Two evenings of art at LAM: One Hour/One Painting on Feb 22 and Evening for Educators on Feb 26 

Laguna Art Museum presents two exciting evenings of art in February. On Thurs, Feb 22 at 6 p.m., LAM offers One Hour/One Painting hosted by author and critic Peter Clothier. He invites participants to spend a full hour in front of a single artwork. Peter Clothier is an internationally-known writer, speaker, and creative consultant who specializes in writing about contemporary art and artists. 

His newest released book is “Slow Looking: The Art of Looking at Art.” He has given talks for TEDx Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara, LA County Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, and many other venues.

This a free event, but advance tickets are recommended. 

For tickets, go to www.lagunaartmuseum.org or call 949.494.8971x203.

On Mon, Feb 26, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., LAM hosts Evening for Educators. This is an opportunity for K-12 teachers to preview new exhibitions, learn about the museum’s school programs and curriculum materials, and network with colleagues. Participants enjoy a reception with wine, beer, and light bites and explore the newly-opened exhibition Tony DeLap: A Retrospective. Educators may engage in hands-on art-making activities, and learn how they can be adapted for the classroom. 

Free on-site childcare is available. Contact the education department to request this service. 

Registration is free with advance registration, go to www.lagunaartmuseum.org. For more information, email Assistant Curator of Education Irin Mahaparn or call 949.494.8971 x221.

LAM is located at 307 Cliff Dr., 949-494-8971.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

World renowned dancer Desmond Richardson dazzles at Laguna Dance Festival Master Class 

By SUZIE HARRISON

I was completely mesmerized by legendary modern dancer Desmond Richardson’s every movement, step, and expression. So captivated that I was afraid to blink, not wanting to miss a moment, as I watched him teach the Laguna Dance Festival’ Master Class on Sunday.

Richardson is a former principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre and Co-Founder and Co-Artistic director of the internationally known Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

 “Complexions Contemporary Ballet was the first company that we presented in 2005, our very first dance festival, said Jodie Gates, Artistic Director and founder of Laguna Dance Festival. “So our relationship with Complexions’ Dwight Rhoden (founding Artistic Director/resident choreographer) and Desmond, it runs very deep. I care about them as artists, and I feel very grateful that Desmond is here.”

Richardson “raises the barre” for aspiring dancers

I am grateful that I was introduced to Richardson back then and have been a huge fan of his ever since.

Richardson certainly “raised the barre” for aspiring dancers, who enjoyed a warm up session, followed by learning a selection of dynamic repertory from Complexions. 

“Nice. Good,” Richardson commented, encouraging his class. “Don’t look in the mirror. We have a tendency to do that as dancers. But it’s only a reflection, it’s not you.”

 “Be an active participant, feel it. The operative word is to float,” Richardson said. “It’s all physics and chemistry. Your body is a sculpture and you’ve got to have a sculpted shape. You need to add to the environment. It’s so important how you present it.”

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Photo courtesy of Jodie Gates

Legendary dancer and choreographer Desmond Richardson helps the students warm up with a special technique he’s created

Richardson reiterated the problem of looking in the mirror to the class, which is a natural fault that dancers need to learn to avoid.

“You can’t be in the mirror. Your brain is not within your body; you can’t rely on the mirror. It’s not going to tell you. Don’t look in the mirror, it’s false. You have to go inside. You have to understand what you’re doing, so your narrative is here, look inside,” Richardson said, pointing to his chest. 

“Oftentimes, we as dancers don’t want to look inside. It’s a visual, visceral artwork. You’ve got to see that. You have to register that all parts have to be cognizant, and be super aware. It’s that detailed.”

He had students that were in the back come to the front, as he stressed the importance of self-confidence. 

“You have to think of style. Style is so important. You have to investigate right away. You can’t be passive. Get in there and do it, actively being full vested inside,” Richardson said. “Don’t get self-conscious. Be inside the movement. Receive it. Don’t second guess yourself. You already did it. It’s movement, be natural and let go.”

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Photo courtesy of Jodie Gates

Richardson encourages students with to have confidence and look inside

He stressed that dancers need to be compelling and tell a story. 

“Look up and receive it. Gather it in. Just be. Feel it for you. You have to feel it for yourself.

“You have to be part of the story. You can’t just do steps. It’s not interesting,” Richardson said. “The audience wants your soul, you heart, and passion. Let go.”

In her introduction of Richardson to the class, Gates said she wanted the students to know who he is and really understand his incredible background. Richardson is an artist in residence and teaches repertory, ballet and contemporary dance, where Gates serves as the Vice Dean of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. She loves that they’ve worked together for decades in various capacities.

“Many of them might know him from television because he is often on ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ as a judge, choreographer or dancer. But what they don’t know is the breadth of his knowledge and career,” Gates said. “He was the principal at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, the Frankfurt Ballet, the first black principal at American Ballet Theatre, and the first black dancer as a male. We forget these things.” 

He was also Tony nominated for his role in ‘Fosse’ on Broadway. He has been in several different Broadway shows, and he has been in the movie ‘Chicago.’ 

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Photo courtesy of Jodie Gates

The Laguna Dance Festival Contemporary Master Class was a huge success with Desmond Richardson drawing a SRO crowd at the “barre”

“I call him the renaissance artist; he’s like a unicorn,” said Gates. “He often talks about how he feels about his art and that he’s this vessel that displays this generosity of spirit. He talks about that often and you see it when you watch him dance.”

You can see the passion and actually feel the passion when Richardson teaches.

“Today’s class was really wonderful. I know it was a lot for them to take in, so quickly. So it’s pretty usual when I come to Laguna Dance Festival the students are varied in technique, and it’s totally fun. They way I like to teach is we all dance, and we’ll start from there,” Richardson said. “If you’ve only been dancing for one year or two years, it’s ok. But we’ve got to go from a natural place and an organic place and find something that you can feel secure about.”

