Huge artist holiday sale, entertainment and fun on tap at studios on Laguna Canyon Road


It is time to firmly affix the thinking cap, get creative and realize that art is ideal holiday gift. So, kick holiday shopping into high gear and check out the 7th Annual Studio Art Sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. Find top Laguna Beach artists and myriad media at incredible prices.

John Barber, Gavin Heath, Edith Otto, Ashley Pigden-Hemsley, Siân Poeschl, Troy Poeschl, Marsh Scott and Maggie Spencer are among the talented artists whose work can be procured at their studios along Laguna Canyon Road. All these artists exhibit at Sawdust Art festival and Heath and Troy Poeschl, also exhibit at the Festival of Arts.

“This is the 7th year these artists have been collaborating on a ‘once-a-year’ studio sale. We only offer this opportunity once,” said fused glass artist Siân Poeschl, who is also the City cultural arts manager. “Many of us test drive new designs, or highlight best sellers.”

Fellow fused glass artist Maggie Spencer stressed the importance of giving art as a special gift.

“A gift of art is a gift that lasts and is remembered,” Spencer said. “Giving art shows you put care into the gift selection, it isn’t just the latest media hype or the biggest end display at the mall.

The show came together through a convergence of the artists, who previously held holiday shows and sales in their individual studios.

“But it made sense to pool our promotional resources while also giving a greater convenience to our customers.  We have 4 artists at just my location,” said Spencer.   “Edith Otto, John Barber, Gavin Heath, Ashley Pigden-Hemsley will be in their own studios, but we are all located within a short distance from one another.  We all have a wonderful shared customer base that keeps us inspired and enthused.”

This time of year, Spencer said her best sellers are priced at $50 and under, such as a pocket vase, an unusual shaped dish, or a heart wall plaque.

Poeschl and Spencer share both the same medium and enthusiasm for customers to find the perfect gift. The dynamic duo will offer a special super sale with items priced from $5 and $10 with discounts that range from 20 to 70-percent.

“I will have glass fusion art pieces sale priced from $10 for adorable ring dishes up to $350 for original wall sculpture,” Spencer said. “Joining me in my studio will be Siân Poeschl, also with original glass fusion and similar price points, and Marsh Scott with mixed media paintings and a very exclusive line of stainless steel jewelry.  Troy Poeschl will be at the same location, in the adjoining studio with wonderful wood sculptures.”

Both Poeschls, Spencer and Scott, the superfecta of talented artists will be at 2711 Laguna Canyon Road studios, while the rest of the incredible artist talent pool are located a bit up the canyon.

“Master glass blower John Barber, who recently installed work at the Montage will show his beautiful work,” Poeschl said. “Next door glass blower Gavin Heath showcases his African inspired works, alongside Ashley Pigden Hemsley whose mixed media Campbell Soup installation are not to be missed.”

Experience shopping, fun, refreshments, music and holiday spirit.

“Along with offering holiday cheer, performing live from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 2711 Laguna Canyon Road will be Laguna’s best singing Brit, Jason Feddy,” said Poeschl.

“Saturday will be a celebration for most of us. It’s been a year of renewal which has come with the support of our family, friends and community,” Siân Poeschl said. “It’s our opportunity to thank everyone and celebrate.”

Please find Barber’s studio at 21062 Laguna Canyon Road, Heath and Pigden-Hemsley at 21080 Laguna Canyon Road and Otto at 2307 Laguna Canyon Road.

For information, go online to

Noted watercolorist David Solomon honored

California Watercolor has named Laguna Beach artist David Solomon has recently been recognized as one of the country’s most notable watercolorists.  His name has been added to their list of artists from the 1920s through today who are internationally known to museum curators and collectors as the best of the country’s early and contemporary artists. These artists are highly collected in this country and abroad.  He is one of only two living artists who have received this recognition.

“Secret Cove”

Solomon moved to Laguna Beach in the late 1960’s and had the rare opportunity to paint with several of the other watercolorists who have been recognized by California Watercolor. His experience of painting alongside artists such as Rex Brandt and George Post shaped his unique style and appreciation for painting outdoors.

His paintings can be found in many notable art collections.  “Corner Light,” a watercolor depicting his childhood neighborhood of East Los Angeles, was purchased by the National Watercolor Society and later transferred to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute.

Solomon was an exhibitor at the Festival of Arts for over 35 years and was the first artist ever commissioned to create a painting especially for use in the Pageant of the Masters.

It’s a little known fact that he designed the seal of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, which can still be found on signs marking the entrances to the city.

See Solomon’s latest work, including 30 paintings from his upcoming book featuring scenes from Laguna Beach, at his Annual Holiday Show on Dec 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. at 450 Poplar St.  For more information visit or call (949) 939-7969.

