FOA funding grants are available: deadline is Feb 10

The Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation announced that applications are now available for 2017 Art Grants. 

Nonprofit organizations that have programs that promote fine arts in and about the City of Laguna Beach may apply. Submission deadline is Feb 10.  

Grant applications are available online at or may be picked up at the Festival of Arts administration office located at 650 Laguna Cyn Rd. 

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

 For more information on the grant application process, contact Moore at 494-9680. 

In 1989, with a S1.5 million donation, the Festival of Arts established the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, in order to guarantee annual financial support for the arts in Laguna Beach. 

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

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

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

Laguna Art Museum’s highly anticipated Art Auction takes place on Feb 4, featuring California Cool artwork

On Feb 4, Laguna Art Museum will present Art Auction 2017: California Cool. With works by more than 100 California artists, the museum-curated Art Auction will feature original art at great prices, delicious cuisine, and creative cocktails. 

Among the many wonderful works available in the live auction, Lita Albuquerque’s Emanation is one of communications director Cody Lee’s several personal favorites. Lita had an exhibition at LAM in 2014. She is also this year’s Artist of the Year for Art Palm Springs.

“We expect a lot of excitement among bidders,” Lee says, given the superb quality of the works available.

The evening will include a silent auction as well as a live auction led by Aaron Bastian, senior specialist in California and American paintings at Bonhams in San Francisco and featured appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow.

As the museum concludes simultaneous exhibitions of works by Phillip K. Smith III and Kristin Leachman, the Museum is delighted to announce that Art Auction 2017 will feature works by both artists. Phillip K. Smith III and Royale Projects have donated an archival digital print from an edition of ten, and Kristin Leachman has donated an untitled gouache on paper ($5,500 value) from her Xylem Rays series.

Submitted photos

Lita Albuquerque, Emanation (from the Auric Field Series), pigment on panel and gold leaf on resin, 2017, 18 x 18 inches, courtesy of Peter Blake Gallery

Other notable works include a resin work by Peter Alexander ($35,000 value) donated by the artist and Peter Blake Gallery; a painting by Billy Al Bengston ($25,000 value) donated by the artist; a Light Sentence sculpture by Laddie John Dill ($40,000 value) donated by the artist; a lithograph by Sam Francis ($5,000 value) donated by the Sam Francis Foundation; as well as works by Lita Albuquerque, Helen Lundeberg, and Ed Ruscha. 

With something for every taste and pocketbook, there are many opportunities for attendees to add top-quality art to their collections. The works range in price from $250 to $50,000, and bidding starts at 50 percent of the stated value. Proceeds from the event will support Laguna Art Museum’s dedication to collecting and preserving California art, presenting critically acclaimed exhibitions, and enhancing art education programs for all. 

Laguna Art Museum’s Art Auction, in its 35th year, is the longest running art auction in California and one of Orange County’s most exciting art and social experiences.  

Tickets to attend the event are $125 for museum members at the Friend level and higher, and $150 for all others. Tickets include auction admission, complimentary parking, food, and drinks.  

Click on photo for a larger image


Bradley Hankey, The Beginning, oil on wood panel, 2016, 36 x 36 inches, courtesy of the artist and Skidmore Contemporary Art

The event takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. at Laguna Art Museum, with a silent auction from 6 to 8 p.m. and a live auction of twenty works at 8 p.m.  

The live auction, in partnership with Paddle8, will add a further element of excitement to the competitive bidding with absentee bids placed from around the world.

In addition to art, guests will enjoy the culinary talents of West Coast Event Productions, wine by Wine Gallery, and desserts by Simply Sweet Cakery served alongside specialty coffee and teas provided by Urth Caffé. 

The evening’s cool ambience will feature floral design by Laguna Nursery; event lighting and production by The Showpros Group; and upbeat music through the night.  

Attendees will have the chance to mingle with featured artists, fellow collectors, and the museum’s curators and executive director.

The Art Auction 2017 team is led by co-chairs Sara Heeschen and Deborah Lake; committee members Tina Cook, Jeannie Denholm, Ruben Flores, Vanessa Helin, Lauren MacLaughlin-Brinker, and Karen Morally; and Laguna Art Museum’s director of special events, Sarah Strozza.

From Sat Jan 28 to Fri Feb 3, Laguna Art Museum will be open with free admission for patrons to preview the works featured in Art Auction 2017: California Cool.  

On Sunday, Feb 5, the museum will host a public sale during which any unsold works will be available for purchase at 50 percent of the stated value. Unsold works will also be for sale online from Feb 6 to 13.

Laguna Beach’s 15th annual – and classically eclectic – Music Festival will take place from Feb 8 – 12

The 2017 Laguna Beach Music Festival, the 15th Annual Festival, is just one month away. 

A co-presentation of Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, the Laguna Beach Music Festival is an annual multi-day celebration featuring outstanding classical and contemporary concerts in intimate spaces, community outreach programs and dynamic special events.

The opening reception, the Festival Prelude, will take place on Wed Feb 8 at 5:30 p.m. at [seven-degrees]. The evening will include dinner, performance, dessert and champagne with artists.

This year’s Festival highlights will include Johannes Moser in solo and collaborative performances; appearances by guest artists such as the Calder Quartet; the world premiere of Stellar Remnants, a new work for solo cello and electronics by Ellen Reid; and an interactive musical sculpture by sound artist Stephanie Cheng Smith that will be installed on-site at the Laguna Playhouse.

