Clarence Hinkle expert Janet Blake lectures on the art and life of the early 20th century American artist Thursday night at LAM

Hinkle’s paining above, “Laguna Beach”, is dated 1929. Laguna historians will know that has to be the year because of the absence of an iconic Laguna Beach landmark. See if you can identify the missing building…answer at the end of the story

Laguna Art Museum’s (LAM) Curator of Collections Janet Blake, an expert on historic California art, presents “In Love with Painting: The Life and Art of Clarence Hinkle”, a lecture on early twentieth-century artist Clarence Hinkle. The lecture will take place at LAM this Thursday, July 26, at 7 p.m. Admission is free for museum members and free for non-members with paid museum admission.

Blake curated the Clarence Hinkle exhibition, which is a major retrospective of the artist’s work currently on display at LAM, and wrote the main essay for the accompanying publication. Following the lecture, Blake will lead a walk-through of the exhibition.

Clarence Hinkle (1880-1960), was an early twentieth-century artist who radiated the spirit of modernism. The exhibition (on display through Oct 7) features over one hundred paintings, including landscapes, portraits, and still lifes, dating from the early 1900s through the 1950s.

Hotel Laguna, which first opened in the late 1880’s and rebuilt in 1888 after a fire, was demolished in 1929 and reopened the next year.


“Art Talks” continue: at noon today with Printmaking and Early California Art and collector Mark Hilbert Thursday

On July 24 and July 26, Festival visitors are invited to explore the medium of printmaking and survey early California art, as the informative special event series “Art Talks” continues.

The art of printmaking goes back centuries, even millennia. On Tuesday, July 24, 12 to 1 p.m., Festival of Arts exhibitor Vinita Voogd will lead an exploration of process and issues facing the modern printmaker. The discussion will be especially interesting to those who plan to attend Family Art Day at the Festival of Arts on Saturday, July 21, since there will be an enormous steamroller present that day to roll out prints for children and adults alike.

On Thursday, July 26, 12 to 1 p.m., longtime collector of early California art Mark Hilbert will share his extraordinary collection comprised of paintings that offer a non-verbal communication of “People, Places and Memories” through the eyes of regional artists. Some of his collection can be viewed in published books, “The Good Life” and in “Millard Sheets.”

The Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For information, call 494-1145 or go online to www.foapom.com.


New exhibit with artist reception on July 27 at Gallery Q

“What If”

Lorraine Hollingsworth

“Gods and Goddesses-Myth and Imagination,” the newest show at the Susi Q Gallery, features an unusual array of interpretations of this theme. The show includes paintings and photography, as well as three-dimensional works, including an olivewood bowl recycled from a fallen tree on Oak Street, and an etched glass piece and a ceramic sculpture of children playing in the waves by Jessica de Stefano.

Pat Sparkuhl and Rebecca Barber juried the show.

The show features work by 40 artists: Loraine Hollingsworth, Lakshmi Devi, Tim L. Brown, Wendell Whitcomb, Judy Baker, Dennis Piszkiewicz, Eherhard Neutz, KC Horng, Tom Swimm, Ben Albert, Mary Binns, Sabra Lande, Marge Naiman, Roger Taft, Michael Carr, Martha Kohl, Jessica de Stefano, Tom Joliet, Patricia Whiteside Phillips, Faye Chapman, Carole Zavala, Laura Leigh Wantz, Jean Ann Drake, Liz Avalon, Linda McInnis, Joan Lewis, David E. Randel, Norma Cruzalegui Henricy, Shahin Nojan, Diane Lachman, Richard Olshausen, David Linnig, Marianne van der Veer, Juliane Hodjera, Theresa G. Fernald, Mojgan Mozaffari, Skip Roma and Mariann Tracy

An open artist’s reception and awards presentation will be on Friday, July 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. with light refreshments and live music by Tritia Timmins. The exhibit runs through Sept. 25, and can be seen from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third St.

Selected pieces are for sale with a percentage of the profit being donated to the Susi Q arts program.

For information, contact arts coordinator Judy Baker at 497-2441 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Laguna Beach arts exhibit, ‘A Legacy of Art,’ unveiled at John Wayne Airport July 15

Photo courtesy LB Visitors & Conference Bureau

A ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday kicked off the Laguna Beach arts exhibit at John Wayne Airport. A plethora of who’s who in the LB arts scene! L-R: Ron McWhorter, President of the Art-A-Fair Foundation; Karen Wood, Executive Director, The Laguna Playhouse; Gavin Heath, President of the Board of Directors, Sawdust Art Festival; Courtney Wiercioch, Deputy Director, John Wayne Airport; Verna Rollinger, Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem; Fred Sattler, President of the Board of Directors, Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters; Malcolm Warner, Executive Director, Laguna Art Museum; Karyn Philippsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau; Judy Bijlani, President/CEO, Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau.

The impressive Laguna Beach arts exhibit “A Legacy of Art” made its debut on Sunday at John Wayne Airport. The exhibit features – Laguna Beach Yesterday, Laguna Beach Today and images from Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters, The Laguna Playhouse, and Laguna Art Museum, dating from 1904 to the present.

The 11 wall-mounted art display cases are located along a pedestrian walkway between Terminal B & C ticket counters, prior to the security checkpoints, and are open for public viewing. The exhibit runs through the end of October.


“Force Bloom” exhibit by James Verbicky at JoAnne Artman

Force Bloom 5

Mixed Media on Panel 60” x 40.”