14th annual Shanti wreath auction at Mozambique offers art and more on Monday from 6-9 p.m.


At Art Walk on Thursday, Silver Blue & Gold Gallery treated art enthusiasts to a preview of wreaths that will be auctioned at Shanti Orange County’s annual benefit on Monday, Dec. 5. The wreath auction will be held at Mozambique from 6 to 9 p.m. and promises to be a fun evening.

Silver Blue & Gold Gallery owner, Karin Worden, and other Laguna Beach artists, have created original works that will be available for purchase to the highest bidder.

Worden, a jeweler, created a lovely wreath pin in sterling silver. Artist Michele Taylor’s piece features a hand sculpted glass dragonfly on a glass medallion. And painter Doug Stotts created an oil painting that may be removed from the wreath and displayed year-round. These works are just a sampling of the 25 wreaths that will be auctioned live by local philanthropist and artist, Mike Tauber, along with ornaments and other valuable prizes.

Artist Michele Taylor has an exciting piece up for bid

Worden is quite familiar with the Shanti auction and has facilitated with previews and donations in previous years.

“When my jewelry studio was in the Canyon, Mike Tauber and I organized the preview for the Laguna Canyon Artists Open Studios,” Worden said. “I was familiar with Shanti and the auction. I thought the new space here in the courtyard would be perfect for the preview because it has a wonderful courtyard space and is located next door to Mozambique – the site of the auction on Monday.”

This is the second year that the artist has donated a sterling silver wearable wreath.

“My donation this year is a brooch/lapel pin of overlapping silver flowers in a circle format with gemstones set at the center of each flower,” Worden said. “It functions as a wearable wreath, but really it can be worn all year long as a ‘circle pin.’”

Worden appreciates the work donated by other local artists as well and feels that there are many good buys.

Painter Doug Stotts has a great versatile painting up for grabs

“I always like the wreaths by Doug Stotts, which have a detachable painting in the center,” Worden said. “Many of the wreaths this year include little surprises or gift certificates.”

The entertaining event features free admission, opportunity drawings, a no-host bar, hors d’oeuvres, zany drag queen personalities and fitness models.

“I always love to attend the auction…it’s a blast,” Worden said. “Shanti is a wonderful organization that provides much needed support and services to those with AIDS/HIV. The staff strikes me as very sincere, committed and caring. They make you want to get involved.”

The fundraiser’s roots started 14 years ago at the Little Shrimp, which later became Woody’s. Mozambique has hosted the auction in recent years, and readily stepped in after Woody’s closed. The auction has continued to grow and flourish every year.

Local artists and businesses donate handcrafted wreaths to Shanti with proceeds benefitting their HIV and AIDS services. Business donors include Laguna Drug, Bushards Pharmacy and the Tides Inn, which includes a gift certificate for a one-night stay.

“We are truly grateful to our donors for their incredible generosity,” said Sarah Kasman, Shanti OC executive director. “This years’ wreaths are really awesome and full of surprises!”

Mozambique Restaurant is at 1740 S. Coast Highway. For information about Shanti OC, go online to or call 452-0888.

After the auction, when looking for holiday gifts, Silver Blue & Gold is a haven. The staff will even do personal shopping to help customers find the ideal gift at the perfect price.

“For the holidays, we’ve spruced up our collections in the gift-giving price ranges and added new one-of-a-kind pieces from our most popular artists,” Worden said. “We’re bringing back tree ornaments as well, with some made by our jewelers, some by local glass artists Gina Lunn and Michael Herman, and the super popular pewter ornaments we featured last year.”

The artist pointed out that ornaments make great gifts at very affordable prices. And the jewelry is priced from $50 to $5,000, which accommodates any budget.

“There is really something for everyone. Earrings and pendants are the safest gifts. We also have a selection of cufflinks for men and men’s rings,” Worden said. “The nice thing about jewelry from Silver Blue & Gold is you won’t see it other places.”

Suzie’s ARTiculation…

We all learned as tots the true meaning of Thursday’s holiday, me with scissors, glue and construction paper in hand making turkey, pilgrim and Indian arts and crafts...Thanksgiving was originally a religious observance for community members to give thanks to God for a common purpose. Well, in Laguna Beach, that common purpose is the arts! I am thankful we have such a vibrant arts community with so many talented artists.

I want to reiterate, too, how much I appreciate the arts community and artists for such an incredible response to my return. It was way beyond my wildest dreams, actually a dream come true!

Of course, finally yet importantly, I want to send out Super Sized appreciation for Stuman, Shaena and Stu News Laguna! Stuman really is a great friend and mentor! I am sure the community agrees Stu News is Laguna Beach! So thanks so much Stuman...and Happy Thanksgiving to our incredible community and peeps!

