Art Walk Kicks Off with a Special Pre-event at City Hall

Enjoy an Art-Filled evening in Laguna Beach on April 5. Art Walk features a self-guided tour of Laguna’s member galleries located around town, with artist demonstrations and receptions, a special pre-event at City Hall and dance performances at Laguna Art Museum and [seven-degrees], as some of the highlights.

Belgium-Born artist Anja Van Herle is opening at JoAnne Artman Gallery, and includes, “Strawberry,” acrylic on panel, 50 x 65 inches

At 5 p.m., start out the evening at City Hall with the “Art That’s Small at City Hall” reception and award ceremony, located at 505 Forest Ave. The tenth year of “Art That’s Small at City Hall” has brought in a large array of fine work. The exhibition, organized by the City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission, is an annual program open to Orange County artists for artwork 12” and smaller. This year 116 artists have submitted their work.

During the Art Walk evening dancers from Laguna Dance Festival will perform at two venues. Laguna Art Museum at 6:45 p.m. and [seven-degrees] at 7:45. Witness an enchanting evening fusing the visual and performing arts. Local choreographers create original dances for each space. Jodie Gates will be presenting an excerpt from her work entitled, Mein Zimmer. New York City artist, Jennifer Lott as well as Bare Bones Dance Theater will also be showing works.

Throughout the evening 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.  The following are a few participating: Howard Hitchcock at Sandstone Gallery, Doug Stotts at Bluebird Gallery; and resident artists at Studio 7 North and South.

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.

“The Art Walk has been focusing on ways to expand its collaboration with other organizations to create an active cultural experience for our patrons,” said First Thursdays Art Walk president Dora Wexell.

Visit all of the featured galleries from Downtown to Gallery Row to Bluebird to Laguna Canyon Road.

The George Gallery (In) Delicate artist Susan Jamison, “Take Me Home,” egg tempera on panel, 36 x 36 inches

Check out the newest member gallery, The George Gallery, featuring Susan Jamison’s exquisite mystery “(In) Delicate.” and Lisa Stefanelli’s lyrical performances.

Explore historic “Early California paintings” at Edenhurst Gallery on the North end of town and Redfern Gallery at the South end and enjoy conversations with the resident artists at Artist Eye Laguna Gallery.

saltfineart will present selections from the “WAR & FASHION” series that highlights the seminal project in the rising career of Costa Rican painter Andriy Halashyn. The choice to merge images from major wars with posh fashion models presents a wide spectrum of human influence over other human beings. The exhibition will be comprised of five works from the series including an exclusive commissioned work that has never before been exhibited.

Costa Rican painter Andriy Halashyn is featured at salfineart with her series “War & Fashion,” which includes her piece, “Game Over.”

“With a biting sense of wit, striking color choices and classical rendering ability turned on its ear, these paintings are as stunning in their beauty as they are in the meaning behind them,” gallery owner Carla Tesak said.

LCAD student Hai Hoang Transon, “Mini Gunner Behemoth,” digital piece is part of the college’s annual juried student show

Check out LCAD’s Annual Juried Exhibition, from 5 to 8 p.m. that showcases original artwork from the talented undergraduate students of Laguna College of Art + Design. This spring exhibition is comprised of a wide range of mediums, expressions, and skill that are representative of the five major fields of study at the college – drawing and painting, illustration, graphic design, animation and game art.

JoAnne Artman Gallery, will premiere, “Girls, Girls, Girls,” new works by Belgium-Born artist Anja Van Herle in the Main Gallery. Van Herle specializes in large-scale portraiture featuring beautifully expressive women with a powerfully enticing presence. Anja’s “Girls” originate from the combination of working with models and pure whimsical fantasy, creating women of tangible imagination: beauty that is both born and bred.

Participating Art Walk member galleries give you access to buy original artwork of every genre of art. Additional featured artists include: Ongoing exhibition of gallery artists including Chuck Close, Donald Sultan, Richard MacDonald, Jian Wang, James Galindo at Dawson Cole Fine Art; and Belgium-born artist Anja Van Herle at JoAnne Artman Gallery.

At any participating gallery or on the trolley pick up an Art Walk brochure that includes a map and featuring all the evening’s special events. For more information, including a full listing of First Thursdays Art Walk galleries and featured artists visit



Suzie’s ARTiculation

Art Stars shine bright on Laguna Sundaay night!

Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts (LBaa) really knows how to celebrate Laguna’s unparalleled cultural arts with its annual Art Star Awards, generously hosted at [seven-degrees]. It is truly a prodigious tribute to our vibrant arts community and the myriad people, programs and organizations that make Laguna shine.

The art world was out in full force with over 250 attendees excited with anticipation to see the opening of the envelopes Academy Awards style and having this year’s winners revealed.

It was wonderful to see so many of our local art “sceners” and let them know the substantial difference they make for Laguna by enriching our lives – each with their own indelible imprint.

This year’s recipients were: Best New Arts Program:  Studio Art Classes (Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau); Individual Arts Patron of the Year:  Bobbi Cox; Corporate Arts Patron of the Year:  Bank of America; Outstanding Arts Collaboration:  9/11 Memorial Sculpture “Semper Memento” (City of Laguna Beach, New York Port Authority and Mark Porterfield); Arts Leadership:  Robert Hayden III; and Artist of the Year: Jorg Dubin. Paul Darrow received a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award, and John Barber was the deserved recipient of the [seven-degrees] of inspiration $5,000 grant.

Twice-honored Jorg Dubin

The awards elucidated that it seemingly continues to be the year of the Jorg for the local talented artist...Dubin recently published his first book, and on Sunday; he deservedly hit it out of the park achieving two honors, as artist of the year and for his indescribably poignant 9/11 Memorial Sculpture.

“It is an honor for the City of Laguna Beach, along with its partners, the Fire Department and Laguna Beach resident Mark Porterfield to be acknowledged for their collaboration and facilitation of the 9/11 memorial sculpture project,” said City cultural arts manager, Sian Poeschl. “We appreciate the support and encouragement the arts community has shown and thank the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts and its members for such an accolade.”

Also rewarding in his own right was LBaa president, Wayne Baglin, and his presentation of the program; he did an incredible job as emcee, keeping the crowd captivated and entertained. And keynote speaker, arts advocate, Dana Gioia, was a true inspiration, his words really resonated.

[seven-degrees] was the optimal venue choice – a cutting edge, state-of-the-art multimedia art and event facility and a true incubator of creativity. Only [seven-degrees] could do justice to Roark Gourley’s “Liquescent” film project premiere with its mesmerizing footage and perfectly in sync and hypnotic soundtrack. Fittingly Gourley was last year’s [seven-degrees] grant winner.

“Roark’s piece was completely transporting. I was taken into liquid so far that I actually had tears in my eyes when it was over...,” said Arts Commissioner Suzi Chauvel.

Baglin also was enthused about Gourley’s film and the evening as a whole.

“What a spectacular evening,” Baglin said. “Laguna artist Roark Gourley’s ‘Liquescent’ is a stunning artistic achievement, John Barber’s seven-degrees of inspiration grant for 2012 promises an exciting piece of glass art for next year, Dana Gioia, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, is truly an arts advocate superstar, and the Art Star Award nominees and winners have all been exceptional contributors to perpetuating Laguna Beach as a center for the arts.”

The highlight for me was hearing the honorees give their speeches, some so moving, some humorous, and some of course, a delicious combo platter of expression - but all of them were memorable and thought provoking. The artists were as creative with their words as they are with their works.

Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau president and CEO, Judy Bijlani, pulled me in with her descriptive story that humorously depicted her inductive glassblowing experience, trying it for the first time, as part of the Sawdust Art Festival Studio Art class series. Judy’s words were so illustrative, it made me feel like I was experiencing the moment, picking up the blowpipe and trying to learn the art myself.

Art Star awards committee member Jennifer Daniels did a great job organizing the event.

“Each year, I see a dedicated committee that works so cohesively and invests countless hours to put together an extraordinary event,” Daniels said.  “It’s humbling to see so much respect and support for the arts come together in such a spectacular culmination.  I’m proud to be a part of the Arts Alliance and Laguna Beach...we have something very special in this community.”

Arts Commission chair, Pat Kollenda, summed up the event well, fittingly for me too. “Gorgeous venue, delectable food, beautiful people, amazing talent, wonderful generosity...totally inspirational...HOORAY FOR THE ARTS,” Kollenda said.

Honorees were presented with a gorgeous and enthralling original sculpture created by local bronze artist Louis Longi, specifically for the Art Star Awards.

Until next much little time!

Beginners are always welcome at LOCA art classes

The Laguna Outreach for Community Arts (LOCA) presents an art class, Art and Sea Lions, at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center on Saturday April 7 from 9 – 10:30 a.m., which offers participants an opportunity to create a portrait of a sea lion using acrylic on canvas.

After a tour of the Center and seeing rescued sea lions being nursed back to health, Olivia Batchelder will lead the class in the paintings.  It’ll cost $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 6 and up.  All materials will be included and you’ll take home your finished art.

Advanced registration is required and you can go to to register or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 363-4700.

LOCA also announced a Prize Drawing in which you can win two LOCA classes and an opportunity to enroll in any of its Botanicals, Watercolors-on-the-Beach or Art and Sea Lions class from now through May 19.  If you go to this class and complete the 1-minute feedback survey, you’ll be automatically entered to win.

The winner will be drawn in June.

Sawdust announces 2012 ‘Spring into Art’ workshops

Sawdust Art Festival is proud to announce its all-new 2012 Spring Into Art class schedule. These popular two-day weekend art workshops offer students one-on-one instruction with Sawdust artists covering a wide range of hands-on art classes in many exciting art mediums including ceramics, glassblowing, jewelry, painting, textiles and much more.

Workshops are held during the final three weekends in April and fees include most materials, tools and instruction. Students can call in or register online. Schedule of classes and descriptions can be found online at and also below:


“Pottery Wheel” with Nadine Nordstrom

April 21 from 9 am – 12 pm, $90
Learn how to throw a pot at the potter’s wheel with Sawdust ceramicist Nadine Nordstrom. This three-hour class will teach students the basics in how to work with clay. A follow-up glazing class will be offered the following Saturday. Take advantage of this exciting fun medium and register for the class now!

“Quick & Easy Handbuilding Techniques” with Walter Reiss

April 14 & 15 from 9 am – 4 pm, $100 per day or $150 for both days
Ceramicist Walter Reiss will demonstrate spontaneous soft slab techniques, impressing and deforming textures by stretching, twisting and tearing. Reiss will instruct students on how to create unique whimsical teapots and wall pieces with many ideas to take home. This is a hands-on workshop, so wear clay clothes.


“Glassblowing” with Sawdust Glassblowers

April 14 & 15 from 9 am – 4 pm, with Christopher Jeffries, $265

April 21 & 22 from 9 am – 4 pm, with Gavin Heath and Muffin Spencer-Devlin, $265

April 28 & 29 from 9 am – 4 pm, with Jason McQuaid, $265

Learn to gather glass from the furnace and shape it into paper weights, shapes, vases, cups and more. With over 20 years experience, our professional glassblowers will teach students how to blow glass and experience the process of turning molten glass into awesome works of art. Hands-on basic and intermediate skills in glassblowing. At the end of the weekend students will leave with artwork they have personally created.


“Forging a Silver Bracelet” with Mike Heintz

April 28 & 29 from 9 am – 4 pm, $275

In this two-day class, students will be introduced to tools and techniques of a basic jewelry workshop, including sawing, soldering, sanding, anvil forging, filing and finishing. Students will walk away with something they will treasure for a lifetime, while acquiring information that instructor Mike Heintz developed over decades. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from Master Jeweler Mike Heintz. This rare class is limited to four students.

“An Introduction to Jewelry Fabrication and Stone Setting” with Lorraine Hornby

April 14 & 15 from 9 am – 4 pm, $195
Transform sheet metal and wire into a unique piece of jewelry. Incorporate gems in your design with a bezel setting. This exciting class will introduce students to the fundamentals of jewelry fabrication through sawing, soldering and stone-setting. A materials fee for silver and gemstones may apply.

“Jewelry Fabrication” with David Nelson

April 21 & 22 from 9 am – 4 pm, $195
In this class you will learn basic and advanced jewelry design and fabrication using sheet metal and wire. Incorporate gemstones in your design using bezel setting, overlay construction and piercing with the jeweler’s saw and other fabrication methods. Students will also learn soldering with acetylene, as well as buffing and polishing techniques.


“Oil Painting Workshop” with John Eagle
April 14 & 15 from 9 am – 4 pm, $150
April 21 & 22 from 9 am – 4 pm, $150
April 28 & 29 from 9 am – 4 pm, $150
Come paint a colorful seascape and landscape in oils with Laguna artist John Eagle. Learn about design values. Color mixing will be emphasized. Beginning to intermediate artists are welcome.

“Acrylic and Oil Impressionism” with Charleine Guy
April 14 & 15 from 9 am – 4 pm, $165
Flowers and seascapes for beginners to experienced painters. Charleine’s motto is “keep it simple, have fun and let’s paint!” In this class, students will be studying composition, limited palette, focal point, brush strokes and lost and found edges. Students will have their own original art to take home each day.

“Secrets of Painting Portraits” with Jim Stanaland
April 28 & 29 from 9 am – 1 pm, $165
Learn the tricks of painting portraits and have fun doing it. You will learn all the tips you need to produce spectacular portraits, from mapping out your drawings to the subtleties of bringing them to life with paints. The class will run Saturday through Sunday, four hours each day. Students will paint a portrait in oil with a subject of their choosing; the instructor will also have a selection of subjects to choose from. The class fee is only $150 per person with a $15 materials fee. Instructor will provide all materials. Acrylics and water-mixable oils are welcome.

“Capturing the Details of the Natural World” with Karen Talbot
April 28 & 29 from 9 am – 4 pm, $165
This two-day workshop introduces students to the basics of creating a realistic and accurate watercolor painting of a natural history subject, such as a bird or a botanical. Day one will begin with fieldwork where students will gain an understanding of how to document specimens in the field in order to be able to accurately depict details of color and form once back in the studio. During the remainder of the workshop, students will work from an instructor-selected photograph to create a watercolor painting incorporating a variety of techniques from applying a graded wash to doing tight drybrush detail work.

“Enjoying Your Digital Camera” with Mary Hurlbut
April 14 from 1-4 pm, $85
April 15 from 1-4 pm, $85
This is a three-hour class on Digital Photography for Beginners. Learn the Art of Seeing Light, while also having those pesky technical questions answered in plain English! Please bring your digital camera, the manual it came with, and, if you have one, a laptop. Wear shoes for walking. We will spend time in the classroom covering the basics for using your digital camera and some of the “art” of photography. You will also receive a handout to take home with you to help remember all we cover. Then we’ll get outside and practice what you’ve learned, before returning to the class and uploading the images to a computer for viewing and discussion. Please feel free to make a list of any questions you have about digital photography and email them to Mary, one week prior to the class: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You may also check out her work at


“Dye-Painting on Silk” with Olivia Batchelder
April 14 & 15 from 9 am – 4 pm, $195
Make luminous paintings using vibrant dyes as a watercolor medium on treated silk. Master silk painter Olivia Batchelder will guide you through the process. You will go home with a finished silk botanical painting stretched like a canvas. 
“Batik Hemp Linen Pillow & Batik Peace Flags” with Michelle Holt
April 21 from 9 am – 4 pm, Batik Pillow, $125
April 22 from 9 am – 4 pm, Batik Flags, $75
Class #1: Batik Hemp Linen Pillow
Learn the ancient art of batik and dye. Students will learn how to transfer images to fabric, batik with wax, painting with dye, and sewing construction. Participants will leave with their own hemp linen pillow.
Class #2: Batik Peace Flags
Batik peace flags, or flags of intention, have been used for centuries to deliver thoughts and prayers to the universe. Learn the ancient art of batik and dye during this class. Students will learn how to transfer images to fabric, batik with wax, painting with dye, and sewing construction. Participants will leave with their own string of peace flags made of hemp linen to fly prayers and intentions to the universe.

Spring Into Art class space is limited. Class fees include most materials, supplies and instruction. Students will be told if there are additional materials fees. A continental breakfast will be provided during morning check-ins. Students should bring their own sack lunch or check with their instructors to find out if there will be time to visit one of Laguna’s fine restaurants for a snack.

To register or for more information on the Sawdust Art Festival’s 2012 Spring Into Art weekend workshops, please visit or call 494-3030.

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


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Pacific Edge Gallery a splashing success at 25!

Founded in 1987, Pacific Edge Gallery celebrated its 25 Year Anniversary in style this weekend with a public art reception that met with great success among art enthusiasts, gallery owner, Paul Jillson, and the six esteemed artists represented by the gallery: Tom Swimm, Sandra Jones Campbell, Maria Bertran, Brenda K. Bredvik, Jacobus Baas and up and coming artist Bryan Mark Taylor.

Submitted photos

Pacific Edge Gallery owner and the six gallery artists celebrated the gallery’s 25th anniversary over the weekend with a well-attended, exciting reception. (L-R): owner Paul C. Jillson and artists Sandra Jones Campbell, Jacobus Baas, Brenda K. Bredvik, Bryan Mark Taylor, Maria Bertran and Tom Swimm

“The event was a great success, with over 200 in attendance, and we raised over $800 for the Laguna Beach Boys and Girls Club arts program,” Jillson said.

Jillson attributes the gallery’s success to his artists, patrons and his ability to achieve long-term goals.

“The goal of the gallery has always been to show the finest Laguna Beach artists in depth and to support them in any artistic direction they choose to follow. I look for artists who sell their work in order to keep painting, not painting just to sell,” Jillson said. “I have always focused on the long view, by showing the best artists I could find and resisting short term trends, and always trying to treat my artists and collectors with respect, and a personal touch.”

Talent, consistency and the ability to grow over time are attributes artists must possess to show at Pacific Edge Gallery.

“I usually watch an artist for years before I invite them to show in the gallery, and then commit to them for as long as they want to show here,” Jillson said.

Bertran has been with the gallery for 25 years, Swimm for 22 years and Jones Campbell for 12 years.

“Each artist in the gallery has a unique style and collector base, although what we love to see is when someone starts out collecting one artist and then cross collects other artists in the gallery as well,” Jillson said.

Jillson pointed out some of the specifics he highly regards about the artists.

“Maria Bertran is nationally recognized for her use of intense colors and brushwork, and for painting very large oils entirely on locations. Tom Swimm is the author of five books on painting which illustrate his contemporary realism painting style,” Jillson said.

“Sandra Jones Campbell is known for her contemporary expressionism and social commentary, Brenda Bredvik is a constantly evolving abstract artist, Jacobus is a veteran California plein air painter, and Bryan Mark Taylor is a rising young talent who is winning awards throughout the country for his location painting.”

Artist Sandra Jones Campbell with collectors John and Janice Marks

Swimm said the weekend reception exceeded his expectations.

“I am proud to have been affiliated with Pacific Edge Gallery for over 22 years - Paul Jillson is one of the most professional and reputable gallery owners that I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” Swimm said. “I think much of his success relies on his knowledge of all art forms, his belief in and dedication to his artists, and the fact that he has remained true to his vision of showcasing only the finest work by local professionals.”

Jillson will continue to foster great art and artists, as he has so successfully done over the gallery’s history.

“We hope to keep doing what we love to do; show great art and share it with collectors who appreciate it,” Jillson said. “We will have new shows for each of the gallery artists over the next 12 months, and look forward to seeing what they bring us.”

Pacific Edge Gallery is at 540 S. Coast Hwy, #112. For information, call 494-0491 or go online to

LBaa Art Star Awards sure to be a hit on Sunday at [seven-degrees]

One of my favorite art happenings of the year is the Laguna Beach Alliance (LBaa) for the Arts Art Star Awards – what a cool, ingenious way to celebrate Laguna Beach’s one-of-a-kind, phenom art world! Snaps and claps to all the nominees, who truly make Laguna the incredible artist colony that it is.

A special pat on the back goes out to the Festival of Arts and its artists, programs, patrons, venues, employees, volunteers and everyone involved with the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, as the FOA marks its 80th anniversary.

This year’s FOA related nominees are: foaSouth (Festival of Arts and Active Culture) for Outstanding Arts Collaboration; FOA artists Sandra Jones Campbell and Jon Seeman for Artist of the Year; finalist for the [seven-degrees] of Achievement Award – FOA board vp and award-winning photographer Tom Lamb and last but not least – Rick Lang for the Individual Art Patron of the Year Award.

Pat Sparkuhl, ultra-amazing artist and Permanent Art Collection Specialist and Curator for the Festival of Arts, shared with me how much Rick Lang and the Lang family has contributed to the Festival of Arts while we were chatting on the festival grounds one day last summer.

The Lang family has participated in a multitude of activities in Laguna Beach including Rick’s parents L.E.Lang and Golda Lang, his wife Cheryl, and his two sons Chris and Josh.

“Rick has acted as a photographer for the Festival of Arts & Pageant for the past 40+ years, documenting the processes of developing the exhibit, the Pageant, annual catalog, etc, etc.,” Sparkuhl said. “Much of the documented visual information that has become so familiar was most likely done by a Lang. The Lang legacy will be forever etched in the history of the Festival through the 55 boxes of materials the family has donated to the Festival of Arts as a way of giving back to the community that the Lang family loves so much.”

Includes in the collection are countless photographs made by Rick and his father, L.E. Lang over the past 40 plus years, catalogs, miscellaneous objects, and more.

“It is a treasure-trove of valuable materials to be archived in the near future that will further detail the narrative surrounding the Festival’s history,” Sparkuhl said. “Rick Lang is a most significant member of this community in so many ways; an excellent photographer, participant in many community activities, including the Rotary Club.”

Sparkuhl deserves great credit for all he does for the FOA indeed! He is excited about the foaSouth nomination.

“What an incredible collaborative effort has come about to create a Festival of Arts showcase for the Permanent Collection in with Active Culture Yogurt. Truly something that one could only imagine happening in Laguna,” Sparkuhl said. “This fascinating surprise of viewing high quality historic artwork in a setting that actually places in a period context while munching on your yogurt and enjoying the art.”

He said the venue is an opportunity to capture the interest of the casual viewer.

“Which in turn stimulates a better understanding of the many facets inherent in art,” Sparkuhl said. “We are privileged to have such an intimate space to present selections from the Festival of Arts Permanent Collection, changing the exhibits on a quarterly basis.

Until next much little time!

Arts advocate, past chair of the NEA Dana Gioia to speak at Art Star Awards Sunday evening

The Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts (LBaa) announced that distinguished arts advocate, Dana Gioia, will be the keynote speaker at the 6th Annual Art Star Awards that will be held Sunday April 1 at [seven-degrees] in town.

The gala event will feature awards in seven categories that will be presented to organizations, businesses and individuals that are thought to have contributed and helped shape the arts and culture of the community.

“For many years Laguna Beach has been rewarded culturally and financially by its devotion to the arts,” said LBaa Chairman Wayne Baglin.  “Mr. Gioia has championed the importance of the arts at the highest level in our country.  What an honor it is to have him as the keynote speaker at this year’s Art Star Awards.”

Gioia served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an independent agency established by the government in 1965 to bestow awards and grants to support the arts in throughout the country.  Gioia was referred to by Business Week Magazine as “The man who saved the NEA,” after garnering support in the Congress to further the mission of the agency.

Gioia received a BA and MBA from Stanford University and an MA in Comparative Lit from Harvard University.  He’s published three full-length collections of poetry, as well as eight chapbooks.

The mission of the LBaa is to serve as an advocate for the arts, promoting collaboration and networking among the arts organizations in town, and to serve as a united voice for the arts community.

Artists’ Reception at Gallery Q at the Susi Q Thursday from 5-7 p.m. for 55+ artworks

Gallery Q at the Susi Q Community Center is hosting an artists’ reception featuring the work from artists of the 55+ age group, on Thursday March 29 from 5 – 7 p.m.  The show includes a wide range of mediums from mono prints to oil paintings.

The event will feature a voting section – the Public’s Choice voting will end at 5:30 p.m. so arrive right in the beginning to cast yours.  The Public’s Choice Awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. by a Laguna Beach City Council member.

Enjoy light snacks and beverages at the gallery.

A few of the works will be available for sale with a percentage of the profits going to support future exhibits and programs.  Guests are requested to RSVP to Judy Baker at (949) 497-2441 ext. 6 or by emailing her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Center is located at 380 Third Street.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Peter Blake exhibits abstract this weekend

Peter Blake Gallery on Ocean Avenue is the hot ticket in town this weekend with the opening of his latest group show, “Transcending Abstraction: Contemporary Perspectives in Reductive Art,” with an opening reception on Saturday, March 24 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The group show features many abstract luminaries, including Lita Albuquerque, Peter Alexander, Stephanie Bachiero, Steve Burtch, Alex Couwenberg, Jimi Gleason, James Hayward, Steve Hough, Eric Johnson, Ruth Pastine and Gregg Renfrow.

The artists are working with abstraction but are superbly stretching the boundaries, both with the imagery and use of materials, actually taking abstraction to another level, said Blake.

Ruth Pastine


“The imagery at times is monochromatic – in other words with no color, or one color maybe, or just black or white,” Blake said. “Sometimes they are testing materials that have been used for abstraction, both with resin, and one artist is working with porcelain, and other artists are working with acrylic.”

Mostly the artists live in California, while Hough is Chicago based.

“He hand carves and hand sands what feels like a water that has been dropped into a puddle,” Blake said. “Then he sprays car paint on it, and the car paint changes colors as you move around it – it goes from purples to greens to oranges. When an artist is reduced down to very little, suddenly shifting paints are really fascinating. Even the way a shadow is shifting on a surface is fascinating.”

Most of these artists fall under more of a reductive mode, who create works without the traditional figurative or landscape imagery or use of much color.

Gleason has worked with a silver deposit in the show.

“He is sculpting paint on the surface of the canvas; then he takes it to a lab in L.A.,  and they literally apply silver to it,” Blake said. “He works with the patina to get the different golds in the silver itself.”

Johnson, who is a local artist, works with composite resin, trapping pigments in resin, which results in a lot of movement in his pieces, as elucidated in “Soubrette,” and “Madame.”

“Peter Alexander is working with cast resin – the works are beautiful. They are translucent – again, there is a gradual shift of color,” Blake said. “One comes off a wall and forms a three-dimensional wedge, which is just stunning.”

Based in Santa Monica, Albuquerque is showing a larger than life 3’ x 9’ triptych, created in all white pigment with the centers in gold leaf, white gold leaf and her trademark blue.

Bay area artist, Gregg Renfrow, works with fluid paints, using synthetic polymer to apply to acrylic.

“Literally moving and allowing the paints to kind of flow on the surface,” Blake said.

Bachiero’s work will feature hand-sanded porcelain sculptures, created in minimalist shapes that are twisted and conformed in a way that shows movement. The artist often uses black metallic glazes. Her new sculpture has been cast in a black chrome finish.

Patine is one of the more traditional artists in the show in terms of materials – paint and canvas.

“But she applies 50-plus coats of paint, creating these transitions of color that are just seamless,” Blake said. “It’s absolutely beautiful how she can go from an orange to a green or from a blue to a black.”

Applying different thicknesses of paint, Couwenberg, creates a three-dimensional shape on canvas.

“Some of them are hard edge, some are old retro shapes, but there is a build up of paint, a build up of material,” Blake said. “There’s a lot flat surfaces on the canvas that are then punctuated on the canvas – large surfaces that are shiny that actually come off the canvas in a third dimension.”

The show will be ongoing for the next year in both the downtown and south locations and will feature four or five parts to it. Blake will also feature a few solo shows at his galleries.

“The show is an introduction for all of my artists. The gallery has gone all abstract now, and I’m totally interested in all this new work,” Blake said.

The gallery has always featured work by California artists, and for the first time, Blake is going to start introducing artists from different parts of the country.

“I’m going to use this show as a platform to introduce that work,” Blake said. “We’re going to be experimenting with new artists who are almost working in the California way, but they are not totally Californian.”

The show is a way of informing what is going on in abstract painting. Blake has cherry picked A-plus artists to show and then creates installations that are in and of themselves art. Most of the artists will be in attendance at Saturday’s opening.

Peter Blake Gallery is at 435 Ocean Ave. For information go online to or call 376-9994.

Until next much abstract little time!

Passport to the Arts on sale for unlimited summer admissions to art fests - $21.50 before May 15

Purchasing a Passport to the Arts will not only grant you unlimited entry all summer to Art-A-Fair, Festival of Arts, and Sawdust Art Festival, but if you buy before May 15, you will be automatically entered into a shot at winning a fall getaway for two at the Aliso Creek Inn and a great two-day vacation pack in town – total cost is $21.50.

The two-night stay at Aliso Creek Inn, nestled in Laguna’s secluded canyons, will put you in reach of the beach, dinners at Sundried Tomato and K’ya Bistro Bar, tickets to the Laguna Playhouse and Laguna Art Museum, art lessons and a tour of Laguna’s tide pools for two, and two rounds of golf.

The 2012 Passport will earn your free entry to the three festivals that boast 500 artists, 300 hands-on workshops, dozens of special events and discounts on restaurants throughout the summer.

You can purchase the Passport to the Arts at or call 800-487-3378.

NLAPW (National League of American Pen Women) Exhibit

Community Art Project (CAP) will open its new exhibit in the 2nd floor CAP Gallery in the Wells Fargo Bank building on Ocean Ave this Thursday. A public reception is scheduled from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.

Pat Sparkuhl will be the curator.

National League of American Pen Women sponsors art exhibits and competitions throughout the country year-round.

The exhibit’s hours are 9-6 Monday – Friday and 9-4 Saturday.

It will run through May 30.

LAM adds artist and teacher Tony DeLap onto its Board

The Laguna Art Museum (LAM) announced that Tony DeLap, artist and teacher known form abstract sculpture utilizing unique illusionist techniques, was voted onto the Board of Trustees during its meeting last Friday, March 13.

“As anyone could guess from his art, Tony is an extraordinarily smart and perceptive person,” said LAM Executive Director Dr. Malcolm Warner. “He has a real feeling for museums. Any museum board is enriched by the participation of a working artist, and we are fortunate to have brought in someone of Tony’s stature.”

DeLap is considered a pioneer of West Coast minimalism and Op Art.  The sculptor was born in Oakland in 1927 and spent decades teaching art at UCI from ’64 – ’91.  He lives and works in Corona del Mar and has been involved with the Museum as a regular donator or works of art to the annual art auction fundraiser.  He’s also served as the project consultant on the LAM’s recent Pacific Standard Time exhibition, Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971.

His work is in the permanent collection in several galleries in the US and Europe: the Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Tate Gallery, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Guggenheim Museum; the Hirschhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden; and Laguna Art Museum; among many others.

Adding DeLap to the Board follows other recent additions in the last six months including members Curt Biddulph, Robert Braun, Jane Hanauer, Bob Hayes, Mark Hilbert, and Thomas Stiles II.

The Mother Abbess leads her nuns all through town

Mark Dressler (center) and the nuns from the cast of “Sound of Music” which opens in the Artists Theatre Friday night for the first of nine performances

LBHS young talents are gearing up to make Laguna’s hills come alive for three weekends of one the well-known production of “The Sound of Music,” in the Artists Theater kicking off on March 16 at 7:30 p.m.

For a few weeks now, the nuns of the show have been spotted around town performing for local children, hitting Main Beach and were even seen marching in the Patriot’s Day Parade.  The play, written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse), follows the story of Maria (played by Chandler Davis) who is told by the Mother Abbess (Haley Castuera) to educate the many children of a widower, Captain Georg von Trapp, in order to decide whether she is ready to take on the monastic life of a nun.

“The Mother Abbess sends Maria out on this journey that basically changes her life,” said Castuera.  “When Maria returns to the Convent to run away from her feelings, I teach her that she must face every obstacle that life throws at her to ‘find the life you were born to live.’ “

The production will be performed on March 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31 at 7:30 p.m. at March 18, 25 and April 1 at 2:30 p.m.  It’ll cost $10 for students and $15 for adults.  The Premium Reserved seats will be $20.  Grab tickets from the LBHS Box Office.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Pacific and the Art of Healing

Lately I have been focused more on the art of healing, prayer and meditation than the actual art world itself. Although thinking about art gives me a reprieve – because art itself is healing, inspiring and thought provoking. I enjoy getting lost in a painting, sculpture and myriad media as well as the performing arts.

However, I have been sidetracked because “my son,” Pacific, my black panther-like cat, has been diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure and has been hospitalized for days. I have referred to him often over the years and recently in my Dec. 27 Articulation, regarding the holidays...

“I want to thank all my friends and family that made the holiday extra special, including ‘my boy’ Pacific.”

I am putting out positive vibes and love to Pacif every second and hope that readers can give my boy positive vibes too. I am so thankful to my artist/art world friends for all their support including Anne England, Siân and Troy Poeschl, Sharbie Higuchi, Mike Tauber, Michele Taylor, Karin Worden, etc.

Be Square or Go to No Square’s latest production

Erika Whalen (from left), Pat Kollenda and Debbie Meeker rehearse “Take Back Your Mink” from Guys And Dolls for No Square Theatre’s production

This weekend go see No Square Theatre’s American Songbook Concert Series: “More or Loesser,” the Music of Frank Loesser. Anything Bree Burgess Rosen puts her hands on is always a sure bet don’t miss out.

It’s ironic that the photo I wanted to use of a No Square rehearsal for the show was during the song, “Take Back Your Mink.” Bree gave me the titles after I chose the picture. Mink is Pacific’s nickname because he looks like the color of a mink when the sun touches him. And I hope to take him home today. I think it’s a good omen indeed!

Snaps and Claps

Laguna artist Mike Tauber recently placed third and received the people’s choice award at the Yosemite National juried art show. He was recently commissioned for a mural at the entrance of Citrus Ranch Park in Irvine, will have a solo show at John Wayne Airport in 2013 and will be showing at Festival of Arts this summer. Tauber also is showing in Lake Arrowhead among other places.

“I feel so fortunate to be showing my work in some of the most highly acclaimed places in the country,” Tauber said.

Until Next Much Art (Healing) Little Time!

Liquescent, Roark Gourley’s short documentary/art film, will premiere at 6th Annual Art Star Awards

The Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts (LBaa) will premiere the short art film/documentary Liquescent by artist Roark Gourley at the 6th Annual Art Star Awards to be held on Sunday, April 1.

The film is the product of the artist’s yearlong endeavor funded by the 2011 [seven-degrees] of Inspiration Grant.

“[seven-degrees] has selected an exceptional artist to be the first recipient of their grant,” remarked Art Stars Event Chair Wayne Baglin. “Roark Gourley is an artist whose unbridled enthusiasm manifests into bold, sensual and kinetic art. Liquescent’s premiere at this event is bound to captivate and energize the audience.”

A still from Roark Gourley’s “Liquescent” premiering at Art Star Awards

Liquescent is becoming liquid. We come from, are made of, and consume water. Water is an integral part of who we are. Roark explores the underwater world of local Southern California waters, which are unique worldwide for their long kelp forests. Through breathtaking footage and an ethereal soundtrack, Roark will take the viewer on a journey to inspire awareness of these beautiful waters and the need for preservation. Liquescent harkens back to our essence of the aesthetic beauty of the human form in a liquid environment. It is about the relationship between water and the human experience, where the human form transcends and becomes liquid.

“We mostly do art and dance here on dry land. The underwater world is rarely explored as a purely artistic platform,” says Roark. “The beauty of the human form in this environment is just stunning. In my view to really love water you have to become a part of it. It is you, most of your body is water, and the spirit of water is transcending. You lived the first nine months of your life in it. Keeping water pure is easy when you know you are water.”

The short art film/documentary consists of small vignettes accompanied by a presentation in innovative modern media techniques. The experience will be a spectacle for the senses, built on social consciousness - a must see for all. Liquescent will also be shown in local hotels, museums and at film festivals.

“It is truly inspiring when a community can come together, even in hard times, to support the arts and artists,” adds Gourley. “Through the Seven Degrees of Inspiration Grant and the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts, we have been able to launch the treatment movie of Liquescent which will now be used to create further funding. Liquescent is an aesthetic dream that would have never launched without this kind of support.”

The Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts was established in 2002 as the result of an exciting partnership among more than 20 Laguna Beach organizations. The mission is to serve as an advocate for the arts, promote collaboration and networking among the arts organizations of Laguna Beach, and to serve as a united voice for the arts in the city. Members of the Alliance for the Arts include Art-A-Fair Festival, Laguna Dance Festival, Chamber of Commerce, City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission, Community Art Project, Festival of Arts, First Thursdays Art Walk, Gallimaufry Performing Arts, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach Chorale, Laguna Beach Craft Guild, Laguna Beach Film Society, Laguna Beach Live!, Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Community Concert Band, Laguna Outreach for Community Arts, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, Lagunatunes Community Chorus, No Square Theater, Sawdust Art Festival, and [seven-degrees].


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Kudos to the Laguna Beach art scene

Laguna’s art world continues to spin at a dizzying pace – a cadence that even a slow cheetah would respect.  Thanks to the BID – Laguna doesn’t have an off season - it’s always on, on, on!

Some Kind of Art Walk Wonderful

© photo by Adrienne Helitzer/ Still Productions

Siân Poeschl (L) and Suzi Chauvel – the good friends had fun at their exhibit

[seven-degrees] radiated 7,000-degrees in terms of how hot the Suzi Chauvel and Siân Poeschl joint exhibit was. Art peeps were digging the art, both exploring the plethora of works and procuring many pieces.

“The opening was so much fun!   We did have a great turnout – especially of the art community in Laguna – over 300 would be my guess over the course of the night, said Dora Wexell, [seven-degrees] executive director.

As anyone in the art world knows, I absolutely adore Chauvel and her work. I was so excited to see her latest exhibit, made even more fun that it was a joint show with Poeschl. Chauvel’s work is world renowned. She has won several “Telly” awards, among others and a “Cannon Design Fellowship,” in Copenhagen. Chauvel was featured on the NBC News Special: Design Trends; MTV Special: Trendspotting; Good Morning America: Surfstyle and Canadian BBC: Who’s Who, and more.

Chauvel’s body of work, “Dialogues,” was gorgeous and intriguing. The larger-than-life portraits of Laguna’s indigenous plant life were created using selective focus techniques, black and white photography, as well as painting and poetry.

“My mission for this exhibit was to illuminate these lives at the peak point of their exuberance and ferocity,” Chauvel said. “A dialogue happened. A conversation. Each dialogue is embedded in the portraits, like a whisper from them to you.”

Poeschl’s glass pieces were lovely modern interpretations of historic Yosemite landmarks.

The exhibit runs through April 30.

Another hot spot was saltfineart with owner Carla Tesak hosting another phenom exhibit, “Master Works” new paintings by Olga Sinclair and sculpture by Victor Hugo Zayas. I was excited to meet both artists and see their sensational work.

It was fantastic to run into two art world favorites – Marion Meyer and husband Tom Cuddyer. Marion Meyer Contemporary Art has gone mobile and she is still available and taking artist clients. Meyer can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Everyone Loves a Parade

The Patriot’s Day Parade was perfecto! It was fun to see some of the creativity participants used to get the judges and community’s attention. And I always love running into various art peeps. It was great to see the Pageant of the Masters creative slaying dragons theme, complete with costumed winches - pageant director extraordinaire, Dee Challis Davy, and pageant PR wizard Sharbie Higuchi. It was a little different than the Festival of Arts red carpet glam.

And of course of fav Lagunatics are always crazy creative! Loved chatting with No Square founder Bree Burgess Rosen, it’s no secret that I am a huge Bree fan; I wax on about her creative brilliance all the time.

Lagunatics had their annual cast awards party on Sunday, which includes the presentation of the “Goonie Awards” and a DVD of the show so the cast can see the production.

“The actual awards are physical representations of the award, and all are unique.  For example, Regina Hartley won ‘Chew Baaa Cabra,’ for her hilarious chewing in the goat number ‘It Had To Be Chewed,’” Burgess Rosen said.  “Her award was a bronze star shaped medal with the head of a goat on the front and her engraved plate on the back: 2011 Goonie Award, Chew Baaa Cabra, Regina [Hartley],”

A perennial winner was Lynn Epstein. She received a treasured Goonie – “the biggest ham award, which is called, “Best Schmactor.”

“It was a trophy of a gold pig on top of a giant rhinestone-looking orb with a black marble base,” Burgess Rosen said.  ‘Schmactor’ is one of my words – schmacting - which is a combo of acting and schtick.  “Schtik” (or shtik) is yiddish for a comic element - which Lynn certainly is.”

Lagunatic Carrie Reynolds had an absolute ball.

“For the first time we actually get to see the whole show...we know every song, we have seen every dance move...but it’s so different to see every schmacting nuance come to life...hey I helped her put on that mustache every night,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said as they watched each number memories came flooding back, as they cheer for their favorites and notice the mistakes that were made.

“We laugh at costumes and applaud them...we are our own room of groupies and it is a wonderful feeling,” Reynolds said. “Sitting in the dark watching our finale I yell...’what the heck is this number about?’....Bree yells back in the dark...’me!’....hilarious.’ What can be more fun than heckling your own work?”

Reynolds said that the Goonies that they win are some of the best memory makers of “Lagunatics.”

“We each have a shelf or special spot we keep them all...and each one has a story...I have moved from ‘Pointless Performer’ in year ‘Unyielding Advancement’  in year five....that is impressive eh,” Reynolds said.

Joe Lauderdale, who acts and is also a key player, won “Best in Show” For the finale “Chewed” and was bestowed a star goat. And City council member Toni Iseman, who was mayor at the time,” won “Cutting Edge of Excellence,” for “Ribbon Cutting,” and received “Employee of the Year” award for her fine scissor skills during the 2011ribbon cutting mania.

LagunaTOTS,” recently held auditions and the cast was named – given as a Stu News exclusive. “LagunaTOTS,” which takes a zany swipe at kid topics and culture is a junior version of, “Lagunatics.” Performances will be on May 11-13 and May 19 and 20.

No Square Theatre’s American Songbook Concert Series continues with “More or Loesser,” on March 16 and 17. The concert features the music of Frank Loesser and includes Broadway blockbusters like “Guys and Dolls,” “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying,” and hit tunes like “On a Slow Boat to China,” among others.

Laguna Artists in prestigious show

About 15 Laguna artists, artists who either reside her or are in one of our local art festivals will be exhibiting at the La Quinta Arts Festival March 8-11. The juried show is consistently ranked among the top 10 Art Fairs and Festivals in the Nation, now ranked second in the Nation Fine Art Festivals – “Greg Lawler’s 2012 Art Fair SourceBook.” Exhibiting artists include Mike Tauber, Shelley Evans, Christopher Jefferies, Jason McQuaid, Adam Neeley, Marcus Thesing, Karin Worden, Paul Renner, Ebrahem Amin, Michael Hermann, Gina Lunn, Scott and Naomi Schoenherr, Agnes Copeland, Michael Ezzell and Fred Stodder. Congrats to our artists!

Until Next Time…So Much Art….So Little Time…

Artist Jorg Dubin, creator of 9/11 memorial in Heisler Park will speak at Friday’s Rotary Club luncheon

Submitted photos

“Semper Memento, Always remember”, is a project born from the tragic events on September 11, 2001.

Almost ten years later the City of Laguna Beach acquired two remnant I beams from the Twin Towers in New York City.  Jorg Dubin’s design was selected and he was awarded the honor of creating a permanent memorial to the victims of 9/11 located in Heisler Park.

Jorg Dubin

At the March 9 Rotary Club meeting at Aliso Creek Inn, Jorg will discuss his involvement in the project from conception to completion.  Persons wishing to attend must RSVP to Laguna Beach Rotary president Jim Cox, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , to receive an acknowledgment and venue instructions.

Admission: $20 including lunch.

LOCA Art and Sea Lions Class at PMMC Saturday 9-10:30

Photo courtesy Mike Tauber, LOCA

Laguna Outreach for Community Arts is offering a beginner art class at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center on Saturday, March 10, from 9-10:30 a.m.

The educational activity includes a docent tour of the Center, and a close up view of live sea lions. Following the tour, participants will create a colorful fish drawing in pastels, as taught by September McGee.

Cost is $20 for adults, and $15 for ages 6-up, all supplies are included. Advance registration is required, visit and click on the calendar date. Register by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call (949) 363-4700.

foaSOUTH: “Selections From The Collection: The Water Show” watercolors from permanent exhibit through June 5

“Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink.”

The Festival of Arts is making a splash with its new exhibit at foaSOUTH where visitors will be surrounded by water, but not the drinking kind. Combining the theme of water with the artistic medium of watercolors, “Selections from the Collection: The Water Show” will be on display at foaSOUTH now until June 5, 2012.
Featured in the exhibit are pieces from the Festival of Arts permanent collection, a variety of classical and contemporary watercolors spanning the last 50 years. Artwork includes “Bowman” by Hal Akins (featured on the 1987 Festival of Arts Poster), Edmund Ashby’s “Grain of Salt,” “Fish & Lobster” by Scott Moore, William S. Daniel’s “Swimmers at Long Beach,” and “Cold Front” by Scott Albert.


Hal Akins

The show is made up of all watercolors, except for one untitled vase by ceramic artist Fred Stodder, which inspired Exhibit Curator Pat Sparkuhl. 
“Translucent glazes give my work a luminous and fluid appearance, reflecting light similar to water,” commented Stodder. “With my pieces, I try to combine pottery with other forms of art. There’s influences from sculptures and paintings, but the shape of the vase still connects it to traditional ceramics.”
“Pulling from the Festival of Arts Permanent Collection, this show features some of the finest watercolor artists that have exhibited at the Festival,” said Sparkuhl. “Each watercolor is bright, colorful, and compliments Fred’s vibrant artwork very well. We’re honored to have the opportunity to showcase these spectacular pieces.”
Opened as a collaboration between Festival of the Arts and Active Culture, foaSOUTH serves visitors and residents of Laguna Beach by promoting Festival-related exhibitions throughout the year. Located at 1006 S. Coast Highway on the corner of Anita and S. Coast Hwy, the gallery has partnered with Active Culture to provide frozen yogurt and natural foods on the premises at their café. Open from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The Festival of Arts is a non-profit organization whose proceeds go to support the arts in and about Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 494-1145 or go online to


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Art Walking

Better get your favorite art walking shoes revved up for First Thursdays Art Walk because Laguna’s galleries, along with the museum and LCAD have a full menu of impressive art offerings to sample. Copious visual delights can be enjoyed from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 1.

Art Walk is a great way to check out what’s happening on the local cultural arts scene and kick-start the month.

Enjoy a self-guided tour of gallery openings around the town, artist demonstrations and receptions as part of this popular monthly arts celebration.

The event is free and so is the trolley service. Pick up an Art Walk brochure that includes a map, a complete schedule of all the evening’s special events at any gallery or on the trolley. Explore town at your own pace, there is no set beginning or end.

I am uber-amped about “Landscapes,” at [seven-degrees], a new exhibit by Laguna artists Siân Poeschl and Suzi Chauvel that will open with an artist reception and performance by Jason Feddy during Art Walk. I love [seven-degrees], Poeschl, Chauvel and Feddy - so this experience should be a real highlight!

Working with fused glass, Poeschl will exhibit landscape-esque pieces inspired by Japanese woodcut prints. In a departure from the mixed media glass artist’s traditional works, Poeschl incorporated wood and bronze into her wall sculptures.

“It’s a time to experiment and explore new concepts and create works especially for such a contemporary space as [seven-degrees],” Poeschl said.

Chauvel’s new body of work brings forth her unique medium, a blend of film, poetry and painting. Inspired by Laguna’s hills and canyons, Chauvel describes the work as “dialogues with the earth.”

“I always marveled at the blooming life that is often missed underfoot while staring out at the views,” Chauvel said.

“We appreciate the sensitivity which these two artists bring to their work, you can sense the exploration and appreciation they have to their natural surroundings, conveyed in a contemporary and multimedia way, which is essential to the [seven-degrees] ethic.”

Poeschl and Chauvel have collaborated together in the past, including at John and Rebecca Barber’s former gallery, Studio Arts, which has been moved to 21062 Laguna Canyon Road, and is now a authentic artist live/work space with an on-site showroom, artist studio tours and glass blowing demonstrations. While the gallery isn’t open for Art Walk, it is open for the Artist Open Studio tour on Saturday.

Photo by Jennifer Daniels

Margo Chase will lecture at LCAD from 5 – 6 p.m.

Above: Germs, Truth, Look, Stick

Laguna College of Art & Design will feature a reception “For the Love Type,” from 5 to 8 p.m. with a guest lecture by Margo Chase from 5 to 6 p.m. The exhibit features 20 contemporary national and international typographic designers, including Chase, which display the beauty of letterforms. From hand drawn letters to digital typefaces, the works elucidate obsessive dedication and playful creativity, including pencil drafts of typefaces, boutique-type foundry fonts, silkscreen posters, letterpress prints and motion graphics.

saltfineart is always happening and will feature a new exhibit, “Master Works,”  with an artist reception during Art Walk. “Master Works,” features color-saturated and sensual canvases of renowned Panamanian painter Olga Sinclair are paired with sculpture from Mexican/Los Angeles Master Victor Hugo Zayas in an exhibition designed to highlight their dynamic strengths in form and composition.

White and Gold rings by Cornelia Goldsmith

With homage, and a little twist, to the tradition of “a ring by spring,” Silver Blue & Gold, a popular spot, will present “Ring 4 Spring,” an exhibit of unique engagement, wedding, and just-for-fun rings by 18 acclaimed studio jewelers with an opening artist reception for Art Walk. Interesting materials meet innovative designs in a blend of jewelry and art for this exhibit and offers an alternative to strictly traditional rings. While yellow gold, white gold, and diamonds are represented, so are Damascus steel, titanium, palladium, and zirconia ceramic.

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. Check out “Early California paintings” at Edenhurst Gallery on the North end of town and Redfern Gallery at the South end. Besides Feddy at [seven-degrees], listen to live music while taking in the original etchings by Italian artists at La Bottega Dell’Acquaforte.

Art-goers will find that many Art Walk galleries will have special happenings and feature artists that will do demonstrations or be available to talk about their work, including resident artists at Artist Eye Laguna Gallery.

America Martin

Woman in Woods

Oil and Acrylic on canvas – 75 x 98.75

JoAnne Artman Gallery

JoAnne Artman Gallery, will continue with her wildly popular exhibit Exuberance: New Works by Colombian-American Artist America Martin”  in the Main Gallery. Martin is a Colombian-American fine artist based in Los Angles, whose art reflects influences of Cubism, Fauvism and Minimalism. With these combining forces, Martin creates fresh, colorful palettes radiating with soft, subdued colors.

“We are thrilled to be exhibiting America’s first large sculptural work ‘La Mujer’ in steel and hand Patina as well as her amazing large canvases,” gallery owner Joanne Artman said.

Be sure to visit the Laguna Art Museum featuring two exciting exhibits, “The Postwar Era: From the Collection, 1945-1980”, and “Victor Hugo Zayas: Mi Obra.”

Participating Art Walk galleries give you access to buy original artwork of every art genre. Ongoing exhibition of gallery artists including Chuck Close, Donald Sultan, Richard MacDonald, Jian Wang, James Galindo at Dawson Cole Fine Art; and Sally Chiu, David French, Amber George and Joseph Maruska at Sue Greenwood Fine Art.

Lisa Stefanelli

Wild Blue Yonder 2

Automotive paint and enamel on board – 64 x 56

The George Gallery

The George Gallery continues the show “Accomplished,” an exhibition featuring the multimedia work of seven esteemed female artists, whose works are included in museum collections as prestigious as the MOCA in LA and the Corcoran in DC. Their work has also been lauded by top tier critics at the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times and each artist has shown in prestigious galleries across the United States and around the world.

“Accomplished” features work by: Susan Jamison, Carla Gannis, Lisa Stefanelli, Magdalena Atria, Soledad Pinto, Livia Marin and Talin Megherian and captures a paradox, or a tension, to which the George will remain true. Some work is loaded with gender, challenging social and aesthetic norms, while other work remain ironically and uncannily gender neutral.

Joseph Wise Gallery will feature, “Fine Art Photography Laguna’s Beaches,” by Southern California photographer Russ Sanders. The artist  grew up in the surf with a love for the ocean and respect for it’s power. Years of competitive swimming and water polo helped Sanders to better interact with the shore-break, as it can be a physically demanding place to work in.

Photographer Russ Sanders

“Dancing Waters”

Photograph, at Joseph Wise Gallery

“Everything you see is all comes from the original shot. There have been color/contrast adjustments from the original pictures to bring out the look I want but nothing has been ‘added’ to my photos,” Sanders said. “These are the real thing. No ‘Photoshop additions’ going on here. Hope you like them.”

For more information, including a full listing of First Thursdays Art Walk galleries and featured artists visit

Until next much little time!

Local jewelry designer takes first in national contest

The 2012 Vision Awards design contest, which recognizes skill and design in outstanding jewelry making, gave Adam Neely – of Adam Neely Fine Jewelry – first place for a ring called “Moonlight and Caviar.”

“My inspiration for the design came from a contemporary art exhibition I attended in Florence, Italy,” Neely said of his piece.  “My design goal was to create a sculpture for the hand that was modern, yet elegant.”

The winning ring features a 12 mm flawless South Sea pearl, prominently positioned as the focal point of the ring.  The shiny white sphere sits atop 2.52 carats of pavé-set black diamonds that looks akin to two crests of glistening black sand, supporting the soft pearl.  The two 14k white gold bands cross paths, creating an “X” shape to create a spot for the pearl to nestle between.  The bands are laced with small white diamonds around the entire trim.

Neely was able to create the concept for the ring by using Computer Aided Design technology to create the unique geometric shape.

Neely was an avid rock collector in Colorado’s backcountry as a boy and by the age of 12 he had learned (on his own) the rudiments of gemstone cutting and silversmithing using Southwestern motifs. Within three years he exhibited in his first major art show in Telluride selling all of his pieces.

He graduated from Gemological Institute of America and was accepted into one of Europe’s top goldsmithing institutions, Le Arti Orafe in Florence, Italy, where he studied design and advanced techniques with master goldsmith Gio Carbone. In New York City, Neeley refined his platinumsmithing skills and learned computer-aided design under Dominic Ventura of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Neely, 28, hand crafts jewelry at his flagship gallery in North Laguna’s gallery row, which he opened in 2006.  He also shows his pieces at exhibits around the country including the Festival of Arts of town.

Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts announced 6th Annual Art Star Awards nominees – ceremony April 1

The Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts (LBaa) announced the nominees for the 6th Annual Art Star Awards to be held on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 6 p.m., generously hosted by [seven-degrees].

“Art Star Awards,” custom designed by Louis Longi, will be presented to organizations, businesses and individuals who have contributed and shaped the arts and culture of the community and the county. “The dozens of impressive nominees for the Sixth Annual Art Star Awards reflect the depth, diversity and support of cultural activities in Laguna Beach which are now available year-round,” said event Chair Wayne Baglin.  LBaa members from more than 20 Laguna Beach arts organizations submitted nominees in seven categories. The categories and the nominees are:

Best New Arts Program

Bluegrass and BBQ (Laguna Beach Live!)

Kids’ Paint Out (Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association)

Studio Art Classes (Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau)
Individual Arts Patron of the Year

Bobbi Cox

Rick Lang

Deborah and Henry Mayhew

Corporate Arts Patron of the Year

Bank of America

Haskell & White LLP

Outstanding Arts Collaboration

911 Memorial Monument (City of Laguna Beach, New York Port Authority, and Mark Porterfield)

FOA South (Festival of Arts and Active Culture)

Plein Air Painting Invitational (Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association)
Arts Leadership
Robert Hayden III, Laguna Art Museum

Greg Vail, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

Karen Wood, Laguna Playhouse
Artist of the Year

Jorg Dubin

Sandra Jones Campbell

Jon Seeman

During the event, the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts will also honor longtime Laguna Beach resident and well-known assemblage artist Paul Darrow with a special

Lifetime Achievement Award.

Plus, the 2012 recipient of the $5,000 [seven-degrees] of Inspiration Grant will be announced. Funded by [seven-degrees], the goal of the grant is to provide support for an emerging or established Laguna Beach artist to develop and present an innovative arts project or program that advances recognition of Laguna Beach as a progressive arts city. The three finalists are glass artist John Barber, photographer Tom Lamb, and dancer Michelle Lance.  Last year’s grant recipient, mixed media artist Roark Gourley, will present his resulting and innovative project Liquescent, in which Roark explores the underwater world of Southern California waters.

Further evening’s highlights include special guest and keynote speaker Dana Gioia, former Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as big band tunes form the Laguna Concert Band’s “Swing Set.”  The Laguna Concert Band is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization of over 60 members from Laguna Beach and surrounding communities.

To purchase tickets to attend the 6th Annual Art Star Awards, please contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LBaa was established in 2002 as the result of an exciting partnership among more than 20 Laguna Beach organizations. The mission is to serve as an advocate for the arts, promote collaboration and networking among the arts organizations of Laguna Beach, and to serve as a united voice for the arts in the city. Members of the Alliance for the Arts include Art-A-Fair Festival, Laguna Dance Festival, Chamber of Commerce, City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission, Community Art Project, Festival of Arts, First Thursdays Art Walk, Gallimaufry Performing Arts, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach Chorale, Laguna Beach Craft Guild, Laguna Beach Film Society, Laguna Beach Live!, Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Community Concert Band, Laguna Outreach for Community Arts, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, Lagunatunes Community Chorus, No Square Theater, Sawdust Art Festival, and [seven-degrees].

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

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