The grand finale performance will feature twelve cellists playing music ranging from Bach to Michael Jackson. 

Click on photo for a larger image


Artistic director and cellist Johannes Moser is one of the many renowned musicians who will perform during the Music Festival this February

This year’s opportunity prize packages include an unforgettable weekend in New York City with coveted tickets to the smash hit musical Hamilton on Broadway and hotel stay at the Grand Hyatt New York, just steps from Times Square and other NYC attractions.

There are also chances to win a stay at Laguna Beach’s newest private luxury resort The Ranch, with tickets to Laguna Beach’s celebrated arts offerings including the world-renowned Pageant of the Masters, Sawdust Festival, and more.

And in addition, VIP tickets for four to the Chicago Symphony with Riccardo Muti or LA Phil with Itzhak Perlman – two of the world’s most celebrated symphony orchestras and conductor/musicians – will be available to win.

Winners will be announced on Sun, Feb 12, immediately following the concert. Winners need not be present. The Festival offers special thanks to the friends of Laguna Beach Music Festival for their generosity. Tickets are  $25 each, or five for $100. 

For more information, visit

The schedule is as follows:

Festival Prelude

Wed, Feb. 8 | 5:30pm

Seven Degrees

Opening Night Reception, 


Concerts at Laguna Playhouse


Opening Night:

J.S. Bach & Ellen Reid

Fri, Feb. 10 | 8:00pm

Hear Bach’s beloved Cello Suites No. 4, Hindemith’s Sonata for solo cello, and the world premiere of Ellen Reid’s Stellar Remnants. 


Schoenberg & Schubert Masterworks

Sat, Feb. 11 | 8:00pm

Johannes Moser and the award-winning Calder Quartet perform Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night and Schubert’s String Quintet in C major.


One to Twelve:

The Johannes Moser Project

Sun, Feb. 12 | 3:00pm

Johannes Moser joins forces with eleven SoCal cellists to perform an exciting variety of works written for up to twelve cellists, running the gamut from Bach to contemporary pop and everything in between!

Kontrapunktus makes its concert debut on Saturday Jan 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Newport Beach, free for guests

Neo-Baroque orchestra, Kontrapunktus, led by concertmaster and acclaimed French violinist, Etienne Gara, will make its long-awaited concert debut at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 2046 Mar Vista, Newport Beach on Sat, Jan 28. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is complimentary for all guests.

The ambitious concert program will feature classic, familiar Baroque music as well as pieces of new, Baroque music from the first studio album from “Kontrapunktus, a Neo-Baroque Introduction.” The music from the album has never been performed live in front of an audience. 

Click on photo for a larger image


Submitted photo


Lovers of Baroque music will thrill to the sounds of this multinational orchestra

Kontrapunktus is a classical Baroque orchestra led by concertmaster Gara. Joining him will be violinists Mishkar Nunez-Mejia, YuEun Gemma Kim, Myroslava Khomik, Alexander Granger, Leila Nassar-Fredell, violist Tanner Menees, cellist Joo Lee, bassist Ryan Baird, and Arthur Omuraon harpsichord and organ.

Together they represent a remarkable array of young, diverse and extraordinary talent from five different countries.

This concert is produced with the assistance of Dr. Patricia Lamb, music director for Our Lady Queen of Angels, and is made possible by the generous donation of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Tomkinson. 

An intimate reception with the Kontrapunkusmusicians will be held after the concert for VIP guests and members of the media.

To learn more, visit

Playhouse announces Wizard of Oz auditions plus a fabulous fundraiser, Matriarch Mayhem, one night only

Murder and The Wizard are coming to Laguna in 2017 in the form of two Youth Theatre productions: The Wizard of Oz, and (for one night only, Friday Feb 17) Matriarch Mayhem: The Stromboli Family Reunion, a fundraiser that will delight audiences and provide wonderful entertainment for a good cause.

Auditions for The Wizard of Oz are by appointment and will be held in Laguna Beach and Lake Forest on Wed, Jan 11, Friday, Jan 13, Sat Jan 14 and dance call (for all) will be on Sunday, Jan 15.  Call Wally Ziegler for more information at 949 497-2787 x 294 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Photo from Internet

The Wizard of Oz will be presented on-stage Friday, March 31, through Sunday, April 9 for 12 performances only. Student matinees are presented on Thurs April 5 and Friday April 6 and 7 at 10 a.m.  Weekend performances will be at 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sat and Sundays.  Tickets range from $15 - $25 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787) x 1.   Group tickets are available by (949) 497-ARTS (2787) x 229. 

Matriarch Mayhem: The Stromboli Family Reunion fundraiser

Prior to The Wizard of Oz performances, the Playhouse will present its 10th Annual Murder Mystery fundraiser, Matriarch Mayhem: The Stromboli Family Reunion. Audiences are invited to come for an evening of music, laughter, dance and a story ripped from the headlines of a dysfunctional family reunion at Mama Stromboli’s 80th birthday. Matriarch Mayhem will perform one night only, Friday, Feb 17.

Cost to attend the entirety of the evening is $100, which includes dinner, a show, dessert and an opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items.  Show tickets only are $35 each, and these include dessert and auction items.    