Until next much little time!

Local galleries have mentored LCAD students for 10 years - work shown during Thursday’s Art Walk


Carefully setting up her art installation at [seven-degrees], Laguna College of Art and Design senior Claire Bush was focused on her art and her future as an artist. Bush and 13 other LCAD students are working with local galleries as part of a mentorship program that teaches students integral skills for the real art world, post graduation.

The program, which is part of LCAD’s professional studies class, will celebrate its 10th Anniversary this week during First Thursday’s Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. Art-goers are encouraged to explore the exhibits, talk to the artists and purchase works as well. Proceeds will go to the LCAD Scholarship Fund

“I am doing a light installation at [seven-degrees] gallery. It’s made out of LEDs and tubing, it’s a three-dimensional mandala that I created using fractal geometry and traditional mandala symbols,” Bush said.

The larger-than-life installation is 9’ x 9’ at its biggest points and is the gallery’s first mentorship project.

“I’m trying to utilize the space, as big as I can get it,” Bush said. “I have created it for [seven-degrees] for their front gallery.”

LCAD faculty member, Robin Fuld, who instigated the program’s inception, also teaches the class. She said while its purpose remains the same, aspects of the program change every year.

Over the last 10 years, the program has perpetually changed with the times, paralleling technology.

“Claire’s is actually the first installation of its kind,” Fuld said. [seven-degrees] was the only place for a large light installation.”

Bush is both a visual artist and performing artist, so the match was perfect with [seven-degrees], which is known not only for art, but renowned for events.

“They were psyched, and it seemed like a perfect assignment,” Fuld said. “I assign students for different reasons. Her direction for her art after graduation leans toward performing art and installation.”

Through her two mentors Dora Wexell and Tim Hayes, Bush learned about installation, exhibits and events. Besides her installation, Bush will be doing a performance piece.

“It’ has been really great and super helpful. They’ve been really receptive and open to dialogue about it,” Bush said.

Part of keeping with the times was the necessary implementation of a personal artist website. Along that line, most galleries want work submitted by email.

“Each student has to create a website. Things change according to technology,” Fuld said. “A couple of years ago I started talking about what is sustainable – whatever is pertinent at the time. Websites are so important, easy to navigate and sustainable.”

“It evolves as the students, galleries and field of art evolves, technology evolves. So every year it is a little different – it has to be,” Fuld said.

Students learn hands-on, the intricacies involved in the business of operating a gallery and professionally exhibiting artwork.

“I provide the student and the gallery a packet, a checklist of what I want to get accomplished,” Fuld said. “All of it is what I go over in class during the semester, and now they get to put those tools in action. Once they experience what they have learned it tends to stick.”

Students learn how to approach a gallery to exhibit their work, where to sign their art, marketing techniques, invoicing, pricing and taxes. For the final, they need to submit a hard copy of their artist statement, biography, website, resume, price list, inventory and cover letter, packaged and presented in a professional manner.

To offer further insight, the students meet and discuss their individual experience.

“Because each experience is different everyone can learn from each other,” Fuld said. “When they graduate they will have their tools.”

Bush lauds the program, thrilled that she is in the process of writing her first grant proposal. She appreciates the faculty support and their desire for students to succeed.

“I tried to go into it with an open mind. It was a lot less intimidating than I thought it would be,” Bush said. “It’s a wonderful thing – you learn to show your work and put yourself out there.”

As an artist, Bush continually experiments and looks for new ways to define herself and her art.

“Every year still it’s a bit different – the students are different and the galleries have changed. It’s different for each student and different for each gallery,” Fuld said. “It’s rewarding, challenging and fun.”

If it’s a first Thursday – it’s the First Thursday’s Art Walk

Every first Thursday of the month, Laguna Beach celebrates its cultural art scene through the award-winning First Thursdays Art Walk. On Dec. 1, from 6 to 9 p.m., stroll and trolley around the picturesque town on a self-guided tour of gallery openings, artist demonstrations and receptions, live music and other entertainment.

The 10th annual collaboration between Laguna College of Art & Design and First Thursdays Art Walk member galleries culminates on Thursday’s Art Walk, when 14 Laguna Beach galleries, volunteering as mentors, will feature original works by LCAD Fine Arts seniors. The students will be present at each gallery exhibiting their work, which is available for sale. Proceeds benefit the student and the First Thursdays Art Walk Scholarship Fund.

LCAD Professor Robin Fuld launched the Student/Gallery Mentoring Program. The program pairs senior students in the Fine Arts Professional Studies class with First Thursdays Art Walk member galleries.

“The program is designed to demonstrate the intricacies involved in the business of operating a gallery and professionally exhibiting artwork,” Fuld said. Most of the students have never exhibited their work professionally, with the exception of juried student exhibitions at the college.