(Private Collection)

JoAnne Artman Gallery is featuring James Verbicky for his Third Solo Exhibition through July 31.

Respecting the great artists before him such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, Verbicky forges ahead with his unique style paving the way for a new direction.

“A self-taught artist, James is always experimenting and taking chances, making new what was once old. The complexity with a certain familiarity in James’ work, specifically his newer paper pieces, pique the viewer’s interest in both Verbicky’s process and motivation resulting in the common theme of ‘How Does He Do That?’ James experiments with ease, his ability and inventiveness will surely solidify his mark on the art world, said JoAnne Artman in a press release.

“In this exhibition James creates a rich and complex body of work, always challenging technical and artistic possibilities!”

“The media paintings bridge the gap between sculpture and painting by binding fragments of vintage media to one another, double-exposing language and image and melting them in upon themselves. By unearthing and layering the remnants of dozens of decades of disparate generations, the media paintings transcend simple words and images and become objects containing the essence of human culture.” - James Verbicky

JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N. Coast Highway and is open Wednesdays-Sundays from 11-5, and by appointment. 949-510-5481.


Colectiva 2012: Introducing the work of LA street artist Carlos Ulloa through Aug 31 at saltfineart

Carlos Ulloa

Genie

17 x 21 inches photo collage

saltfineart (1492 S. Coast Hwy) is showcasing the work of  Los Angeles based street, collage and multimedia artist Carlos Ulloa.

Ulloa’s collages invoke a Felliniesque state of satire and whimsy through careful selections from material that spans the very beautiful to the bizarre and grotesque. The combination of this spectrum of influence creates a kind of magic that the artist himself uses to invoke a sense of mystery surrounding himself and his work.

Ulloa has shown both in the United States and throughout Europe and belongs to the permanent collections of Amnesty International and Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem PA.

The gallery is open 11-6 p.m. daily – (949) 715-5554


“Black is Back” with Art-T-Go at Festival of Arts benefitting The Artists Fund

Buyers will be entered into drawing for overnight stay at Ritz-Carlton

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts is exhibiting its 2012 Art-To-Go collection now through Aug 11. The fundraising program features 60 items, available for purchase daily, following the theme “Black is Back”.

One lucky buyer will win a one-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. The Buyers Bonus package includes a certificate for a pool/garden view guestroom, including all taxes, resort fees, and valet parking at the luxury destination. The package is valued at over $600.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, is renowned for its spectacular oceanfront setting, and AAA rated Five Diamond status. Amenities include The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Raya and Bar Raya, 180blũ, enoSTEAK, The Market Place, and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment.

Photo by Mike Tauber

Festival exhibitor Russell Jacques with his “Black is Back” offering

The 2012 theme is Black is Back, and many pieces feature black in either the palette, subject, title, or frame. Current offerings include works by Mark Jacobucci, Sherry Salito Forsen, Molly Hutchings, Dennis Dunton, Greg LaRock, Geri Medway, Mark Hendrickson, Sandra Jones Campbell, Brett Rothage, Julita Joes, Kathy Jones, Paul Cheng, Gary Zuercher, Ron Azevedo and many more. Prices start at $75.

The Art-To-Go Buyers Bonus drawing will be announced at the Center Green on the Festival grounds on Saturday, Aug 11, after the sell-out auction. Winner need not be present.  For information on Art-To-Go contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit Artists Fund at Festival of Arts on Facebook, or at www.TheArtistsFund-foa.org. Festival of Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, open daily through Aug 31.


Art projects, marionettes, Hawaiian craft, balloons and outrageous printmaking with a 44,000-pound steamroller = Family Art Day at the FOA Saturday

It’s the most kid-centric day of the summer art season - Family Art Day at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts! This Saturday from Noon – 3 p.m., parents and children will be treated to exciting adventures in art…compliments of the Festival of Arts.

Family Art Day is all about the children. Art projects in ceramics and mixed media are specifically designed for the younger ones, art scavenger hunts, ceramics, marionette shows, balloon art and face painting will entertain young minds and ignite the imagination. New this year, guests will have the opportunity to express their creativity while stringing together their very own K pe‘e, a Hawaiian bracelet or anklet, presented by Aulani (A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii).

Submitted photo

Fun Family Art Day 2011

Also new in 2012 will be the opportunity to make prints rolled out right in front of the Festival of Arts by a 44,000-pound steamroller! If that’s not enough, all children will be treated to a special kid-friendly snack from Gina’s Alfresco. Even Mom and Dad will get to enjoy live musical entertainment by Shelby, Tieg & Tara.

When children arrive, they will be given a booklet containing coupons that they’ll get to redeem for the different projects and attractions. It’s a small touch that makes even the littlest attendees feel like Family Art Day is especially for them, which it is.

Plus, children 12 and under receive free admission to the Festival of Arts.  
“Family Art Day is always a favorite day at the Festival,” said Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival of Arts. “If your family has never participated, this is the year to do it, because this year’s Family Art Day is going to be the best one yet!”

Family Art Day is free with Festival of Arts admission ($10 for adults, $6 for seniors and students).


Festival of Arts Foundation supports the Boys & Girls Club with a $10,000 grant to further its art programs

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation for its art programs for young people. “As the giving arm of the Festival of Arts, the Foundation continues to provide funding that promotes art education and appreciation for all ages,” said Festival of Arts Foundation President Scott Moore.

“We are so grateful for the continued support from the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation and many others who make it possible for us to provide an array of art opportunities for young people”, said Pam Estes, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

These kids at the Boys & Girls Club take art class with watercolors seriously

The Club provides programs that involve young people in the Visual, Musical, Performing, and Digital Arts.  These engaging programs help foster young people’s creativity, confidence and capability to contribute to the world. Creative experiences help young people expand their personal understanding of themselves and compassion for others.

The Club’s Art Studio, which is the site of most of the art programs, is a light hearted and creative environment for members to explore a wide variety of art mediums. This wide variety of programs offers a well-rounded art curriculum based on Discipline-Based Art Education, which teaches art activities focusing on Art History, Criticism/Analysis and Aesthetics while learning new techniques as well as encouraging creative interpretation.

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach has been able to collaborate with local arts organizations to provide age appropriate and tailored programs to meet each child’s particular interests. Through collaboration with the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, Boys & Girls Club Members have the opportunity to experience all aspects of photography.  Club Members are paired up with professional Festival of Arts Photographers to learn about: perspective, intent, black and white, film, sharpness, contrast, matting, framing, printing, critiquing, and, most of all, to have fun! Photographers have a chance in this program to give back to the children through educating and inspiring them in their young photography experiences.

All Boys & Girls Club art activities are designed to enrich personal creativity, promote self-expression, foster teamwork, generate excitement about works of art, and they are offered free of charge to all Members.

“Thanks to support from the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and the Foundation, children in our community blossom and shine through learning to express themselves with art in a positive and safe environment. They gain confidence, learn to tap into their own unique creativity, and become empowered through participating in all the dynamic art opportunities at the Club. I believe Great Artists Start within the walls of the Art Room at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach”, stated Emily Murray, Art Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach.
The Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization established by the Festival of Arts in 1989. Its purpose is to provide funding for the arts in and about Laguna Beach in perpetuity. Contributions may be donated to the Festival of Arts Foundation by contacting Scott Moore at (949) 494-9680.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach please call (949)494-2535 or visit the website at www.bgclagunabeach.org.


New exhibit at George Gallery – Ocean Series by Iris Bourne

Submitted photos

Canadian artist Iris Bourne’s artwork, “WATER”, is currently on display at the George Gallery in Laguna.  The series, focused on the Ocean, is organic, watery and reflects her spiritual side including revealing Buddhist ideals.

The work is based on abstraction – she works in a variety of mediums including acrylics, industrial materials and cement sculpting with stainless steel.  She also juxtaposes these materials with her passion for color.

A first generation Canadian-Italian, Bourne was raised in Canada.  She studied languages before obtaining a teaching degree, and eventually moved to California where she began taking art classes at the Brentwood Art Center where she furthered her passion for art.


Festival’s ‘Art Talks: Lecture Series’ – Executive Director of Irvine Museum Thursday noon -1 p.m.

The Festival of Arts will host the Executive Director Jean Stern of the Irvine Museum at this week’s ‘Art Talk: Lecture Series’ on Thursday July 12 from 12 – 1 p.m.  Stern will host a special lecture called “The Art of Looking at Art.”

Visitors are invited to the Festival of Arts’ Forum Theater where they’ll become familiarized with the basic tenets of representational art. With over 40 years experience as an art historian, Stern will discuss the basics of composition, form, and color along with examples of paintings that best represent these elements.

Originally, Collector Mark Hilbert was scheduled to speak at this week’s Talk, but instead he will present his lecture on early California art – “People, Places and Memories” on Thursday July 26.

The lecture series will continue throughout the Festival of Arts 2012 season. On Tuesdays, experienced artists will take attendees through topics of medium, influences, and current trends; on Thursdays, Orange County’s top curators, collectors, and conservators will lead discussions on issues of buying, appraising, displaying, restoring and conserving fine art. Brown bag lunches from Gina’s will be available for purchase or you can bring your own! Art Talks: A Lecture Series is free with Festival admission.

The Festival is open daily from now until August 31 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. (August 25 – until 3:30 p.m.)  General admission tickets are $7 on a weekday and $10 on a weekend.  Tickets for students and seniors are $4 on a weekday and $6 on a weekend.  Admission is free for children 12 and under, Military personnel and Laguna residents.

For general information, call 494-1145.


First Thursdays Art Walk – 6-9 p.m. July 5 – enjoy this free event

Every first Thursday of the month, Laguna Beach celebrates its rich and diverse cultural art scene through the award-winning First Thursdays Art Walk. The event is free to the public and in the last fourteen years has become a much-anticipated event by visitors and OC residents alike.

On July 5th, put on your walking shoes and immerse yourself in the Laguna Beach art scene. Stroll and trolley around this picturesque town on a self-guided tour enjoying gallery openings, artist demonstrations and receptions, live music and other entertainment and refreshments.

“On any given first Thursday the streets are filled with people out for Art Walk. It’s a great experience,” said First Thursdays Art Walk president Dora Wexell.

Start off the evening at five o’clock by joining friends for an artful happy hour in the lobby at the Inn at Laguna Beach (211 North Coast Hwy). Throughout the evening see artists in action demonstrating their techniques and sharing their insights. Ask questions and engage the artists.

Meet contemporary impressionist artist David Chapple at DeRu’s Fine Arts, enjoy a group landscape show featuring the works by Nancy Bush, Jian Wang and Jim Lamb at Dawson Cole Fine Art, and Roark Gourley is at [seven-degrees] with his  exhibit “A Moment in Time.”