Richardson urges dancers not to look in the mirror

I asked Richardson about the importance of dancers not to look in the mirror while performing.

“The idea of looking in the mirror is to self preserve and think ok I’m confident. But no, we’re actually second guessing ourselves the whole way through,” Richardson said. “One of my teachers, and I was trained Russian style, said, ‘I don’t want you to look in the mirror at all.’ And I said, ok. But I am glad that she told me not to look in the mirror because then I felt it. You have to feel. You have to find where things are. So it’s really important not to do that.”

Since the Master Class series has been so popular, Laguna Dance Festival will initiate a five-day summer intensive, June 25 to June 29 

“Desmond Richardson and myself will the core faculty, and I will be bringing in well known guests artists in the industry to come in and teach,” Gates said. “What’s nice about the Contemporary Master Class Series is that we’re able to call upon icon dancers, whether it’s Hope Boykin from Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, who will be here in April, or today, we have Desmond Richardson, who you and so many of us feel close with.”

For more information, visit www.lagunadancefestival.org.


The Literary Posse and Writers Block Party bring words alive at workshop reading at Laguna Beach Books on Feb 11

A word is dead, When it is said, Some say. I say it just begins to live that day, wrote Emily Dickinson. If this is true, then on Sunday, Feb 11, at the Annual Winter Reading of Barbara DeMarco-Barrett’s private workshops, a lot of words came to life. 

Hosted by Laguna Beach Books, this was the Ninth Annual Reading by The Literary Posse (LP) and Writers Block Party (WBP). Barbara, as described by one of the members, “Is the catalyst behind our appearances here. She nurtures and champions our writing to get us to his point.” 

With passion and poise, twelve members from both workshops (and Barbara) read from finished works or works in progress; novels, short stories, flash fiction, essays, memoirs, covering a wide variety of subjects. How many places can one go in a mere hour? Turns out thirteen, and the listener was rooted in every one. 

Joining her students in their offerings, Barbara read a flash fiction piece called “Glen’s Greens” about a gentleman who obsessively collects typewriters.

Jeanie Fritzsche put the audience in another flash fiction scenario in which the bosses’ wife unwittingly laces a company party potluck dish with marijuana. 

On a more serious note, Nancy Carpenter gave insight into the caretaking process from her novel in progress, The Women He Loved. Kelly von Hemert read an excerpt from her essay, “Am I a Meal-Train Fraud?” a humorous yet heartfelt piece published in the current Orange Coast Magazine. 

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

(l-r) Marrie Stone, WBP, Nancy Carpenter, WBP, Dianne Russell, WBP, Jeanie Fritzsche, WBP, Kelly von Hemert, WBP, Jan Mannino, LP, Larissa Chiari-Keith, LP, Judy Wagner, LP, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Ben Peters, LP, Jennifer Irani, LP, Michael Schaffer, WBP

Some of the readers culled material from memories. Ben Peters spoke about his youthful once-in-a-lifetime experience in England while in the company of Elizabeth Taylor and Queen Elizabeth. From her memoir, Larissa Chiari-Keith detailed the life of growing up in OC with an Italian/Catholic mother and a Persian/Muslim father.

For anyone in attendance, it was an emotionally diverse and multi-layered afternoon spent with these accomplished writers. Listeners lived through Jennifer Irani’s battle with AT & T, Michael Schaffer plunked one into a fictional 11th-century France lavatory, Dianne Russell introduced a local comic cat, medical malpractice was investigated by Jan Mannino, Judy Wagner scrutinized relationships, and Marrie Stone traveled into the world of a girl whose parents owned a wrecking yard employing prisoners.

It was obvious how much dedication and spirit went into the presentations. As a group and separately, they should be proud. They bared their souls, made the audience laugh, left subjects to ponder, and most importantly, made every word came alive.

For more information on Barbara DeMarco-Barrett and her private workshops, go to www.penonfire.com. 

Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 S Coast Hwy, 949-494-4779, www.lagunabeachbooks.com.


Filmmaker Bruce Brown, the “Fellini of Foam” will be honored at A Life Well Lived exhibit at SHACC

On Feb 24, there will be an event to honor filmmaker Bruce Brown from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. that the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center. The opening celebration is free for members, and $5 for non-members and is also an all-ages event.

“You can’t tell how good a wave is until you ride it,” Bruce Brown once said. Brown never set out to change the sport of surfing. In the beginning he was just a guy making surf movies with his friends. His early works include jazz-infused Surf Crazy, Barefoot Adventure and Surfing Hollow Days. Then came The Endless Summer in 1964 and everything changed.

The Endless Summer ended up smashing national theater attendance records during its 18-month run and showed for 48 straight weeks in New York City. Film critics labelled Brown “the Bergman of the boards” and “the Fellini of the foam.” It even transcended the Cold War when the U.S. State Department showed it at the Moscow Film Festival. What the film meant for surfing was a broader acceptance of the sport, and more importantly, the lifestyle. It also provided surfers with the freedom to dream and discover what waves may be breaking beyond the horizon. 

Submitted Photo

Bruce Brown the master of surfing 

Following on that success, Brown teamed up with actor Steve McQueen to produce the Academy Award-nominated motorcycle film, On any Sunday. Largely shot in the dunes behind Dana Point, it proved to be as transformative to the moto-riding world as The Endless Summer was for surfing.

In 1994, Brown reprised his classic, and alongside his son, Dana Brown, set out to make The Endless Summer II. Starring Robert “Wingnut” Weaver and Pat O’Connell, the film was a huge hit with the new generation. Starring icons of the sport such as Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton and Gerry Lopez, it reinvigorated the surf culture and solidified Brown’s reputation as the greatest surf filmmaker of all time.