Participating students and galleries: Michelle Farro at La Bottega Dell’Acquaforte, Hayley Schwied at The Redfern Gallery, Heather Patton at Bluebird Gallery, Jason Umfress at DeRu’s Fine Art, Cynthia Mozingo at Quorum Art Gallery, James Bertucci at Dawson Cole Fine Art, Enrique Escobedo at saltfineart, SiSi Chen at Studio 7 Gallery, Monique Johnson at The Cove Gallery, Trace Mendoza at AR4T SPACE, Ryleigh Beloin at Sue Greenwood Fine Art, Annel Guzman at Art Cube Gallery, Jason Nam at Townley Gallery and Claire Bush at [seven degrees].

There is no beginning or ending point, move around town at your own pace. The event is Free to the public and so is the trolley service. At any gallery and pick up an Art Walk brochure that includes a map and featuring all the evening’s special events.

Throughout the evening see artists in action and watch their creative process, demonstrating their techniques and sharing their insights – Farshid Babazadeh at The Cove Gallery; Gail Stahl at Quorum Gallery; and resident plein air artists at Studio 7 are a few.

Art patrons are encouraged to visit all the featured galleries from downtown to Gallery Row to Bluebird to Laguna Canyon Road, enhanced by performances by local musicians and gallery hospitality. Enjoy music and refreshments at DeRu’s Fine Arts and meet contemporary impressionist painter David Chapple.

Silver Blue & Gold will be hosting a holiday reception with artist-made ornaments and showing a sparkling collection of drusy agate pendants and earrings by local goldsmith Laura Carley. The reception will include a preview of handmade wreaths that will be auctioned for Shanti OC on Dec. 5. at Mozambique.

Nearby, saltfineart will continue “The Nature of Graffiti,” an exhibition that introduces paintings by celebrated Panamanian street artist Cisco Merel and artist collaborative dubbed W (Paz Ulloa and Vinicio Jimenez).



Mixed media on canvas, 59” x 79” at saltfineart

“Juxtaposing the natural world with a neon, man-made reality, these are works that should be jagged and difficult and yet are triumphantly fluid and wondrous,” said gallerist Carla Tesak.

Located on Gallery Row, JoAnne Artman Gallery will feature, “Unforgotten Memories,” a retrospective of original works by renowned Pasadena Artist Phil Joanou.

Phil Joanou


Oil on Linen, 60” x 48” at JoAnne Artman Gallery

The work from his estate shows Joanou’s influences - many aspects of modern society including film, advertising, music, news and graphic design. “Phil passed away this last year leaving us with wonderful memories of a life lived out loud as well as a collection of breathtaking images through his art,” Artman said.

Nearby, check out Lisa Lala - “The List Wall Project” - Nationally touring art installation that invites art patrons to participate by adding their hand-written wishes at Marion Meyer Contemporary Art.

You’ll want to see Dawson Cole Fine Art’s Holiday Exhibition: “Little Gems” Original paintings, works on paper and sculpture by Wayne Thiebaud, Chuck Close, Donald Sultan, among others. foaSouth is featuring selections from the Festival of Arts permanent collection.

Be sure to visit the Laguna Art Museum featuring “Best Kept Secret”- UCI and the development of contemporary art in Southern California, 1964-1971.

First Thursdays Art Walk gives you access to buy original artwork of every genre from participating galleries. The event is free to the public and so is the trolley service.  More information can be found at

Suzie’s ARTiculation…

Sun, wind, rain or even faux snow – Laguna’s art world always has cultural happenings that I enjoy. When I think of faux snow – no one does it better than the Sawdust Art Festival for the Winter Fantasy show. They literally transform the grounds into a winter wonderland – very enchanting indeed!

The show kicks off on Saturday with the 11th Annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Instead of a ribbon cutting ceremony – Mayor Toni Iseman will get a reprieve, no scissors are necessary.

Representing a spectrum of art media, the show features 170 artists and runs every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 11.

Until next much little time!

Start the New Year with new art ideology... ¡CUBA! coming in December to saltfineart with 11 artists

Take 11 million people, surround them by water, and put a madman in charge for the next 48 years. The result? ¡CUBA! a surrealist land of extreme contradictions. saltfineart is proud to present its most daring and intense show to date, “¡CUBA!,” featuring 11 artists living and working within a culture that has been shut off from the rest of the world.


Ernesto Javier Fernandez

31” x 47” photography with light sculpture

More than just an exhibition of art, “¡CUBA!,” is a rare view past the socio political show of Fidel and Raúl both and into the hearts and minds of its people.