James Verbicky is at JoAnne Artman Gallery with an exhibition of his new work and Kathleen Black will be at Quorum Gallery with her paintings of “Windows into Life’s Moments.”  More information about gallery and other special events can be found on www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com .

The evening includes a multitude of featured galleries to see from Downtown to Gallery Row to Bluebird to Laguna Canyon Road, enhanced by performances by local musicians and gallery hospitality. Art Walk gives you access to buy original artwork of every genre from these galleries.

Also, be sure to visit the Laguna Art Museum featuring Clarence Hinkle, Modern Spirit and the Group of Eight, and ex•pose: peter bo rappmund. Also enjoy their “Conversations With” series featuring Sandow Birk at 7 p.m.

It’s easy to get to all destinations, simply hop on the FREE trolley, another distinctively Laguna experience. At any gallery pickup an Art Walk brochure that includes a map and featuring all the evening’s special events.

Art Walk is over at nine, but not the art savings! After 9 p.m. head over to the world-famous Sawdust Art Festival and Festival of Arts where you will receive free admission when you present the First Thursdays brochure at each festival’s box office.

This free and art educational event is funded by member galleries, lodging establishments, City of Laguna Beach, and Laguna Board of Realtors.


It’s Festival Season as summer arrives – don’t miss out

By SUZIE HARRISON

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Laguna Beach with the official kickoff of summer – the opening of the local art festivals. For the next two months, residents and visitors alike have the opportunity to be immersed in an art scene only the local iconic festivals can provide. So don’t miss out and enjoy the ride.

Festival of Arts

The Festival of Arts features 140 highly renowned Orange County artists, and is California’s longest running outdoor fine art show. The juried showed, which features a broad spectrum of art media, is also recognized as one of the most esteemed juried shows in the nation.

Saturday’s opening of the Festival of Arts 80th season was as amazing as the Festival is old – yet the reasons are too many to mention. You’ve got to experience them for yourself!

Opening night has a vibe all its own – it’s like the first day of school and a reunion of sorts all rolled into one. It’s always exciting to make your way through a maze of art enthusiasts, as you catch up with the artists, check out their new art, and find out about all the fun happenings the Festival will offer over the season.

It’s impossible to check out all the artists that night – no matter how hard you try. There are too many to handle, if you do it right. Exploring so many art media, I bounced from Mike Tauber’s booth to Troy Poeschl’s, to Tim Shockley’s, Andrew Myers’, Vinita Voogd’s, Nancy Egan’s, Amanda’s Fish’s to Cunningham’s and Haight’s works, Julita Jones’ to Kathy Jones’, Windy Wirth’s to Annette Wimmer’s, Paul Bond’s... and to and from myriad more – it’s a trip – like a ping pong ball zipping along a smooth table.

Bond said he was “blown away” by the quality of work from the artists in this year’s show. He is featuring a new painting titled “The Waterhouse,” 30 x 40, oil on panel painting, inspired by Rene Magritte’s “Time Transfixed.” Bond was recently featured by Art Business News as one of 50 top emerging artists to watch.

“The opening night was most enjoyable...loved seeing my friends and family. Icing on the cake...made sales. I think this will be a good season for art and artists. Patrons were most enthusiastic and truly enjoyed the artwork,” Voogd said. “I am featuring ‘works on paper,’ my medium is printmaking. All my works are one of a kind, original, and unique using sustainable and recycled materials.”

I had a fantastic time, the energy, the people, all the art, I stayed up for hours after I finally got home,” Egan said. “The whole atmosphere was electrified with art and those who appreciate it.”

Egan said she also enjoyed seeing and hearing people’s reaction to her work.

“I am displaying oil, still-life, realistic paintings. I enjoy this style more than any other I have executed over the years and is exactly the style I first began my art career in,” Egan said. “I have been assembling this body of work for the last several months, and to have it up on display and seeing the peoples’ reaction is an exciting a thrill, especially my still life series of guns. Gun opinions run strong and people’s reactions to these images are just as strong, for and against. I saw them as objects of architecture and design. I liked the way the light played on them, after painting them I also saw the power of the image and people are sensing that too.”

Shockley had a blast.

“Opening night is always very exciting and full of energy. A big highlight is seeing all of the artists’ work come together. When everything is placed and the lighting is on the show looks fantastic,” Shockley said. “I am very excited about the new pieces which combine cast metals and rich woods to create works with subtle surreal twists. One new piece, ‘Marasmius,’ [is] a functional piece that has bronze mushrooms emerging from a mahogany mirror. It is one of my personal favorites.”

As for the happs at FOA –  enjoy nightly live music, art workshops, demos and lecture series, concerts, cooking demos, wine and chocolate pairings, and special one day events like the uber-popular Festival Runway Fashion show with lovely couture created by the artists. New this year is TGIF@FOA – enjoy live music, microbrew beers and gourmet pretzels. Also, the Festival has become a tech feast for the senses with new multimedia presentations on screens throughout the festival grounds, and a free audio tour – get dialed into the art via your cell – just call 743-1601 and punch in the artist’s booth number and you can learn about the artist and the work in their own words.

For more information, visit www.foapom.com.

Sawdust Art Festival

The Sawdust Festival features works in every possible art media – created by more than 200 Laguna Beach artists, including 18 new artists this year. Celebrating its 46th anniversary the Sawdust has something for everyone.

Opening weekend at the Sawdust is fun, fun, fun! Saturday afternoon at Sawdust started out with live music by StuNew’s own Shaena Stabler and her partner Denny Rambo performing sweet sounds of rock and pop at the Tavern, followed by a jamming performance by Nick Hernandez and his killer band on the Main Stage.

It’s impossible to see all the art at the Sawdust in one venture – it takes many. I really enjoyed seeing works by Michele Taylor – her mixed media pieces from sculpture to jewelry – really delve into one’s soul. She remains a perennial favorite and must see at the Sawdust!  I loved Catherine Reade’s gorgeous jewelry – it’s always some of my favorite work on the planet.

Other favs include - glass works by John Barber, Siân Poeschl...and well almost all of the 15 glass artists. The glass-blowing demo booth always has throngs of people mesmerized by the beautiful art form. I saw no less than 50 people watching at any given time.

Other highlights included works by Olivia Batchelder, Reem Khalil with their beautiful clothing and textiles; paintings by Karen Petty, Tracey Moscaritolo and Michael Phillips among many others.

Batchelder describes the Sawdust’s opening week to be like a dress rehearsal for the season. And she did enjoy it, so it should be a good one.

“I feel good about what I am doing and plan a successful season.  It’s true and it’s real and it feels meaningful,” Batchelder said. “I am expanding a successful art-clothing series begun last year, that of painting simple landscapes in an 8” wide band all around my jackets and wraps, as the decoration for the hand-painted fabrics.  Last year I painted only river scenes in this way, because I live next to a creek.  This year I am painting the hills, the mountains, the sky, the sea.  Each original landscape vignette encircles the body, and makes us think about the geography we are privileged to live in. I call the series ‘Landscape Wraps.’”

Petty has nine new pieces in her new “Magic and Divinity” series with prices ranging from $2,800 to $4,200.

“Opening weekend was delicious and lovely – everything that you ever dreamed  it to be. It’s a cliché, but it really was,” Petty said.

And the showstopper for me was the beyond phenom ocean photography by Sean Hunter Brown. He captures waves like no other. Brown’s breaking waves offer a perspective of true perfection – unbelievable. If I were an artist – that’s the work I would love to produce. Snaps and claps indeed!

Sawdust Marketing Director Cynthia Fung said about 3,500 people attended the preview night party on Tuesday. Usually double the invitations go out – but the LB Fire Dept. watered attendance down.

“We’ve heard only positive feedback, where there was more room on the grounds to walk; people stayed longer than they normally did; artists sold more artwork that night,” Fung said. “On Preview Night, we had a pleasant surprise on the Main Entertainment Deck – pro surfer/songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter made an appearance and even performed a few of his original songs with the Ken Garcia Band.”

Friday was officially opening day – open to the public.

“Opening Ceremony was great. Sawdust President Gavin Heath said a few words and Mayor Jane Egly and an artist’s daughter, Glory Belland, cut the ribbon, officially opening the 2012 season,” Fung said.

New this year is the Reset Sundays mellow music series concerts. With plenty of concerts, art classes, demos, theme days and entertainment galore the Sawdust Festival is a must do!

“Our art education programs are very important us. Not only is it the Sawdust’s mission to educate the public on the arts, but it is also very endearing to see novice artists, both children and adults, turn a new leaf after taking one of our art classes,” said Fung. “They become energized by their newfound appreciation for artwork and the creative processes involved.”

Sawdust General Manager Tom Klingenmeier said attendance over opening weekend was more than 6,000.

“I am looking forward to a great summer, and if the first few days are any indication, we will have a lot of happy artists in town,” Klingenmeier  said. “Our pre-ticket sales were up, especially with the Passport we share with the other art venues and city, our phones never stop ringing and the questions on our daily emails all point to a new summer of people who want to enjoy a day with the arts and artists.”

For more information, visit www.sawdustartfestival.org.


Laguna Beach arts’ community is an economic engine that fuels both the soul and economy

By: SUZIE HARRISON

Laguna Beach has a national reputation as a vibrant arts community with the hard numbers to prove it. In 2010, 17 local nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences contributed $49.1 million to the economy, generating $32.1 million in household income to local residents, and supporting 1,351 full-time jobs.

Out of 27 cities with a population of 50,000 or less, Laguna Beach impressively ranked second per capita, according to the Americans for the Arts national arts economic impact survey, during the 2010 fiscal year.

Americans for the Arts representative Randy Cohen and Arts Commissioner Mary Ferguson presented the compelling results of the City funded study on Thursday to local arts organizations, businesses, City officials and art enthusiasts.

The message: the arts mean business.

“A vibrant arts community does more than just improve our quality of life,” Cohen said. “A lot of people benefit from a vibrant arts community. Look at the supply side that the arts are providing. Few industries generate event related spending like the arts do.”

Spending by local arts related non-profit organizations in 2010 totaled $27.7 million, and their audiences contributed an additional $21.4 million to boost the economy.

A resounding 68.2 percent of non-residents said that the primary reason they visited Laguna Beach was specifically to attend a cultural arts event.

“The arts are really drawing people to Laguna Beach – that’s impressive,” Cohen said, Laguna Beach is well ahead of comparable cities its size.

Total attendance was 608,275 with 76.4 percent from local Orange County audiences and 23.6 percent were from outside the area.