On December 10, 2017, Brown slipped from this world. In a tribute to the master, the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center is celebrating his life and accomplishments with a special remembrance exhibit. Partnering with the Brown family, it will offer a unique, in-depth look at the life and times of Bruce Brown. 

For more information, visit www.surfingheritage.org.


Artist’s Reception for Russell Pierce, “Change Agents,” at CAP Gallery on Feb 17, opened Feb 10

The Community Arts Projects (CAP) Gallery announces an Artists Reception on Feb, Sat, Feb 17, for Russell Pierce, whose exhibition “Change Agents” opened on Feb 10 and will run through May 30. The public is invited to the event from 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to meet Russell Pierce and enjoy the exhibition. Admission is free.

In addition, there will also be Artist’s Conversation on Sat, March 10, from 12-1 p.m., which will include a live discussion with Pierce on the diversity of his styles and mediums in his work. Admission is free.

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Andy Warhol by Russell Pierce, Medium: Aluminum Print

“Changing Agents” is an exhibition of 50 portraits in varying styles of well-known people that have had an impact on the artist’s life and the world at large. Pierce works in a variety of styles and mediums, which gives this exhibit the feeling of more than one artist’s work is on display. Traditional, combined with digital methods, create works that can have a feel of other worldly or timeless. Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Buddy Rich, Ringo Star, and Jacques Cousteau are just a few of the people who have rocked the world according to Pierce.

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Chuck Close by Russell Pierce, Medium: Mixed Media on Aluminum Panel

The CAP Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon through Fri., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., admission is free. 

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of art and serve as a catalyst for Art Education. CAP provides ongoing exhibition in The CAP Gallery, in the Rotunda Gallery space located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Ave, (949) 553-7507.

For more information, go to www.caplaguna.org.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

February’s Art Walk buzzes with exciting 

exhibits, artists, and enthusiasts d’arts

By SUZIE HARRISON

Good, good, good, good vibrations filled the air during First Thursdays Art Walk, Feb 1, as throngs of art enthusiasts were buzzing with energy enjoying the many exhibits spanning Laguna’s famed Gallery Row.

saltfineart + RAWsalt Gallery

The big hit of the night was saltfineart + RAWsalt Gallery. The gallery was packed, featuring a comprehensive look at the last 15 years of work by world-renowned artist Victor Hugo Zayas. The exhibit spans three distinct series with select paintings and sculpture from the artist’s studio collection. It’s a must see!

“Art Walk, I like that you’re guaranteed to have some nice conversations and it brings in a great crowd. It’s a wonderful way to open an exhibit,” said gallery owner Carla Tesak Arzente. “It’s like a thermometer - you get a gauge of how good your show is. And I like that it brings in a good crowd for our artists.”

She said shows opened on other nights are not as successful as the crowd Art Walk brings. 

“It’s much better on Art Walk,” Arzente said. “It guarantees a crowd, several hundred people. We just love being in Laguna.”

Zayas concurred.

Creating art from arms – firearms! – is one of sculptor Zayaz’s signature achievements

 “I think Art Walk is amazing, more and more people come out here, and I think it opens their eyes to culture by exposure,” Zayas said. “If you keep people out of the arts they stop looking at things in a more creative way.”

Many art enthusiasts clamored to meet Zayas. I truly love his sculpture pieces. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Zayas when he did a big show at Laguna Art Museum. It was definitely one of the most powerful experiences hearing the story behind his work. Zayas created a sculpture series made out of more than two tons of destroyed guns from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Gun Buyback Program. It was wonderful to see him again, especially at saltfineart.

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Photo by Suzie Harrison

Renowned artist Victor Hugo Zayas with saltfineart gallery owner Carla Tesak Arzente looking at his famous gun series piece made from welded guns remnants, EFREN, GUN SERIES #2

 “It was an amazing project with the LA police department. It was part of the gun buy back program. Charlie (Beck) the Chief of Police was a friend of mine before he became the Chief. When he was telling me about what they do with all these guns, he said yes, I want you to do this project. I think it would be great,” Zayas said. “It was transformative to say the least. The response went global.”

With all the articles published around the world, over 250 million people saw the story about it.

“When you experience that I think you begin to look at art in a different way,” Zayas said. “Art is transformative, it’s very powerful, and it can change everything.”

Laguna Art Museum featured items in the upcoming auction

Laguna Art Museum featured a preview more than 100 works by important California artists that will be available in the upcoming California Cool Art Auction. 

I was impressed by many pieces, including work by local artists Jorg Dubin, Michael Obermeyer, Kathy Jones, Michael Situ, and my fave piece by Tom Lamb, “Walking on Water,” Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Northern Italy. Lamb’s piece is California Cool indeed.

Art patrons Heather Knotts and Rueben Jones were absorbed in the exciting works on exhibit. Knotts is an art enthusiast, who currently lives in Dana Point. She has fond memories of her teen years being in the cast of the Pageant of the Masters.

“I feel very connected to Laguna. I come to Art Walk a lot. I like the people, the environment and observing the art. I like seeing changes in the museum. It’s fun. We love it,” Knotts said.

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Photo by Suzie Harrison

Heather Knotts and Reuben Jones checked out myriad works, such as Eric Gerdau’s oil on canvas, “Blossom” and architect Frank Gehry’s work

Jones expressed that he likes realistic portraits, as does Knotts, especially works that depict the ocean. She also likes whimsical pieces, commenting on Bradford J. Salamon’s oil piece, “Fresh In-N-Out.”

Knotts and her daughter are both huge fans of Frank Gehry. She is excited to see his “House Study 2” color etching. At Tiffany’s, they recently bought many of his jewelry pieces. “So seeing this art, this is totally Frank Gehry. I just love it,” Knotts said. There are special pieces in the exhibit everywhere you turn.”

Sue Greenwood Fine Art/SGFA showcases “Curiosities”

Sue Greenwood Fine Art/SGFA was hopping, as art patrons enjoyed “Curiosities,” featuring works by artists Marianne Kolb, Tyson Grumm, Cathy Rose, Lucy Gaylord-Lindholm, and Stephen Maffin. 

“I think it’s a fun thing they do. It’s usually very busy. It’s not stuffy or pretentious. It’s easy going,” Kolb said. She feels it’s a more relaxed setting for people to see art.

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Photo by Suzie Harrison

Artist Marianne Kolb likes talking to art fans during Art Walk and sharing her exciting work at SGFA

Greenwood compared artists to athletes, working in their studios nonstop before a show, working like athletes train.

“So when they’re at Art Walk they’ve crossed the finish line. Everyone’s here to congratulate them and applaud them. It’s like you did it, you made it. Because getting ready for a show it’s like doing a marathon, it’s a lot of hours.”

Greenwood has enjoyed Art Walk since she opened her gallery 15 years ago.

“First Thursdays is like the gallery being the matchmaker. It’s bringing everyone together - artists with their collectors,” Greenwood said. “People need their muses and sometimes muses are paintings.”

Until next time…so much Art Walk fun, so little time!


LOCA Art Club event invites attendees to take part in an Exquisite Corpse art activity

LOCA Arts Education invites art lovers to its Art Club events, offered monthly in Laguna Beach. The next event is on Thursday Feb 15, 4 – 6 p.m. at the LCAD Gallery downtown, 374 Ocean Ave.

Painters Betty Haight, Kathy Jones, and Stephanie Cunningham will speak about how they work in collaboration, and how great art results from shared visions. Examples of Cunningham and Haight’s duets series will be included. 

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Photo courtesy of LOCA Arts Education

Betty Haight, Stephanie Cunningham, and Kathy Jones (not pictured) will discuss collaborations on February 15 at LOCA Art Club

Attendees will be invited to watch, or take part in, an Exquisite Corpse chain-drawing art activity. The process, founded in the surrealism movement, involves each player drawing a connected portion of a figure, concealing it, and passing it to the next players. 

At finish, the entire chain-drawing is unveiled, revealing a fantastic result.

“Non-artists are invited to join in too,” said Haight, “We want everyone to participate and make it fun!”

LOCA members are admitted free to all regular art club events. Guests and visitor admission is $20 per event. 

Drop-ins are welcome, but advance registration is requested. 

Call (949) 363-4700 or visit the calendar page at www.locaarts.org.


Vintage images by Artist Bradford J. Salamon featured by Festival of Arts at foaSOUTH through April 25

The Festival of Arts (FOA) announces a new exhibit at foaSOUTH, featuring the artwork of contemporary painter Bradford J. Salamon, now on display through April 25.

This exhibit showcases his unique portraits of vintage objects alongside his painting “Red Billow Camera” which was acquired by the Festival of Arts Permanent Art Collection in 2012. 

“Bradford’s current series includes larger than life paintings of vintage images and objects expressing a dynamic complement of texture and atmosphere that patently illustrate his signature style,” said exhibit curator Pat Sparkuhl. 

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Submitted photo

(L-R) “Jameson” “Red Billow Camera” “PGC Aspirin” by Bradford Salamon

Born into a family of artists, Salamon worked as a professional illustrator, opening studios in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley before relocating to LA in 2013. Before his move, he exhibited at the FOA for eight years. His study of significant, historical painters has enabled him to develop a unique blend of classical and contemporary approaches to his method of painting. 

Along with traditional schooling at the Art Institute of Southern California, Salamon refined his skills during private tutorial sessions under the watchful eyes of working artists such as Jeremy Lipking and David Leffel. 

With a body of work spanning charcoal portraits to gestural landscapes, from intimate interiors to narrative scenes, Bradford is most celebrated for his intuitive oil portraits of both famous and ordinary people. Currently, he is working on paintings of vintage objects that he also considers portraits because of the stories they tell.

Bradford’s art is included in collections at the Laguna Art Museum, the Orange County Museum of Art, Chapman University, and in private holdings. 

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Submitted photo

“Darth Vader Diptych” by Bradford J. Salamon 

Opened as a collaboration between FOA and Active Culture, foaSOUTH serves visitors to and residents of LB by promoting Festival-related exhibitions throughout the year. 

Located at 1006 S Coast Hwy on the corner of Anita and PCH, the gallery has partnered with Active Culture to provide frozen yogurt and natural foods on the premises at their café. 

Open weekdays from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, call 949-494-1145 or visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.com.


Laguna artist Todd Kenyon’s show Endless Summer debuts in New York on March 22 at Gallery Henoch

Gallery Henoch in New York announces the opening of local Laguna Beach artist Todd Kenyon’s debut show Endless Summer, a major achievement. A reception for the artist will be held Thurs, March 22, from 6-8 p.m., and the exhibit will run until April 14. The event is free and open to the public. 

Taking inspiration from the seminal film of the same name, Kenyon’s Endless Summer conjures the carefree exuberance of a perfect day spent on a deserted beach. Kenyon’s unfettered paintings balance air, water and earth, with luminous attention to detail. Amongst the crashing waves and foaming surf, broad bands of blue, white and sandy hues evoke color field painting. Kenyon tends to work large, which gives his paintings a sublimely immersive quality. 

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Submitted photo

Todd in his Laguna studio 

Moving to So Cal in 1998 from the East Coast, Kenyon became inspired to create a body of work that captures the beauty and color of the contemporary coastline. His oil paintings capture the multifaceted spirit of the ocean. The viewer is taken in by the force of the crashing surf, and when stepping closer, the focus shifts to subtle color fields that mimic the reflective quality of light against sand and water.  

His artwork brings people back to a place where they find solitude, joy, and memories of summers at the beach. Kenyon has created a feeling of an “Endless Summer” that resonates all through the year and gets us through the cold winter months and anticipating those warm summer days to come.

He describes his work as “fantasy” derived from a variety of real elements one finds on the beach, such as water, foam, sand and rocks. To capture the elements that he wants to use in his paintings, Todd takes a lot of reference photos such as rocks, sand and little pieces of the edge of the surf. When he puts a painting together, he pulls a lot of different sources out from multiple photos, and that’s what makes them realistic. 

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Submitted photo

Kenyon taking reference photo for painting

To heighten the experience of his uber realistic paintings, Todd constantly studies the movement of water, light and how it reflects against the shore. He appreciates the unpredictability of nature because, “nature is very random.” He says, “So, when I create foam or waves or water, the trick is not to create artificial patterns.” 

While Kenyon traveled extensively from Tahiti to Hawaii to paint the ocean for this show, he can also see the Pacific Ocean from his Laguna Beach art studio. Kenyon walks along the beach or paddle-boards nearly every day, and his eloquent paintings of the ocean are very much informed by this intimate relationship with the water. Working with oil glazes and washes, Kenyon builds up his compositions in incremental layers, giving form to the momentary ebb and flow of tireless waves. 

Endless Summer will also include a new work from Kenyon’s popular Ocean Series, an arrangement of circular canvases that break up the picture plane into dots of blue-green ocean and off-white sea foam. On their own, each dot has a minimalist appearance. But taken together, this work reveals the complete image of the sea. 

For more information on Todd Kenyon, go to www.purelagunabeach.com.


LGOCA holds Artist Reception for Jan Lord – Girl on Fire! – on Saturday Feb 10 from 5 – 8 p.m.

LGOCA invites everyone to meet Jan Lord and view the newest paintings in the Gallery this Saturday Feb 10 from 5 – 8 p.m.

Appetizers from K’ya and refreshments will be served.

Submitted photo

Bennie and the Jets, 36” x 72”

Jan Lord’s paintings are inspired by the tone, mood and inspiration of favorite songs and lyrics of rock an roll, soul, Motown, beautiful lyrics and exotic places – all executed with acrylic, oil, pastel, aluminum, graphite on Baltic birch wood panels.

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Rock n Roll, 36” x 72”

Jan Lord’s artwork is represented in galleries across the US, Canada, Europe and, happily, LGOCA! 

LGOCA is located at 611 S Coast Hwy. For more information visit www.lgoca.com.

or call 949 715 9604.


Avran Fine Art presents James C. Leonard’s Exhibition, Inner Landscapes from Feb 10 – March 10

Avran Fine Art will present a Solo Exhibition featuring gestural abstract artist, James C. Leonard. The show, Inner Landscapes, takes place from Feb 10- March 10, and it is free and open to the public. Meet the artist and learn more about his work and techniques.

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James C. Leonard and his work will be presented at Avran Fine Art 

James C. Leonard has emerged as one of California’s leading abstract expressionist painters. Leonard’s emotionally charged landscapes often portray backdrops for figures dramatically suspended. 

Leonard grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and has always been drawn to the early expressionists of the 1930’s and 40’s. The German painter Gerhard Richer has had an influence on his style, approach, and directness. 

Working with acrylics on canvas, Leonard uses bold horizontal and vertical strokes and strong color palettes. “Art has always been the focus of my life,” he says. “Just as our lives unfold in unique and beautiful ways, so do my paintings have their own unique and individual expression.”

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Submitted Photo

Landscape in my Dreams by James C. Leonard  


Leonard’s compositions are entirely non-representational and move the viewer’s eye vertically or horizontally across the space. This basic movement is complicated by layers of dripped, speckled and fragmented colors that infuse not only a rich language of color, but also a visual history left to be discovered by the eye as it moves across the surface. 

Leonard’s inventive layering process using an “extended palette knife” results in heavy impasto, or textured, surfaces with a glossy, wet shine making them particularly stunning when seen in person. He prefers to call himself a “colorist” and listens to the work as it develops, often carrying an element of smooth transition that he relates to water.

For more information on this upcoming event, visit www.avranart.com.


Artists paint at Top of the World and Alta Laguna Park during landscape workshops on Feb 10 and Feb 12

LOCA Arts Education and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) offer an opportunity to attend two unique landscape painting activities in town, one at Top of the World School and one at Alta Laguna Park.

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Indoor workshop at Top of the World School on Sat, Feb 10

The first will be held on Sat, Feb 10, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Top of the World School. The indoor workshop, for adults and families, will feature a choice of beginner, intermediate or advanced workstations. Using photos, participants will follow easy steps in sketching a composition, blocking colors, and finishing a beautiful coastal scene. 

Instructors include Rick J. Delanty, Rita Pacheco, and Wendy Wirth. Advance registration is required, $40 includes all supplies. 

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Submitted photo

Artist Anthony Salvo serves as mentor at Mentor Paint Out on Feb 12

The second activity is Mon, Feb 12, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The Mentor Paint Out is offered outdoors at the breathtaking Alta Laguna Park. The activity allows painters to improve skills by positioning themselves and painting alongside acclaimed artists Lisa Mozzini-McDill and Anthony Salvo, and receiving helpful guidance. The event is free, and no registration is required. 

To register for Art at the Top of the World, go to www.locaarts.org.  

To find all the LOCA -LPAPA class offerings, visit the calendar pages at website listed above, or call (949)363-4700 for more information.


Special free prelude performance by tenor Nicholas Phan at Susi Q to kick-off LB Music Festival, Feb 6

The Philharmonic Society and Laguna Beach Live! present a special prelude performance on Tuesday, Feb 6, at 10 a.m. by guest artistic director and acclaimed tenor Nicholas Phan. This free event launches the 2018 Laguna Beach Music Festival, which runs from February 7 through 11, and features mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and Myra Huang on piano. It will include a Q & A session.

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Nicholas Phan performs at Susi Q on Feb 6

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.

Attendees may reserve a spot at this prelude performance at the front desk or by calling 949-464-6645, or register online at www.lagunabeachcity.net and click on recreation classes.

Susi Q is located at 380 Third St. Because underground parking is limited, it is suggested that guests carpool, use Uber/Lyft, metered street parking or city parking lots.


Auditions for A Little Night Music will begin on Feb 23 – time to practice sending in the clowns? 

Auditions and callback times for the No Square Theatre’s upcoming show A Little Night Music have been announced. The popular musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, will run from May 11-13 and May 18-20. It will be directed by Joe Lauderdale and choreographed by Ellen Prince. Musical direction is yet to be determined. 

Auditions will be held at No Square Theatre. In order to be cast, all performers must be able to attend auditions and callbacks. Auditions (by appointment) are from Thurs, Feb 22 from 6 p.m., Friday, Feb 23 from 6 p.m. Callbacks are Sat, Feb 24, from 1 p.m. and  Sun, Feb 25, from 1 p.m. Additional callbacks may be held at other times. General rehearsals begin March 19 and run Mon through Fri from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and Sat from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Auditions begin on Feb 23 at No Square Theatre

Strong singers are desired for leading roles and ensemble parts, and there is some dancing (waltz). All roles are available to all ethnicities. Sondheim’s lush score includes the popular favorite, “Send in the Clowns.” There will be contemporary dress, but with elegance and sophistication (ladies in hats and gloves, gentlemen in tail coats). No accents will be used, but proper English is required. 

The roles for A Little Night Music include: Desirée Armfeldt: Age 40–50, Mezzo. Somewhat self-absorbed, a former actress, Fredrik Egerman: Age 40–50, Baritone. Successful, dashing lawyer. [This role is pre-cast.] Anne Egerman: Age 19 (Actor age 19–30), Soprano. Fredrik’s young second wife, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm: Age 30–45, Baritone. 

Arrogant, vain, military man, Madame Armfeldt: Age 65–80, Contralto. Desirée’s mother, a former courtesan. Will use a cane instead of a wheelchair, Petra: Age 20–30, Mezzo. Anne’s earthy maid and confidante, Fredrika Armfeldt: Age 12–26 (Actor age up to 18), Soprano. Desirée’s daughter, clever and poised young lady, Frid: Age 25–35, Non-singing. Madame Armfeldt’s lusty and passionate, but proper, manservant. 

Liebeslieder Singers: Age 20s and up. A Greek Chorus commenting on the action and occasionally joining in. Strong singers: Mrs. Anderssen, Mezzo, Mrs. Nordstrom, Soprano, Mrs. Segstrom, Soprano, Mr. Erlanson, Tenor, Mr. Lindquist, Baritone. 

For exact vocal ranges, how to prepare for an audition, audition form, and conflict calendar visit: www.nosquare.org

To schedule an audition appointment, email director Joe Lauderdale This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and indicate a preferred time. 

The No Square Theatre in Historic Legion Hall is located at 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of LBHS. 

For additional information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, visit website listed above.


Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre presents Annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser “Poisoned Pens” on Feb 3

On Sat, Feb 3, Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre hosts their 11th Annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser, which includes dinner, laughter, music, champagne, auction items and, of course, murder, in the play Poisoned Pens by Charles Corritore.

For one night only, “manuscript mayhem” takes over the annual gathering of the Society of Mystery Enthusiasts and Great Mystery Authors, who have come together to announce the “Author of the Year.” Each of the nominees is the crème de la crème of ‘whodunit’ writers and are, without a doubt, the craftiest minds in the business. Each is competing for the $100,000 prize money which accompanies the award.

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Submitted photo

Actors rehearse for Poisoned Pens

Thirty young actors, ages 10-18, have been rehearsing for 16 days, and putting the entire show together in a short three weeks. Handling the principal roles will be: Rudy Buttlar, Molly Cohn, Abigail Williams, Bethany Klause, J.T Williams, Aidan Russell, Leo Hekma, Jake Donello, Caroline Field, Cassidy Morgan, Carson Kubelun, Ani Hovanesian, and Dorsa Khatibloo.  

The Ensemble will be comprised of: Katie Baker, Lula Buckle, Sophia Gabal, Lucy Josse, Sophia Pachl, Raquel Temesvary, Ava von Meeteren, Luke Bruderer, Charlie Grace Goubran, Grace Hahn, Chloe Lawson, Joaquin Lombardi, Fiona McCue, Kirra Moore, Greer Querantes, Nathan Schrodt, and Ella Thimons. 

 From May 4-13, The Youth Theatre finishes the season with the classic story, A Little Princess, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and directed by Kelly Herman. In spring, various workshop classes will be held for students ages 7-13, who are interested in learning about Acting and Musical Theatre. This summer, from July 9 –21, The Youth Theatre will host Summer Musical Theatre Day Camp Hamilton and Friends Redux for ages 9-13. For children ages 7-8, they have Storybook Summer Day Camp, July 9 -19.

Ticket packages are available for purchase for Poisoned Pens. The pre-show dinner package is $100 per ticket with limited availability from 5:30 – 7 p.m. This package includes dinner at Romeo Cucina with a performance, preferred seating, dessert buffet, silent and live auction. 

The Play and Dessert Package is $35 per ticket with a performance, dessert buffet, and Silent and Live Auction. 

Playhouse doors open at 7 p.m. for the reception and silent auction, and the performance begins at 8 p.m.

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd., 949-497-2787.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


Auditions for A Little Night Music will begin on Feb 23 – time to practice sending in the clowns? 

Auditions and callback times for the No Square Theatre’s upcoming show A Little Night Music have been announced. 

On Fri, Feb 23, auditions will begin at 6 p.m and on Sat, Feb 24, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Callbacks will begin on Sun, Feb 25, starting at 1 p.m. Additional callbacks will be held at other times to be announced. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

No Square Theatre provides a fun, intimate setting for beloved plays

No Square Theatre is an 85-seat stadium theatre, so the show will focus mostly on character, and less on grandeur. Contemporary dress will be ornamented by the elegance and sophistication of ladies with hats and gloves and gentlemen in tail coats.

While accents are not required for the parts, proper English is important.

The music and lyrics is by Stephen Sondheim, the book is by Hugh Wheeler, directed by Joe Lauderdale, and choreographed by Ellen Prince Music. 

For more information, log onto www.NoSquare.org.


Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre presents Annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser, Poisoned Pen

On Sat, Feb 3, Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre will present their annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser, including dinner, laughter, music, champagne, auction items and, of course, murder, performed by the youthful actors in the play Poisoned Pen.

In the play, it’s the annual gathering of the Society of Mystery Enthusiasts and Great Mystery Authors, who have come together to announce the “Author of the Year.”  Each of the nominees is the crème de la crème of ‘whodunit’ writers and are, without a doubt, the craftiest minds in the business.  Each is competing for the $100,000 prize money which accompanies the award.

The play Poisoned Pen is by Charles Corritore.

Ticket packages are available for purchase. The pre-show dinner package is $100 per ticket with limited availability from 5:30 – 7 p.m. This package includes dinner at Romeo Cucina with a performance, preferred seating, dessert buffet, silent and live auction. 

The Play and Dessert Package is $35 per ticket with a performance, dessert buffet, and Silent and Live Auction. 

For more information, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


Pageant spreads the love for Valentine’s Day, offers discounted tickets to “Under the Sun” until Feb 14 

Don’t give traditional Valentine’s Day gifts of chocolates or cards, instead give that special person tickets to this summer’s production of the Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun.” For a limited time, attendees save 20 percent on tickets with promotional code V20 (excludes loge center seats and all tickets for August 25). Offer is valid through Feb 14. 

“It doesn’t get more romantic than watching the Pageant of the Masters under the stars,” said Festival of Arts Marketing and Public Relations Manager Sharbie Higuchi. “The show makes for a great date night, a fun outing with friends, or just a memorable evening to share with someone special.” 

In the early years of the 20th century, a new generation of impressionists and plein air painters set up their easels outdoors and reveled in the natural beauty to be found as far as the eye could see. In the 2018 Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” theatrical magic, live music and light-hearted storytelling will honor Laguna’s own and other artistic pioneers from around the world who left their studios in search of new inspiration. 

Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, the Pageant of the Masters is arguably

one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by 90 minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.

The Pageant runs from July 7 – Sept 1, with performances nightly at 8:30 p.m.

Advance ticket prices are $15 - $240.

A Pageant Ticket also acts a season pass to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show.

The Irvine Bowl at the Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd, LB.

To take advantage of this special limited time offer, call (800) 487-3378 or visit www.PageantTickets.com.


Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson; The Graduate with Melanie Griffith opens at the Playhouse on Feb 21

Laguna Playhouse presents this provocative fifth show in its 97th season – The Graduate – starring Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Melanie Griffith, as Mrs. Robinson. This legendary story, adapted by Terry Johnson, and based on the novel by Charles Webb, features the screenplay by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham. Ovation Award-winner Michael Matthews is the director. 

The Graduate will run in a limited engagement, beginning with previews on Wed, Feb 21; the opening night will be on Sun, March 4, at 5:30 p.m., and performances continue through Sun, March 18.

Executive Director Ellen Richard comments, “We are just thrilled to welcome Melanie Griffith to the Laguna Playhouse in one of the most iconic roles of all time – Mrs. Robinson.” 

Terry Johnson’s stage adaptation of The Graduate, based on the novel and the iconic 1967 film, is a bitterly hilarious dark comedy, full of rapid-fire dialogue between fascinating characters boldly celebrating a May-Dec romance in 1960’s California, in which the future can be summed up in one word: Plastics.

Adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham. “We have been trying to seduce Melanie to perform on our stage for quite some time. We are overjoyed that she has said yes and know our subscribers and audiences will be utterly mesmerized by her return to the stage under the inspired direction of Michael Matthews!”  

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Submitted photo

Melanie Griffith stars as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, opening Feb 21

Melanie Griffith received an Academy Award nomination, a BAFTA nomination and won a Golden Globe award for her memorable role as Tess McGill in Mike Nichol’s smash hit “Working Girl.” She has had an extensive career in film and television, garnering many honors and awards. In 2003, she made her Broadway musical debut in Chicago as the fame-hungry Roxie Hart, impressing critics and audiences alike. 

In 2001, Griffith was honored with a Special Festival Award for her body of work at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2014, Melanie was honored with the Taormina Arte Award in Taormina, Italy.  

Director Michael Matthews is thrilled to be returning to Laguna Playhouse after directing its critically acclaimed production of Twelve Angry Men. A few of his other numerous credits and awards include: Billy & Ray at the Laguna Playhouse, Take Me Out!, The Women of Brewster Place, the Musical (Ovation Nom, Director; NAACP Award, Director). Michael is the recipient of the 2015 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Career Achievement in Direction.

The cast will also feature: Nick Tag as Benjamin (Sex and Education at Laguna Playhouse; “My Crazy Ex,” “Brothers in Arms”), Geoffrey Lower as Mr. Robinson, Martha Magruder as Elaine Robinson, Richard Burgi as Mr. Braddock, Valerie Perri as Mrs. Braddock and the ensemble will feature John Massey, Greg Butler, Joey Fabrizi and Taylor Rene LaBarbera.

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Nick Tag stars as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate

The designers include: Scenic Design is by Stephen Gifford, Lighting Design is by Tim Swiss, Costume Design is by Kate Bergh. The Production Stage Manager is Vernon Willett. 

This season is generously underwritten by The Hale Family. The Graduate is produced by Paul and Heather Singarella.  Additional Season Sponsors are South Coast Plaza, Haskell White, Surterre Properties, Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders, Gelson’s, and Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin.

Performances will be Tues through Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Thurs and Sat at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 1 p.m. There will no Thurs performances on Thurs, March 1 & Thurs, March 15 at 2 p.m. There will be additional Sun performances on Sun, Feb 25; Sun, March 11 & Sun, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. 

Tickets range from $86 - $101 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com 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: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until show time on performance days); Sun: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

For a full listing of credits for the talented actors and the director, go to the website listed above.


Laguna Art Museum announces featured artists for annual California Cool Art Auction

On Feb 10, Laguna Art Museum will present its annual California Cool Art Auction. The event takes place from 6 - 10 p.m. with a silent auction from 6 - 8 p.m. and a live auction of selected works starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $125 for museum members at the Friend level and higher, and $150 for all others. 

The live auction, in partnership with Paddle8 and led by Andrea Fiuczynski of Sotheby’s, will add a further element of excitement to the competitive bidding with absentee bids placed from around the world. 

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Courtesy LAM website

Michael Situ: Morning in Crystal Cove

2018 marks the 36th edition of the highly-anticipated auction event during the museum’s centennial year. With works by more than 100 important California artists, Art Auction 2018 will include great art, delicious cuisine, and creative cocktails.

As LAM continues its PST: LA/LA exhibition of works by Dan McCleary, the auction will feature a recent oil painting by McCleary ($6,000 value) courtesy of the artist and Craig Krull Gallery. In advance of the upcoming retrospective exhibition of works by Tony DeLap, the auction will feature a work by DeLap ($40,000 value) courtesy of the artist and Parrasch Heijnen Gallery. 

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Courtesy LAM website

Sherry Karver: Pieces of the Puzzle

Other notable works include a monoprint by Peter Alexander ($32,000 value) courtesy of the artist, a pastel by James hd Brown ($12,000 value) courtesy of the artist, a color etching by Frank Gehry ($3,500 value) courtesy of Gemini G.E.L., an etching by Ed Ruscha ($9,500 value) courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery, as well as works by Lita Albuquerque, Phillip K. Smith III, Elizabeth Turk, and others.

With something for every taste and pocketbook, there are many opportunities for guests to add top-quality art to their collections. The works range in price from $400 to $40,000, and bidding begins at 50 percent of the stated value. Proceeds from the event will support Laguna Art Museum’s dedicated to collecting and preserving California art, presenting critically acclaimed exhibitions, and enhancing art education programs.

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Courtesy LAM website

William Wray: Enterprise

In addition to art, guests will enjoy the culinary talents of West Coast Event Productions, wines by Wine Gallery, and desserts by Simply Sweet Cakery served alongside specialty coffees and teas provided by Urth Caffé. The evening’s cool ambience will feature floral designs by Laguna Nursery and lighting and decor by The Showpros Group. Other sponsors include Cookes Crating, Paddle8, Randy Higbee Gallery, Royal Hawaiian, Sotheby’s, and Modern Luxury Orange County. 

The Art Auction 2018 team is led by co-chairs Sara Heeschen and Deborah Lake; and committee members Jeannie Denholm, Ruben Flores, Vanessa Helin, Lauren MacLaughlin-Brinker, and Karen Morally.

For more information on this upcoming event, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Avran Fine Art presents James C. Leonard’s Exhibition, Inner Landscapes from Feb 10 – March 10

Avran Fine Art will present a Solo Exhibition featuring gestural abstract artist, James C. Leonard. The show, Inner Landscapes, takes place from Feb 10- March 10, and it is free and open to the public. Meet the artist and learn more about his work and techniques.

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Submitted Photo

James C. Leonard and his work will be presented at Avran Fine Art 

James C. Leonard has emerged as one of California’s leading abstract expressionist painters. Leonard’s emotionally charged landscapes often portray backdrops for figures dramatically suspended. 

Leonard grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and has always been drawn to the early expressionists of the 1930’s and 40’s. The German painter Gerhard Richer has had an influence on his style, approach, and directness. 

Working with acrylics on canvas, Leonard uses bold horizontal and vertical strokes and strong color palettes. “Art has always been the focus of my life,” he says. “Just as our lives unfold in unique and beautiful ways, so do my paintings have their own unique and individual expression.”

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Submitted Photo

Landscape in my Dreams by James C. Leonard  


Leonard’s compositions are entirely non-representational and move the viewer’s eye vertically or horizontally across the space. This basic movement is complicated by layers of dripped, speckled and fragmented colors that infuse not only a rich language of color, but also a visual history left to be discovered by the eye as it moves across the surface. 

Leonard’s inventive layering process using an “extended palette knife” results in heavy impasto, or textured, surfaces with a glossy, wet shine making them particularly stunning when seen in person. He prefers to call himself a “colorist” and listens to the work as it develops, often carrying an element of smooth transition that he relates to water.

For more information on this upcoming event, visit www.avranart.com.

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