The participating artists range from raw, emerging talents to venerated icons that form a part of museums such as the MOMA (New York) and Whitney (New York). Not all the art is political, and yet all of it has been touched by the every day realities of Cuba. Exhibited the world over for their unique voice and yet unable to speak freely, these artists live a complex irony.

saltfineart is at 1492 S. Coast Highway. For information, call 715-5554 or go online to

Shanti Wreath auction preview on World AIDS Day at Silver, Blue & Gold Gallery 6-9 p.m.

Silver Blue & Gold will host a preview show of the 2011 Shanti Wreath collection on World AIDS Day, Thursday Dec. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. The reception will unveil eight original wreaths from the collection of 25.

“We are excited about having Shanti Orange County here for World AIDS day,” said jeweler and gallery owner Karin Worden. “The wreaths are done by local artists and businesses, and there are some very creative designs.” The preview has original pieces on display, and many have fabulous attachments and unexpected materials.

The Tides Inn Wreath includes an ornament, and gift certificates for an overnight stay at Tides, along with meals at local restaurants. Another entry, by photographer Sue Chick, is titled, “Focus Hocus Pocus.” Chick’s wreath contains packages of her original greeting cards that can be removed and used for giving. A wreath by Worden is fabricated as a wearable pin in sterling silver.

Shanti representative Greg Rayes will attend the display and greet visitors. After the preview exhibit, the wreaths will proceed to Mozambique Restaurant, where 17 additional wreaths will be added in time for the Wreath Auction event on Monday, Dec. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is free to the public, proceeds benefit Shanti.

Shanti Orange County provides community outreach and services to those affected by HIV and AIDS. For information about Shanti and the Wreath Auction visit or call 452-0888. Silver, Blue & Gold is in The Art Center, at 1492 S. Coast Highway, at Caliope. For information, go online to or call 715-3000.

Sawdust Winter Fantasy open with many holiday festivities


Instead of heading to Laguna’s popular beaches this weekend, locals and visitors alike will be opting for a more festive wintery scene at the 21st Annual Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy show. The show officially kicks off the holiday season Laguna style.

Walking through the festival doors, patrons are transported into an enchanting winter dreamscape, with holiday trees, thousands of lights and a handcrafted Town Square. More than 170 exhibiting artists will be selling original art, representing a variety of media in their holiday styled booths.

In addition, receive free admission with a donation to the Toys for Tots drive every Sunday.

“There are a lot of new exhibitors from all over the country who have brought in a lot of new things for gift giving,” said board member and exhibitor Dennis Junka. “It really does kick off the season - it’s always exciting for kids of all ages – and that’s the most exciting thing about the Winter Fantasy.”

Seasoned exhibitor and jeweler Linda Ames likes the festive and energizing atmosphere.

“It’s more of a family atmosphere; it makes me smile, and the mood is very upbeat,” Ames said.

Ames said Winter Fantasy is a haven for gift buying. Artists price point their pieces, so they are affordable.

“As a jeweler, I know a lot of people are coming for gifts, and smaller items,” Ames said. Her biggest sellers in this show are earrings and rings.

Another Sawdust and Winter Fantasy staple is Olivia Batchelder, who creates hand-painted and hand-dyed signature fabrics, and manipulating natural luxury fabrics. Her best winter seller is a polar fleece scarf. She also sells many of her beautiful silk scarves. Her work is priced from $32 to $1,000, with many items perfect for gifts.

“I have a big following, people come, repeat customers who are loyal and buy another scarf every year,” Batchelder said.

She too enjoys the atmosphere, ambiance and family oriented festivities that take place during the show, which is held Nov. 19, 20, 25, 26, 27; Dec. 3, 4,9, 10 and 11. Winter Fantasy also has myriad entertainment, workshops and classes for people to enjoy, check their website at or call 494-3030 for a complete schedule.

Festival’s “The Art of Christmas” at Roger’s Gardens

Photos courtesy Festival of Arts

Roger’s Gardens has long been a festive place for a holiday visit for all ages

Spared by rain on Nov 11, over 400 guests enjoyed “The Art of Christmas” at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. This fundraiser, a kick-off celebration for the Festival of Arts 80th Anniversary, raised over $14,000 for Laguna’s famed Festival.

Guests enjoyed Pageant backdrops, “living statues” up-close as well as 80+ trees, 200k lights, music by Miguel de Alsono and champagne! Plus, unique tree toppers designed by Festival artists and Roger Garden’s merchandise staff were available at a silent auction.

David Canzoneri was the lucky raffle winner of the one-night stay at Ritz-Carlton of Laguna Niguel, dinner at Tivoli Terrace and four tickets to the 2012 Pageant of the Masters, “The Genius.”