Cohen said the average person spent $35.18 per arts related event, not including the cost of admission. Instead, that money fueled other local businesses, such as restaurants and stores, and paid for local goods and services.

Non-resident attendees spent an average of 65 percent more per person than local attendees - $50.36 vs. $30.50. While only 11 percent had a hotel expense, this smaller group of arts enthusiasts spent an average of $165 per person/per event.

Ferguson along with Laguna Beach Visitor’s and Conference Bureau’s president and CEO Judy Bijlani and board chair Karyn Philippsen talked about taking action and forming local partnerships to foster the arts and let people realize their economic impact.

Cohen agreed.

“In a partnership it helps everyone,” said Cohen. “Hotel tax revenue comes back and helps fund the arts.”

“There’s an opportunity here. We should be promoting each other. This is the partnership,” Philippsen added.

Laguna Beach participated in the same national survey in 2005. City Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl pointed out that the national arts average spending is down by 11 percent from 2005.

Locally, “total attendance was up by 32,457 and OC resident attendance was up from 44 percent to 76.4 percent, indicating people stayed closer to home to attend events,” Poeschl said.

She is impressed with the numbers that the arts add to the economy on every level.

“As everyone knows, our economy, whether in hospitality, housing, services or the arts, have all seen the effects of the recession. It is encouraging to know that although the arts contributed $54.8 million dollars in 2005, they contributed $49.1 million in 2010. The arts are contributing over $4.5 million in Local and State revenue and attendance has increased,” Poeschl said. “We do need to work on fostering partnerships and collaboration in sharing information about the arts with overnight guests who spend nearly twice as much as Orange County residents. An 11 percent decrease really shows how the non-profit arts community held their own during challenging economic times.”


Up and coming British singer Edei to perform at AR4T Gallery reception Saturday evening

By ERIN BURRIS

Inspired by a range of musical genres, from Rod Stewart rock-pop jams to Lauryn Hill’s soulful R&B, the UK’s own Edei has spent the last two years releasing hit singles and touring Europe, making waves in Britain.  Edei caught the wave of Australian surfer and artist all the way to Laguna - she’s performing at artist Karlee Mackie’s reception for her exhibit Depths & Beyond at the AR4T Gallery on Saturday June 30.

The reception will be held from 6 - 9 p.m. and will feature Edei’s soul-pop sound.  At 22 years old, Edei has already released two singles – “In My Bed” in August 2010 and “Loved” in January 2011.  She also joined the largely popular Brit band Girls Aloud on 36 tour dates, opening for the pop troop and getting her name on the map.  Edei said she was determined to make it based on musical talent alone, although she had offers to join girl groups or audition for the show X Factor.

For a time, Edei – born Emma Deigman – wanted to be an actress.  She landed a role in West End’s production of “Annie” and before long she found herself alongside rap icon Jay-Z singing “Hard Knock Life” on TV.  Soon her interest in drama gave way to her pursuance of her music career, wanting a way to express her inner emotions.  It is in this same vein, that Edei wanted to pursue her burgeoning music career in her own way and without anyone telling her what to wear or what to sing, in order to achieve popularity.

Her musical style developed from her interests in many genres, but she cites listening to Rod Stewart in her dad’s car growing up as the reason for the “raspy edge” she has today.  She later became a fan of several pop icons such as Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Lauryn Hill, whose record Edei listened to on repeat when it released.

For more information, check out Edei’s website at http://www.edei.co.uk/.  The reception is free and open to the public.

AR4T Gallery is located at 210 North Coast Highway.


LAM will present the First California Art Award to Ruth Westphal at the museum at Saturday award dinner

On Saturday, Jun 30, Laguna Art Museum will honor Ruth Lilly Westphal, a Newport Beach resident and native Californian, as the first recipient of the California Art Award.

The California Art Award is a new award that Laguna Art Museum, a museum of California art, will bestow upon individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the study and public awareness of California art.

In the 1980s and early 90s, Westphal published three books that became the foundation for the serious study and reassessment of early California art. These books include Plein Air Painters of California: The Southland (1982), Plein Air Painters of California: The North (1986), and American Scene Painting: California, 1930s and 1940s (1991).

“Ruth was a pioneer of art history, publishing the first comprehensive books on early twentieth-century California artists,” said the museum’s executive director Malcolm Warner. “They have been an invaluable reference source and the genesis of countless research projects, publications, and exhibitions.”

The design of the bronze award, which will be presented to Westphal at the June 30 awards dinner at the museum, is modeled after the logo of the Laguna Beach Art Association, which was founded in 1918 by artists who had discovered the town of Laguna Beach and transformed it into a vibrant arts community. The gallery that the association built in 1929 is part of today’s Laguna Art Museum, and the museum is proud to continue the tradition of the LBAA.

The California Art Award Dinner will feature a three-course dinner catered by 24 Carrots, preceded by a cocktail reception with live music. Speakers include Ruth’s long-time friend collector Gene Crain; Laguna Art Museum’s curator of collections Janet Blake; Warner; The Irvine Museum’s Executive Director Jean Stern; and Historical Collections Council President Bob Ehrlich.

Westphal’s interest in art piqued when she saw the 1979 exhibition Southern California Artists: 1890–1940 at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art (now today’s Laguna Art Museum). Tom Enman, director of the museum, curated the show with essays for the catalogue by Nancy Dustin Wall Moure. She became friends with Enman, who told her that there was little published about these early California artists.

Just two years after that experience, she decided to publish a book about the Southern California landscape artists and hired Enman, who had just finished a long tenure at the helm of the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, to assist her. Plein Air Painters of California: The Southland was published in 1982 by Westphal’s own publishing company. It was the first all-color, hardbound book that discussed early California artists and featured biographies on thirty artists who had worked in Southern California.


Summer at No Square offers a bevy of entertainment to enjoy starting with “George and His Lovely Wife Ira…” June 29

No Square Theatre’s American Songbook concert series has been a tremendous success. So don’t miss the series season finale, “George and His Lovely Wife Ira: The Music of the Gershwins,” June 29 and June 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Featuring local and imported vocalists, the music of George and Ira Gershwin provides rich opportunity for a lush, but typically unorthodox night in No Square’s intimate home in Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. The cast includes: Bree Burgess Rosen, Pat Kollenda, Roxanna Ward, Carol Robinson, Debbie Meeker, Paul Nygro, Erika Whalen, Susan Miller Kotses, Randy Hatfield, Ron Dier, Natalie Powers, and Jay Rechter. Enjoy a songbook that includes “Summertime,” “Embraceable You,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “The Man I Love,” “I’ve Got A Crush on You,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” and dozens more.

Come early for a snack or beverage in No Square’s yard. Parking is available two blocks from Legion Hall at Park Street and Legion Street, or enjoy the free summer trolleys.

Deadline approaching...don’t miss the Square Roots musical theatre camp, under the direction of Ella Wyatt. She directed this year’s hit LagunaTOTS, and appeared in both XANADU and LAGUNATICS ‘11.

“We love her, the kids love her, and with stellar credentials to back her up, we are enjoying putting her skills and passions to work with the younger theatre lovers,” Burgess Rosen said.

The deadline to join is July 7. Some scholarships are available.

The geniuses at No Square have begun the silly and daunting task of picking their favorite numbers to include in the 20th anniversary LAGUNATICS, in October.

Locals are encouraged to give input about their favorites, visit www.NoSquare.org or call 715-0333.


LAM donates four Outerbridge photos to Festival of Arts

Photo of artist and Festival of Arts founder Roy Ropp in his studio by Paul Outerbridge, donated to the Festival of Arts by Laguna Art Museum

This past Wednesday, June 13, Laguna Art Museum presented a gift to the Festival of Arts of four photographs by Paul Outerbridge, all previously owned by Laguna Art Museum. Malcolm Warner, executive director of Laguna Art Museum, and Janet Blake, curator of collections, presented the gift to Festival of Arts board president Fred Sattler; Tom Lamb, vice president; and Pat Kollenda, secretary.

“How wonderful on our 80th anniversary to receive this addition to our permanent art collection which furthers the documentation of the Festival’s history,” said Festival of Arts President Fred Sattler.

The four photographs, all from 1950–51, have recently been identified as relating to the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. One photograph (above) is a portrait of artist and Festival of Arts founder Roy Ropp in his studio.

The three other photographs are of three posed pictures at the Pageant of the Masters. The subject of the three living pictures from the 1950 Pageant of the Masters were identified by Warner as Diana the Huntress, a sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington from 1922; The Departure of Lot and His Family from Sodom by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1613–15; and The Annunciation by Hans Memling, 1465–75. The Rubens is in the collection of the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, and the Memling is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Since 1932 the Pageant of the Masters, which takes place on the grounds of the Festival of Arts, has produced an annual production of tableaux vivants, or “living pictures,” which are re-creations of works of art with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.

The Board of Trustees of Laguna Art Museum unanimously approved the gift, noting that it was fitting that the four photographs be in the collection of the Festival of Arts. Warner remarked that both Laguna Art Museum and the Festival of Arts can trace their heritage to the Laguna Beach Art Association, which was founded in 1918, and are in that sense related institutions.

Paul Outerbridge (b. 1896 New York City, d. 1958 Laguna Beach, California) was a designer and illustrator in New York before turning to photography in the 1920s. Outerbridge’s work appeared in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, and McCall’s, as well as in exhibitions of fine photography at Royal Photographic Society in London, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Getty. In 1943 he moved to Southern California where he continued photographing and writing about photography until his death in 1958. He was himself an exhibitor at the Festival of Arts in 1949, 1950, 1955, and 1957. Outerbridge was celebrated for his ability to transform commonplace objects into semi-abstractions through a keen sensitivity to pattern and light.

“The Festival is appreciative of Malcolm Warner, Janet Blake and the Laguna Art Museum Board of Trustees for the collaborative spirit in which this gift was made. These photographs by Paul Outerbridge represent a connective union on many levels and reinforces the historic bond between our organizations,” stated Festival of Arts Vice President Tom Lamb.


Karlee Mackie/ Kalm: Depths & Beyond – returns to AR4T Gallery June 30 with an artist reception

Karlee Mackie

Shell of Joy

Acrylic and water color pencil on canvas

AR4T Gallery will present Depths & Beyond, a solo show and the return of Australian painter Karlee Mackie, KALM, to southern California. Mackie’s paintings have a way of magically communicating to the dreamer inside, whether inspired from travels around the world as a surfer or her natural-born intuition that seeks beauty and positivity in everything. Depths & Beyond will feature all new works.

Says the artist:

“This is exploring the creation from destruction to new beginnings. Searching one’s emotions and self to the depths and beyond. Swimming through dark waters, only to find something that transforms into something beautiful. A poetic journey into the unknown.

“My vision for this show is bright feminine images and written words of emotions that explore the creation that comes from destruction... using emotions to fuel life. The wave you ride when such things occur.”

Karlie Mackie

About KALM: While on tour-competing on the surfing world qualifying series she began painting her friends’ surfboards, and now she is one of the wickedly lucky few females in the world that travels and explores surf culture for a career. Karlee is no stranger to the camera as she had her fair share of involvement in many surf movies such as AKA: Girl Surfer, Fashion, You Remind Me of Me, Save the Big Fat Whales, and Gone Mentawais. She has also been one of the gorgeous faces to have hosted MTV sports. Her life growing up has always been heavily influenced by the beach and carefree lifestyle. Born in Townsville, Queensland but spending most of her childhood in Culburra Beach before relocating to Lennox Head, where she is now based.

The June 30 reception will also feature a musical performance by British singing sensation, songwriter, Edei.


ART4KIDS, Inc. Welcomes Grant from Festival of Arts Foundation


Photo by Maria Turley Prasad

ART4KIDS, Inc.’s Connie Beatty, Pam Schader, Tony Johnson and Rosemary Tesoro prepare “artpacks” that will be given to children in distress. Thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation, art materials will be distributed to several Laguna Beach agencies that help children.

The Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation recently awarded a $2,000 grant to ART4KIDS, Inc., a nonprofit that provides art materials for children in distress. The organization donates art studio materials to children in hospitals, to those enduring domestic violence, poverty, abuse, divorce or grieving the loss of a loved one. ART4KIDS, Inc. “artpacks” contain crayons, watercolors, a brush, paper and a handmade card.  The Festival of Arts Foundation grant is allocated for ART4KIDS, Inc.’s work with Laguna Beach agencies including the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, CSP Youth Shelter, La Playa Center and Even Start Preschool.

ART4KIDS, Inc. founder Pam Schader states, “One way to begin to heal from trauma is through making art – externalizing the image of distress and moving it out. Art saves lives.”  A California artist with a Master of Arts degree and college art instructor for 30 years, Schader started the organization as a means of helping children process the events of September 11, 2001.

Research shows art therapy to be one of the most effective treatments for trauma.  It begins the healing process and can trigger meaningful dialogue, which provides valuable insight to therapists or other caregivers.

The therapeutic experiences of artpack recipients mirror studies of art as a healing modality.  Salt Lake City art therapist Cathy Malchioldi explains, “The very process of creating art prompts children to tell more than they would if you just talked about it.”

An artpack can be the single possession at a time when a child may have lost everything due to divorce, homelessness, natural disaster or other life disruption. It is compact, portable, accessible and appealing in design.

ART4KIDS, Inc. serves children in hospitals, clinics, and orphanages, foster care agencies, domestic violence and homeless shelters – any facility that provides services for children in trauma. It has served children throughout Southern California and the U.S. and in 15 other countries. Since ART4KIDS, Inc. inception, thousands of children worldwide have received artpacks. Friends of ART4KIDS, Inc. carry duffel bags on vacation and visit local orphanages and hospitals to deliver art materials. ART4KIDS, Inc. serves numerous Orange County agencies such as Human Options, Head Start, New Directions for Women, Orangewood, Share Our Selves, and others.

Staffed by volunteers who fundraise, assemble the kits and deliver them to children, ART4KIDS, Inc. depends upon the support of private donations. To learn more, visit www.art4kidsinc.org or call 949-646-1100.


Marinta Skupin named LAM Curator of Education

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) announced the appointment of Marinta Skupin as the museum’s new Curator of Education. Skupin will begin her post on July 9.

For the past four years, Skupin has served as Director of Education at the San Diego History Center. Before taking up her position in San Diego she was based for a number of years in New Orleans, where she was Manager of K-12 and Family Programs at the Louisiana State Museum and, before that, Education Program Coordinator at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Malcolm Warner, Executive Director of Laguna Art Museum, remarked: “Like Ed Fosmire, our recently appointed Deputy Director, Marinta is a tremendous addition to the museum team. She is a seasoned professional with experience in all aspects of museum education. She brings a strong visitor-centered approach to interpretation and programming, and is passionate about creating opportunities for all audiences to engage in meaningful and enjoyable ways with art.”

While at the San Diego History Center, Skupin was instrumental in successful efforts to evaluate and enhance the visitor experience, expand and diversify the audience, and strengthen school programs. During her tenure, K-12 visitation at the Center’s two museums increased by 68%.

“I am thrilled to join the museum at this exciting time,” she said. “Not only am I absolutely delighted at the prospect of returning to an art museum, but I also couldn’t have wished for a better opportunity to do that than at the Laguna Art Museum. I’m honored to become part of such a wonderful institution, and I believe the museum is perfectly positioned for real growth under the visionary leadership of Malcolm Warner. I look forward to working with Malcolm, the staff, and the rest of the Laguna Art Museum community.”

A native of South Africa, Skupin studied piano at the University of Stellenbosch. She has a B.A. in Fine Arts and a Masters degree in Arts Administration, both from the University of New Orleans, and continues to work as an artist as well as an art educator. She is married to André Skupin, a professor in the Department of Geography at San Diego State University.

In the past few months, Laguna Art Museum has filled out its staff with Malcolm Warner who joined the museum as executive director in January, Ed Fosmire who came on as deputy director in May, and now Skupin as Curator of Education.

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