Marion Meyer Contemporary Art will close in mid-January


After nearly 14 years and essentially helping to re-establish Gallery Row on North Coast Hwy, Marion Meyer announced that she will be closing Marion Meyer Contemporary Art in mid January 2012.

“The rich experience of participating in the art world that is uniquely Laguna, is filled with memories that I will never forget,” she said.

Established in 1998 at 354 N. Coast Hwy on North Laguna’s Gallery Row, Meyer brought with her 23 years of International gallery experience. Prior to opening MMCA, Marion interned and later managed Galerie 224 (now DeBilzan) on Forest Ave. for 10 years. She has been long committed to supporting the growth of Contemporary Art in Southern California and attracting International recognition to the Arts in Orange County.

Meyer added, “From operating the gallery day-to-day, being president of the First Thursday Art Walk, and participating in numerous community art events, I truly fell blessed for all the wonderful experiences the business has afforded me. I am thankful for all the wonderful friends and acquaintances I have made over the years and fully intend to stay connected to the local arts in Laguna Beach.”

The Laguna Beach resident also said on Monday night, “I would especially like to thank the many art patrons in Laguna - not only at MMCA but for everyone included in this special community. Thank you very much and I look forward to future art events where I can enjoy seeing the many friends I’ve made over the years.

“Auf Wiedersehn!”

Laguna Art Museum brought in a good crowd at ‘Best Kept Secret’ opening Saturday night


The timeline and ephemera, part of the “Best Kept Secret” exhibit, which opened Saturday at Laguna Art Museum

On Saturday night, nearly 700 art enthusiasts went to the opening of Laguna Art Museum’s exciting exhibit, the “Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964 to 1971,” an exhibit that documents the emergence of contemporary art in Southern California and UC Irvine’s integral role.

Although UCI was crucial to the development of contemporary art, its role hasn’t been well publicized until now. More than 30 significant artists to the movement are featured  that offers an incredible look at the scene as it was then. The museum is filled with treasures in the galleries on the main floor as well as the lower level.

“It archives a lot of work. We went through a lot of puzzles to put it together,” said exhibit curator Grace Kook Anderson. The curator had help from Tony DeLap, a pioneer artist of Minimalism and Op Art on the West Coast, who is the project consultant and Curator of Exhibitions at Laguna Art Museum.  She also lauded the artists for their help “[There was] a tremendous amount of time and giving from the artists for this exhibit.”

“Best Kept Secret” takes a look at UCI’s formative years starting with its inaugural year in ’64 and takes the viewer on an eight-year journey through ’71, and ends before a different, less significant chapter began.

A timeline situated in California Gallery gives an exciting visual of the UCI experience with photographs, flyers and ephemera during that time, and illustrates happenings in the art world and world itself.

During that time, minimalism, color was out, and artists were questioning whether painting was dead. Both teachers and UCI students are on exhibit.

Teachers and teaching methodologies were quite different during those formative years, and the teachers themselves were artists.

“They believed in the university having professional teachers, not just teachers, but artists,” Kook Anderson said.

Tony DeLap, Robert Irwin, Vija Celmins were the first influencers and the faculty grew to include Larry Bell, Ed Bereal, Ron Davis, Craig Kauffman, Philip Leider, John Mason, Ed Moses, Barbara Rose, and Alan Solomon.

Davis and the other teachers bulked at convention and preconceived ideas that were floating around during that period.

Instead of color being out, Davis’s world was not devoid of color. For instance, Davis had students pick one color and focused on an abstract exercise.

“He wanted students to follow their own ways,” Kook Anderson said. “He taught about openness, art not being bound by rules or ideologies.”

The “Best Kept Secret” offers a world of discovery, not exposed until now. Experience the teachers, whose works are featured in the Steele Gallery and Linkletter Gallery. And explore the students’ works in the Jefferies Galleries, Cuprien Gallery, Brief Gallery, and Segerstrom Gallery. In addition, many finds are exhibited on the lower level, at the Brief and Segerstrom Galleries. These works are more experimental in some ways, as well as a bit more controversial, especially at the time.

Please check out the exhibit. And read more about “Best Kept Secret” in my extensive article on Friday. Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. For information, call 494-8971 or go online to www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Artist Open Studios on Saturday feature arts in every medium and exciting demonstrations

Sculptor Louis Longi (above) will feature exciting works at his studio. (Below): Olivia Batchelder is sure to talk to art-goers and offer examples of her incredible works at the Open Artist Studio event.

Enjoy experiencing artists working in their studios on Saturday, Nov. 5, Artist Open Studios will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Catch the free shuttle service from Act V (Corporate Yard) parking lot, located at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road and take advantage of free parking for this unique artistic adventure. The shuttle service runs every 15 minutes.

Artist Open Studios is free and open to the public. It is a celebration of Laguna’s thriving visual arts community. It is not only a fantastic opportunity to see, buy or commission art, it is also an adventure through the city - to uncover new talent and rediscover established artists. Who could resist the chance to step into the heart of where art is created, to experience something unique, something you cannot see anywhere else. Experience glass blowing, fused glass hands-on workshops, ceramic, painting and bronze lost-wax demonstrations.

Participating artist include: John Barber, Marlo Bartels, Olivia Batchelder, Lupe Blanton, Cynthia Britain, Hedy Buzan, Laura Carley, Elaine, Cohen, Gavin Heath, Paul Gardner, Louise Kerr, Louis Longi, Lorenzo, Ashley Pigden-Hemsley, Vanessa Rothe, Sheryl Seltzer, Michael Situ, Kristi Smith, Maggie Spencer, Muffin Spencer-Devlin, Tom Swimm, Ralph Tarzian, Cliff Wassmann, Marc Whitney and Arna Vodenos. For information go online to www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Suzie Speaks

Suzie’s Articulation…

As I started to articulate my Articulation, a song suddenly intruded my thoughts, albeit pleasantly. It is/was playing over and over again…well actually my own collage of the Rodgers and Hammerstein epic, “My Favorite Things.” My thoughts and related bliss regarding Laguna’s upcoming art events precipitated my conjured remake of the song and the repetitive line dose of, “These are a few of my favorite things.”

Sporadically, and seemingly not of my own volition, “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,” is added to the mix, along with a little humming effect and random visuals of Julie Andrews singing away.

My point is that October-ish is a perennial Laguna Beach art events time and hosts some of my favorite art events. In past columns, I realize that I have waxed on about No Square Theater founder, and, and, etc., Bree Burgess Rosen, iterating about her creative genius. Well, her clever, visionary mothership will make a landing from Oct. 15 to 30 with the production of Lagunatics: 2011. The production put the words imaginative, inventive and original in the books of creativity.

It is a must see! Alternatively, if it’s your preference, go ahead and be embarrassed that you are no prize and really missed out on merriment, laughter and feel good moments.

Another event that I so love is Jodie Gates’ Laguna Dance Festival, which is having a signature fundraiser event on Thursday, Oct 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Surf & Sand Resort & Spa. It is critical to support the dance festival.

Gates brilliantly and continually brings the top dance companies in the world to our door and lets them in for us to enjoy. Showcasing new and established dance companies and dancers from leading ballet companies – the Dance Festival is always the hottest ticket in town. The 7th annual dance festival will be in the spring.

Other treasures are the happenings at Laguna Art Museum and the Plein Air Invitational, and so are the exhibits and events happening at Laguna College of Art & Design. In addition, we have the Artist Open Studios, LOCA art classes and a new Festival of Arts exhibit at Wells Fargo. Can you say art whiplash – a pleasant variety, mind you.

And last Saturday actually kicked of my favorites time of year with one my favorite events of the year - Aids Services Foundation’s (ASF) annual fundraiser. Just writing the names Ken Jillson and Al Roberts says it all. Who doesn’t love, respect and appreciate these amazing philanthropists? No one!

And it is always a delight to see another Laguna philanthropist, Mark Porterfield, and his perpetual grin.

The tribute to Elizabeth Taylor was moving as was Mondo Guerra’s speech, a season eight Project Runway finalist designer. He talked about being HIV positive for more than 10 years and how he revealed his status to the show’s judges. It was inspiring to hear his journey.

However, I will give you more of the skinny and stats in an upcoming update.

Until then...so much art...so little time.

See a significant body of work representing Berlin with Fitz Maurice’s exhibit at Chapman University Thursday night

Laguna Beach artist Fitz Maurice will be showing of her history-making “BERLIN: Metamorphosis Collection” with an artist reception on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. as the inaugural exhibit at Chapman University’s new Great Room in the Argyros Forum.

“BERLIN: Metamorphosis Collection” was first shown by the German Parliament as the artistic rendition of the “Fall of The Wall” and the Reunification of Germany. This collection toured Germany for three years, including an exhibition in the (Rathaus Schonberger) City Hall Berlin and the Museum des Landkreises Waldshut.

Photo courtesy Karen Alonge

Laguna artist Fitz Maurice at her Berlin Art Show at Chapman University, which opens this Thursday with a 7 p.m. artist’s reception

Later this collection of 25 original paintings was also exhibited as a one-artist exhibition in Soho, New York. “BERLIN: Metamorphosis” was featured in the nationwide, Die Welt newspaper in the Berlin Cultural Section, three times.

Chapman President Dr. Doti has honored Maurice with this inaugural exhibition. German food and music will be provided.  There will also be a screening of the film “Westwind”.  The director, Robert Thalheim will be present.

To preview the “BERLIN: Metamorphosis Collection”, visit www.fitzmauriceart.com and play the video. Chapman University, Argyros Forum, is located at 1 University Drive in Orange.

Laguna Beach galleries will be featured in an exciting Pacific Art Foundation event tomorrow in Newport

Tomorrow (Wednesday), The Pacific Art Foundation cordially invites the public to participate in an exclusive evening of fine art, food, drink and conversation with, “Broad Topics: A Woman’s Take on the Industry of Art,” featuring four women and four Laguna Beach galleries, including Laguna’s own JoAnne Artman Gallery, Sue Greenwood Fine Art, saltfineart and Art Cube. The event will raise funds for scholarships that will benefit Laguna College of Art & Design.

Cecilia Paredes – Meditative Mermaid

At saltfineart

Photo performance with body paint, 42 x 42 inches

saltfineart  will feature artists Cecilia Paredes and Olga Sinclair. The gallery specializes in museum caliber Latin American Contemporary art, where gallerist Carla Tesak Arzente’s roots run deep and whose talent and commitment she is passionate about sharing. The gallery presents exhibitions designed to be stimulating, challenging, and rewarding, for all involved – to push boundaries, educate and expand the horizons of Latin American Art. Every artist represented, from the world-renowned to the emergent, transgresses social boundaries. saltfineart is located at 1492 S. Coast Hwy.

JoAnne Artman will feature artists Brooke Shaden and America Martin. Artman opened the gallery at 326 N. Coast Hwy. after many years presenting vibrant and eclectic exhibitions at the renowned Space on Spurgeon in Santa Ana. Her roster of artists are rooted in her obvious passion for their individual voice and mastery of technique. All artists are award-winning, and their works have been shown and collected in museums and private collections in Southern California, around the country and internationally.

Art Cube will feature local artist Cheryl Eckstrom and Christine Hayman. With a great depth of knowledge in the art business, gallerist Sanja Simidzija has created a space that supports the continuous search for truth in art through groundbreaking exhibitions that feature a wide range of both International and Southern California artists, many of which have shown in museums and Biennial exhibitions across the country and the world. Art Cube is located at 266 Forest Ave.

Sherry Karver and Mary Austin-Kline

Sue Greenwood Fine Art


Sue Greenwood Fine Art Gallery will feature artists Sherry Karver and Mary Austin-Kline. Greenwood’s gallery, established in 2005, is located across the street from the Laguna Art Museum, along the historic North Gallery Row. In a relatively short time, the gallery has gained recognition for its focus of contemporary realism and figurative artists with a particular emphasis in painting and sculpture.  The gallery represents forty refined and distinctive emerging, mid-career and established artists from across the country.

For $100, VIP guests can enter at 6 p.m., sip cocktails with the artists while enjoying a talk from Peter Frank of the Huffington Post and receive a limited edition autographed catalogue with gorgeous reproductions of the work on display and an essay by Peter Frank to accompany his presentation.

A $75 general admission ticket gains entrance to the Main Gallery Exhibition, opening at 7 p.m. Art fans will enjoy fabulous food and drinks as they enjoy the exhibit and incredible female artists. The event is at The Pacific Club, 4110 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach. For tickets, go online to www.pacificartfoundation.org.

Applications for Festival of Arts 2012 Summer Show is Oct. 28

The Festival of Arts is looking for talented artists to apply for its 2012 summer show, which will run July and August next summer.

Recognized as California’s Premier Fine Art Show, the Festival is a prestigious, highly competitive, regional juried fine art show featuring original artwork by southern Orange County’s finest artists.

Artists who would like to apply for the 2012 fine art show should submit a CD with three digital images per media and a completed application form to the Festival of Arts by Oct. 28.

“To be a part of the art show next summer is a very unique opportunity for artists as it is the Festival’s 80th Anniversary,” said Exhibits Director Martin Betz.

To apply artists must reside in the following cities:  Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Balboa, Balboa Island, Capistrano Beach, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest (El Toro), Mission Viejo, Monarch Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

Artists must be able to show that they have resided in one of the aforementioned cities for at least one year prior to the deadline. Applicants may download an application from the Festival’s website www.foapom.com.

The jurors will score the submitted artwork based on quality, intention and content; excellence of craftsmanship; facility with media; excellence in the use of design elements; and professional presentation. Jurying fees are $50 per medium submitted.

For more information, please call 464-4234 or go online to www.foapom.com.

LAM exhibit features 30 SoCal artists in ‘Best Kept Secret’ in conjunction with the Getty

Laguna Art Museum presents the “Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964 to 1971,” from Oct. 30 through Jan. 22 in conjunction with the Getty’s region-wide initiative, “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945 to 1980.”

Tony DeLap, a pioneer artist of Minimalism and Op Art on the West Coast, is serving as the project consultant and Curator of Exhibitions at Laguna Art Museum, Grace Kook-Anderson, is the curator.

UC Irvine was a hotbed of creativity and experimentation in the 60s and early 70s, a hub of innovation where exceptional teachers such as DeLap, Robert Irwin, and Vija Celmins taught talented students like Alexis Smith, Chris Burden, and Nancy Buchanan. All but forgotten in the intervening years, this exceptional time and place is now recovered at Laguna Art Museum in “Best Kept Secret.”

Often overlooked in art history, UCI played a pivotal role to the development of contemporary art. “Best Kept Secret” takes a look at UCI’s formative years beginning with its inaugural year in ‘64. This was also the year that John Coplans was appointed director of the University Art Gallery.

Coplans was a writer and editor for Artforum” magazine who moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Los Angeles at this time. One of the first art professors Coplans recruited was DeLap, and the faculty grew to include Larry Bell, Ed Bereal, Vija Celmins, Ron Davis, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, Philip Leider (editor-in-chief of Artforum,” ’62 to ‘71), John Mason, Ed Moses, Barbara Rose, and Alan Solomon.

Under the tutelage of this faculty, students included Marsha Red Adams, Michael Asher, Nancy Buchanan, Chris Burden, Ned Evans, Marcia Hafif, Charles Christopher Hill, Jay McCafferty, Richard Newton, Alexis Smith, Barbara T. Smith, Bruce Richards, James Turrell, and Robert Walker. This is only a short list of individuals, as the exhibition will show the works of nearly forty artists of faculty and students during this time.

The year ‘71 marks a significant end year of exploration for this exhibition. The Duchamp Festival – organized by Moira Roth and Rose – took place at UCI that year. The festival included an exhibition, symposium, and a set of performances and talks organized by faculty, students, and other artists.

As artists at UCI laid the groundwork for formative art practices, utilizing the vacuous ranch land as a site of many experiments, the art community converged, new galleries opened, and new models of artist-run, alternative spaces were created – all before the City of Irvine’s incorporation into Orange County.

Through first-hand interviews with the artists, collected ephemeral materials, early works from the artists of this time-period, the production of a short documentary, and the publication of a book, the overlooked activities that took place will be recognized as an important moment in the emergence of contemporary art in Southern California.

Before the ISMs of art movements became solidified in the ways we view them today, UCI nurtured the roots of various movements of art practice – Finish Fetish, Light and Space, performance, video, conceptualism, feminism, and installation. Because of or in spite of the underdeveloped landscape surrounding UCI and the greater Orange County area at the time, the wealth of artists and activities have been overlooked and under-recognized in the discourse of Southern California art history.

The exhibit is accompanied by a 170-page publication of the same title 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.

13th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational

Photo by Marilynn Young

For StuNewsLaguna

A gala evening including a live auction of original works created by 50 artists who participated in the 13th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational was held at Laguna Art Museum Saturday night. The weeklong event ended with a public sale at the Museum on Sunday.

Twisted Stitchers strike again

Photos by Faye Chapman


Twisted Stitchers Traci Acosta (left) and Michelle Boyd found themselves up a tree Sunday after the Woman’s Club gave them the green light to “Yarn Bomb” trees alongside Glenneyre. Acosta and Boyd are among seven Twisted Stitchers.

They collaborated with the Yarn Corner Group of Australia (150 members), which sent a Koala Bear piece (other pieces are on the way). Laguna in turn sent yarn pieces of vines and flowers to be installed on the Melbourne Foot Bridge on Nov 6. Boyd said they would also be sending a “red slanty bollard piece” that will be installed down under for their World AIDS Day event/concert on Dec 1.

All that begs the question – is Melbourne Laguna’s “Stitcher City”?

You would have to be a lunatic not to see Laguna’s favorite ‘roast of the coast’ ‘Lagunatics’ on weekends through October


It’s play time in Laguna Beach - a time to laugh, have fun, forget the serious and find the silly with No Square Theater’s 19th annual, “Lagunatics,” a musical parody revue of life in Laguna - Oct. 21 to 23 and Oct. 28 to 30.

Known as the “roast of the coast,” the show pokes fun at local issues, town fodder and addresses topics gleaned from the local media, albeit presented in a slightly more garish fashion.

Touted this year as being all new and significantly sillier, “Lagunatics” 2011, creator, co-writer and singer extraordinaire Bree Burgess Rosen puts it best, “This is recess for grown ups and we really, really need it.”

Burgess Rosen’s playground is full of talent with co-writer and director, Chris Quilter, as they dish up some great satirical numbers with the help of musical director Roxanna Ward, choreographer Paul Nygro and a cast of locals, featuring the City Council, City employees, the City arts commission and many talented actors known as neighbors.

Lagunatics veteran extraordinaire Pat Kollenda, who is on the arts commission, said opening weekend went swimmingly, especially with Sunday’s full house.

“It’s terrific fun, clever as always and has an amazing cast,” Kollenda said. “The writing is brilliant – Chris and Bree just do a phenomenal job with their very clever take off on all things Laguna.”

Locals will appreciate the digs taken at timely issues, politics, causes and initiatives, as well as the arts, real estate, ribbon cuttings, road issues, sister cities, tax hikes and the like all brought up in a non-threatening, neighbor-friendly format  - via over-the top song and dance numbers.

“A year ago, during the last Lagunatics, we thought about doing one about light pollution,” said Burgess Rosen, as she laughed while telling her bright tale of light pollution affliction.

“I was sitting on my balcony with Rox and Pat Kollenda having a glass of wine, it’s 1 a.m. in the morning and we’re having to wear sunglasses because the people that live below me have such bright lights,” Burgess Rosen said. “They are huge floodlights that never go off and bright as all get out.”

The piece turned out to be her favorite with its personal nature, hilarious lyrics and brilliant choreography too.

Coincidentally, the day before the show’s opening, the City Council sent out quite timely fliers about the good neighbor outdoor lighting policy. Burgess Rosen quipped, “Hopefully it will be as successful as the good neighbor tree trimming policy.”

Emotions and viewpoints learn to sashay together in this musical mockery, as

Burgess Rosen has witnessed lifetime friendships torn apart over trees and views and other Laguna strife-filled minutiae.

“It’s not worth getting into it with your neighbors,” said Burgess Rosen.

In her “Lagunatics” virgin voyage, Councilwoman Verna Rollinger is enjoying the show biz experience.

“We had a full house last night and the audience just loved it. It’s a lot of fun,” Rollinger said. “I’m working, unlike myself, with a lot of very talented people; it’s a joy to see it all come together.”

Rollinger is featured in a few spots, playing diverse roles. She’s in a bit about Laguna’s electric car charging stations; “Highway from Hell,” a number that calls out to the often tenuous roadway run known as Laguna Canyon Road; and jives as a presenter in a spoof of the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Art Star Awards, that champions local art organizations.

The arts number was the most difficult piece – since the original was in Spanish, using the song “La Bamba” and changing it to “La BAA.”

Quilter is fluent in French and Burgess Rosen knows Japanese well, but Spanish – not so much for either writer.

Rollinger’s favorite is Burgess Rosen’s mockery of the luxurious lifestyle and meticulous care of pinnipeds rescued and housed at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

“It’s really funny, and she sings her heart out. That’s worth the price of admission,” Rollinger said, waxing on about Burgess Rosen’s incredible voice and talent.

Audiences agree, it was a crowd pleaser opening weekend.

“Chris wrote my song for me - it kills, it’s great, it’s raw meat, and it’s very fun,” Burgess Rosen said. “It’s just about if you were a sea lion, and you got rescued and you got herring smoothies served to you everyday poolside, why would you want to get well,” Burgess Rosen said. “It’s sort of the sea lion grifter who is conning the nice humans.”

And the goats have grazed their way back on stage in “It Had to Be Chewed,” performed by No Square’s Joe Lauderdale, an original of the show.

“Joe’s goat number cracks me up because it is this really grandiose song, but with all these goats,” Burgess Rosen said.

Run-ins with meter maids, parking and space-mongers of the road – the bicyclist are a part of No Square’s hit list, along with the new greeter, unsightly trash, the red palm weevil and the fishing ban.

Addressing the annoying bug situation, the weevil gets its due growl to the tune of “Evil Woman,” instead redone as “Weevil Omen.”

City Council members Toni Iseman and Kelly Boyd get to play out their real difference of opinion on issues in the fishing ban piece. Boyd, who sings a solo, quite well Burgess Rosen said, plays a fisherman, while Iseman dances with a giant fish.

“That’s sort of the epiphany we accomplish with ‘Lagunatics’ is that people who are very passionate and on opposite ends of an issue sit next to each other, or in this case are backstage together, and laugh,” Burgess Rosen said. “It’s a lovely healing kind of palate cleanser for the very hot passions that we have in town.”

Rollinger lauds the production and cast.

“The company is terrific – how those people get their costumes changed and back on the stage ready to do another number, it’s just really [impressive,]” Rollinger said. “Being backstage, I can now appreciate the work that goes into this kind of production. I’ve never even been close to the backstage of a performance before.”

In addition, it’s obvious that a feeling of camaraderie is strong for the “Lagunatics” cast.

“Many people who participate are people I didn’t really know before, and they’re super talented, thoughtful, helpful and encouraging to those of us who really don’t know one stage left to a stage right.” Rollinger said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Since “Lagunatics” is in her blood, Burgess Rosen expressed that the ties are more like a family. Kollenda echoed her sentiments.

“Actually I think we’re very much a family as a cast, which is really terrific. It’s fun to do it and I’m surrounded by great people. There’s a lot of talent.”

Performances are Oct. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 with curtain call at 7 p.m. and on Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. for the gala. Tickets are $45 for Fridays and Saturdays and $35 for Sunday. Gala admission is $100. “Lagunatics” is performed at Festival of Arts’ Forum Theatre, 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For tickets, go online to www.nosquare.org.

Sawdust Studio Art Classes Celebrates One-Year Anniversary Oct. 15 with $50 classes

In celebration of Sawdust Studio Art Classes’ (SSAC) one-year anniversary, all Sawdust Studio Art Classes scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15 are being offered for only $50. Classes that day include: Oil Painting with John Eagle, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Fused Glass Origami Bowl with Maggie Spencer, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.; Water Casting with Erin Elowe, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and Ceramic Teapot with Walter Reiss, 2 to 4 p.m.

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Artist Erin Lowe will be teaching Water Casting on Saturday as Sawdust Studio Art Classes celebrates its first anniversary with discounted classes

If interested in taking a class at this special rate contact Cherril Doty to book your class and be part of the celebration by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 714-745-9973.

The SSAC program is presented by Sawdust Art Festival in cooperation with the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau, every Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. offering four opportunities weekly for individuals to artistically express themselves.

“It is exciting to be celebrating the completion of our first year of offering these great classes.  The Sawdust Studio Art Classes year-round program is here to stay,” said Doty, SSAC Manager.

To further mark this momentous occasion, anyone who registers now through Oct. 31 for a Nov, Dec or Jan class will be given a $20 discount (that’s $75 for a $95 class!) for any registered class.  This could be a great gift for you or a friend or family member.  These classes are taught by experienced instructors and each student makes a unique piece of art to wear or share. Don’t miss this opportunity and register now. Just type in Referral Code SSAC20D when you register online. Check out updated schedule of classes at www.sawduststudioartclasses.com.

The Sawdust Art Festival is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road. 494-3030.

Suzie Speaks!

Suzie’s Articulation…

Even in the off-season, Laguna Beach is cranking on the art experiences…the Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational kicked off Sunday and runs through next Sunday with an exciting menu of art offerings…see a full calendar listing in today’s edition of Stu News.

As part of the offseason delights – LAGUNATICS is a must see, so snatch up tickets for No Square Theater’s original “roast of the coast,” which kicks off this weekend! It is always a favorite and sells-out quickly.

Although, I was not able to experience my favorite Art Walk this month because I am on vacation in San Francisco – I’ve tried to instigate a substitute art experience or two.

Last weekend I explored open studio galleries as part of Artspan’s 36th annual SF Open Studios in San Francisco. The event expects to attract over 60,000 visitors during the month-long artist experience with more than 400 open studios throughout the city over five weekends.

I was looking forward to it since San Francisco is well known for its art scene. However, my visit to more than a handful of studios didn’t do much except make me miss Laguna Beach. I went to studios around the Haight, yes, the same namesake as ultra cool and ultra talented Laguna Beach artist Betty Haight.

Next, on Sunday, I sampled a bit of Litquake. The nine-day SF literary event is the largest independent literary festival on the West Coast and is complete with cutting-edge panel discussions, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings.

I went to an event that was called something similar to “That’s My __ing Stool!”—Writers at the Bar event at Vesuvio Café (and bar) in North Beach, next to the iconic City Lights Bookstore, separated only by Jack Kerouac Alley. I thought for sure the author’s readings – slam-like style would be intriguing.

Suzie in Jack Kerouac Alley – wonder what the folks on the street are thinking?

I am a big fan of City Lights and the beat poet movement…with cutting edge writers Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and, of course, Jack Kerouac, who is the namesake for one of my cats.

While at the event, I remembered how much I was impressed with a Laguna Beach Poetry Slam in 2003.

Once again, I had high expectations and high standards and was a bit underwhelmed overall.

Needless to say, I cannot wait to come back to the arts – Laguna Beach style!

Until then...missing Laguna’s art season...be back in no time…

Bulgaria-born artist, Ivailo Boliarov, at Artist Eye Gallery reception Saturday from 6-9 p.m.

Artist Eye Laguna Gallery will feature the art of Bulgaria-born artist, Ivailo Boliarov, for the month of October with an artist reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Boliarov incorporates a traditional oil on canvas style of painting. His focus is on the south coast area of California, and he favors landscapes and seascapes.  He also uses drypoint engraved zinc and copper plates to produce intaglio prints, a style used by classic painters like Picasso, Rembrandt and Goya.

“I get inspired by the drama that structures can bring to a landscape. Being able to discover time weathered objects that proclaim their own history is exciting and has always fascinated me,” Boliarov said.

The artist was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1972. He started taking private drawing and painting classes in 1984. Two years later Boliarov was juried and accepted in the High Specialized School of Arts in Sofia. He graduated in 1991 with a diploma of secondary specialized education in arts, and was awarded the “Artist Performer” with specialty arrangement from the school. From 2001 to 2004, Boliarov graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and Communications.

Boliarov is a member of the Union of The Bulgarian Artists and the International Association of Art (IAA) and UNESCO in Europe.  He currently lives in Huntington Beach. Artist Eye Laguna Gallery is at 1294-A S. Coast Hwy. For information, call 497-5898 or go online to www.artisteyelagunagallery.com

Applications for Festival of Arts 2012 Summer Show is Oct. 28

The Festival of Arts is looking for talented artists to apply for its 2012 summer show, which will run July and August next summer.

Recognized as California’s Premier Fine Art Show, the Festival is a prestigious, highly competitive, regional juried fine art show featuring original artwork by southern Orange County’s finest artists.

Artists who would like to apply for the 2012 fine art show should submit a CD with three digital images per media and a completed application form to the Festival of Arts by Oct. 28.

“To be a part of the art show next summer is a very unique opportunity for artists as it is the Festival’s 80th Anniversary,” said Exhibits Director Martin Betz.

To apply artists must reside in the following cities:  Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Balboa, Balboa Island, Capistrano Beach, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest (El Toro), Mission Viejo, Monarch Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

Artists must be able to show that they have resided in one of the aforementioned cities for at least one year prior to the deadline. Applicants may download an application from the Festival’s website www.foapom.com.

The jurors will score the submitted artwork based on quality, intention and content; excellence of craftsmanship; facility with media; excellence in the use of design elements; and professional presentation. Jurying fees are $50 per medium submitted.

For more information, please call 464-4234 or go online to www.foapom.com.

-Laguna Dance Festival will host “Dance at the Surf” fundraising celebration at Surf & Sand Thursday

In support of its upcoming seventh season, the Laguna Dance Festival will host “Dance at the Surf,” the first of its signature fundraising events on Thursday, Oct 6, at the Surf & Sand Resort. The celebration will kick off with progressive ArtWalk performances at the Dawson Cole Fine Arts Gallery at 6 p.m. and the saltfineart Gallery at 6:15 p.m., both of which are open to the public.

After that, the dancers will move to Surf & Sand Resort’s Catalina Terrace, entertaining guests as they enjoy an evening of gourmet food provided by Surf & Sand and Executive Chef Jeff Armstrong, premium wines from Cass Winery in Paso Robles, an auction of over 30 vintage wines, live musical entertainment by Tony Lee Thomas and of course, the magic of invigorating dance.

Tickets for the fundraising portion of the evening are priced at $125 and may be purchased by calling 949.715.5578. Tax-deductible donations benefit dance education and presentation.

“Our ‘Dance at the Surf’ fundraiser is a unique opportunity to be intimately involved with the talent and the spirit that will be showcased in our seventh season,” said Jodie Gates, founder and artistic director of the Laguna Dance Festival. “Attendance at this event almost guarantees that you will want to come back and see more at our 2012 performances at the Laguna Playhouse.”

Laguna Dance Festival’s seventh season will present an eclectic schedule of events and performances on four nights in April and two nights in September. Featured artists will include BalletX, River North Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Alonzo King LINES Ballet, as well as the Festival’s Stars of Dance gala performance showcasing guest dancers from leading ballet companies as well as outstanding local artists.

The Laguna Dance Festival is regarded as one of Orange County’s major annual cultural events and continues to be an important showcase for new and established dance companies and artists. The Festival transforms Laguna Beach into an annual happening where choreographers and dancers stretch their imaginations and spirit, providing top-quality performances as well as fun and stimulating dance activities.

Laguna Dance Festival is a California non-profit corporation as well as a 501(c) 3 organization.  Visit www.lagunadancefestival.org or call 715.5578 to learn more.

Fall for new artists and exhibits at Laguna Beach Art Walk galleries this Thursday

As the season has transitioned from the summer art festivals to fall, the art continues with First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach from 6 to 9 p.m., Oct. 6. Not only will the evening feature a self-guided tour of gallery openings around town, but also artist demonstrations, receptions, live music, choreographed dance performances and an exciting cultural energy, unique to Laguna Beach.

There is no beginning or ending point of Art Walk, move around town at your own pace. The event is free to the public and so is the trolley service. Hop on the trolley and enjoy each gallery district with its abundance of art and personality.

This month Art Walk has collaborated with the Laguna Dance Festival and will be featuring specially choreographed works.  “This past year the Art Walk board has focused on ways to expand its collaboration with other organizations to create an active culture experience for our patrons,” said First Thursdays Art Walk president Rebecca Barber.

This exciting addition to the evening will include a duet choreographed by Donald McKayle at Dawson Cole Fine Art in the sculpture garden at 6 p.m.; and two choreographers create solos that reflect the current exhibit at saltfineart at 6:15 p.m. with an encore performance at 6:30 p.m.

At any gallery, pick up an Art Walk brochure that includes a map and a complete schedule of the evening’s special events. See artists in action and watch their creative process when visiting them at many galleries demonstrating their techniques and sharing their insights. Ask questions and engage the artists.  Some artists demonstrating will be Katy Byerts at Quorum Art Gallery; Shane Townley at Townley Gallery; and David Chapple at DeRu’s Fine Arts.

Marion Meyer Contemporary Art is featuring local sculptor Jon Seeman, a solo exhibit, “Captured Motion.” The exhibit features Seeman’s most recent wall sculptures with an artist reception during Art Walk. The show will run through Oct. 30.

Seeman’s standing sculptures in stainless steel, painted steel or in natural museum patina create an intriguing and dynamic dialogue; some of the kinetic pieces especially challenge the viewer to spend time, invited to connect with the energy and harmony expressed by the artist in the installation of these meticulously perfected sculptural works, said Meyer.

The gallery owner continues to follow her integrity to bring multi-cultural, engaging, educating art exhibits to MMCA, while sustaining her passion for bringing quality art and exhibits that are exciting and create a dialogue.

Laguna College of Art & Design is featuring Star Craft II® Wings of Liberty by

Blizzard Entertainment® with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Blizzard exhibit features colossal space faring vessels, swarms of ravenous alien monstrosities, and armies of noble golden warriors and massive machines: you will likely encounter all of these elements when you delve into the art of StarCraft. But amid all the war and turmoil, there is still beauty in the art of StarCraft: the arcing golden ellipses of the magnificent protoss mothership; the deadly beauty of Kerrigan, the infamous Queen of Blades; and the majestic crimson fire clouds of a terran nuclear strike. See, even a mushroom cloud can have a silver lining.

Silver Blue & Gold will feature Italian Master Silversmith Davide Bigazzi and will introduce Andrea Haffner with a preview and artist reception during Art Walk. And on Oct. 8 from 2 to 6 p.m. the gallery will feature a trunk show and   unveil Bigazzi’s Lastre Nero Collection, along with artist demonstrations.

The new Lastre Nero collection is a complete line of cuffs, earrings and necklaces in sterling silver and 18 karat gold with black and white diamonds. Here, the structured lines of modern Italian couture rendezvous with ancient elegance. Other acclaimed collections such as Anelli, Eclipse and Laurel will also be on display, selections of which are available year-round at Silver Blue & Gold.

Haffner specializes in handcrafted wall hangings and jewelry in resin. The medium allows Haffner to work with transparent dyes that glow from within as light reflects against both the sculptural pieces and jewelry.

JoAnne Artman Gallery will feature an opening reception for “Cinéma Vérité,” featuring San Francisco painter Jhina Alvarado and Los Angeles photographer Brooke Shaden.

Jhina Alvarado

“Taking a Stroll”

Oil & Encaustic Wax, 30” x 40.”

In Alvarado’s “Forgotten Memories,” the artist uses oil paints to depict the untold stories from long forgotten photographs. The identity of the person within each memory is inconsequential, and the eyes are blocked out so that the viewer can take part of each memory as if it were their own.

The photographer’s use of the square format, heavy texture work, and hands on staging production create a painterly aesthetic that redefines the boundaries of photography and the art of storytelling.

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

Green Cube Gallery will be presenting Karen Feuer-Schwager’s unique Paintings and sculpture created out of tea bag paper throughout the month of October with an artist reception during Art Walk.  Feuer-Schwager is a widely exhibited multi-media international artist and long time Laguna Beach resident.

Karen Feuer-Schwager’s “Loopy,” part of her unique paintings and sculpture created out of tea bag paper, featured at Green Cube Gallery

“First of all, I find the reuse of old discarded stuff exciting. It is infused with history. I am also especially attracted to the quality of used tea bag paper; it is crinkly, delicate, translucent and has an origami like imprinted patina,” Feuer-Schwager said. “It’s really fun and challenging to work with.”

Victor Hugo Zayas

“LA River”

Oil on canvas, 72” x 72”

saltfineart  will feature an encore presentation of Victor Hugo Zayas’s exhibition Kinetic. The exhibit broke all attendance records. Art Walk will feature an artist reception.

Visit all the featured galleries from Downtown to Gallery Row to Bluebird to Laguna Canyon Road, enhanced with performances by local musicians and gallery hospitality. Enjoy Selections from the Festival of Arts permanent collection at foaSouth. At Studio 7 Gallery, experience live painting demonstrations by resident artists. Art Walk gives you access to buy original artwork of every genre from participating galleries.

More information can be found at www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com.

Compiled by Suzie Harrison

ASF annual fundraiser pays tribute to Elizabeth Taylor & individuals with HIV and raises $275,000

“Project Runway” season eight finalist Mondo Guerra comments on Elizabeth Taylor’s fashion prowess as Ken Jillson, ASF co-founder listen intently.

A red carpet, classic movie music and camera flashes greeted arriving guests at the Red Ball II – Hollywood Royalty, the signature fundraising event for AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF).

The Red Ball raised $275,000 and was held at the Laguna Festival of Arts, Saturday, Sept. 24.

Among the evening’s highlights was a moving tribute to Elizabeth Taylor including commentary from “Project Runway” finalist Mondo Guerra who honored the late actress for her fashion sense and commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS. Guerra, who appeared on season eight of the popular Lifetime cable television program, announced on the show that he is HIV positive and had been living with the disease for 10 years.

Guerra gave a heartfelt speech about his journey with HIV and his anxiety about telling people involved with “Project Runway.”

“We were thrilled to honor Elizabeth Taylor, our long-time supporter and delighted that the whole evening was a smash hit,” said Ken Jillson, a founding ASF board member who created the tribute to the actress.  “Jason Graae’s show was a knockout and Mondo Guerra captivated the crowd with his touching story about announcing he was HIV positive on Project Runway!”

Broadway actors Graae, Nicolette Robinson and Chryssie Whitehead teamed up for an after-dinner Hollywood-themed song-and-dance spoof entitled “Coup de Graae”.  Graae created the show especially for the Red Ball.

“ASF was blessed by Elizabeth Taylor’s generosity and caring.  In 1993 she donated her magnificent Nolan Miller sapphire beaded gown that she had worn to one of President Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural Balls,” says Jillson, who created the tribute to the actress. “I’m sure she would have enjoyed Red Ball and been pleased with the amount of money we raised for a cause that was so important to her.”

Silent and live auctions helped to bolster proceeds from the night.   The live auction packages included a men’s Tiffany Mark watch donated by Tiffany South Coast Plaza and a two night stay in an executive suite at the St. Regis Hotel in Laguna Niguel, two business class seats to New York from American Airlines paired with a stay at the Intercontinental Times Square Hotel and a two hour presentation with Montage Resort and Spa falconer followed by lunch at the hotel.

“We are so grateful for all of those who attended the Red Ball and the many businesses and individuals who donated auction items, in-kind services and their time and talent to make this event a success,” said Jillson.

In addition to Jillson, Red Ball II host committee members from ASF included Maria I. Marquez, MFT, board president and event chair; Al Roberts, founding board president; Shelly Virkstis, board vice president; and Philip Yaeger, executive director/CEO.

ASF was launched in 1985 because of a very successful backyard fund raising event in Laguna Beach called the “Big Splash”.  That was an annual event until last year when ASF started the Red Ball as a part of its 25th anniversary observances.

Annually, ASF helps more than 1,600 people and their families that are either living with HIV or are impacted by HIV disease.  Services include food, transportation, housing, case management, emergency financial assistance, children and family programs, community outreach, mental health counseling, support groups, HIV testing and an extensive array of HIV prevention and education programs.  Visit www.ocasf.org for more information.

Suzie Speaks

Suzie’s Articulation…

Saturday marks one my favorite events of the year - Aids Services Foundation’s (ASF) annual fundraiser.

Over the years, I have been covering these events and I have to say that they have been some of the most spectacular and memorial moments.

The first event I covered was in 2002 at Laguna Art Museum, when I was with Stu at the original Coastline News. I was designated as both reporter and photographer because Stu knew how much I wanted to get as close up to Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, two of the headlining stars. I had been a fan of Jackson since my youth. And who in their right mind did not adore and kind of worship, Taylor, right?!

I had staked out prime real estate awaiting their arrival. It was extremely exciting for I was one in the front pack of photographers, a mere arm’s length away from these incredible icons. With the photographers around me calling the star’s names to get an optimal photo, I called out Jackson’s name and he gave me the best photo op – looking straight into my lens. I snapped away landing stellar photos of Taylor and Jackson with a few of celebrities Penny Marshall and Merv Griffin.

Of course, these were taken back in the film days of cameras – so needless to say, I couldn’t wait to see the shots. Besides that particular photo of Michael, I got a close up of Taylor, mesmerized by her illuminating blue eyes.

I was impressed by Taylor’s moving speech, Marshall’s auctioneering skills, and the items up for auction. Unbelievable items had been donated by Taylor and Jackson, along with pieces from Rock Hudson’s estate and works by Andy Warhol. And on the less spendy end, celebrity autographed t-shirts were procured. Quickly snatched up was Barbra Streisand’s signed wearable, but I wanted Sharon Stone’s signed fine art cotton piece. After all, cotton has been purported to be the fabric of our lives.

The following year featured an amazing concert by Tom Petty with Taylor and other superstars in attendance.

This year because of Taylor’s passing, ASF will honor the legend and humanitarian with a tribute, which is most deserved indeed.

Until then...so much art...so little time.

Art and Sea Lions Saturday morning at 9 o’clock

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Canyon is the setting of a series of art workshops with an environmental message in conjunction with Laguna Outreach for Community Arts (LOCA).

The workshops include a docent led tour of the Center and a close up view of seals and sea lions.

LOCA artist Joan Corman reaches in with her mask to play with a sea lion. She will teach a Sea Lion Mask workshop at nine o’clock this Saturday morning at PMMC

Following the tour, LOCA Artist, Joan Corman will lead a mask-making class. Among other things, Joan is known for her colorful ‘drains to ocean’ placards at curbs on streets throughout Laguna Beach.

Finished masks are yours to take home. All supplies are included.

There is free parking on site. Adults $20 and $15 ages 6-18 accompanied by an adult.

9 to 10:30 a.m. Please plan to gather at 8:45

To register call 949-363-4700 and leave your phone number with the best time to reach you.

Visit the LOCA website for more information: www.locaarts.org.

Are you ready for Art Cars?

Ten such customized “Art Cars” are scheduled for an appearance this Saturday, Oct 1. Just which cars/vans/etc will be here aren’t known for sure. The car above is called “Buick of Unconditional Love”…

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