Roger’s Gardens donated a percentage of sales to the Festival of Arts that evening. During a brief presentation, Festival of Arts President Fred Sattler recognized Roger’s Gardens owner Gavin Herbert and his team. “We are grateful for Roger’s Gardens support of the arts and our organization,” said Sattler.

Enjoy a slideshow from Roger’s Gardens


City Art in Public Places vandalized at bus depot

“We’ve had installations at the bus station for ten years without an incident. In the past six weeks, temporary murals have been damaged three times,” said the city’s Cultural Arts Manager, Siân Poeschl.

Three times, it turns out, is not a charm. Poeschl solemnly added, “Our only course of action is to remove the four panels there. They are by Patrick Moser and Mike Tauber.”

She said the artist repaired one panel the first time there was vandalism at his expense. “The last two times, someone used a sharp object to gash long tears into the canvas. It cost $400 to repair.

Poeschl said there were no plans to replace the murals at this point.

“It’s such a shame when artwork is damaged…”

Suzie’s ARTiculation…

Make sure to explore Laguna Art Museum’s exhibit Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971” and take in the panel discussion at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Exhibit curator and LAM superstar, Grace Kook-Anderson, will moderate…so go and enjoy this gem.

Art Walk was filled with highlights o’plenty, especially the Laguna College of Art & Design 50th Anniversary: “Juried Alumni All Media Exhibition” at [seven-degrees]. It was such a treat…and to experience it at Laguna’s ever-cool art and events spot – earned extra snaps. I was delighted with fine conversation too – including with [seven-degrees] own Mark Orgil and Dora Wexell, arts commission chair and LCAD trustee and event chair – Mary Ferguson, Siân and Troy Poeschl, Sharbie Higuchi, Mike Tauber and fellow arts reporter Richard Chang among others.

Another stop on top - I always dig going to Marion Meyer Contemporary Art. It’s a definite bag of downers that she will be closing in January…I am still shocked.

The art kept coming in Laguna Beach…Saturday was an art blast with Artist Open Studios. I really dug making a dish with the aid of fused-glass artist Maggie Spencer at her studio. Fun peeps at Maggie’s included Marsh Scott and Diane DeBilzan. Her studio was slamming indeed.

John Barber’s place too was a hot spot. I enjoyed chatting with John and Rebecca Barber, as well as Muffin Spencer-Devlin at John’s as created some gorgeous angels.

I also enjoyed talking with the very clever co-writer of No Square association - Chris Quilter about how much I loved “Lagunatics” this year and, well, every year. I can’t wait for the 20th Anniversary show next fall!

Until next much little time!

LCAD students work with local galleries for mentoring program in its tenth year – works in 14 Art Walk galleries

Every year Laguna College of Art & Design students collaborate with local galleries as part of their education, learning some very “real world” facets. The annual collaboration between LCAD and First Thursday’s Art Walk member galleries will culminate on Dec. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. when 14 Laguna Beach galleries, volunteering as mentors, will feature original works by Fine Arts seniors at the college during Art Walk.

The students will be present at each gallery exhibiting their work, which is available for sale. Sale proceeds will benefit student artists and the First Thursdays Art Walk LCAD Scholarship Fund. This year’s event marks the 10th anniversary of the successful collaboration.

The Student/Gallery Mentoring Program was launched by First Thursday’s member and current LCAD Professor Robin Fuld. The program pairs senior students in the Fine Arts Professional Studies class with First Thursday’s professional art galleries and is designed to demonstrate the intricacies involved in the business of operating a gallery and professionally exhibiting artwork.

Most of the students have never exhibited their work professionally, with the exception of juried student exhibitions at the college.

The Professional Studies class is designed to teach students the fundamentals of work in the professional arena. The program includes hands-on work with representatives from the galleries, whose expertise helps guide the students and broaden the scope of their art world experience.

An integral part of LCAD’s mission is to provide students with the skills and education necessary to prepare them for today’s complex and changing job market. The success of the college as well as the success of alumni resides in their ability to engage in fulfilling careers.

“Every year, I hope to instill in my students the importance of the business side of art, and not to fear it. There is so much help available to the emerging artist, and now they have a chance to work with industry professionals through the mentoring program who will answer their every question and show them the ropes. Besides having the passion and discipline for their art, it is essential to have knowledge of the business side,” said Robin Fuld Professor of Professional Studies and Director of Career Services.

Fuld points out that not all fine artists who graduate have set their sights on gallery representation.

“The field of art has many diverse components. Career opportunities encompass teachers, commission portrait painters, art advisors, muralists, scene painters for animation studios, police sketch artist, and the list goes on and on. Most students graduating with a Bachelor’s degree have yet to acquire the amount of consistent work necessary for gallery representation,” Fuld said. “Many will continue on to a graduate program to hone their skills and create that work. Many will need to work at least part-time to support their education, if they’re not receiving some other form of financial assistance. It’s a balancing act, and these students are fueled by their passion and need to create.”

Fuld said she assigns students to galleries for a variety of reasons and it’s just not because they are visually a perfect match.

“How could most be? They are still students exploring the direction of their work. It’s serendipitous that this year’s students have quite specific interests that they share in common with their gallery and have a unique opportunity to cultivate it,” said Fuld.

Festival will celebrate its 80th Anniversary strong as an oak


The Festival of Arts is going into its 80th Anniversary with strong momentum, as reported at their annual meeting Wednesday night. Achieving their goals in 2011, the Festival was able to make a positive impact on the community and the arts, while gaining strength financially. This year marked a decade of being in the black.

“I’m happy to report that the past year has, by all measures, been once again successful,” said board president Fred Sattler.

He reported that of the 56 Pageant of the Masters performances this year, there were only 424 empty seats in total. “That is a 99.97% sold-out show,” Sattler said. Tickets purchased online now make 30 percent of the sales.

Festival attendance was strong too.

“Many of the Festival of Arts special events, under the direction of Special Events director Susan Davis, received rave reviews and record attendance,” Sattler said. “Nearly 226,000 people attended the Festival and Pageant this summer.  That’s nearly 4,000 per day.”

Treasurer Anita Mangels reported the impressive financial status.

“I’m proud to be a part of this amazing, amazing organization - in the black in times like these is verging on miraculous,” Mangels said. “Members and volunteers, without you we can’t do this.”

The unaudited financial reports were an improvement over last year’s numbers. Assets in 2011 were reported as $11,515,471, liabilities were $1,178,762, leaving net assets at $10,336,709, which was $994,845 over the 2010 audited net total. And for operations – unaudited revenue was $9,038,778 in 2011, which was higher than the last two years. Unaudited expenses were $8,043,935, leaving a net total of $994,843.


Read more: Festival Will 111111

Suzie’s ARTiculation…

Last weekend I went to the opening of Laguna Art Museum’s exhibit on Saturday, the Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971.” It is a phenom exhibit with so many interesting works.

I am going to have to go again and again to really experience everything the exhibit offers – it’s quite extensive! On Sunday, I was one of many art enthusiasts who enjoyed an extensive tour of the exhibit thanks to curator Grace Kook Anderson. It was a pleasure indeed, very informative and fun.

I’m looking forward to Art Walk and Artist Open Studios happening this week.

And, I hope everyone had a great Halloween – one of my favorite holidays!

Until much little time.

S Cube Gallery’s ‘On The Edge: Statements in Black and White’ cross-media exhibit opens Saturday

Artist Norman Mooney’s “Wallflower” is part of S Cube Gallery’s latest exhibit

On Saturday, Nov. 12, S Cube Gallery will present its premier exhibition, “On The Edge: Statements in Black and White.” The cross-media exhibit utilizes a black and white palette to showcase work by artists that focus on testing the limits of various spectrums be they socio-political, psychological, or limits associated with ideas of art-making.

The final sentence of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five” reads, “I want to stay as close the edge as possible without going over. Out on the edge you can see all sorts of things you can’t see fro the center. Big, undreamed of things - the people on the edge see them first.” Therefore, “Black and White” in the context of this work refers not to polarities or extremism, but rather edges - limits - and the artist’s urge to test and provoke these limits.

The perspectives presented in the show are as varied and unique as the artists’ materiality and backgrounds, prodding at limits both visual and conceptual. For example, Norman Mooney’s “Wallflower,” consisting of dozens of white powder-coated aluminum spikes bursts menacingly and sublimely from the wall, the surreal and dramatic form seemingly defined more by its cast shadows than the structure itself. Similarly, the forms that compose Virginia Colwell’s “Avalanche 3” are again defined indirectly. The white on white Braille type embossing that comprises the image of an avalanche also echoes the formlessness of sublimity, which was the prominent conceptual concern of the romantic landscape painters of the 18th century and is not unlike the depiction of disaster images shown in sensationalized media news coverage.

Eclipse – Cara Cole

“Eclipse” from Cara Cole’s “Gods and Heroes” series utilizes intimate medical research photographs of children appropriated from various scientific texts and juxtaposes them with various natural elements - fire, a comet, a virus microbe. She alters the scale of both the figures and the phenomenal objects to create giant mystifying and unsettling visual narratives that trigger paradoxes of science and myth, life and death.

Paradox is also a dominant theme in John Chang’s recent work, expressing the duality of his experiences in both America and China. Through mixed media abstraction, he incorporates traditional Chinese calligraphy with deconstructed “parts” of characters that comparatively speak not only to the dualities of the Eastern and Western worlds, but also of custom and divergence, cultural identity and innate sense of being.

In all cases, the artists make a conscious statement, either overtly or subtly, to an idea that demonstrates personal and artistic conviction through a dialogue of material and passion.

S Cube is proud to be partnering with The ECOH Gallery in Mexico City in the beginnings of establishing an international platform. “On The Edge: Statements in Black and White” features works by several ECOH represented artists. The diverse roster - a blend of emerging and established - includes Shay Bredimus, John Chang, Cara Cole, Virginia Colwell, Cheryl Ekstrom, Denny Ekstrom, Maura Falfan, Orion Fisher, Phil Kim, Anuar Maauad, Daina Mattis, James Miller, Norman Mooney, Henrik Uldalen, Sebastian Verdon, and Todd Williamson. The works are eloquent, sometimes difficult, and always unconventional as the artists commit to creating from the edge of the black or the white.

“On The Edge: Statements in Black and White” will be presented at S Cube Gallery from Nov. 12 to Jan. 30. The gallery is at 346 N. Coast Hwy.

For information, contact Sanja Simidzija or Jared Linge at 376-8800.

Plein Air Painting for Kids – class at Hortense Miller Gardens Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

SEEDS is working with Laguna Beach artist Doug Stotts to offer a plein air painting class for kids. SEEDS has partnered with the Hortense Miller Garden to provide a beautiful natural setting for the class venue.

The class will focus on the fundamentals of plein air (open air) painting. Some materials will be provided by Crystal Cove Alliance. Children will leave with a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

The class will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hortense Miller Gardens in Laguna Beach on Saturday, Nov 12.

Students must register at

$25. Friends of SEEDS fee is $20. Ages. 8-12. Limited to 10.

“Given the rich history that plein air painting has in Laguna Beach, we wanted to inspire the next generation to continue this legacy and Hortense Miller Garden offers a truly inspiring landscape,” said Liesa Schimmelpfennig, President of SEEDS.

Dorothea Yellott, Secretary and a Board Member of the Friends of the Hortense Miller Garden said, “I think the Hortense Miller Garden is a perfect venue for a children’s plein air painting class because of the type of garden it is. HMG emphasizes water-wise and environmentally friendly gardening, providing information to visitors about our local habitat and about native and naturalized plants growing well in our coastal environment. The garden offers an opportunity to see a variety of plants seldom found in nurseries and public gardens, sparking our imagination and opening our eyes to nature’s diversity.”

Marsh Scott has a third public art sculpture in Chicago area

Laguna Beach artist Marsh Scott went to the Chicago area last month for the dedication of the new Fountaindale Public Library, which included her commissioned public art sculpture “Bridge to Imagination.” Scott also checked out her two other stainless steel sculptures installed last spring.

‘Best Kept Secret’ Art Education Then and Now panel Discussion this Sunday at Laguna Art Museum – 1 p.m.

Laguna Art Museum is having a “Best Kept Secret” panel discussion, “Art Education Then and Now,” on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m.
The panel discussion is in conjunction with Laguna Art Museum’s Pacific Standard Exhibit, called “Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964 to 1971.”

This panel discussion aims to unravel historic parallels and relevance of UCI to contemporary art education and features panelists Kim Abeles, Miles Coolidge, Tony DeLap, and Peter Frank. Curator Grace Kook-Anderson will moderate the discussion.

Tony DeLap, “Fawkes,” 1968

Cast fiberglass, stainless steel, acrylic, and lacquer

35 x 28 x 7 3/8 inches

“Pacific Standard Time” is an unprecedented collaboration of cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene. Starting last month, over 60 cultural institutions are contributing to this region-wide initiative encompassing every major L.A. art movement from 1945 to 1980. Celebrate the era that continues to inspire the world.

“Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964 to 1971,” is accompanied by a 170-page publication featuring artists in the exhibition, essays, ephemera, and a timeline. Peter Frank is the main essayist and Cole Akers, Janet Blake, Jacqueline Bunge, and Kook-Anderson are contributing writers.

The event is free to museum members, and free to non-members with paid admission. Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. For information, call 494-8971 or go online to

Audrey Miller and Carla Rogers named 2011 Holiday Palette Winners by the Arts Commission – on display Dec 1

On Oct. 10, the City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission reviewed submissions to the 2011 annual palette competition. The artist painted palettes are original works of art displayed throughout the city during the winter holiday season.

The palette tradition started in 1966 with three screen-printed designs on 104 palettes.

Two artist designs were selected as 2011 palette competition winners: Audrey Miller and Carla Rogers.

By Audrey Miller

By Carla Rogers

The collection will be on display commencing Dec. 1, through the beginning of January. For information, contact City Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl at 497-0722 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillepsie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc