaines is taking the stage at Laguna Playhouse as Tom 

Two’s A Crowd pairs audience favorites Rita Rudner and Davis Gaines in the world’s first unromantic comedy. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


JoAnne Artman Gallery celebrates 10 years

JoAnne Artman Gallery has reached a significant milestone, celebrating its 10-year anniversary on Gallery Row in Laguna Beach. Founder and Executive Director JoAnne Artman opened the gallery locally in 2008, as one of the only contemporary art galleries in the neighborhood.

No stranger to the art world, Artman has been showing the work of culturally diverse artists throughout her career as a gallery owner. An avid collector herself, Artman said she has always had a passion for the arts. Even before her career as a gallerist, she would often put on private art shows at her home, showcasing and sharing art that she loved with others.

Artman said she has always had a fascination with art. As a child she loved painting and drawing cartoons, later discovering photography as an adult, which she continues to explore. The desire and passion the gallerist has for art remains a constant in her life as she views her relationship with art as an investment in her soul. 

JoAnne Artman Gallery exterior

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JoAnne Artman has been a visionary in Laguna Beach’s art scene for 10 years

Prior to opening her gallery in Laguna, Artman opened her first gallery in 2004 in the emerging Santa Ana Arts District, known as Space on Spurgeon, with a strong desire to encourage art as a way of life.

In 2008, Artman decided to take a leap of faith and establish new roots in Laguna Beach as JoAnne Artman Gallery after Peter Blake Gallery relocated to Ocean Avenue, opening up the space at 326 N Coast Hwy. 

She expressed that the Laguna location had forever been her favorite space in Orange County; she was finally able to turn her dream into reality. 

In September 2015, JoAnne Artman Gallery expanded into its second location in the heart of Chelsea, New York. The space, originally built in 1893 as a commercial manufacturing building, delivers a refreshing industrial meets contemporary atmosphere.

Artman exclusively represents artists that she loves, collects and has a passion for.  Her roster includes about 15 artists that embody all ages and ethnicities.

JoAnne Artman artist

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Anna Kincaide is one of the talented artists that shows at JoAnne Artman Gallery

Over the past decade, Artman believes that the gallery has been an integral asset to Laguna’s long-standing arts community.

“I would like to thank the gallery’s award-winning artists, loyal clients, as well as everyone who has visited the gallery, for their continued support,” Artman said. “We are looking forward to many more years of exhibiting captivating art.”

JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 510-5481 or visit www.joanneartmangallery.com.


LAM Film Night to feature In a Lonely Place Feb 21

Laguna Art Museum will present “In a Lonely Place” on Thursday, Feb 21 at 6 p.m. as part of its Film Night series. Curator Janet Blake will introduce the classic film noir starring Humphrey Bogart.

LAM Film Lonely Place

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Courtesy of lagunaartmuseum.org

Don’t be lonely, grab a date and enjoy “In a Lonely Place” at LAM

According to a synopsis by Rod Crawford for IMBD, “Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect; his record of belligerence when angry and his macabre sense of humor tell against him. Fortunately, lovely neighbor Laurel Gray gives him an alibi. Laurel proves to be just what Steele needed, and their friendship ripens into love. Will suspicion, doubt, and Steele’s inner demons come between them?”

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr. For more information and tickets, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Rock for the Cause concert raises $8,100 to benefit Friendship Shelter

Marshall and Elizabeth Ininns, Ivan Spiers, Clay Berryhill and Danielle Cavallucci, Lea Abel-Stone, Catherine Talarico, Katrina Puffer, Nicole Anderson, Danielle Ward Shuster, and Meghan MacGillivary Weil organized the Rock the Cause event on Monday, March 4 at Skyloft to benefit Friendship Shelter. “Working together to end homelessness in our community one person at a time” was the foundation for a great evening of fun, food, and music by local favorite 133.

Rock for band

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Photo by Ellen Germano

133 plays for happy crowd at Skyloft on Monday, March 4

Ininns reports, “We raised $8,100.00. Today so many of us are very concerned about homelessness in Orange County and especially our home Laguna Beach. Rock for the Cause is a concert to support the Friendship Shelter. The Friendship Shelter provides homes for the homeless in South Orange County. All your generous donations went to the Friendship Shelter. The Friendship Shelter will not stop providing housing until all the homeless are housed. If you missed your chance to come to the Rock for the Cause concert, you can still donate to the Friendship Shelter at www.friendshipshelter.org/events.”


Summer Jazz Series starts up June 13 at [seven-degrees] featuring vocalist Barbara Morrison

Laguna Beach Live! has announced that tickets are on sale for Jazz Wednesdays Summer Series 2018, presented by Laguna Beach Live! at unique event facility [seven-degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

The Jazz Summer Series features seven concerts, occurring every two weeks from June 13 - September 5, with top jazz musicians from the region. 

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Vocalist Barbara Morrison

Kicking off the season on June 13 is critically-acclaimed vocalist Barbara Morrison, followed by The Latin Jazz Syndicate on June 27 featuring vocalist Norell Thompson and trumpeter Bijon Watson.

 Other performances include: July 11, guitarist Frank Potenza Organ Group; July 25, vocalist Anne Walsh; August 8, classic jazz with vocalist/bassist Kristin Korb Trio;and August 22, The Lineage Trio. The season concludes on September 5 with Laguna Beach Live! All Stars featuring Bijon Watson.

Ticketsare Cabaret Table seating $25/seat in advance and $30 at the door, with season tickets for $175. Tickets can be purchased online at www.lagunabeachlive.org or by phone at (800) 595-4849. The information line is (949) 715- 9713.

Other upcoming Laguna Beach Live! concerts include: May 22, Live! Music Insights with Dr. Robert Istad and a special trio of musicians who will explore “The Grass is Blue: America’s Legacy of Bluegrass and Spirituals”; June 4, Live! Music Insights “All That Jazz: An Historic Retrospective with Bijon Watson & all-star trio”; and June 10, the popular Bluegrass & BBQ featuring The Barefoot Movement, with food and beverages provided by Laguna Beach Beer Co, Purple Corduroy Wine, and Gnarly “Q” BBQ.


Forest and Ocean Gallery presents an evening of live music and art this Saturday, Oct 20

Forest and Ocean Gallery is pleased to host a live concert of fun classical music this Saturday, Oct 20. Pianist Lica Handa and her daughter Jane will perform “The Typewriter” and “The Syncopated Clock” by Leroy Anderson, and Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by Jane Handa.

Forest and Ocean Lica

Courtesy of Facebook

Lica Handa will perform a special piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue 

Doors open at 6 p.m. for viewing of art in the gallery and the performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 and wine and light refreshments will be served.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here or call David Parker at (959) 872-6616.


Laguna Playhouse announces casting call for Treasure Island on March 2

Laguna Playhouse will hold auditions for its upcoming play Treasure Island on Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the Brick Room – Suite 116. Callbacks will be by invitation only and held on Sunday, March 3. 

Treasure Island is the classic tale of pirates and buried gold. In 1775 from the Admiral Benbow Inn to Skeleton Island in the West Indies, it’s an unforgettable adventure of mayhem and treachery as the young Jim Hawkins falls in with a band of pirates who will do anything to recover Captain Flint’s map and the buried treasure. The show is directed by Donna Inglima, with fight choreography by Jo Ann Mendelson. 

Laguna Playhouse chairs

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

The Laguna Playhouse theatre awaits new performances

Casting Adults and Youth Adults (ages 12+) will double roles. This is a large cast show and needs actors with strong language skills, physicality, agility, no fear of heights, and a willingness to learn stage combat – rapier, hand-to-hand, knives, falls, acrobats – or have combat experience. It is gender fluid casting. 

Auditions are by appointment only and to be made with Wally Ziegler at (949) 342-1785.   

Audition Requirements include one monologue 1.5 min (max) from classical literature or similar. Bring a photo and resume and your schedule, as you will complete a conflict sheet. 

Ken Ludwig’s Treasure Island performs April 27 - May 5 at Laguna Playhouse and includes two weekday Student Matinees on May 2 and 3.  Production rehearses weekday evenings and one day on the weekend.   

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Beach Live! presents benefit concert featuring outstanding a cappella group m-pact

Laguna Beach Live! presents a special benefit concert on Wednesday, April 17 at [seven-degrees], featuring m-pact, a 6-man a cappella group hailed as “one of the best pop jazz vocal groups in the world.” 

The concert benefits the nonprofit’s award-winning “Live! Music & Kids” education programs, which bring professional musicians to the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach and the Laguna schools for performances and classes.

The a cappella group m-pact is known for using their voices to make music to the smooth sounds of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band.      

Laguna Beach mpact

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Submitted photo

The a cappella powerhouse m-pact will wow audiences in Laguna on April 17

Their sophisticated sound and accessible appeal have garnered vast accolades, from Vocal Group of the Year (LA Music Awards), an Indie nomination (Independent Grammy), and Artist of the Year (Seattle Music Awards), to Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. 

Touring renowned fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents, m-pact has performed with pop superstars and their signature sound has been used in both TV themes and animated Disney feature films, as well as on jazz and pop radio worldwide.

To hear a sneak peek of the group performing “Come Together” by the Beatles, click here.

The benefit concert is from 6 - 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 with food and drinks available for purchase. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $100 for VIP, which includes VIP seating, a signed CD, and “Meet and Greet with the Artists.”

Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out. For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.orgor call (949) 715-9713.

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


Art Stars honors include several Plein Air stars

On Sunday, April 29, the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s (LPAPA) was awarded this year’s LBAA Art Star Award for “Best Arts Program” for their annual Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational.

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Rosemary and Tom Swimm, key figures in LPAPA

LPAPA is the steward of Laguna’s plein air legacy, which established our town as an artists’ colony in 1903.  Early plein air artists founded the Laguna Beach Art Association and opened the first art gallery in 1918. 

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Celebrations are in order for LPAPA at the Art Star Awards

The LPAPA Invitational began in 1999 with 2018 marking its 20th year. This event is now recognized as one of the most prominent plein air art painting events in the world.

LPAPA’s artist member Tom Swimm was honored for LBAA’s Lifetime Achievement award.  For over 50 years, Tom’s life work has been passionately dedicated to the creative arts and his career successes have included distinguished accomplishments in painting, photography, advertising, playwriting, musical composition and acting.

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LPAPA president Toni Kellenberg and Joy Dittberner

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, established in 1996, is a nationwide organization of over 300 professional artists devoted to the art of plein air painting. For more information about upcoming events and programs, visit www.lpapa.org or call (949) 376-3635.


Laguna Playhouse to present “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose,” starting Dec 5

Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard are proud to present “Beauty and The Beast: A Christmas Rose,” with performances from Wednesday, Dec 5 through Dec 30 at Laguna Playhouse. 

The production is written by Kris Lythgoe, directed by Sheldon Epps, choreographed by Mandy Moore, with musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervisor Michael Orland.

The show stars Ashley Argota, Thomas Hobson, Heath Calvert, Andrew Jackson, Riley Costello, David Engel, and more.

Laguna Playhouse Rose Ashley Argota

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Ashley Argota to star in Laguna Playhouse production of “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose” starting Dec 5

For information or tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com or call (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. Tickets range from $41 - $76.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Plein Air Painters Association presents “Sip & Paint” Workshop tomorrow, Dec 8

Tomorrow, Saturday, Dec 8 and again on Dec 15, LPAPA presents “Sip & Paint” from 5 - 8 p.m. LPAPA’s Tasteful Palette “sip and learn” painting workshop is a fun-filled Saturday evening of camaraderie and creativity as you sip fine wines and create a work of art. 

Laguna Plein painting

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Painters enjoy an evening full of creativity and sipping wine

This is a great opportunity to release your inner creative side with a LPAPA Signature Artist and enjoy the company of friends. No painting experience is required to attend the class. All painting levels are encouraged to join the fun, including first-time painters, beginning artists, and master painters. All are welcomed to come sip and learn, and just have plein fun. 

All painting materials, along with wine or non-alcoholic beverages and nibbles are included in ticket price. For the first workshop on December 8, LPAPA Signature Artist Brandon Gonzales will be leading the class. LPAPA Signature Artists Ebrahim Amin and Brandon Gonzales will lead the second class on December 16. 

Tickets for each workshop are $50 for LPAPA members or $60 for non-members.

To register, visit www.lpapa.org/member-workshops

LPAPA’s workshop will be held at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave.


FOA Foundation funding grants available, submission deadline is Feb 15

The Festival of Arts Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now available for 2019 Art Grants. Nonprofit organizations that have programs that promote fine arts in and about the City of Laguna Beach may apply. Grant applications are available online at www.foapom.com/about/grants-scholarships/grants. The submission deadline is February 15.

“The Foundation board looks forward to reviewing your organization’s grant application this year,” said FOA Foundation President Scott Moore. “We’re proud to be able to help fund the many art-related nonprofits in the Laguna Beach community, emphasizing the enrichment of our children and young adults in all disciplines of art.”

For more information on the grant application process, contact Moore at (949) 494-9680 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FOA Community Grant applications

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The FOA Foundation offers grants to nonprofits that promote fine arts locally

In 1989, the Festival of Arts with a $1.5 million donation established the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, to guarantee annual financial support for the arts in Laguna Beach.

The FOA Foundation, co-founded by John Rayment and David Young, was designed to hold these funds in a permanent endowment. The earnings and income from this endowment would be distributed annually in the form of scholarships to graduates of Laguna Beach High School and as grants to nonprofit art organizations and educational institutions in and about the City of Laguna Beach.

The FOA Foundation operates independently from the Festival of Arts. In 2007, the Festival of Arts assumed the financial responsibility of the art scholarships, enabling The FOA Foundation to focus on its grant program for local nonprofit art organizations.

The FOA Foundation is comprised of a five-member board of trustees who oversees and administers the program including Scott Moore (president), John Campbell (vice president), Bob Earl (treasurer), Jacquie Moffett (secretary), and Kathy Jones (board member).

For more information, visit www.foapom.com/about/grants-scholarships/grants.


LagunaTots returns to No Square Theatre – the kids take over the stage on March 15

Fun for the whole family abounds as youngsters take the stage at No Square Theatre in LagunaTots 2019. Performances run from March 15 to March 24.

You think it’s hard being an adult? Kids nowadays have serious things to worry about: dress codes, vaccinations, phones, lice, puberty, phones, brace, hormones. And did we mention phones? This original musical parody spoof zeroes in on the issues that plague the younger set…with hilarious results. 

No Square’s Youth Theatre Director Ella Wyatt is the writer and director with additional lyrics by Rufino Cabang and some of the kids in the cast. Music direction is by Susan Thoren. The show is choreographed by Ella with Rylee Bullington, a LagunaTots alumnus and senior at Laguna Beach High School. Rylee is featured in the high school’s current production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

LagunaTots returns colorful

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Stu News Archives Photo

Laugh your socks off at LagunaTots this month, featuring local talented youth addressing the issues that matter most to them

The talented cast of LagunaTots includes Katie Baker, Chase Benson, Tatum Brennan, Will Briggs, Mason Bruderer, Lula Buckle, Story Bullington, Quinn Butler, Elisa Camacho, Nicolas Camacho, Harlo Cozzens, Sarina Doshi-O’Neil, Chloe Flaherty, Anna Gabriel, Laird Garcia, Grace Gilchrist, Jonah Goldstein, Lila Goldstein, Kate Hennessy, Hadley Hunt, Piper Hunt, Hannah Kaiser, Lauren Kimball, Lydia Kimball, Marco Lapayese-Calderon, Jude Lifeset, Sienna Mason, Maris Morgan, Douglas Nottage, Chloe O’Kane, Karina Pitz, Nathan Ryan, Kate Storke, Allie Swellen, Lila Tacklind, and Leah Turner.

Opening night is on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m., with shows continuing on Saturday, March 16 and 23 at 2 p.m., Friday, March 17 at 6 p.m., and Sunday, March 17 and 24 at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for kids (ages 12 and under) and $25 for adults. All seats are reserved, and this show always sells out. So plan ahead and get your tickets now at www.nosquare.org

No Square Theatre is generously supported by The Lodging Establishments and the City of Laguna Beach, The City of Laguna Beach, Yvonne & John Browning, Dorene and Lee Butler Family Foundation, Patrick Quilter, FOA Foundation, Laguna Beach Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. It is a small venue and all seats are good.

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


Laguna Beach Live! presents benefit concert on April 17 featuring m-pact

Laguna Beach Live! presents a special benefit concert on April 17 at [seven-degrees] featuring m-pact, a 6-man a cappella group hailed as “one of the best pop jazz vocal groups in the world.” The concert supports the nonprofit’s youth program Live! Music & Kids with the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. 

The a cappella group m-pact is known for their voices making music to the smooth sounds of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band.

Emerging from an age of auto-tune and overproduction, Los Angeles-based ensemble m-pact has cultivated a new generation of ears hungry for the fresh, raw power of nature’s “first instrument” – the human voice. From the beginning, the “pact” of these well-studied masters has been to stay true to music, regardless of style or genre. 

Laguna Beach band

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Submitted photo

The a cappella powerhouse m-pact

Their sophisticated sound and accessible appeal have garnered vast accolades, from Vocal Group of the Year (LA Music Awards), an Indie nomination (Independent Grammy), and Artist of the Year (Seattle Music Awards), to Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. 

Touring renowned fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents, m-pact has performed with pop superstars and their signature sound has been used in both TV themes and animated Disney feature films, as well as on jazz and pop radio worldwide.

The Benefit Concert is from 6 - 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 with food and drinks available for purchase. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $100 for VIP, which includes VIP seating, a signed CD, and “Meet and Greet with the Artists.”

Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out. For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.orgor call (949) 715-9713.

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


Fashion Show at FOA: Here are the winners chosen by the esteemed panel of judges

fashion show dog

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Photo courtesy FOA

“Most Exciting Ensemble with Wow Factor” was awarded to mixed media artist Carolyn Johnson, who was accompanied down the runway by her dog Dexter

fashion show light and dark

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Photo courtesy FOA

Painter Kirsten Whalen won “Most Innovative Use of Materials” for her light versus dark ensemble featuring window screens, old light bulbs, wires, cords, sockets, plugs and other fittings that were discarded by local electricians

fashion show bags

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Photo courtesy FOA

Artist Kate Cohen won “Most Creative Concept” with her dress crafted from over sixty designer shopping bags

fashion show lacroix

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Photo courtesy FOA

Adam Neeley received the award “Most Glamorous & Elegant ‘Red Carpet’ Worthy Creation” for his stylish outfit made from more than three hundred cans of La Croix water. Adam’s runway look also took home the highly coveted “People’s Choice Award”


Jason Feddy performs in The Skivvies tonight at Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Playhouse brings back last year’s sensation in an all-new outrageous holiday event, The Skivvies: I Touch My Elf, with one more performance tonight, Tuesday, Dec 11 at 7:30 p.m. This year’s guests include: Jason Feddy, Laguna’s resident rock star; Nick Adams from the Falsettos national tour; Nicole Parker from the Wicked national tour; Seamus Dever from Castle; and Kirsten Vangsnes who plays Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds. 

Laguna Playhouse Jason

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Courtesy of Jasonfeddy.com

Laguna’s own rock star Jason Feddy will be a guest star in the show

Broadway’s Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley return to the Laguna Playhouse for two nights of the most outrageous holiday show of the season. This undie-rock, comedy pop, award-winning duo perform stripped down, mashed up versions of holiday favorites and more. Expect to see ukulele, electric cello, and an array of zany instruments as well as many special guest artists performing along with, and some even in their own “Skivvies.” 

Tickets range from $51 - $56 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. Prices are subject to change.     

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Beach Live! adds three acclaimed jazz vocalists to Jazz Wednesdays series at [seven-degrees]

Laguna Beach Live! is pleased to announce confirmation of three acclaimed jazz vocalists who have joined the lineup for the 2019 Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series. Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. and doors open at 5 for a full bar and buffet dinner menu for purchase. 

Laguna Beach outside

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Jive with Laguna Beach Live! and friends at [seven-degrees] for Jazz Wednesdays

Melissa Morgan will appear on February 13 with the Rickey Woodard Quartet. Melissa was named by JazzTimes as “audacious and decidedly salty,” and London Evening Standard says, “While you will always hear definitive influences from Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington and Billie Holliday, Melissa isn’t copying anybody…and has a definitive sound all her own.”

Laguna Beach Melissa

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Melissa Morgan will be on vocals at the next Jazz Wednesdays concert on Feb 13

Rickey Woodard was born in Nashville, playing Blues and R’n’B around the Nashville area. After leaving Nashville, Rickey went to California and joined the Ray Charles Band where he was a member for eight years before deciding to pursue a solo career and recording both as a leader and as a sideman for Concord Records. Currently he performs live, frequently leading his own quartet or quintet as well as performing and recording with The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Frank Capp Juggernaut Band.

Laguna Beach Ricky

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The Rickey Woodard Quartet rocking a previous concert at [seven-degrees]

On February 27, Adryon De Leon will be accompanying Will Brahm. “Adryon de León’s voice sizzles with soul, and a fair amount of attitude, yet still clings to a sweeter timbre beneath all that vocal bravado. When she bares her soul for a song, you can be sure that the world of funk music is very much alive, and maybe even itching for a fight,” states Carl Pettit, Ozy

Joining the Laguna Beach Live! All Stars on March 27 is the talented and versatile Lucy Woodward. In addition to her solo career, Lucy toured with Pink Martini and Rod Stewart and has also sung on albums by Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Chaka Khan, Snarky Puppy, Barbra Streisand, Nikka Costa, Carole King, Joe Cocker, Michael Bolton, Gavin DeGraw, and Randy Jackson.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned. Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out. 

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

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


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens this weekend

Laguna Beach High School Drama and Park Avenue Players return to the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The musical is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers, and the coat of many colors. The show will continue on March 16, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m., and on March 17 and 24 at 2:30 p.m.

The musical follows preferred son Joseph who, after being sold into slavery by his brothers, ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar’s wife. 

LBHS Drama school

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Join LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” opening this weekend

While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph’s solution to Egypt’s famine elevates him to Pharaoh’s right-hand man and reunites him with his family.

The company of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” includes more than 50 Laguna Beach High School student cast and crew members and 12 students from El Morro Elementary, Top of the World Elementary, and Thurston Middle School in the children’s choir. 

The musical is directed and choreographed by guest artist Paul Nygro. A veteran performer, Nygro has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in productions across the globe. His credits as a producer, director, choreographer, and actor span a range of mediums, including theatre, film, and television.

“Paul’s (Nygro) energy is infectious. He dives into projects with passion, commitment, and creativity,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director, Alexis Karol. “We are grateful that amidst his many professional commitments in Los Angeles he is willing to share his talent and skill with our Laguna Beach High School students,” she concluded. 

Tickets are on sale  at lbhs.booktix.com. Tickets are $12 for students, $17 for adults, and $22 for premium. 

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave.


LagunaTots returns to No Square Theatre – the kids take over the stage tonight

Fun for the whole family abounds as youngsters take the stage at No Square Theatre in LagunaTots 2019. Performances run from tonight, March 15, to March 24.

You think it’s hard being an adult? Kids nowadays have serious things to worry about: dress codes, vaccinations, phones, lice, puberty, phones, brace, hormones. And did we mention phones? This original musical parody spoof zeroes in on the issues that plague the younger set…with hilarious results. 

No Square’s Youth Theatre Director Ella Wyatt is the writer and director with additional lyrics by Rufino Cabang and some of the kids in the cast. Music direction is by Susan Thoren. The show is choreographed by Ella with Rylee Bullington, a LagunaTots alumnus and senior at Laguna Beach High School. Rylee is featured in the high school’s current production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

LagunaTots returns colorful

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Stu News Archives Photo

Laugh your socks off at LagunaTots this month, featuring local talented youth addressing the issues that matter most to them

The talented cast of LagunaTots includes Katie Baker, Chase Benson, Tatum Brennan, Will Briggs, Mason Bruderer, Lula Buckle, Story Bullington, Quinn Butler, Elisa Camacho, Nicolas Camacho, Harlo Cozzens, Sarina Doshi-O’Neil, Chloe Flaherty, Anna Gabriel, Laird Garcia, Grace Gilchrist, Jonah Goldstein, Lila Goldstein, Kate Hennessy, Hadley Hunt, Piper Hunt, Hannah Kaiser, Lauren Kimball, Lydia Kimball, Marco Lapayese-Calderon, Jude Lifeset, Sienna Mason, Maris Morgan, Douglas Nottage, Chloe O’Kane, Karina Pitz, Nathan Ryan, Kate Storke, Allie Swellen, Lila Tacklind, and Leah Turner.

Opening night is on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m., with shows continuing on Saturday, March 16 and 23 at 2 p.m., Friday, March 17 at 6 p.m., and Sunday, March 17 and 24 at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for kids (ages 12 and under) and $25 for adults. All seats are reserved, and this show always sells out. So plan ahead and get your tickets now at www.nosquare.org

No Square Theatre is generously supported by The Lodging Establishments and the City of Laguna Beach, The City of Laguna Beach, Yvonne & John Browning, Dorene and Lee Butler Family Foundation, Patrick Quilter, FOA Foundation, Laguna Beach Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. It is a small venue and all seats are good.

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


LagunaTots is a hilarious show on what the next generation faces…with a serious edge

By STACIA STABLER

It was my first show at No Square Theatre, and from the moment I got there, I felt the excitement all around. Once we entered the theatre, smiling faces greeted us from every corner.

The show kicked off with an exciting entrance and performance, “Main Event,” led by Jonah Goldstein. Once the kids came out with the level of talent and passion that they did, I knew it was going to be a show our whole family would remember. 

LagunaTots Tower

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Lula Buckle shines in “YouTube Star” 

Kids today have serious things to worry about: dress codes, vaccinations, phones, lice, social media…this original musical parody portrays these things they are facing with hilarious results. 

The highlight of the show for me was “Fortnite,” led by Chase Benson and Mason Bruderer, an amusing dance and song written to “Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart, replaced with lyrics on the youth’s obsession with Fortnite.

LagunaTots Fortnite

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 “Fortnite” was a crowd favorite

“Adopt this Feline,” a skit on Laguna’s cat café Catmosphere, had me in tears from laughter. We had actually just been to the café that morning so it made it all the more relatable.

“Better Man,” a take on the Me Too Movement, set to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” highlighted the show’s second act.

No Square’s Youth Theatre Director Ella Wyatt wrote and directed the show (what a talent!), with additional lyrics by Rufino Cabang and some of the kids in the cast. Music direction for the show is by Susan Thoren. The show is choreographed by Ella with Rylee Bullington, a LagunaTots alumnus and senior at Laguna Beach High School. Rylee is featured in the high school’s current production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

LagunaTots Better Man

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“Better Man” highlighted the second act

The talented cast of LagunaTots includes Katie Baker, Chase Benson, Tatum Brennan, Will Briggs, Mason Bruderer, Lula Buckle, Story Bullington, Quinn Butler, Elisa Camacho, Nicolas Camacho, Harlo Cozzens, Sarina Doshi-O’Neil, Chloe Flaherty, Anna Gabriel, Laird Garcia, Grace Gilchrist, Jonah Goldstein, Lila Goldstein, Kate Hennessy, Hadley Hunt, Piper Hunt, Hannah Kaiser, Lauren Kimball, Lydia Kimball, Marco Lapayese-Calderon, Jude Lifeset, Sienna Mason, Maris Morgan, Douglas Nottage, Chloe O’Kane, Karina Pitz, Nathan Ryan, Kate Storke, Allie Swellen, Lila Tacklind, and Leah Turner.

Shows will continue on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Go check it out and prepare to do some serious laughing. 

Tickets are $12 for kids (ages 12 and under) and $25 for adults. All seats are reserved, and this show always sells out. So plan ahead and get your tickets now at www.nosquare.org.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. It is a small venue and all seats are good.


Kiki Ebsen performed Joni Mitchell at Festival of Arts

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

The crowd was in a Joni state of mind on Tuesday. Festival of Arts set the stage for Kiki Ebsen as she performed from the Joni Mitchell songbook, and the show did not disappoint. 

I was wary, as I’m a huge Joni Mitchell fan, and feared that it would be a watered down version of the real thing. Happily, Kiki Ebsen was a delight for one and all. She asked the crowd who among us was a Joni Mitchell fan – and there were about 30 hands that shot up in the air. Turns out I’m not the only one who was raised on that soundtrack, rich with lyrical poetry. 

Kiki Ebsen

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Photo by Maggi

Kiki Ebsen and band performing the songs of Joni Mitchell

Kiki Ebsen is a singer-songwriter in her own right (and, by the way, the daughter of Buddy Ebsen), and her band was spot-on. Though the evening was devoted to Joni, Ebsen imparted her own style while she managed the high notes of Joni’s early songs and the jazzy riffs of her later works. The playlist included some of the best: A Case of You, Blonde in the Bleachers, Chelsea Morning, and Free Man in Paris, to name a few.

Ebsen engaged the audience with background stories of Joni’s life, as well as her own admiration and respect for the talented artist. 

I left with favorite songs playing in my head, and rushed home to fish my Joni Mitchell albums back out of storage.


Laguna Playhouse offers free tickets to Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose to underage patrons

Thanks to the generosity of the Suzanne and James Mellor Fund, Laguna Playhouse is offering patrons age 21 and under two free tickets to Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose on Wednesday, Dec 5 and Thursday, Dec 6 at 7 p.m. 

 Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard present Beauty and The Beast: A Christmas Rose, with performances from Wednesday, Dec 5 through December 30 at Laguna Playhouse.

The production is written by Kris Lythgoe, directed by Sheldon Epps, choreographed by Mandy Moore, with musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervisor Michael Orland. 

This modern version of the classic fairytale, Lythgoe Family Panto’s Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose brings all the magic of the traditional British family Holiday Panto to American audiences. In this interactive experience, the audience is encouraged to cheer for Belle, boo for Gus and sing along with popular songs such as the BeeGees’ “Staying Alive,” The Chainsmokers and Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This,” and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.” Directed by Tony-nominated Sheldon Epps, and choreographed by La La Land’s Mandy Moore, Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose is sure to delight children of all ages.

Laguna Playhouse Christmas Rose

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Patrons 21 and younger can receive two free tickets to “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose” on December 5 and 6

For information or tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com or call (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. Tickets for other patrons range from $41 - $76.

Laguna Playhouse is at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Top 5 reasons to give the gift of Pageant of the Masters this Valentine’s Day

The Pageant of the Masters presents the top 5 reasons to give the gift of “living pictures” this Valentine’s Day that will have you and your special someone feeling the summer love.

1. February 14 discounts: Save 20 percent on tickets to this summer’s production with promotional code VAL20 (excludes loge center seats). To take advantage of this offer, call (800) 487-3378 or visit www.PageantTickets.com. Offer begins January 17 and ends February 14. 

2. Date night done right: If you’re looking for a unique and romantic gift idea, look no further. Art aficionados, entertainment seekers, and music lovers alike will be swept away with the star-lit amphitheater of the Irvine Bowl. Elevating the romantic atmosphere, the Pageant of the Masters amazes couples nightly with a professional orchestra playing an original score to accompany the scenes on stage. 

Top 5 wine

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Diane and Angel Duarte enjoying the Pageant of the Masters

3. No last supper here: Let your taste buds fall in love with sips and tastes available on the Festival of Arts grounds, including the new on-property dining destination: Terra Laguna Beach. Focusing on delicious and healthy California cuisine, Terra Laguna Beach creates artfully crafted dishes at a beautiful sit-down restaurant that is sure to tempt everyone’s taste buds. Or bring your own picnic and dine on the beautiful festival green and enjoy live entertainment. 

4. Monet all day: Make a date night into an all-day rendezvous and arrive before the Pageant to enjoy the highly praised Festival of Arts Fine Arts Show. As one of the nation’s oldest juried fine art shows, the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts offers a breathtaking showcase for artists and art lovers to enjoy, mingle, and participate. Sweeten the moment and purchase art from your favorite artist to make a memory last a lifetime.

5. The Time Machine: Pay homage to the groundbreaking sci-fi work that inspired everything from Dr. Who to Back to the Future – this year’s theme will bring time travel to Laguna Beach. Cuddle up with your sweetheart as The Time Machine comes to life with the tableaux vivants and the musical accompaniments celebrating the world of H.G. Wells.

The 2019 Pageant of the Masters, The Time Machine, offers many reasons to spoil your loved ones with tickets to this summer’s showcase, July 7 - August 31, starting at just $15 per person. 

The 2019 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show will take place July 5 - August 31, with general admission tickets starting at $10 per person. A Pageant ticket is also a season pass ticket to the Festival of Arts so patrons can enjoy the art show all summer long. 

For more information and to purchase Pageant tickets, visit www.pageantticktes.com.


Live! at the Museum presents harpists Duo Gliss in Valentine’s Day concert

This Thursday, Feb 14 at 7 p.m., Live! at the Museum is proud to feature harpists Duo Gliss for a special Valentine’s Day concert. Live! at the Museum, a special collaboration between Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum, takes place the second Thursday of each month from 7 - 8 p.m. The concert is free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. 

Live at the harps

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Duo Gliss will be performing at LAM this Thursday on Valentine’s Day

Two professional harpists, Hee Jin Yoon and Ko Ni Choi, founded Duo Gliss. Both are very active as multi-faceted classical performers and teachers, having performed with numerous groups including the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. 

Duo Gliss focuses on expanding harp music and educating young musicians. In Fall 2016, they founded Los Angeles Youth Harp Ensemble (LYHE) where they coach and train young talented harpists in the Greater Los Angeles area. As a professional harp duo, Duo Gliss is working closely with composers of many genres to record, publish, and transcribe new pieces for the harp. 

Pre-reservations are available online at www.lagunartmuseum.org or by calling (949) 494-8971 x203. These seats are held until 6:50 pm. Additional seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

For more information about the series and other concerts, visit www.lagunaboneachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.


Jazz Wednesdays is sold out, tickets available for exciting spring concerts

Next week’s Jazz Wednesdays concert, the final one of the season, is officially sold out, however Laguna Beach Live! invites the community to join for two unique and entertaining concerts coming this April and May. The concerts benefit the award-winning Live! Music & Kids program and will be held at [seven-degrees].

The program gives students the opportunity to connect to the joy and creativity of music, critical to their academic, social, and emotional growth. 

Laguna Beach Live! presents outreach programs, at no charge, to Laguna Boys & Girls Club and Laguna public schools. 

Jazz Wednesdays M PACT

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M-PACT will take the stage on April 17

On April 17, M-PACT, hailed as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, will take the stage. Imagine the smooth soul of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band…all created by the human voice alone.

Jazz Wednesdays Blues

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Blues is a Woman plays on May 15

On May 15, Blues is a Woman takes the stage. This ensemble of six talented musicians blurs the boundaries between concert and theater, using storytelling and music to bring to life the colorful history of the bold and singular women who wrote and popularized the blues. The voices of these women are vibrant, challenging, inspirational, and dynamic. 

Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. A full bar and buffet menu is available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. when doors open for dinner and social hour. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. VIP tickets are $100 and include preferred seating, Meet & Greet with artists, and a signed CD. 

Reservations can be made at www.lagunabeachlive.org or by phone calling (800) 595-4849. 

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


First Thursdays Art Walk has many exciting artists, exhibits, and galleries to explore this Thursday

Compiled by SUZIE HARRISON

First Thursdays Art Walk celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach year round. Don’t miss out on experiencing the myriad exhibits, artists, and art mediums during Art Walk this Thursday, Oct 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. First Thursdays is free to the public with participation by more than 30 member galleries, including entertainment and special events.

Free trolley service for Art Walk runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Trolleys begin at the Laguna Art Museum (north) and Bluebird Canyon Road (south). The trolley route runs as far north as Viejo Street, up Laguna Canyon Road as far as Canyon Acres, and south to Bluebird Canyon Road. For more information, visit www.FirstThursdaysArtWalk.com.

Metered parking is available along Coast Hwy and a few blocks inland on either side of the street and is free after 7 p.m. 

Laguna Art Museum: Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935

The exhibition celebrating the centennial of the LBAA is part of a year-long celebration marking the museum’s history and legacy. It includes over one hundred paintings by artists of the pioneering organization whose inception in 1918 helped determine the fortunes of the Laguna Beach art colony and its artists. Docents are available for tours. Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive. For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Quorum Gallery: Meet Quorum Gallery’s featured artist of the month, 

Teri Starkweather

Starkweather became known for her still life paintings, which are bathed in sunlight, in the 1990s. Her realistic watercolors have been included in many watercolor books. One of her works graced the cover of “Textures and Surfaces,” published by North Light Publishers in 2000. Inside of “Painting the Many Moods of Light,” published by North Light in 1999, Starkweather demonstrated her painting technique in a chapter called “Create sparkling window lit still lifes in watercolor.”

Art Walk Quorum Gallery

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Courtesy of First Thursdays Art Walk

Teri Starkweather is the featured artist at Quorum Art Gallery for October

 Starkweather won the American Artist cover competition with her painting “Sunflowers and Coffee,” which was on the cover of the June 2010 issue of American Artist Watercolor magazine.

 She has shown her artwork in various galleries throughout the United States as well as internationally in Italy and China. Quorum Art gallery is at 374 N Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 494-4422 or visit www.quorumgallery.com. 

LCAD to feature V01D, an exhibit showcasing the works of Joshua Davis

Davis is an award-winning designer, technologist, author, and artist in new media. Based in New York, Davis is acclaimed for his role in designing the visualization of IBM’s Watson, the intelligent computer program capable of answering questions on the television quiz show, Jeopardy. There will be a pre-Art Walk lecture from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Art Walk LCAD

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Courtesy of First Thursdays Art Walk

Enjoy V01D by LCAD grad Joshua Davis, an award-winning designer critical in designing the visualization of IBM’S Watson

Curated by the artist, LCAD Gallery is at 374 Ocean Ave. For more information, call (949) 376-6000 or visit www.lcad.edu/gallery/college-gallery/.

The Signature Gallery to feature a new collection by painter Michael Pabst

Pabst’s strong textured landscapes have a distinct style that grabs your attention at first glance. Simultaneously described as a contemporary realist and impressionistic colorist, his paintings reflect both his engineering education as well as his artistic upbringing.

AW Signature galleruy Pabst

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Courtesy of First Thursdays Art Walk

Aspen Dusk by featured artist Michael Pabst at Signature Gallery

 “Studying structure and physics actually gave me a solid background for ‘building’ a painting, especially design and perspective. I have always been creative and love to build and make things. I enjoyed designing and building homes, but always continued painting. Painting brings all the things I love together,” Pabst said.

The Signature Gallery is at 220 Forest Ave. For more information, call (949) 376-4244 or visit www.thesignaturegallery.com.

Grand Opening Celebration of 20 Artist Studios at LagunaART.com

Don’t miss the Grand opening of 20 Artist Studios at LagunaART.com during Art Walk, from 6 to 9 p.m. 

Founded in 2004 as an exhibition website called LagunaART.com, representing over 200 national and international artists, four years later in 2008 the gallery created an iPhone APP with all of the Laguna Beach galleries, festivals, and artists rotated through the app. The APP is still at the top of the App Store for Laguna Beach art and is downloaded a half million times annually around the world.

20 Artist Studios Art Walk grand opening

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Photo courtesy of First Thursdays Art Walk

Don’t miss the grand opening of LagunaART.com’s 20 artist studios

In 2018 LagunaART.com opened its first physical brick and mortar location and contemporary art gallery with 20 artist studios adjoined, next door to the Laguna Art Museum on Gallery Row, and across from Urth Caffe and Las Brisas Restaurants, with 3,000 square feet of prime window display facing Pacific Coast Hwy and the Ocean with 3 - 5 million visitors annually passing by. 

LagunaArt.com is located next to the Laguna Art Museum on Gallery Row at 305 North Coast Hwy. For more information, call (714) 972-2787 or visit www.lagunaart.com.

To learn more about First Thursdays Art Walk and view a full listing of participating galleries, visit www.FirstThursdaysArtWalk.com.


Spring Art Show, Art in the Park grace the beauty of Crystal Cove with a weekend of creativity

The shimmering ocean and rolling hillsides of Crystal Cove State Park have long inspired artists to paint, write, photograph, compose, tell stories, dance, and sketch. Be it a watercolor, a dance, or a musical composition, artists from different genres continue to be inspired by the beauty of the park and the spectacular landscapes, breathtaking scenery, and abundant gifts from nature.

On Friday, March 29, the Spring Art Show Artists Reception takes place from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. This juried show features the work of 50 local artists along with live music, food and refreshments. Admission is $20 to the general public, $10 for Conservancy members. Tickets can be purchased at https://crystalcove.org/event/spring-art-show-3/

On Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., in the Crystal Cove Historic District, Crystal Cove State Park and Crystal Cove Conservancy will host a Spring Art Show and Art in the Park – a day filled with activities that celebrate the integration of art and nature through workshops, performances and activities. The Public Art Show continues on Sunday, March 31 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. One-half of the proceeds from the Art Show benefit Crystal Cove Conservancy.

Spring Art Show

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Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

Participants demonstrate their creativity at Art in the Park

The schedule of events for Art in the Park on Saturday, March 30 (more events will continue to be added) include:

Sea Glass Beach Walk from 9:30 - 10 a.m. Meet in the Education Commons. Come walk along the shoreline with Rick as he shares tips and tricks for finding sea glass and afterwards make your own one-of-a-kind creation. Free; register online.

Native American Blessing from 10 - 10:30 a.m. with Jacque Nunez in the Education Commons. Nunez is a descendent of Crystal Cove’s local tribe, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation.

Watercolor Painting from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on the Promenade with artist Pamme Turner of the Saddleback Emeritus Institute.

Sea Glass Wrapping from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Education Commons.

Spring Art Show from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Education Commons. (The Public Art Show continues on Sunday, March 31 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Bazaar from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Education Commons.

Native American Basket Weaving from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. with Jacque Nunez at the Beaches Cottage (Cottage #13). Materials fee is $5 to the public, free to Crystal Cove Conservancy members. Register online.

Squid Dissection and Ink Art from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. in Cottage #22. Come learn about the anatomy of a squid and use the squid’s ink sac and pen to create your own art piece.

Native American Storytelling from 12 - 1 p.m. with Jacque Nunez at the Beaches Cottage (Cottage #13).

Nature Poetry Workshop from 1 - 2 p.m. with writer Thea Gavin at Cottage #22. With the outdoors as inspiration and classroom, learn new ways of “giving voice” and connecting with nature through simple writing exercises that will combine methodical observation with wild creativity. Limited space available. Register online.

Native American Basket Weaving from 1 - 2 p.m. with Jacque Nunez at the Beaches Cottage (Cottage #13). Materials fee is $5 to the public; free to Crystal Cove Conservancy members. Register online for the basket-weaving session.

Acoustic Guitar from 2 - 3 p.m. with David Barba outside the Visitor’s Center.

On Monday, April 1, certain artists may be offered to display their work in the Park store’s permanent gallery.

For updated information and to register for events, visit www.crystalcove.com. If you are an artist and interested in entering the Art Show, visit www.onlinejuriedshiws.com for eligibility and guidelines or call 949.376.6200.


Don’t miss LAM’s latest must-see exhibits 

Laguna Art Museum proudly presents Titi, Nunu, and Klembolo: Helena Modjeska’s Fairy Tale Book, now through May 27. The great Polish actress Helena Modjeska (1840–1909), best known for her performances in the plays of Shakespeare, was a star of the American stage in the 1880s and ‘90s. In 1888, she and her husband built a country home, Arden, in what is now Modjeska Canyon in Orange County. Among her many other talents, Modjeska was a gifted storyteller and artist. During breaks in her acting schedule she spent time at Arden writing and illustrating a fairy tale for her grandson, Felix Modjeski, presenting the 147-page bound manuscript to him as a Christmas gift in 1896. 

LAM Fairy Tale

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Helena Modjeska’s Fairy Tale Book opened March 3 and runs through May 27

With handwritten parallel texts in English and Polish, and ink-and-watercolor illustrations that show Modjeska’s flair for both fantasy and natural observation, the book tells the story of a pair of brothers, Titi and Nunu, who live on Mars. They run away from home, accompanied by their six-legged blue dog, Klembolo, but after some scary adventures return to their family and friends for Christmas.

LAM Self Help Graphics

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Ricardo Gonsalves, Don Juan’s Got the Blues, 1988, silkscreen

Self-Help Graphics is an East Los Angeles printmaking workshop and arts center that emerged from the Chicano movement of the 1960s and is on exhibit through May 27. It was founded by Sister Karen Boccalero, who was inspired by the committed social and political commentary she saw in the silkscreen prints made by her fellow nun, the celebrated Sister Corita Kent. In 1982, Boccalero launched the Screenprint Atelier program, which provided Chicano and Latino artists of the Los Angeles region with studio facilities, materials, and the technical guidance of a master printer. The result was an extraordinary and exuberant flowering of the silkscreen print.

The selection of prints is from the large Self-Help Graphics collection purchased by the museum in 1992 with the help of Charlie Miller, René and Norma Molina, and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal Agency.

LAM new additions permanent collection

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Dan McCleary, Therapy, 2014, oil on canvas

Laguna Art Museum grows and strengthens its permanent collection largely through donations from collectors, artists, and foundations. Since the beginning of 2018 it has received some outstanding donations of works of art in recognition of the centenary of its founding organization, the Laguna Beach Art Association. 

On show in the museum for the first time, the Centennial Gifts include paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and original prints by acclaimed California artists of the past and the present. The exhibit also includes some promised gifts pledged to the collection during the past year, and two museum purchases. The featured artists include Lita Albuquerque, Tony DeLap, Lorser Feitelson, Joseph Goldyne, Emil Kosa, David Ligare, Dan McCleary, R. Kenton Nelson, Edgar Payne, Ruth Peabody, Agnes Pelton, Charles Rollo Peters, and David Simpson. 

The exhibition is a celebration of the museum’s growth as it moves beyond the centennial year and an expression of gratitude toward the donors who, through their gifts, have contributed so richly to Laguna Beach’s artistic legacy.

For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Live! at the Museum presents SAKURA cello quintet on Thursday

Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum are proud to present the talented cello quintet SAKURA on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m.

A unique and versatile cello quintet, hailed as “brilliant” and “superb” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, SAKURA is built on the artistry and virtuosity of its members: Michael Kaufman, Benjamin Lash, Gabriel Martins, Yoshika Masuda, and Peter Myers. 

Live at Sakura

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Enjoy a night of captivating music with SAKURA on Thursday

SAKURA explores great music of the past through dazzling arrangements that offer fresh perspectives on familiar notes, and continually expands the five-cello repertoire into the future by commissioning new works. In the tradition of the great chamber ensembles, the quintet distills its interpretations through time, reveling in the pure sonic pleasure of a unified and colorful sound.

Live! at the Museum is a partnership between Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Beach Live! and is generously sponsored by Compass.

Tickets are included with museum admission ($7 for adults and $5 for seniors or students), however advance reservations are recommended due to limited seating and can made here. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Arts supporters get an early call, coffee and snacks provided at tomorrow’s forum

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance (LBAA) will host a forum tomorrow morning, Saturday, Sept 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Laguna Playhouse. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts served on the terrace. Seating is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

 Former Mayor Jane Egly will moderate the forum, which will address arts and cultural issues in Laguna Beach.

“The forum is a great opportunity to get to know the candidates and learn where they stand on arts and cultural issues,” said LBAA Marketing Coordinator Deena Harros. 

 Candidates will be asked to respond to pre-selected questions, including the need for performance space, artist work live and affordable housing, parking needs in the Civic Art District and comments on public art. They will also be questioned on whether the City should require arts supporting elements in the design of artists’ affordable housing, exhibit space, performance space, and meeting space in any major new or remodeling construction in the Art District.

Questions were selected by the Forum Committee: LBAA President Rosemary Swimm, past President Wayne Baglin, Arts Commissioner Pat Kolllenda, Laguna College of Art and Design President Jonathan Burke, Laguna Dance Festival Executive Director Joy Deitberner, Laguna Playhouse Marketing Director Dee Dee Irwin and Harros.

No questions will be taken from the audience. 

Candidates will have the opportunity to give opening and closing statements, limited to one minute. If time allows, five questions will be posed, with a one-minute limit on responses.


LAM to feature acclaimed LA-based artist Lita Albuquerque on Thursday 

Laguna Art Museum will feature Lita Albuquerque, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist, often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, to discuss her work this Thursday, Nov 29, at 6 p.m.

Since the early 1970s, Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work, ranging from sculpture, poetry, painting, and multi-media performance to ambitious site-specific ephemeral projects in remote locations around the globe. 

Often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, she has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using the earth, color, the body, motion, and time to illuminate identity and its relation to the universal. 

In Person Lita Albuquerque

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From LAM website

Particle Horizon 2014 by Lita Albuquerque, Laguna Art Museum

She was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for her Stellar Axis: Antarctica project, which culminated in the first and largest ephemeral artwork created on that continent. In 2014 her performance piece on Main Beach, An Elongated Now, played a central part in Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature festival, complementing the installation Particle Horizon inside the museum.

Advance tickets are recommended for this event. Tickets are included with museum admission, $5 for students, $7 for general public, and free for ages 17 and under. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive. For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Selections from the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters at Laguna Beach City Hall

The Festival of Arts is pleased to announce a new art exhibit at Laguna Beach City Hall entitled “Selections from the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters” now through January 18, 2019. The hours for the exhibit are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed every other Friday. 

Selections from Cheryl

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Deputy City Clerk Cheryl Baldridge contemplates a piece on display at City Hall

In addition to pieces from the Festival of Arts Permanent Art Collection, the display also features historic ads, costumes, and behind-the-scenes photographs from the Pageant of the Masters archives. 

The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by ninety minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. 

For more information, call (949) 494-1145 or visit www.foapom.com

Laguna Beach City Hall is located at 505 Forest Ave.


Can you stand still for 90 seconds? 2019 Pageant of the Masters Casting Call this weekend

Do you enjoy art, theater, and music? Have you ever thought about posing on a stage? Do you enjoy being in the spotlight? And can you stand still for 90 seconds? If so, you could be a volunteer cast member in the 2019 Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. 

The Pageant of the Masters is looking for men, women, and children to volunteer for next summer’s show, The Time Machine. Individuals of all sizes and ages are needed to be cast members in the world’s most famous presentation of tableaux vivants.

The Casting Call will be held at the Irvine Bowl Park this weekend – today, Friday, Jan 4 from 7 - 9 p.m.; Saturday, Jan 5 from 7 - 9 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan 6 from 2 - 5 p.m.

Can you pageant

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Photo by Mitch Ridder

Pageant of the Masters volunteer cast members recreating Claude Monet’s “The Boat at Giverny”

The Casting Call is a fun experience for all involved. Prospective volunteers will be measured and photographed, enjoy refreshments, and meet the behind-the-scenes Pageant staff. No theater experience is necessary. The only requirement is the ability to stand still and have fun.

Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy comments, “It takes over 500 volunteers, both onstage and behind-the-scenes, to put on the Pageant. We wouldn’t have a show without our volunteers! They have so much fun backstage, volunteers return year after year to participate.”

Pageant volunteers are also needed for positions in the wardrobe, make-up, and headdress departments, as well as cast area coordinators and refreshment servers, among other positions.

Volunteering for the Pageant of the Masters is a great way to spend your summer and it is common to have several generations of the same family volunteering for different aspects of the show. Additionally, by volunteering for the Pageant, students can earn credit towards community service requirements.

Next summer’s performances of the Pageant of the Masters will run nightly starting at 8:30 p.m. from July 7 to August 31, 2019. 

For additional information, call (949) 494-3663 or visit www.PageantTickets.com.

The Festival of Arts is a nonprofit organization that produces the Festival of Arts and the Pageant of the Masters. Proceeds support the arts in Orange County.

Irvine Bowl Park is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Art Museum to reopen lower level galleries following renovations

On February 7, Laguna Art Museum will celebrate the reopening of its lower level galleries after a renovation that began in 2018. The lower level space, which was completed in 1934 as an addition to the 1929 building, will host exhibitions again starting March 3. 

With funding from the City of Laguna Beach through the Cultural Facilities Improvement Matching Grant Program, which provided funding to improve the museum’s HVAC systems last year, the museum undertook a major renovation of its lower level galleries. 

Laguna Art outside

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LAM will celebrate the reopening of its lower level galleries following major renovations on Feb 7

The Brief Gallery and the Segerstrom Family Gallery, spaces which host exhibitions and family programs, were closed in early 2018 to begin the project. The passageway between the two galleries was enlarged; the exhibition spaces were expanded by some 20 percent; and the historic floor, inscribed with the names of the donors to the project of finishing the lower level in 1934, was restored. 

“Most people would agree that the shows the museum has presented on its lower level recently have looked good in spite of the galleries rather than because of them,” said Malcolm Warner, Executive Director of Laguna Art Museum. “The present remodeling will give us fresh-looking, architecturally satisfying spaces that actually enhance the art. We can’t wait to unveil the new look down there.”

Architectural services have been provided pro bono by Anders Lasater Architects, and the construction was taken on by Al Oligino and Michael Laux of Oligino Construction Services Corp. The museum is grateful to the City of Laguna Beach for its support through the Cultural Facilities Improvement Matching Grant Program.

For more information, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Family Fun Watercolor Painting event on May 12

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s Family Fun Watercolor Painting event takes place this Saturday, May 12.

The fun-filled family watercolor painting workshop is for kids ages 6 - 12, as well as adults. Participants will have the opportunity to paint a special watercolor masterpiece as a Mother’s Day greeting card keepsake. 

This painting class offers the opportunity to work with professional LPAPA artists to create unique watercolor paintings. Parents who wish to have the opportunity to work with watercolors or paint alongside the young artists are also encouraged to register to paint.

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There are two May 12 sessions to choose from with Session I from 9 - 11 a.m. and Session 2 between 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. There are a maximum of 20 painters per session.

Each registered painter will receive a postcard and card frame, watercolor set and apron to take home. A cupcake reception will follow the painting session.

This event is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation for the Arts and LPAPA’s Plein Air Project Arts Education Program.

Cost for the class is $20 (including art materials). The class takes place at the LPAPA in Residence at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave.

For more information or to register, contact LPAPA’s executive director, Rosemary Swimm, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 376-3635.


Jazz Wednesdays kicks off Jan 30 at [seven-degrees] with Grammy winner Peter Erskine

Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series, presented by Laguna Beach Live!, promises to deliver some of the hottest jazz musicians in the region in an intimate cabaret setting at [seven-degrees]. 

The Winter Series kicks off on January 30 with Grammy-winning drummer Peter Erskine Trio, featuring Alan Pasqua on piano and Darek Oles on bass.

Erskine has played the drums since he was four and is known for his versatility and love of working in different musical contexts. Fifty albums have been released under his own name, or as co-leader, and he appears on 700 albums and film scores. 

Erskine recorded five albums with the band Weather Report and won his first Grammy Award with their album ‘8.30’. His second was for the album Some Skunk Funk with The Brecker Brothers. Erskine has 8 other Grammy nominations under his belt plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music.

Currently Erskine produces jazz recordings for his record label, Fuzzy Music, is an active author with several books to his credit, and is authoring a series of iOS play-along apps suitable for all instruments.

Jazz Wednesdays Peter Erskin

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Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series 2019 kicks off on Jan 30 with Grammy Award winner Peter Erskine and his Trio at [seven-degrees]

Jazz Wednesdays concerts are every two weeks, January 30 - March 27, from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors and dinner starting at 5 p.m. 

The full concert schedule includes:

January 30 – Grammy-winning drummer Peter Erskine Trio featuring Alan Pasqua on piano and Darek Oles on bass (Trio Jazz)

February 13 – World-renowned saxophonist Rickey Woodard Quartet feat. a very special guest vocalist (Vocal Jazz)

February 27 – Acclaimed Guitarist Will Brahm and the World Music All-Stars (Latin/World Jazz)

March 13 – Critically acclaimed bassist/vocalist Kristin Korb Trio (Classic Jazz)

March 27 – All-Star Tribute to Chet Baker and Peggy Lee feat. world-renowned trumpeter Bijon Watson, a very special guest vocalist, and the Laguna Beach Live! All-Stars (Iconic Jazz)

Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series 2019 is located at the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. Full bar and buffet dinner menus are available for purchase starting at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door; season tickets are $125. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders, and Laguna Beach Live! membership. Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.


Don’t miss No Square’s My Ridiculous Valentine this weekend

Don’t miss My Ridiculous Valentine at No Square Theatre, an irreverent look at love, this weekend – on Friday, Feb 8 and Saturday, Feb 9.

“If you’re tired of sappy-sweet, hearts-and-flowers Valentine tributes, this show is for you,” said Bree Burgess Rosen, No Square founder and artistic director.

A not-so-romantic concert of dysfunctional love and laughter, My Ridiculous Valentine is directed by Bree Burgess Rosen, with music direction by Roxanna Ward.

In classic No Square form, the talented cast of singers takes a humorous look at the many other sides of love. 

“Warning – you may be crying by the end, tears of laughter, not sentimentality,” Burgess Rosen said. “The sad, but often hilarious, reality is that not all affairs of the heart end with a walk into the sunset.”

Dont miss Bree Burgess Rosen

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

No Square’s “My Ridiculous Valentine,” directed by Bree Burgess Rosen, is a none-too-romantic concert of dysfunctional love and laughter

Audience members will recognize many cast members from their appearances in Lagunatics and other No Square productions. Fan favorites include Eric T. Anderson, Burgess Rosen, Rebecca Butkivich, Kelly Goldstein, Gary Greene, Rob Harryman, Pat Kollenda, Joe Lauderdale, Marc Marger, Kristen Matson, Claire Day McClung, Steve McIntosh, Roxanna Ward, and Ella Wyatt.

Although love can be a many-splendored thing, it also hurts, it’s a battlefield, it’s a crazy little thing, and – let’s face it – it can go terribly wrong.

“Laughter is great medicine, so enjoy some therapy with your sweetie, your gal pals, your bros, or come by yourself, darn it. Just don’t bring the kiddies,” Burgess Rosen said. “This naughty, bawdy show is for over-14, but not necessarily mature audiences.”

My Ridiculous Valentine will be performed on Friday, Feb 8 and Saturday, Feb 9, at 7:30 p.m. at No Square Theatre, located in Historic Legion Hall at 384 Legion St, two blocks south of Laguna Beach High School, which offers ample free parking. 

Tickets are $25. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance at www.nosquare.org.


Pageant of the Masters offers St. Patrick’s Day special

Feel the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day with a limited time offer to the Pageant of the Masters 2019 production of The Time Machine, running July 7 – August 31, 2019. 

Secure your seats today and experience the famous works of art come to life with $17 tickets available to the Director’s Tier Side Seating with promo code LUCKY19, valid now through March 17. 

“The Pageant of the Masters is a jewel right next to the ocean, and we are excited to offer patrons a chance to save some green with early ticket purchases in honor of St. Patrick’s Day,” said Festival of Arts Marketing and Public Relations Director Sharbie Higuchi. 

Pageant of the rainbow

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Pageant of the Masters will run July 7 – August 31

“It’s a fun night for the entire family. How many things can you do in the summer with your kids, where you’re having a good time and they’re having a good time? A show like this is unprecedented in more ways than one!”

Said to be unlike any Pageant seen before by Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy, the 2019 Pageant of the Masters, The Time Machine, will take audiences around the globe and into the past, present, and future in search of great art and amazing stories. 

Highlighting the ways in which art reveals and reflects the world in which it was created, The Time Machine will be a ticket to thrills, laughter, beautiful music, and extraordinary living art under the stars.

The $17 St. Patrick’s Day ticket offer is available for Director’s Tier Side Seating, and applies to Sunday through Friday evening performances only. A Pageant ticket is also a season pass to the 2019 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, which will take place July 5 – August 31, 2019. 

Purchase tickets online at www.pageantickets.com or call (800) 487-3378.


Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s “15th Annual Best of Plein Air” announces winners

LPAPA at Forest & Ocean Gallery hosted the opening reception for the “15th Annual Best of Plein Air” juried art show on Saturday, March 16. Guests sipped wine and enjoyed nibbling on a beautiful array of artisan cheeses, fruits, and sweets as they anxiously awaited the announcement of the six award-winning artists.

LPAPA’s Best of Plein Air is a special juried exhibition of original works of art created by Signature and Artist Members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA). 286 entries were received for this prestigious show with jurors Daniel Marshall (Signature Member of LPAPA), Rosemary Swimm (LPAPA Executive Director), and Ludo Leideritz (Forest & Ocean Gallery Owner) choosing over 60 original framed paintings created by LPAPA Signature and Artist Members for the show’s coveted spots.

Laguna Plein lighthouse

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1st Place was awarded to LPAPA Artist Member Keiko Tanabe for “Hook Lighthouse, Ireland”

In addition to the usual awards, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention, a new Peoples’ Choice award was introduced through a LPAPA Facebook Social Medium Campaign where individuals were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite painting.

All paintings are on exhibit at LPAPA In Residence located at the Forest & Ocean Gallery in Laguna Beach until March 24 or viewed online through LPAPA’s Best of Plein Air expanded online gallery at www.DailyBrushwork.com.

Laguna Plein cove

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2nd Place was awarded to LPAPA Signature Member Anthony Salvo for  “Crystal Cove Shadow”

Laguna Plein glow

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3rd Place was awarded to LPAPA Signature Member Michael Obermeyer for “After Glow”

Laguna Plein towers

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Honorable Mention Award given to LPAPA Artist Member Bob Upton for “Waldorf Towers”

Laguna Plein Pasadena

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Peoples’ Choice Award given to LPAPA Signature Member Durree Waseem for “A Warm Day in Pasadena”

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

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

For show details, visit www.lpapa.org

LPAPA in Residence is at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave. Hours are Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays. 


Join Forest & Ocean Gallery for reception this Saturday featuring Master Photographer Ning Dhou 

This Saturday, March 30 from 5 - 8 p.m., Forest & Ocean Gallery invites the community to a reception featuring Master Photographer Ning Dhou.

Born in Nanjing, China in 1963, Ning Zhou developed a passion for photography as a young boy. Out of necessity, he learned how to economize on film by pre-visualizing his photographs, a skill he honed to an extraordinary degree.

Join Forest water

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Courtesy of Ningzhougallery.com

Music of Water: Red Venice

Even today, despite the advent of digital photography and with more than 40 years’ experience, this unique ability is the touchstone of his distinct style. He waits patiently until every variable, setting, and condition are accounted for and assimilated in his mind so that he can see them like a camera. Then and only then does he press the shutter.

Ning Zhou’s art opens our eyes to the beauty around us while focusing our minds inward.

For more information, visit www.forestoceangallery.com

Forest & Ocean Gallery is located at 480 Ocean Ave.


Gallery Q calls for artists for new exhibition, “Harmony”

The Susi Q Center’s Gallery Q is holding a call for artists for their new exhibition, “Harmony.” Art will accepted on Thursday, May 2 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., and from 5 - 7 p.m. Exhibition dates are May 13 through June 28. The Artists’ reception will be held on Friday, May 24 from 5 - 6:30 p.m. 

Orange County artists are invited to submit artwork that explores our society’s diverse perspectives and inspires us to work together to create a better world – “Harmony.”

All media will be accepted for this juried exhibition including collage, paintings, drawings, mixed media, photographs, jewelry, sculptures, textiles, mosaics, relief, or ceramics. 

Gallery Q bird

Art at former exhibit at Gallery Q – “Single Story” by LCAD President Jonathan Burke

Gallery Q celebrates a creative community and presents up to six shows per year at the Susi Q Center. Many works are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Laguna Beach Seniors. Gallery Q is always looking for arts-minded volunteers to help with their opening night receptions. 

For more information, visit www.thesusiq.org/gallery-q or call (949) 715-8106.

To apply, visit the Susi Q Center’s front desk or download an application here.


No Square Theatre promises a royal time at The Disney Princess Concert & Tea Party June 29 - July 1

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

No Square Belle

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Charlee Rubino (sophomore at OCSA) as Belle

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

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

No Square Elsa

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

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

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

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


Laguna Playhouse kicks off the holidays with Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose

Laguna Playhouse is excited to announce a special introduction to the holidays with Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose, opening on December 5. Written by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Sheldon Epps, with choreography by Mandy Moore, musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervision by Michael Orland, Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose will run through December 30. 

Laguna Playhouse Ashley

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Ashley Argota plays Belle in Beauty and the Beast

“Families, our audiences and our subscribers are in for a romantically glorious (and hilarious) holiday experience as we present our fourth Panto spectacle, the truly magical Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose,” says Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard. 

This modern version of the classic fairytale, Lythgoe Family Panto’s Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose brings all the magic of the traditional British family Holiday Panto to American audiences. In this interactive experience, the audience is encouraged to cheer for Belle, boo for Gus and sing along with popular songs such as the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive,” The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This,” and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.” 

Laguna Playhouse Andrew

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Andrew Barnicle plays Belle’s father

As part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to develop theatre for young audiences, Lythgoe Family Panto together with Laguna Playhouse will bring the magic of Panto to hundreds of underserved children who attend school in Orange County. Lythgoe Family Panto is grateful to their partners and friends at Golden State Foods for generously providing school buses for the student matinees.

Tickets range from $41 - $76. To purchase tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com or call (949) 497-2787. 

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Beach Music Festival returns Feb 8 - 10

The Laguna Beach Music Festival returns on February 8 - 10 at the Laguna Playhouse. Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang serves as the 2019 Festival Director in her exploration of “Art Inspires Art,” which encompasses multiple disciplines – from live music to dance to visual art – all converging on one stage. 

Blessed with “poetic and sensitive pianism” (Washington Post) and a “wondrous sense of color” (San Francisco Classical Voice), pianist Joyce Yang captivates audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism, and interpretive sensitivity. 

Laguna Beach piano

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Courtesy of KT Kim for pianistjoyceyang.com

Joyce Yang is the 2019 Laguna Beach Music Festival Director

A Van Cliburn International Piano Competition silver medalist and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Yang showcases her colorful musical personality in solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians.

Opening night is February 8 and features Joyce Yang and cellist Efe Baltacigil in a program of dance-inspired musical works. The second half features Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in “Dream Play,” a work by acclaimed choreographer Fernando Melo. 

On February 9, Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich and Yang showcase dance inspired pieces from various cultures in a duo recital built around André Previn’s “Tango, Song, and Dance.”

The Festival culminates on February 10 in a passionate musical exploration of romance-themed masterworks. In this pre-Valentine’s Day concert, special guests join Yang.

The 2019 Festival Artist Sponsor is Michelle Rohé. Festival Underwriters are Hung Fan and Michael Feldman, Joan Halvajian, Judith and Howard Jelinek, Lauren and Richard Packard. 

Concert Sponsors include Betsy and Gary Jenkins, M.D., Laguna Dance Festival, and Michael Ray.

For more information and tickets, visit www.philharmonicsociety.org.


Laguna Beach Live! presents Kristin Korb Trio tomorrow at Jazz Wednesdays at [seven-degrees]

Tomorrow night (March 13), Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series 2019 presented by Laguna Beach Live! will feature the critically acclaimed bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb, with Andy Langham on piano and Duncan Moore on drums, at [seven-degrees].

There are few bassists who can sing and there are even fewer who can do it well. Kristin Korb is one of those artists who make you forget that she is playing the bass when you hear her crystalline voice. Inspired by the days when music was romantic and made you want to dance, Kristin and her trio embody that spirit and carry their audiences along for the ride.

Laguna Beach trees

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Courtesy of Kristinkorb.com

Critically acclaimed bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb performs tomorrow night at Jazz Wednesdays presented by Laguna Beach Live!

Kristen has taught at the University of Southern California where she was coordinator of vocal jazz studies, Azuza Pacific University, Grossmont Community College, and was Director of Jazz Studies at Central Washington University.

She continues to be involved in educational outreach and teaches at universities, jazz camps, and festivals with young students. She tours across the world and has performed with jazz artists such as Llew Matthews, Kim Richmond, Pete Christlieb, Jeff Hamilton, Alex Riel, and Jan Lundgren.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Seating is assigned. Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out.

The concert is from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 when a full bar and buffet dinner menu are available for purchase. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713. 

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


Laguna Beach Live! presents benefit concert featuring a cappella group m-pact on Wednesday

Laguna Beach Live! presents a special benefit concert on Wednesday, April 17 at [seven-degrees], featuring m-pact, a 6-man a cappella group hailed as “one of the best pop jazz vocal groups in the world.” 

The concert benefits the nonprofit’s award-winning Live! Music & Kids education programs, which bring professional musicians to the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach and the Laguna schools for performances and classes.

The a cappella group m-pact is known for using their voices to make music to the smooth sounds of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band.      

Laguna Beach mpact

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A cappella powerhouse m-pact will wow audiences in Laguna on Wednesday, April 17

Their sophisticated sound and accessible appeal have garnered vast accolades, from Vocal Group of the Year (LA Music Awards), an Indie nomination (Independent Grammy), and Artist of the Year (Seattle Music Awards), to Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. 

Touring renowned fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents, m-pact has performed with pop superstars and their signature sound has been used in both TV themes and animated Disney feature films, as well as on jazz and pop radio worldwide.

To hear a sneak peek of the group performing “Come Together” by the Beatles, click here.

The benefit concert is from 6 - 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 with food and drinks available for purchase. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $100 for VIP, which includes VIP seating, a signed CD, and “Meet and Greet with the Artists.”

Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out. For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.orgor call (949) 715-9713.

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


Art stars shine at awards gala – 13 years of “Louies”

On Sunday, April 7, in true academy-award style, 220 community and cultural leaders came together to celebrate the 13th annual Art Star Awards. The event was sponsored by [seven-degrees] and kicked off with a red carpet reception, followed by champagne and hors d’oeuvres outside on the terrace, preceding dinner and the awards ceremony.

Rosemary Swimm, chair of Laguna Beach Arts Alliance, welcomed the guests and spoke about the importance of Laguna Beach Arts Alliance (LBAA) and how it has strengthened the arts in Laguna Beach.

Art Stars shine group

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2019 Art Star Award winners with Louis Longi

Marcia Gay Harden, Honored Guest Speaker, spoke about the importance of art. “Now, more than ever, it’s important to support and understand the importance of art for our children, for our souls, and for our humanity. It is absolutely important that we encourage and increase art in the lives of our children if we are to allow them to be true to themselves as they navigate an increasingly technical world, and a world that may be swinging the pendulum toward restriction and retribution rather than diversity and acceptance.” 

She said she fell in love with acting as a teenager while her father, a navy officer, was stationed in Greece. “I fell hard in love with the theatre. Imagine sitting on the ancient stone rocks of the Herod Atticus theatre, dwarfed below the towering Parthenon. Imagine seeing Medea in flowing red framed between the arches, as night descended upon the Acropolis. I fell in love with the over the top emotion, as the actors cried to the Gods in anguish and joy,” said Harden.

On playing Lee Krasner in the film Pollock for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, she said, “Lee Krasner was of course a painter. I had the ridiculous notion that by virtue of playing her, I would discover that I too was a great painter! During the rehearsal process, I studied art, I went on tours with the curator at the Museum of Modern Art where he would explain why a red dot on a while piece of paper was actually art. I secretly thought when I looked at a Pollock that I could do that too!

 “But when I went to pick up the paintbrush and had my palette in front of me, I had no need to pick up Prussian blue over forest green, I had no need for cadmium yellow, and I didn’t know the difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, or eggshell. I was not a painter. Color and line didn’t speak to me, drawing was not my gift. I was definitely disappointed, and explained it away with the fact that I was playing Lee Krasner at a time in her life when she was stagnant as a painter, but in truth, I’ve never really been a painter, I’m an actor…my medium is people!

Art Stars shine Marcia

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Marcia Gay Harden, Honored Guest Speaker 

“The night I won the Oscar, I will never forget my Dad standing up in the Audience crying ‘Bravo, Bravo,’ with his arms over his head and my mother trying to pull him down by the shirttails. That was a glorious night for me, for the same reasons that tonight is so important to you here in Laguna. It is a moment when artist recognizes other artists…a nod from our peers of a job well done.

“It is art that leads us to re-engage with ourselves, with our family, and with our community. Art heals. I believe it is a kind of worship – a worship of what being human is all about.”

The [seven-degrees] of inspiration grant was awarded to extile artist, author, instructor, and curator Allyson Allen. Allyson uses traditional materials to create unique, dimensional textile art, quilts, dolls, and handmade journals. The characteristics of her unique, original story quilts are considered information art. Her award-winning quilts combine art, craft, research, original design, history, and culture in traditional and contemporary pieces exemplifying a cross-disciplinary approach to quilt making. Next year Allyson will present her mixed media exhibit of art quilts and hand-made journals.

The 2019 Art Star winners were announced:

--Best Arts Program: Laguna Art Museum 100th year Celebration

--Lifetime Achievement: Scott Moore

--Individual Arts Patron of the Year: Riggie Horvath

--Corporate Arts Patron of the Year: The Moulton Company

--Outstanding Arts Collaboration: Festival of Mosaics

--Arts Leadership: Toni Kellenberg

--Artist of the Year: Jason Feddy

Swimm summed up the evening’s sentiment: “For over a decade of recognizing Laguna’s finest in the arts, this year’s event superceded all expectations as we awarded 8 Louies to our towns finest including the inaugural award for volunteerism. LBAA takes great pride in continuing to recognize excellence in our community”.

The Best Arts Program was awarded to Laguna Art Museum for their 100th Anniversary Celebration. In 2018, Laguna Art Museum celebrated the incredible milestone of its centennial with a yearlong schedule of commemorative events that were not only historically informative, but also engaged the community. Some of these included a Centennial Bash, Ball, and Birthday Party, the Film Premiere: Laguna Art Museum at 100, a California Cool Art Auction, and a parade of 1,000 electric umbrellas lighting up Elizabeth Turk’s Shoreline Project.

All Stars shine Scott

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Lifetime Achievement Award winner Scott Moore 

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Scott Moore. Scott has been a Festival of Arts exhibitor for 39 years and a Sawdust Art Festival exhibitor for 30 years. Scott and his wife Carol live in Laguna, where Scott is also the President of the Festival of Arts Foundation, which awards grants to arts related nonprofit organizations in and around Laguna Beach, and he serves as Vice President on the Festival of Arts board of directors. In 2002, Scott was President of the Festival of Arts board of directors and under his steady hand of leadership helped keep the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.

The Corporate Arts Patron of the Year was awarded to The Moulton Company. 

In 2018, The Moulton Company made two extraordinary gifts to Laguna Beach organizations supported by Nellie Gail Moulton. Laguna College of Art + Design received the Moulton grant designed to benefit the student experience and Laguna Playhouse received the Moulton grant to help renovate the theatre. Chief Executive Officer of The Moulton Company and great-grandson of Nellie Gail Moulton, Jared Mathis, currently serves on the Board of Trustees for both organizations, and, along with the entire Moulton Family, has been active supporters of Laguna Beach.

Individual Arts Patron of the Year was awarded to Riggie Horvath. Horvath (along with her late husband Mike) had a vision of creating a quiet, affordable space for a community of artists to create within the City of Laguna Beach and preserve and enhance the reputation of Laguna Beach as a vibrant artist colony. She continues to foster a community of artists in her studio complex by creating a safe and supportive work environment. Riggie’s generosity of spirit and her joy taken in the creative process uplifts all artists within the community. Her intuitive enjoyment of art has found a real place. She provides to artists a safe haven of refuge, nurturing the creation of art.

The Outstanding Arts Collaboration was awarded to the Festival of Mosaics. Festival of Mosaics was an arts program commissioned by the Neighborhood Congregational Church (NCC) to create a permanent mural measuring 120 feet long on a wall fronting the church on Glenneyre at St. Ann’s Drive. LOCA Arts Education collaborated with NCC in running public workshops that included personal tile glazing, tile cracking, and color picking, puzzle making, and on-site installation of the wall. Mike Tauber conceived the Festival of Mosaics, in which 700 people participated in the making of this beautiful artwork. Mike’s artistic vision, resulting in a beautiful abstract design, was inspired by an aerial view of Laguna Beach.

All Stars shine Toni

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Arts Leadership Award winner Toni Kellenberg 

The Arts Leadership Award was given to Toni Kellenberg. Toni has been a volunteer with the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association for more than a decade and continues to be a driving force in LPAPA’s sustainability and growth. For the past six years, she has served on the Board of Directors as the Social Media Director, and as LPAPA’s President for the last four years. Under Toni’s leadership and guidance, LPAPA has more than tripled its membership, increased its mentoring and education programs, added events, and expanded its outreach to benefit the artists and community. Toni has passionately committed her time and energy to helping LPAPA connect artists and art lovers to LPAPA’s mission of preserving Laguna’s landscape painting heritage that began more than 100 years ago, while promoting the visibility and continuation of the plein air painting tradition.

The Artist of the Year Award was given to Jason Feddy. Jason is a singer-songwriter, radio host, producer, performer, and event curator – one might say a champion of all things musical in town. Before coming to the US, almost 20 years ago, Jason toured with many of the greatest of his peers including Neil Young, Tears For Fears, and The Cranberries. He’s played at every major venue in Britain, including three nights at The Royal Albert Hall! Jason has performed at all of Laguna’s performance spots and has donated his time and talent to help many of the town’s nonprofit organizations. His notable projects include Shakespeare’s Fool, The Beatroots, his Joe Cocker Tribute Band, and numerous albums and original music, featured in films and TV. Jason has donated his time and talent teaching after-school programs at our elementary schools as well as the Boys & Girls Club.

All Stars shine Sandy

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Volunteer of the Year Sande St. John

The Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Sande St. John. Sande has earned a well-deserved reputation for her extraordinary volunteerism across Laguna Beach. She is the founding director of No Square Theatre, where, for the past 25 years, she has been relied upon to shoulder many critical organizational tasks. Sande has also served as an Event Chair for Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Beach Community Band, where she is also an honorary member, and has even conducted for them. She has served as a docent for Sawdust, been an usher for Laguna Playhouse, and to date still remains dedicated to many of Laguna Beach’s arts and civic organizations. In fact, her dedication to this community and her volunteerism has earned her a spot on the 2018 OC Register’s list as one of the Top 100 Influencers in Orange County.

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance was established in 2002 as the result of an exciting partnership among more than 20 Laguna Beach organizations. The mission is to serve as an advocate for the arts, promote collaboration and networking among the arts organizations of Laguna Beach, and to serve as a united voice for the arts in the city. 

For more information, visit www.lagunabeacharts.org.


Red Hot Art-To-Go: The sell-out auction will be August 26 at Festival of Arts

Art collectors who love red will enjoy the 2018 Art-To-Go fundraising sale at Festival of Arts. More than 100 exhibitors donated originals under the theme “Red Hot.” Works are available for purchase daily, now through August 26 while supplies last.

 A sell-out auction will take place on Sunday, August 26, from 6 - 8 p.m. 

“Bids open at 1/3 retail value, so it’s a great chance to start a collection from these prestigious artists,” said Curator Mike Tauber.

Red Hot Art

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Photo by Mike Tauber

Get ready – it’ll be a bidding war at Red Hot’s silent auction

Offerings include jewelry by Lance Heck and Linda Potichke, paintings by Susan Cox, Sue Thompson, David Milton, and Bruce Vanderwilt, plus drawings, photos, and mixed media.

 Proceeds from the Art-To-Go sales will benefit The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts, providing hardship and disaster relief grants for artists in need. Additionally, buyers qualify for a drawing to win a two-night stay at The Tides Inn.

View the online gallery at www.TheArtistsFund-foa.org or call (949) 612-1949 for more information.s

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


Laguna Beach Live announces entertaining spring concert lineup to benefit kids

Laguna Beach Live! is pleased to present two unique and entertaining concerts coming this April and May to [seven-degrees]. The concerts benefit the award-winning Live! Music & Kids program. 

The program gives students the opportunity to connect to the joy and creativity of music, critical to their academic, social, and emotional growth. 

Laguna Beach Live! presents outreach programs, at no charge, to Laguna Boys & Girls Club and Laguna public schools. 

Laguna Beach guys

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M-PACT will take the stage on April 17

On April 17, M-PACT, hailed as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, will take the stage. Imagine the smooth soul of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band…all created by the human voice alone.

Laguna Beach girls

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Blues is a Woman plays on May 15

On May 15, Blues is a Woman takes the stage. This ensemble of six talented musicians blurs the boundaries between concert and theater, using storytelling and music to bring to life the colorful history of the bold and singular women who wrote and popularized the blues. The voices of these women are vibrant, challenging, inspirational, and dynamic. 

Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. A full bar and buffet menu is available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. when doors open for dinner and social hour. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. VIP tickets are $100 and include preferred seating, Meet & Greet with artists, and a signed CD. 

Reservations can be made at www.lagunabeachlive.org or by phone calling (800) 595-4849. 

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


LCAD MFA opens two exhibitions at new LCAD Gallery 805 space and in Santa Ana

LCAD MFA is opening three related exhibitions in Laguna Beach and Santa Ana, focusing on new works by recent graduates of LCAD’s MFA program in painting.

Called Regarding Reality I and II, two exhibitions will be on show at Q Art Salon, 205 N Sycamore St, Santa Ana.

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LCAD exhibition Regarding Reality 1

Regarding Reality I is set to take place from June 3 - 14, with a reception following on June 2 from 6 - 9 p.m. 

Regarding Reality II will take place from June 17 - 30, with a reception following on June 16 from 6 - 9 p.m. 

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LCAD New Wave exhibition

Also on the calendar for June is The Next Wave: New Masters of Fine Art, taking place from June 7 - 26, with an opening reception on June 7 from 6 - 9 p.m. at the LCAD Gallery 805 space at 805 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information on these upcoming events, contact Mary Castillo at (949) 933-6279. 


Laguna Beach Music Festival captivates audiences in opening show, concerts continue through the weekend

The 2019 Laguna Beach Music Festival kicked off on Wednesday, Feb 6 at Laguna Art Museum with a captivating opening performance by Festival Director and Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang, accompanied by multimedia artist Tripp Derrick Barnes, who created a masterpiece to Yang’s performance.

The remaining concerts, sponsored by Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society, will feature Festival Artistic Director and Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Conrad Tao, and Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich.

Laguna Beach Joyce 1

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Photo by Drew A. Kelley

Audiences were captivated by Wednesday’s opening event

The world-renowned Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Peter Jay Sharp Prize winner cellist Efe Baltacigil, and violinist/violist Yura Lee, who was the only first prizewinner across four categories at the prestigious ARD Competition in Germany, will also be performing at the festival. 

Remaining events include this morning’s talk at Susi Q by cellist Efe Balticigil at 10 a.m. at the Susi Q. Space is limited.

Tonight’s Opening Night Concert starts at 8 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse and features Joyce Yang and cellist Efe Baltacigil in a program of dance-inspired musical works. The second half features Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in “Dream Play,” a work by acclaimed choreographer Fernando Melo. (This performance is co-presented and in collaboration with Laguna Dance Festival.)

Laguna Beach Joyce 2

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Photo by Drew A. Kelley

Festival Director Joyce Yang is a Grammy-nominated pianist

“When I went to the Joyce Theater and saw the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dance for the first time, I knew I had found my partners for this project. They danced to three genres of music and I was astounded by their versatility – excelling in both classical ballet and modern dance,” said Yang.

“The things that…the dancers found interesting about the music were sometimes things that I had never considered. Musicians tend to get stuck on the literal interpretation of the score, but [they] did an amazing job of interpreting the energy and mood of the music,” she continued. “Together, we tried to find the right balance between music and movement – building on a constantly changing landscape.”

Laguna Beach Joyce 3

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Photo by KT Kim

Festival Director Joyce Yang presents her collaboration with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at tonight’s Opening Night Concert

On Saturday, Feb 9 at 8 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse, Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich and Yang showcase dance-inspired pieces from various cultures influenced by tango, jazz, and folk melodies, in a duo recital built around André Previn’s “Tango, Song, and Dance.”

The Laguna Beach Music Festival ends on Sunday, Feb 10 at 3 p.m. with a Finale Concert: Romantic Masterworks at the Laguna Playhouse. The Festival culminates in a passionate musical exploration of romance-themed masterworks by Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev. In this pre-Valentine’s Day concert, violinist/violist Yura Lee, pianist Conrad Tao, and cellist Efe Baltacigil join Joyce Yang.

For tickets to this weekend’s Laguna Beach Music Festival concerts, go to https://philharmonicsociety.org/LBMF.


Laguna Beach Live! presents exciting spring concert lineup to benefit kids

Laguna Beach Live! is pleased to present two unique and entertaining concerts coming this April and May. The concerts benefit the award-winning Live! Music & Kids program and will be held at [seven-degrees].

The program gives students the opportunity to connect to the joy and creativity of music, critical to their academic, social, and emotional growth. 

Laguna Beach Live! presents outreach programs, at no charge, to Laguna Boys & Girls Club and Laguna public schools. 

Laguna Beach guys

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Submitted photo

M-PACT will take the stage on April 17

On April 17, M-PACT, hailed as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, will take the stage. Imagine the smooth soul of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band…all created by the human voice alone.

Laguna Beach girls

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Submitted photo

Blues is a Woman plays on May 15

On May 15, Blues is a Woman takes the stage. This ensemble of six talented musicians blurs the boundaries between concert and theater, using storytelling and music to bring to life the colorful history of the bold and singular women who wrote and popularized the blues. The voices of these women are vibrant, challenging, inspirational, and dynamic. 

Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. A full bar and buffet menu is available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. when doors open for dinner and social hour. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. VIP tickets are $100 and include preferred seating, Meet & Greet with artists, and a signed CD. 

Reservations can be made at www.lagunabeachlive.org or by phone calling (800) 595-4849. 

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


Give the gift of the Pageant to local nonprofits

Pageant of the Masters at Festival of Arts is proud to once again provide the opportunity for patrons to gift tickets to the world-famous performance of “living pictures” to local nonprofits with the Masters at Giving program. Since 2011, the Masters at Giving program has donated over 12,000 Pageant tickets to charitable organizations in the Southern California area. Give the gift of an unforgettable experience at the 2019 performance of “The Time Machine” today by visiting www.pageanttickets.com. Or, contact Anne Mai at (949) 464-4210 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

“Every year, the Festival of Arts receives requests from charities and nonprofit groups for complimentary tickets to the Pageant of the Masters,” said Sharbie Higuchi, Director of Marketing & PR, Festival of Arts. “Masters at Giving provides a memorable evening to these organizations who might not otherwise experience the magic of living pictures. And, thanks to the generosity of our members and patrons, we can offer veterans, senior centers, art students and more the chance to see this incredible showcase.”

Give the gift of

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Veterans enjoying the Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts Fine Arts Show, thanks to the Masters at Giving program

Masters at Giving offers the opportunity to purchase a group of 10 to 100 tickets in the Director’s Tier Side section at $25 each, which will in turn be delivered to a charitable group on the approved list. The charitable and nonprofit groups include veterans, senior centers, at-risk youth and women’s groups, outreach organizations, arts students, military families, food banks, mentoring programs and many more.

Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts would like to thank the past contributors who have provided tickets to groups that include: American Legion Veterans, Age Well Senior Services, South County Outreach, Alzheimer’s Orange County, Project Hope Alliance, Strength in Support, Friends of Outreach, Dan Point 5th Marine RSG, Olive Crest, Kidworks, UCI Veterans Services, Being Alive, Honoring Our Fallen, Mindful Warrior Project, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Grateful Hearts Storehouse, Orangewood Children’s Foundation and Marine Aircraft Group 39.

Higuchi adds, “Masters at Giving tickets are 100 percent tax-deductible and will provide the experience of a lifetime to those who would otherwise never experience Pageant of the Masters in beautiful Laguna Beach.”

The Pageant of the Masters will run July 7 - August 31with tickets starting at just $15 per person. The 2019 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show runs in conjunction with the Pageant and will take place July 5 - August 31 with general admission tickets starting at $10 per person. A Pageant Ticket also acts as a season pass to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. 

For more information on Masters at Giving, Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts, visit www.PageantTickets.com.


Learn to paint outdoors with LOCA and LPAPA

LOCA Arts Education and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) are collaborating to present adult and family classes at outdoor locations in April and May 2019. Beginners are invited.

LOCA and LPAPA Crescent Park

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Mentor Paint Out is free, April 1, 9 - 11:30 a.m., at Crescent Bay Point Park

Outdoor workshops include Mentor Paint Out on April 1, 9 to 11:30 a.m., at the spectacular Crescent Bay Point Park. Adult landscape painters may improve skills by painting alongside Anthony Salvo and Gil Dellinger and receiving helpful guidance. The activity is free. For information, visit www.locaarts.org/event/laguna-beach-landscapes-mentor-paint-along-2/

LOCA Watercolors on Beach

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Families and groups love Watercolors on the Beach, offered April 14 and May 12 at Treasure Island Park

Adults and families love LOCA’s popular Watercolors on the Beach, presented at Treasure Island Park. Events are offered Sundays 10 to 11:30 a.m. available April 14 or May 12. Attendees will enjoy a guided tour of the tidepools and learn about the delicate sea life there. Following the tour, everyone will learn to mix colors and create beautiful paintings of sea stars and more in a take-home journal. Advance registration is required, adults $35, $20 children. All supplies are provided. For more information, call (949) 363-4700 or visit www.LOCAarts.org.


LCAD welcomes Marc Lyncheski as Director of College Marketing & Communications

Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) welcomes Marc Lyncheski to lead the College’s Marketing + Communications team. 

“Marc comes to us with years of experience that includes executive marketing roles with companies such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc.; OC Music & Dance; PETsMART, Inc.; Preferred Hotels & Resorts; Trident University, and more,” said Jonathan Burke, president of LCAD. 

“He also has taught marketing and communications courses at several accredited universities, including Walden University, University of Phoenix, and La Universidad de Valle de Mexico. We are very happy that he’s a part of the LCAD family.”

LCAD welcomes Marc

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LCAD proudly welcomes Marc Lyncheski to the team

At LCAD, students are provided the tools required for creative and successful careers and learn to use their art and design to engage as responsible members of society. Many businesses seek the College’s alumni as creative problem solvers and innovators and LCAD supplies talent in film and television, animation, design, advertising, game art, communications, athletic apparel, and much more. Lyncheski will spearhead the strengthening of brand awareness and assist the school’s various departments in their collective communication and promotional efforts.

“Joining the team at LCAD is particularly exciting for me, because it represents a convergence of my professional academic and marketing careers, which until now have been running independently of one another,” he said. “I am thrilled to be associated with such a reputable organization that is so deeply rooted in the local community and the arts community at large.”

Lyncheski’s passion for education and the arts extend beyond his professional career. He earned an MA in Communications from Marquette University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BS in Psychology from Allegheny College. He also is a published photographer and writer, as well as a musician, actor, voice-over artist and stand-up comedian. A former professional soccer player, Lyncheski holds a first-degree black belt in TaeKwonDo and green belts in Shotokan and Ishinryu Karate. 

For more information about LCAD, visit www.lcad.edu.


Highlights at the Sawdust

Highlights at the Sawdust 1

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Sawdust Festival, a summer treat for locals and visitors alike, is at its peak with two weeks remaining. But a special treat for Laguna Beach residents is free admission on Thursday evenings and – new this summer – Monday evenings, too. Two more reasons to enjoy a little ‘Dust from now until September 2.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

There is no shortage of things to do this month at the Sawdust. The calendar includes daily art classes and some special events, such as Beatles Day coming up on August 25, and two local musical favorites – James Clay Garrison, and John Heussenstamm Trio – both performing on August 19 at the Sawdust Tavern.

Highlights at the Sawdust 3

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Sawdust artist, Mary Hurlbut captured some wonderful moments of artists and visitors at the festival. Click on image at left to begin slideshow:


Arts Commission provides plenty of opportunities to showcase your art through City programs

The Arts Commission is currently accepting submissions for the following art opportunities: Art-Inspired Writing Contest, 2018 Juried Fine Art Exhibition, Council Chamber Banner Competition, 2018 Holiday Palette Competition and Children’s Palette Exhibition. 

Arts commission pink chair

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Courtesy of Joan Gladstone

Joan Gladstone’s Pink Chair hung in City Hall during the Art That’s Small exhibit

These programs are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

For more information visit the Cultural Arts page at www.lagunabeachcity.net or contact Michael McGregor, Arts Program Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Laguna Art Museum partners with Newport Beach Film Festival for screening of Citizen Lane 

On Tuesday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m., Laguna Art Museum and Newport Beach Film Festival will co-present the film Citizen Lane at Edwards Big Newport 4. Citizen Lane documents the Irish art collector who created the first known public gallery of modern art in the world.

Laguna Art Museum wine

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“Citizen Lane” will screen on April 30 

Irish art collector Hugh Lane created the first known public gallery of modern art in the world. Through an innovative combination of drama and documentary filmmaking, this documentary paints a vivid picture of Lane and the various challenges he faced on his journey.

Tickets are $16 and can be purchased at www.newportbeachfilmfest.com/citizen-lane

Edwards Big Newport 4 is located at 300 Newport Center Dr.


No Square Theatre announces Bugsy Malone casting call for actor’s ages 6-18

Auditions will begin at No Square Theatre on Saturday, April 27 for Bugsy Malone, the pint-sized, pinstriped, tongue-in-cheek tribute to the gangster films of the roaring twenties. Singers, actors, dancers, and tappers ages 6-18 are welcome to audition. 

Music and lyrics are by Paul Williams, based on a book by Alan Parker. A slapstick musical comedy, it spoofs the story of legendary gangster Bugsy Malone. The show was created to be cast entirely with young people. Now-famous Catherine Zeta-Jones played the lead role of Tallulah in a professional production of Bugsy Malone in England when she was 14. 

The No Square production will be directed by Ella Wyatt, with music direction by Susan Thoren and choreography by Rylee Bullington. As with all No Square shows, costumes will be designed by the amazing Brigitte Harper. 

Auditions are by appointment only. To make an appointment and for complete information on how to audition, what to prepare, required forms, and a complete character breakdown, visit www.nosquare.org/bugsy-malone-auditions.html

No Square Legion

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

No Square Theatre seeks youngsters for “Bugsy Malone” production

On April 27, auditions start at 9:30 a.m. Callbacks will take place on Sunday, April 28 at 12 p.m. Rehearsals begin around May 13, and will be late afternoon-early evening or weekends until school is out. After school is out, rehearsals will be during morning-afternoon hours. Performances will be held on Fridays/Saturdays, July 12, 13, 19 and 20, at 7 p.m., and on Sundays, July 14 and 21, at 2 p.m. 

No Square Theatre is a nonprofit, community theater. There is no charge to participate and there is no pay.

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

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

No Square Theatre is located at 384 Legion St.


Gallery Q welcomes Bill Atkins as Art Director 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Gallery Q welcomes well-known and highly respected local graphic artist Bill Atkins to the position of art director for the nonprofit.

Gallery Q features five shows per year and provides a space to exhibit themed artwork by talented seniors. The space is located in the Susi Q Senior Center, home to Laguna Beach Seniors, a nonprofit that has enhanced the lives of seniors for more than 40 years through programs and services that promote independence, wellness, and community.

A multifaceted and prolific local artist, Atkins brings 16 years of design and illustration experience to the team at the Susi Q. He has received public acclaim by developing graphic art campaigns promoting and supporting fundraising efforts for the Laguna Art Museum, Sister Cities, AIDS Services Foundation and the local chapter of the Human Rights Campaign.

gallery q license plate

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Bill Atkins proudly displays his “whale-tail” license plate

Little-known fact – Atkins is also the man behind the iconic license-plate “whale-tail” image seen around California.

In addition to his sterling volunteer work, Bill is a favorite with local businesses and nonprofits for his gorgeously expressive graphics and posters.

Interviewed for a Laguna Life & People profile last year, Bill noted, “Poster art is sometimes not given the same respect as other art forms, maybe because here in Laguna plein air has ruled for so long, but it has a rich history and demands a lot of focus. I love the challenge.” 

gallery q posters

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Bill is known for his gorgeously expressive posters

Atkins’ posters depict iconic local places and events, including Crystal Cove cottages and the Festival of the Arts, as well as famous performing artists such as Cyndi Lauper. Atkins is also a long-time teacher, and has taught digital imagery and art at LCAD and Irvine Valley College among other schools.

Stu News congratulates this fine artist on his appointment.

The current Gallery Q show, LOCA@25, will run through September 7.


Enjoy free admission at Laguna Art Museum during First Thursdays Art Walk on Dec 6

On Thursday, Dec 6, from 5 to 9 p.m., art enthusiasts can enjoy free admission to Laguna Art Museum (LAM) as part of First Thursdays Art Walk. Now on view, “Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935” celebrates the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Laguna Beach Art Association with paintings by the leading artists who were founding members of the association and active during that period.

Enjoy free admission

Photo from LAM website

Enjoy free admission and the most iconic works at LAM during Art Walk on Dec 6

First Thursdays Art Walk celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach and is free to the public with participation by more than 30 member galleries. First Thursdays Art Walk is held on the first Thursday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m. 

For more information on LAM, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Live! at the Museum presents Celtic Consort of Hollywood on Thursday

Live! at the Museum presents Celtic Consort of Hollywood this Thursday, Dec 13 at 7 p.m. The Celtic Consort of Hollywood consists of award-winning concert and studio musicians Christina Linhardt (soprano, flute), Shawna Selline (harp), and Mark Sellin (cello, mandolin, and fiddle). 

Together and separately the group has performed all over Southern California (as well as abroad) from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to Walt Disney Concert Hall, with weddings, club dates, and recording sessions in between.

Live Celtic Consort of Hollywood

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Check out Live! at the Museum featuring Celtic Consort of Hollywood

Live! at the Museum, a special collaboration of Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum, takes place the second Thursday of each month from 7 - 8 p.m. The concert is free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. 

Pre-reservations for Celtic Consort of Hollywood are available online through the Museum’s website at www.lagunaartmuseum.org or by calling (949) 494-8971, ext. 203. These seats are held until 6:50 p.m. Additional seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about the series and other concerts, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series kicks off Jan 30

at [seven-degrees], tickets now available

Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series 2019, presented by Laguna Beach Live!, promises to deliver some of the hottest straight-ahead jazz musicians in the region in an intimate cabaret setting at [seven-degrees]. Jazz Wednesdays concerts are every two weeks, January 30 - March 27, from 6 - 8 p.m.

The Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series concert schedule includes:

January 30: Grammy-winning drummer Peter Erskine Trio feat. Alan Pasqua on piano and Darek Oles on bass (Trio Jazz)

February 13: World-renowned saxophonist Rickey Woodard Quartet feat. very special guest vocalist (Vocal Jazz)

Febuary 27: Acclaimed guitarist Will Brahm and the World Music All-Stars (Latin/World Jazz)

March 13: Critically acclaimed bassist/vocalist Kristin Korb Trio (Classic Jazz)

March 27: All-Star Tribute to Chet Baker and Peggy Lee feat. world-renowned trumpeter Bijon Watson, very special guest vocalist, and the Laguna Beach Live! All-Stars (Iconic Jazz)

Jazz Wednesdays

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A must see, Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series 2019 kicks off on Jan 30

Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series 2019 takes place at the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. A full bar and buffet dinner menus are available for purchase starting at 5 p.m.

Single-concert tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door; season tickets are $125. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders, and Laguna Beach Live! membership. Reservations are accepted until noon on the day of the concert or until sold out. 

For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.


LOCA Art Club to feature “Gallery Owners” Jan 17

LOCA will host its January Art Club, titled “Gallery Owners,” on Thursday, Jan 17, from 4 - 5:30 p.m. at LCAD Gallery located at 374 Ocean Ave. 

January’s Art Club will be a discussion about the artist and gallery relationship led by Sue Greenwood of Sue Greenwood Fine Art, Todd Kenyon of Pure Laguna Beach, and others.

Points to be addressed include:

How do galleries find their artists, and what they look for in that person? How should artists present themselves to galleries they admire? From the gallery owner’s point of view, what is key to a successful long-term relationship, and what are the most common problems in working with artists? 

It will be of great interest to hear what a gallery owner wants in an artist in addition to their artwork.

LOCA Art Club Sue Greenwood

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Courtesy of LOCA

LOCA Art Club to feature Sue Greenwood, whose gallery is seen here

Wine and snacks will be provided. The event is free to members; the cost for guests is $20. Metered parking is available on the street. To register or for more information about LOCA, visit www.locaarts.org or call (949) 363-4700.

For more information about speaker and gallery owner Sue Greenwood, visit www.suegreenwoodfineart.com. For more information about Todd Kenyon of Pure Laguna Beach, visit www.purelagunabeach.com.


Acclaimed vocalist Melissa Morgan joins Rickey Woodard Quartet at Jazz Wednesdays on Feb 13

Laguna Beach Live! has added three acclaimed jazz vocalists to its lineup for the 2019 Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series. 

Melissa Morgan will appear on February 13 with the Rickey Woodard Quartet. Melissa was named by JazzTimes as “audacious and decidedly salty,” and London Evening Standard says, “While you will always hear definitive influences from Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington and Billie Holliday, Melissa isn’t copying anybody…and has a definitive sound all her own.”

Laguna Beach outside

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach Live! presents a jivin’ good time at Jazz Wednesdays on Feb 13 at [seven-degrees]

Rickey Woodard was born in Nashville, playing Blues and R’n’B around the Nashville area. After leaving Nashville, Rickey went to California and joined the Ray Charles Band where he was a member for eight years before deciding to pursue a solo career and recording both as a leader and as a sideman for Concord Records. Currently he performs live, frequently leading his own quartet or quintet as well as performing and recording with The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Frank Capp Juggernaut Band.

Laguna Beach Melissa

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Submitted photo

Acclaimed vocalist Melissa Morgan is featured with the Rickey Woodard Quartet on Feb 13

On February 27, Adryon De Leon will be accompanying Will Brahm. “Adryon de León’s voice sizzles with soul, and a fair amount of attitude, yet still clings to a sweeter timbre beneath all that vocal bravado. When she bares her soul for a song, you can be sure that the world of funk music is very much alive, and maybe even itching for a fight,” states Carl Pettit, Ozy

Joining the Laguna Beach Live! All Stars on March 27 is the talented and versatile Lucy Woodward. In addition to her solo career, Lucy toured with Pink Martini and Rod Stewart and has also sung on albums by Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Chaka Khan, Snarky Puppy, Barbra Streisand, Nikka Costa, Carole King, Joe Cocker, Michael Bolton, Gavin DeGraw, and Randy Jackson.

Jazz Wednesdays concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. and doors open at 5 for a full bar and buffet dinner menu for purchase.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned. Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out. 

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

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

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