The box office is open Tues – Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until 8 p.m. on performance days). Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information on all shows and programming visit

Youth Theatre offers winter and spring classes

The Youth Theatre offers the following classes in winter:

Acting Fundamentals (9 – 12 years) begins Tues Jan 24 and runs for eight weeks, ending on March 21 (no class on Feb 21). The fee is $180. The class meets from 4:30 – 6 p.m. at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive.  

The Musical Theatre Workshop (9 -12+ years) begins Friday, Jan 20 for eight weeks, ending on March 24 (no class Feb 17 & 24). The fee is $200. The class meets 4 – 6 p.m. at The Laguna Playhouse.

The following classes meet in spring:

Acting Fundamentals (9 – 12 years) begins Tues April 25 to May 30 for six weeks. Fee is $160.  Classes take place 4:30 – 6 p.m. at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Dr.

Musical Theatre Workshop (9 -12+ years) begins Friday, April 7 to June 2 for eight weeks (with no class April 21) from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse.  

The Laguna Playhouse is noted for its Youth Theater Education and Outreach programs. In 2008 the Youth Theatre was awarded “Outstanding Contribution to Education” by the Orange County Department of Education and in 1989, its Youth Theater was recognized as “Outstanding Children’s Theatre” by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. 

For more information, visit

Three inspiring new exhibits will premiere at Art Museum on Feb 19, celebrating donor generosity

On Feb 19, Laguna Art Museum will open three new exhibitions, including From Wendt to Thiebaud: Recent Gifts for the Permanent Collection; The Golden Decade: Photography at the California School of Fine Arts, 1945-55; and Stanton Macdonald-Wright: The Haiga Portfolio. The exhibitions close May 29. 

From Wendt to Thiebaud: Recent Gifts for the Permanent Collection, will feature

a selection of about eighty works of art that are recent gifts for the permanent collection, many of them displayed for the first time. 

Like most museums, Laguna Art Museum grows and strengthens its collection largely through works of art donated by collectors and artists. Over the past five years it has reaped the benefit of extraordinary generosity, adding museum-quality paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, and prints from all periods during the history of California art. 

The exhibition is a celebration of the museum’s progress as it approaches its centennial year of 2018 and an expression of gratitude toward the donors who have contributed through their gifts to Laguna Beach’s artistic legacy.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Three exciting exhibitions will begin at LAM as of Feb 19

The exhibition The Golden Decade: Photography at the California School of Fine Arts, 1945-55, will be a great showcase of emerging talent during those years.

Between 1945 and 1955, a fortunate group of students at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco studied under a faculty that included some of the great photographers of the age – Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, and Lisette Model. Many of the students went on to distinguished photographic careers themselves. Accompanied by a beautiful and informative book, the exhibition showcases about sixty choice examples of the work of teachers and students active at the CSFA during this remarkable midcentury period.

Stanton Macdonald-Wright: The Haiga Portfolio will feature the illustrations the artist created for haiku. Following World War II, this distinguished figure of the American avant-garde became fascinated by Japanese art. In 1966-67 he spent a period in Kyoto and worked with a master of traditional Japanese woodblock techniques, Clifton Karhu, to create a portfolio of twenty haiga, or illustrations to haiku poems.

Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. Its mission is to collect, care for, and exhibit works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles, and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, on the corner of Pacific Coast Hwy and Cliff Drive.Hours areSunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.,Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.Closed Wednesdays; also Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. 

General admission is $7. Students, seniors (60+), and active military: $5. Museum members and children under 12 are free.For more information, visit

Laguna College of Art and Design’s LCAD Gallery will open “A Sojourn in France” from Jan 19 through Feb 19

College exhibition recollects experience of LCAD Summer Abroad Program in France

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) announced A Sojourn in France, an exhibition of work on view from Jan 19 through Feb 19, at LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach, California. The public is welcome to meet the artists at a reception during the Laguna Beach First Thursdays ArtWalk on Feb 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. LCAD Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The works of art on view will allow viewers to experience the highlights of LCAD’s Summer 2016 Study Abroad Program participants’ visits to many significant and memorable museums, churches, and historical sites such as the Jacquemart-Andre Museum, Monet’s home & gardens at Giverny, Musée D’Art Moderne, Rodin Museum, Louvre, Musee de l’Orangerie, Petit Palace, Musée d’Orsay, Reims Cathedral, Unterlinden Museum, Hospices de Beaune, St. Remy in Arles, Musée Ingres, Mont-Saint-Michel, and many more. 

Exhibiting artists include: David Amaral, Geanna Anstey, Charles Antolin, Donna Ballard, Amy Bergener, Scott Brazee, Judy Derickson, Lani Emanuel, William Havlicek, Jacqueline Inzunza, Jourdan Inzunza, Claire Kairalla, Veronica Khristov, Mary Lippert, Lisa Mansour, Maureen McGinnis, Anne Moore, Hyatt Moore, Brad Neal, Betty Shelton, Rachel Sigal, Deanna Smit, Angelica Spears, Natlie Terenzini, and Pamela Wells.

Thirty-one participants, including students and faculty from LCAD, traveled to Paris, Giverny, Reims, Colmar, Beaune, Arles, and Sarlat between May 28 and June 12 with Professor Betty Shelton and LCAD Art History Professor, Dr. William Havlicek. 

Shelton started LCAD’s Summer Abroad program in 1995 and has been leading students on art study trips to Europe ever since. Havlicek began accompanying Shelton in 2005. Past trips have included Italy, France, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, and Germany; and in the summer of 2017 the group will return to Prague and Vienna. 

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and Annual Fund, visit Facebook at @LCADBFA, Twitter @LCAD and Instagram @lcadbfa.

Pacific Chorale celebrates their 2016 European Tour and honors Lagunans John Alexander and Mary Lyons

Pacific Chorale, the resident choir of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, brought international acclaim to Orange County on its recent tour to Budapest and Vienna, and the organization celebrated their success with a sold-out Viennese Gala on Dec 18 at the Center Club in Costa Mesa.  

The event, entitled A Candlelight Christmas in Old Vienna, occurred immediately after their annual Christmas extravaganza “‘Tis the Season.”

Two Lagunans intimately associated with Pacific Chorale were acknowledged for their contributions. Mary Lyons was honored by Pacific Chorale’s long-term conductor, John Alexander, who is celebrating his 45th and final year with the organization, and through a tribute from her son, Craig Lyons, who underwrote both the  ‘Tis the Season concerts in a tribute to his mother, who is a singer in the choir.  

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Pacific Chorale conductor John Alexander, CEO Elizabeth Pearson (both of Laguna Beach) and Mary Lyons, board chair, enjoyed the holiday gala

The group carried its theme out in detail, from a ChristKindl Markt silent auction and a dinner menu that consisted of traditional chicken schnitzel and beef rouladen, kas nocken – and Austrian desserts including sacher torte and a raspberry linzer torte.  

The entertainment was a highlight of the evening, featuring three of its professional singers (Maria Cristina Navarro, Jason Francisco, Matthew Kellaway) who sang works by German and Austrian composers including Mozart.  Entertainment was directed by Pacific Chorale’s associate conductor, Robert Istad (the artistic director designate beginning July 1).

The event was co-chaired by board member Tom Pridonoff and his wife, long-time singer Bonnie Pridonoff.  Sponsors included Phil N. and Mary A. Lyons; Lenora Meister and Salt-Away Prodoucts, Inc.; Hans and Valerie Imhof; Jerry and Maralou Harrington; and Martha and Peter Wetzel.

Another surprise was in store for the artistic director/conductor, who learned of a tribute to him by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, announced by the Center’s president & CEO, Terry Dwyer:  the permanent naming of the Choral Terrace of the Concert Hall in John Alexander’s name. Plaques will be placed designating the tribute.

More than 200 people attended the event and more than $200,000 was raised to support the education mission of the organization.

Pacific Chorale brings international acclaim to OC

Pacific Chorale (PC) has delighted national and international audiences with concerts of great choral music performed at the highest musical standards since 1968.

The mission of Pacific Chorale is to enrich and educate the community by demonstrating outstanding leadership in the performance, creation and preservation of choral music. 

Pacific Chorale is recognized for exceptional artistic expression, preserving and performing classical choral music as well as stimulating American-focused programming. Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. 

In addition to its long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with such renowned American ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Musica Angelica.

LCAD’s Taking Measure at City Hall will feature 20 original drawings & paintings by MFA candidates

As of Jan 24, Laguna College of Art and Design’s MFA programs in drawing and painting will present Taking Measure, an exhibition featuring more than twenty original drawings and paintings by current LCAD MFA candidates. This is the second installation of LCAD MFA art to be exhibited at City Hall.

The exhibition’s title refers to the act of pausing to assess one’s positions, beliefs, expectations and wishes. The discipline of representational art also necessitates a constant taking of actual measurement of proportion, value, color and space. The thoughtful adjustments that artists make, and the eventual satisfactory resolutions, transfer to viewers who experience the complex processes that result in a work of art.

The exhibition will run from Jan 24 to March 10. Laguna Beach City Hall hours are Monday through Thurs, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and every other Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. City Hall is located at 505 Forest Avenue. 

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and annual fund, visit Facebook at @LCADBFA, Twitter @LCAD and Instagram @lcadbfa.

Joan Gladstone paintings will brighten up U.S. Bank

An exhibit of vibrant oil paintings by local artist Joan Gladstone will be on display at U.S. Bank from Dec 19 through Jan 22. 

Click on photo for a larger image


Joan Gladstone’s stunning paintings vibrate with color and life

Gladstone studied at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts before pursuing a career in public relations. She has continued to study with local artists since moving to Laguna Beach in 1992. 

To view Gladstone’s online gallery, visit Facebook, Joan Gladstone - Artist. 

U.S. Bank is located at 310 Glenneyre Street at the corner of Forest Avenue.

Chapatti, “a beautiful and quirky love story,” will begin its run at the Playhouse in mid-January

Laguna Playhouse artistic director Ann E. Wareham is thrilled to announce the third show in the 2016-2017 season, Chapatti, written by Christian O’Reilly and directed by David Ellenstein based on the direction of Judith Ivey. 

“I just fell in love with this play and the beautiful and quirky love story at its center.  I think our audiences are about to fall in love with it too,” says Wareham. 

What do you get when you mix an Irish tale with 19 cats, one dog named after a pancake, and two eccentric animal lovers?  

Annabella Price and Mark Bramhall star in this humorous and heartwarming tale about two animal lovers in Dublin and their unexpected spark as they re-discover the importance of human companionship. This second-chance comedy celebrates these unforgettable characters who still believe in love. 

Chicago Theatre Beat called the play “poignant, funny and surprising!” 

Scenic design is by Marty Burnett, lighting design by Matt Novotny, sound design by Melanie Chen and costume design by Elisa Benzoni, and the stage manager is Cindy Rumley. 

Chapattiwill begin previews on Wed, Jan 11 and will open to the public on Sunday, Jan 15 at 5:30 p.m. The play will run through Sunday, Jan 29 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road.

Performances will be Wed through Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Thurs/Sat at 2 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. There will be an additional performance on Sunday, Jan 22 at 5:30 p.m.    

Tickets range from $40 - $65 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Mon – Sat: 12 to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Playhouse names Doug Vogel director of development

Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors, Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham announced today that Doug Vogel has joined Laguna Playhouse as its new director of development. 

Comments Wareham, “We are so honored to have Doug Vogel join our Playhouse family as its new director of development.  In these challenging times for theatre, [this] is such a vital position for any institution and we are so fortunate to have Doug join the team here at the Playhouse.” 

Highly qualified Doug Vogel will be the Playhouse’s new director of development

Doug Vogel comes to the playhouse from Community Action Partnership of Orange County, where he oversaw a $1.8 million fundraising and branding campaign for the organization’s 50th anniversary. Prior to that, he served as director of major giving for Catalina Island Conservancy during the initial stages of the $150 million Imagine Catalina Capital Campaign.  

Doug has produced highly acclaimed fundraising events including East LA Meets Napa and OC AIDS Walk, which was named “Best Charity” by OC Weekly in 2007.  

A native of Orange County, Doug is an alumnus of the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts, has sung in Carnegie Hall, and has written and performed music for stage and screen. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.  

Founded in 1920, the Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is noted for its artistic excellence, wide-ranging performing arts programming, award-winning youth education offerings and community partnerships.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road.For more information on all shows and programming visit

Nine o’clock is the New Midnight: Rita Rudner’s New Year’s Eve show will celebrate the start of 2017 

In a performance that the New York Times describes as “soft-spoken but not without bite,” Rita Rudner will ring in the New Year at the Laguna Playhouse with her show, 9 p.m. Is The New Midnight, which will begin at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Dec 31 and end with a champagne celebration at 9 p.m.

Rita Rudner promises to help you laugh your way into the New Year

Rita Rudner is not only one of America’s top comedians -- she’s also a New York Times bestselling author, as well as an award-winning television personality, screenwriter, playwright, Broadway dancer and actress. A house-filling favorite in Vegas, Rudner is beloved for her witty one-liners, which have helped make hers the longest-running solo show in Vegas history – she’s sold more than a million tickets during her time there. 

Now this comedy legend is hosting her early evening New Year’s Eve party here in Laguna, where the audience will watch the ball drop on the East Coast and celebrate with a complimentary champagne drink and dessert. 

Rita Rudner: 9 p.m. Is The New Midnight is a one night special performance featuring special guests Molly Bergman and Sidney Bowen, a musical duo, who will open the show.

Rita Rudner is one of the country’s top comedians

Rudner has performed over 3,000 solo shows in Las Vegas since the MGM Corporation built a theatre for her twelve years ago. She also regularly performs concerts and at corporate and charity events across the country. 

One of the country’s top comedians and a New York Times bestselling author, Rita Rudner is also an award-winning television personality, screenwriter, playwright, Broadway dancer, and actress.

Rudner is a frequent collaborator with her writer/producer husband of twenty years, Martin Bergman. She lives in Las Vegas and Monarch Beach with her husband and daughter. For more information on Rita, log on to her website at or become her fan on Facebook. 

Molly Bergman and Sidney Bowen are two local teen singer/songwriters who sometimes perform as a duo. They appeared together at the Laguna Playhouse when they performed last year for recent-Emmy-winning comedian Louie Anderson. They’ve also performed at several benefit shows around Orange County. 

Tickets for the show are $99 - $125 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787).  

The box office is open Mon – Sat: 12 to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road.

Miss Hills of Laguna, Anna Althea Hills: Art, Education, Community Phillip K. Smith: Bent Parallel Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays – now exhibiting this fall at Laguna Art Museum

On Oct 16, Laguna Art Museum opened three new exhibitions to the public: Miss Hills of Laguna Beach, Anna Althea Hills: Art, Education, Community; Phillip K. Smith: Bent Parallel; and Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays. The exhibitions will close Jan 15. 

Miss Hills of Laguna, Anna Althea Hills: Art, Education, Community

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy Laguna Art Museum

Anna Althea Hills

Laguna Art Museum is proud to present the work of landscape painter Anna Althea Hills (1882–1930). Hills was one of the highly talented artists whose presence in the community helped put Laguna Beach on the map as a premier art colony during the first decades of the twentieth century. 

Born in Ravenna, Ohio, she studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cooper Union Art School in New York City. In New York, she also studied under Arthur Wesley Dow, one of the most influential art teachers of the period, who played a prominent role in the American Arts & Crafts Movement. Like many art students during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Hills continued her studies in Europe, attending the Académie Julian in Paris and traveling in Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, and the British Isles. In England, she studied with John Noble Barlow in the art colony at St. Ives, Cornwall. Returning to the United States, she moved to Los Angeles in 1912 and by 1914 had established her home and studio in Laguna Beach. 

Click on photo for a larger image


Anna Hills

July Afternoon

At the time, she was working in an impressionistic technique, but her palette was muted, dominated by low-key tones that reflected the northern light and atmosphere of England and Holland. Once in California, like other artists, she responded to the bright light and rich, colorful landscape. She remarked that she had to modify her palette by adding brighter colors. She traveled throughout Southern California and Arizona, and became particularly attracted to the desert landscape. She worked primarily in oil, using both a brush and a palette knife. Her palette knife work is highly distinctive, setting her paintings apart from those of her contemporaries. She was fond of portraying dramatic cloud effects, often setting a low horizon line in order to give the sky dominance in the composition. 

Hills felt that Laguna Beach was the place where she could not only paint but also teach and build an art school. She welcomed many students to her studio. Many were no longer novices but professional art teachers from other parts of the country, who would travel to California each summer for the privilege of studying with her. As a teacher, she felt strongly about the importance of arts education for children. She organized art exhibits that circulated among Orange County schools and sent out fellow artists to give direct instruction to the children. She herself lectured at schools and clubs in Los Angeles and Orange County. 

A founding member of the Laguna Beach Art Association (LBAA) in 1918, Hills was one of its most dynamic and progressive members, showing remarkable leadership skills. Between 1922 and 1930, she served as the LBAA’s president for a total of six years (1922–25 and 1927–30). These were the important, formative years, and also the time during which funds were raised to build the LBAA’s permanent gallery on Cliff Drive—the present museum building. She was to see the dream of the new gallery realized—in Feb 1929—but died the following year. 

The exhibition showcases over sixty of Hills’s paintings along with documentary materials relating to her life and work in Laguna Beach. It is curated by Janet Blake, the museum’s curator of historical art, and accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. 

Phillip K. Smith III: Bent Parallel

As this year’s featured commissioned artist for the museum’s Art & Nature festival Phillip K. Smith III’s monumental installation Bent Parallel envelopes viewers in immersive reflective light continuing the artist’s ongoing dialogue with color theory, optics, scale, and technology. Appearing as two intersecting, color-field walls, this hinge-like structure merges surfaces to engender a perceptual atmosphere that shifts and blends colored light. This installation creates a third, material-less, zero-thickness plane that mixes the adjacent colors and extends the physical bounds of the immediate space. The resulting environment appears simultaneously infinite and finite, while hues push and pull and saturate and dissolve the surroundings, encouraging us to focus on the interaction and movement of pure color. 

Born in Los Angeles, California in 1972, Phillip K. Smith III received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design before returning to the Southern California desert where he was raised. Smith has participated in the Artist-in-Residence Programs at Dartmouth College and the Palm Springs Art Museum. Building upon a foundation of the perceptual exploration of light, color, and space, Smith creates intensely physical and seemingly ephemeral sculptures. 

His large-scale, temporary installations include the internationally renowned Lucid Stead (2013) in Joshua Tree, California; and Reflection Field (2014) and Portals (2016) both of which debuted at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Smith has had solo exhibitions at Royale Projects: Contemporary in Los Angeles, Palm Springs Art Museum, Jaffe-Freide Gallery at Dartmouth College, and the University of La Verne. His works have been included in major group exhibitions at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, California and the University of California, Riverside. His monumental works are sited throughout California and beyond including Boston, Kansas City, Nashville, and Oklahoma City. Recently, he has been commissioned to create permanent, light-based works for the City of West Hollywood, California and the City of Bellevue, Washington. Next year, Smith will participate in Desert X, an international contemporary art exhibition that will focus on environmental, social, and cultural conditions of the 21st century.

Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays

Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays is a key element in the museum’s annual Art & Nature festival (Nov 3-6). The exhibition is accompanied by a film about the artist and her work, and a booklet that includes an interview with longtime admirer, Professor Derrick Cartwright. 

Fascinated by patterns, textures, and the seemingly chance imagery that can emerge from them, Kristin Leachman bases her latest series of paintings on the tissue that transports water from the roots of trees up to the leaves: 

“Conceived as mystical messages and artifacts, they are an exploration of the sinews that bind us together, both physically and metaphysically. Nature is my guide as it was for the first Angeleno artists, Native American women. I consider them landscape paintings because they incorporate the landscape into their making. I allow the xylem to communicate information from the California forests through naturally occurring symbols, celestial bodies, natural phenomena, and animal imagery. Each painting describes for me the mythic history and essence of the landscape.” 

A native of Virginia, Leachman studied Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and Production Design at the American Film Institute, working for several years as a production designer in Hollywood before returning to full-time painting. Examples of her work are in the collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the San Diego Museum of Art, among others. She currently lives and works in Pasadena. 

Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. Its mission is to collect, care for, and exhibit works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles, and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field. 

Laguna Art Museum stands just steps from the Pacific Ocean in the beautiful city of Laguna Beach. The museum is proud to continue the tradition of the Laguna Beach Art Association, founded in 1918 by the early California artists who had discovered the town and transformed it into a vibrant arts community. The gallery that the association built in 1929 is part of today’s Laguna Art Museum. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, on the corner of N. Coast Hwy and Cliff Drive, next to Las Brisas restaurant.

Hours: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Closed Wednesdays. Closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. 

Admission: General admission: $7; students, seniors (60+), and active military: $5; children under 12: free; museum members: free.

Annette Wimmer’s Mercury Rising painting is unveiled


On the evening of Nov 12 Annette Wimmer unveiled Mercury Rising, a recently completed masterwork, at a gathering of friends, clients, and collectors at her painting studio and salon in Laguna Beach. The lively event, which spilled out the front door and onto the sidewalk, marked the establishment of the studio and popular hair salon by her husband Paul Brian some 35 years ago.  

Wimmer moved to Laguna from Munich after marrying Brian in 1985. She had just graduated from a rigorous four-year program in graphic design and illustration at Design School Munich, a department of the German Master School for Fashion. Anxious to start a career in art but on her own terms, Wimmer found a unique solution, painting in the local couple’s salon when not practicing tonsorial arts and showcasing her works of art there after completion. 

The artist’s work energizes and enlivens the nicely appointed space on Coast Highway, which has one of the best ocean and coastline views in Laguna Beach. 

Wimmer’s masterwork, Mercury Rising, which she revealed piece by piece on social media prior to the official unveiling

Wimmer has always painted. Even as a child she was recognized for her talent, and won a citywide art competition at the age of 11 that helped reinforce her artistic identity. She took early inspiration from the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism founded in 1946, with its emphases on Old Master techniques and imaginative vision. Now Wimmer has developed a sizable collector base, and has been featured in various juried exhibitions and won several awards, exhibiting in the Festival of Arts in 2012.  

Mercury Rising, rationally composed and organized around repeat motifs, including spirals and hexagons, is an allegory about telecommunications. Each visual element is chosen to further a narrative, expressing the idea that communications are a rising force in today’s world. 

By a combination of crisply detailed forms and the expert counterfeiting of the material surfaces of honeycomb, shell, or leaf, Wimmer deceives our eyes into believing the reality of what is rendered, whether factual or imaginary. She seeks to show the interrelated nature of all things and how the invisible informs the visible. 

Annette Wimmer explains Mercury Rising to an admirer at the unveiling

Wimmer began to take this more allegorical approach to her art about six years ago, building on her primary interest in depicting the natural world of plants, ladybugs, bees, hummingbirds, clouds, flowers, and animals in a benign phantasmagoric setting. Her private, fantastic world, inspired by her home and garden in the hillsides of Laguna Beach, is so convincingly presented that the extraordinary is made both plausible and inviting. 

Wimmer’s talent and welcoming attitude were on full display at the anniversary party last Saturday. Her friends were finally able to see the painting she had been revealing only small details of intermittently during the previous nine months on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Mercury, the Roman god of messages, eloquence, and trade, and the central motif of Wimmer’s painting, would certainly approve.

Ron Campbell, animator of beloved cartoons, will appear at Forest & Ocean Gallery on Dec 5, 6 and 7

During his 50-year career in animation, Peabody & Emmy Award winning animator Ron Campbell has been a part of creating celebrated and beloved television and film cartoons including The Beatles Yellow Submarine & The Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon TV series, Scooby Doo, Winnie the Pooh, Rugrats, Jetsons, Flintstones, The Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Yogi Bear, Ed, Edd & Eddy, Krazy Kat and dozens more. 

Campbell will make special appearances at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave, on Monday, Dec 5 through Wed, Dec 7 at the Ron Campbell Beatles Cartoon Pop Art Show where he will exhibit his works and create new paintings, as well as engage audiences in lively talks about his work and career. 


Click on photos for a larger image


Now retired, Campbell creates and showcases watercolor pop art paintings based on the beloved cartoons that framed his career, with a particular emphasis on the Beatles. The exhibit is free and all works are available for purchase.

The Saturday Morning Beatles Cartoon series aired on ABC from Sept 25, 1965 through April 20, 1969.  It received monstrous ratings in its time slot….a 67 share. The show continually fueled new music to the young kids of America as they followed the bouncing drumstick to each Beatles tune.  


Click on photos for a larger image


Yellow Submarine, recently celebrating its 48th anniversary, has become a permanent fixture in pop culture, defining the psychedelic 60s for generations to come. In his book Up Periscope, Yellow Submarine producer Al Brodax gives Ron Campbell a great deal of credit for saving the movie and tying it all together at the last minute. 

Campbell also wrote the foreword to the definitive book on the Beatles cartoon series, “Beatletoons.” 

The talented animator will be present at the Gallery on Mon, Dec 5 between 5 and 8 p.m. (the opening reception) and Tues Dec 6 and Wed Dec 7 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

Forest & Ocean Gallery is located at 480 Ocean Ave. For more information, call  (949) 371-3313 or visit

Collector’s Choice Gala: the best way to add art to your walls


Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Michael Xun Chi 

LCAD Professor

Ready to add some great art to your life? Interested in acquiring something for that special someone for the upcoming gift-giving season? 

Our acclaimed Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is celebrating its 27th Annual Collector’s Choice Auction and Fundraiser at Montage Laguna Beach on Friday, Nov 18. Tickets are moving rapidly but are still available for this popular gala event. 

Proceeds from the gala tickets and auction benefit all LCAD students and also fund the $2.4 and $2.5 million awarded for student scholarships. This is a great way to not only support, but celebrate LCAD as one of the Top 10 Art Colleges in the United States. (In fact, gee, that’s actually the title for this year’s event – LCAD Celebration.)

The Collector’s Choice is a juried auction of fantastic artwork, and this year it only gets better with a variety of mediums on display at the gorgeous Montage Resort grounds. The group is definitely raising a toast to this year’s art, comprised exclusively from LCAD faculty, alumni, visiting artists and select students. 

What better way to support our own homegrown LCAD than on an oceanfront bluff with the choicest dinner and live entertainment around?  

Tickets for the Collector’s Choice auction and gala are $350 per person. Purchase tickets online any time at and use the same link to preview all of the art in the auction.


Diane Armitage is the author of a recently published 175-page book – “Laguna Beach’s Best” – a travel guide for locals and visitors. She writes a subjective blog found at She is a regular contributor to StuNews

Holiday palette winners announced out of 25 entries


Four new holiday palettes have been added to the City’s collection.


Click on photos for larger images

Submitted photos

Leigh Snow Bell, Al Esquerra, Austin Arthur Hart and Marcel Mead painted the winning entries in the 2016 holiday palette competition. Their palettes will be on display outside City Hall this holiday season and on city streets in following years. 


Click on photos for larger images


The winners were awarded $600 each. There were 25 entries this year. 

Participants entered an 8 1/2 by 11 inch colored design within the outline of a palette with a horizontal orientation. The Arts Commission chose the winners, who were supplied with a 4 by 3 foot wooden palette primed for paint. 

There were no restrictions on subject matter. However, religious symbols were discouraged.

Laguna Playhouse two weeks only

Youth Theatre presents “The Boxcar Children” this Friday 

The Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre presents “The Boxcar Children,” performing at the Playhouse for two weeks only, beginning Friday, Nov 11 through Sunday, Nov 20. “The Boxcar Children” will be directed by Bethanie Knieser with musical direction by Mark Turnbull. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Audiences will be inspired by this ‘Beloved Children’s Classic’ of four orphaned siblings who discover the rewards and perils of a life of independence while hiding out in an abandoned boxcar they find in the forest. “The Boxcar Children,” by Gertrude Chandler Warner, has been named “Teacher’s Top 100 books for Children” by the National Education Association.

The cast of “The Boxcar Children” features youth actors from Laguna Beach and the Orange County area. Aidan Russell as Henry Alden, Faith Ackley and Samia El-Erian double in the role of Jessie Alden, Isabella Saunders plays Violet Alden and Lane Bucher plays Benny Alden. Holden Moll returns to the Playhouse in the role of Officer Banning, Victoria Spelman plays Miss Alberts, Jackie Melbon plays the Social Worker Sarah Calder, Christopher Yusi plays Dr. Sam Truman, Myrenna Ogbu plays the Baker’s wife, Victoria McGinnis is Mrs. Truman, and Laura Flores is Mrs. Alden, the children’s grandmother.  

Other youth cast members include: Jayden Goodman as Cookie, Quinton Yusi as Big Mike, Katie Palino as Jo, Benji Jenkins as the Kid. Hooverville residents and singers include: Giovanna Cecutti, Jake Donello, Sophia Haslett, Sophia Pachl, Bridget Phillips, Abigail Williams, and Trevor Yusi.

“The Boxcar Children” will be performed on Friday, Nov 11 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov 12 and Sunday, Nov 13 at 12 and 5 p.m.; School Day Matinees at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov 17 and Friday, Nov 18 and 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov 19 and Sunday, Nov 20, at 12 and 5 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road. 

Tickets range from $15 - $20 and can be purchased online at or by calling 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 497-2787 ext. 229. For information about Laguna Playhouse, visit

LCAD’s 27th annual Collector’s Choice will support higher education in fine arts, design and animation

Click on photo for a larger image


Submitted photo

The Collector’s Choice Gathering will take place at the sensational Montage hotel

Collector’s Choice, LCAD’s premier annual fundraising event, now in its 27th year, showcases the talents of dedicated artists who continue a legacy of focused and passionate support for arts education. This year’s contributing artists are comprised exclusively of LCAD faculty, alumni, visiting artists and select BFA and MFA students.

Thanks to LCAD’s partnership with Montage Laguna Beach, Collector’s Choice attendees will enjoy fine wine, an elegant dinner and entertainment in a five-star rated luxury resort. 

Last year, more than 330 guests including trustees, donors, artists, alumni, faculty and friends of the College raised $310,000 for LCAD students and programs.

The event will take place on Friday, Nov 18, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 Coast Highway.

For more information please contact Tracy Hartman at 949-376-6000, ext. 241 or email mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The CAP Gallery is running a timely exhibit: Isabelle Cordemans & Sandra Samaha - Feminist Voices

The CAP Gallery is currently exhibiting “Isabelle Cordemans & Sandra Samaha - Feminist Voices,” a mixed media/collage retrospective, which will run until Feb 17.

Click on photo for a larger image


Sandra Samaha


Juried by Malcolm Warner, executive director of the Laguna Art Museum, the two-person exhibit opens with a reception on Sat Nov 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The public is cordially invited to come meet and talk with the artists and explore their work in the gallery’s unique space. It is a free event.

Click on photo for a larger image


Isabelle Cordemans

Buddemma Revisited

Cordemans’ work combines organic and non-organic images and shapes applied in layers to define and express the relationships she sees. Samaha uses patterns, colour and texture to draw the viewer in and be a part of the work.

Images on show include Cordemans’ Buddemma Revisited and Samaha’s 


CAP Gallery will be open Mon to Fri 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturdays for the duration of the exhibition. 

The gallery is located at 260 Ocean Ave on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building. Call 949-553-7507 for more information, or visit Admission is free.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Maggi Henrikson is our Contributing Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster.

Katie Ford is our Ad Designer.

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.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are the staff photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Instagram Manager.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc.