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Volume 15, Issue 11  | February 7, 2023Subscribe

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Strike up the Band: Love shines through in Community Concert Band’s newest performance

By THERESA KEEGAN

It’s fitting Sunday’s concert at Laguna Beach High School is entitled Songs from the Heart, because the Laguna Community Concert Band (LCCB), which will be performing, is all about heart. 

“We really love to play music and we really love to perform,” Director Mark Lowery said of the group of dedicated musicians. “The community band is an outlet for people who want to play for fun.” 

And who are willing to invest their time. 

The group rehearses every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. and hosts concerts whenever the opportunity arises – a situation that is dictated more by venue availability than systemic scheduling. 

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Photos courtesy of LCCB

Director Mark Lowery started conducting the LCCB almost seven years ago, after retiring as a school band director. However, he was familiar with the group, because his father played French horn with them into his nineties. And yes, Lowery was able to direct his dad in a performance. 

A busy performance schedule

The valentine’s-themed concert is the first of the year, but at the following Tuesday’s rehearsal, the musicians will receive the music for the band’s performance in March’s Patriot’s Day Parade. And then there’s a show featuring film scores in early May and the annual Memorial Day concert at Main Beach followed by performances at the Festival of Arts in July and August. 

Each concert has its own theme, and the music is selected by the directors – in addition to Lowery, Pete Fournier is also at the helm of the 50-plus musicians. 

“I pick music the audience wants to hear and music that the musicians want to play,” explained Lowery. But simply because a piece is good doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for the Community Concert Band. 

“I just listened to the soundtrack of Dances with Wolves,” he said. “It’s beautiful, but I don’t know yet if it’s right for this band. Part of my training as a conductor is listening and choosing music that challenges, but doesn’t overchallenge, the musicians.”

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ART & EVENTS CALENDAR - FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY 4

10th Annual Art & Nature Closing Celebration & Panel Discussion

Westside Erin Park3

For the closing celebration of the Laguna Art Museum’s 10th Annual Art & Nature festival, please join past Art & Nature featured artists alumni and Curatorial Fellow, Rochelle Steiner, as they discuss the previous years’ installations and the importance of Art & Nature. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be available during the celebration.

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum

6:00 pm

Museum members: $20

Non-members: $30

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.494.8971

FEBRUARY 4

Immersive Yoga

Westside Erin Park3

Surrounded by the underwater seascape of The Sea Around Us by Rebeca Méndez, this one-of-a-kind yoga class will transport under the sea without ever getting wet. Lead by Uplift Yoga, you’ll own your whole wellness and create meaningful connections in the world around you.

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum

10:00 am

Museum members: $20

Non-members: $30

*Children must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.494.8971

FEBRUARY 5

Jean Stern Presents: The Life & Art of Anna Hills

Westside Erin Park3

In this illustrated lecture, Mr. Stern will discuss the Life and Art of Anna Hills (1882-1930), one of California’s most important artists. Born in Ohio, Hills studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and studied in Paris, London and Holland before returning to the United States. She came to Laguna Beach in 1913 and lived there for the rest of her life. She was a founding member of the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918 and served as president twice, from 1922 to 1925 and again from 1927 to 1930. Under her leadership, the Association raised the funds to purchase the land and construct the building that housed the Laguna Beach Art Association and is now the Laguna Art Museum.

The lecture consists of about 100 slides and lasts approximately 45 minutes with time for questions and answers afterwards.

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum

10:00 am

Museum members: $7

Non-members: $14

*Children must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.

All children receive free admission. Tickets are required for accompanying adults only.

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.494.8971

FEBRUARY 5

Songs from the Heart

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Thrill to lush vocals and stunning instrumental music by the Laguna Community Concert Band. “Songs from the Heart” includes classics like “Moonriver” and “When I Fall in Love.” Singers include Candice Carvalho, Gary Greene, and EMCEE/Principal Vocalist Lisa Morrice. Enjoy live music for free!

www.lagunaconcertband.com

The Laguna Community Concert Band

The Artists Theatre, 625 Park Avenue, Laguna Beach

2 P.M.

FREE

949.284.2714

FEBRUARY 6

Deadline: Cultural Arts Funding Grants

The City of Laguna Beach is accepting applications from non-profit organizations with experience and primary focus of presenting arts programming. Funded arts program must be presented in Laguna Beach. Grants will support programming presented July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. The goal of the funding is to create quality cultural art experiences that benefit guests that stay overnight at Laguna Beach hotels while improving the experience for residents.

www.lagunabeachcity.net

City of Laguna Beach

Application HERE.

949.497.0722

FEBRUARY 8

JAZZ WEDNESDAYS WINTER: Bijon Watson’s All Star Band Jazz Tribute to a Musical Legend

Bijon New 2

Jazz Wednesdays Winter 2023 is a series of four concerts held at the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd., Concerts are 6-8 pm and doors open at 5 pm for bar and social hour. Lite bites are available to prepurchase up to a week before each concert.

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Beach Live!

[seven degrees] 891 Laguna Canyon Road

Concert 6-8pm, Doors open at 5pm for bar & social hour

$35; $150 full season

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.715.9713 (Laguna Live)

FEBRUARY 9

Live! At the Museum: Douglas Masek & Bryan Pezzone

Join this duo consisting of a saxophone and keyboard as they perform in the museum. Please arrive early and enjoy the museum’s exhibitions and social time.

Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Live! concerts are partially funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum

7:00 pm

Laguna Art Museum members & Laguna Beach Live! Members: FREE

Non-members: $14 per person

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.494.8971

FEBRUARY 9

Open Studio, Make a Card at LOCA Art Talks

Laguna Dance Festival

Laguna Dance Festival

Meet a different artist each month at LOCA Art Talks. In February, Joy Vansell helps everyone make a valentine card using fanciful papers. Open studio, arrive depart at anytime.

www.LOCAarts.org

LOCA Arts Education

LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave

5:30-7:00pm “open studio hours”

$20 / Free to LOCA members

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.494.7555

FEBRUARY 9

Live! at the Museum

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Laguna Live!’s monthly chamber music concert in collaboration with Laguna Art Museum welcomes Douglas Masek, saxophone and Bryan Pezzone, keyboard

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Art Museum

7pm – 8pm

Free to Laguna Live! members & museum members; $14

Call Museum for Reservations

949.494.8971 (Museum) 949.715.9713 (Laguna Live)

FEBRUARY 12

Art Workshop: Oceanic Flow

Westside Erin Park3

Inspired by Robert Young’s painting, "The Big One", local artist Jo Situ Allen (aka DIRTY ERASER) will lead a mixed media collage workshop using found images, objects, and reproductions of marine life from The Accidental Naturalist, her books on native California species. Jo will share some insights about the wonderful species found just off the beaches of Laguna. Energized by the intuitive flow of the ocean, students will create their own magical underwater landscape through colors, forms, and textures. Supplies included with ticket.

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum

2:00 pm

Youth 12 and under*: FREE

Museum members: $20

Non-members: $30

*Children must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.494.8971

FEBRUARY 22

JAZZ WEDNESDAYS WINTER: Mardi Gras Celebration with Dan Barrett's Old Fashioned Jazz Band.

Dan Barrett Trombone

Jazz Wednesdays Winter 2023 is a series of four concerts held at the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd., Concerts are 6-8 pm and doors open at 5 pm for bar and social hour. Lite bites are available to prepurchase up to a week before each concert.

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Beach Live!

[seven degrees] 891 Laguna Canyon Road

Concert 6-8pm, Doors open at 5pm for bar & social hour

$35; $150 full season

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.715.9713 (Laguna Live)

FEBRUARY 24, 25, 26

Cincinnati Ballet and Laguna Dance Festival

Dan Barrett Trombone

Laguna Dance Festival will host its next festival February 24-26, 2023 at the Laguna Playhouse. The festival will feature two of the nation’s major dance companies – Cincinnati Ballet, led by Jodie Gates, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, led by Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell. Tickets on sale now!

www.lagunadancefestival.org

Laguna Dance Festival

Laguna Playhouse

606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Friday, February 24 at 7:30pm

Saturday, February 25 at 7:30pm

Sunday, February 26 at 5:30pm

$60 Reserved Seating, $30 Student Ticket (with valid I.D.)

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.715.5578

FEBRUARY 25 and 26

Master Classes with Cincinnati Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Dan Barrett Trombone

Enjoy the rigor of movement and train your artistry in this master class series. Saturday’s ballet master class will be led by Jodie Gates, Artistic Director of Cincinnati Ballet. Sunday’s master class will be taught by Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Artistic Director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Intermediate and Advanced dancers ages 12 and up are encouraged to attend.

www.lagunadancefestival.org

Laguna Dance Festival

Dance Studio at Laguna Beach High School

625 Park Ave

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Friday, February 25 from 4:00-5:30pm

Saturday, February 26 from 10:00-11:30am

$30

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.715.5578

NOW THRU FEBRUARY 6

Call For Artists - Laguna Art-A-Fair for Summer 2023

Laguna Dance Festival

Fine Art Artists are cordially invited to the 57th annual Laguna Art-A-Fair, one of the three premier art shows held each summer in beautiful Laguna Beach, California. Voted the Number One Art Festival in Laguna Beach. Laguna Art-A-Fair is noted for high quality fine art. This summer long exhibit of approximately 120 artists attracts tourists and patrons from throughout California, the United States and the world. The beautiful festival grounds are located at 777 Laguna Canyon Road, just a few blocks from downtown Laguna Beach. The show will be open daily in July and August of 2023, (exact dates to be announced).. Exciting live entertainment, fine food and refreshments, as well as artist demonstrations and workshops add to the festival’s appeal.

www.art-a-fair.com

Laguna Art-A-Fair

Online

By Feb. 6th 2023 midnight.

$45.00 for application

Get your application HERE.

310.433.5195

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR by the Week CLICK HERE

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LPAPA’s “Younger Generation Plein Air Project” resumes after going dark during the pandemic

By MARRIE STONE

The Laguna Plein Air Painter’s Association (LPAPA) has made it their mission to advance arts education in our local elementary schools. In 2013, they created the “Younger Generation Plein Air Project,” a four-part series that includes lessons in art history, art appreciation, a museum visit and hands-on instruction in rendering paintings. Alongside the statewide curriculum designed to introduce fourth graders to California history, LPAPA’s program exposes students to our regional history through art. To date, well over 5,000 fourth graders from both public and private schools have benefited from this unique and immersive program.

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Photos courtesy of LPAPA

A LPAPA volunteer guides a group of fourth graders at Alta Laguna Park

But like so many things, the project shut down during the pandemic. This year marks its return. And if last month’s paint-out proved anything, it’s that parents, teachers, students and LPAPA volunteers alike are thrilled to be back. “This is one of our biggest community outreach programs,” said LPAPA Vice President Celeste Gilles. “And certainly the biggest for our youth.” 

Jeff Sewell, LPAPA signature member and director of education, founded and leads the program. He visits fourth grade students inside their classrooms for an overview of plein air painting – the terminology artists use, the methods and techniques they employ and the work they produce. “I introduce them to the idea of impressionism. There’s realism, there’s abstract art and impressionism comes right between them,” said Sewell. “We talk about the rainbow scale, everything between realistic impressionism and abstract impressionism. So they get excited to see that.”

The students then visit the UCI Langson Institute and Museum of California Art for a docent-guided tour that gives them up-close access to both historical and contemporary examples of California Impressionism. “We’ve already talked about the vocabulary and ideas,” said Sewell. “Now, at the museum, we get to compare and contrast what we’ve talked about.”

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TOW students visited the UCI Langson Institute and Museum of California Art. This work by early California Impressionist painter Granville Redmond is one of the many works they studied.

Back in their classrooms, students are treated to a real-time demonstration. Using a photo as reference, and enhancing it with his memories, Sewell teaches landscape composition, color theory, the art of mixing and blending paints and other techniques used by professional artists. The class observes each step in the process and can ask questions along the way. 

The program culminates with a paint-out, giving students the opportunity to try their own hands at holding a brush and working on a canvas in an outdoor environment. Top of the World (TOW) students walk to Alta Laguna Park, where they’re treated to unobstructed views of the Santa Ana Mountains and Old Saddleback. This year, the windy day was brisk but clear, which made for perfect vistas but some challenges keeping the easels from blowing over. Within the next few months, the program will be repeated at El Morro Elementary and students will paint seascapes at Crystal Cove. 

“The parents were especially excited [to return],” said Gilles. “Some parents remembered their older kids going through the program. We also had a few parents who have current 6th graders who were disappointed they didn’t get to experience this [during the shutdown].”

Sewell is the ideal instructor. A longtime LPAPA Signature Artist and father of six, he’s got the perfect combination of knowledge, experience, relatability and patience. “Jeff is super cool and mellow,” said Gilles. “The kids see that in him, so they respond to that in the classroom. He spends a day with them at the museum. By the time they get out to paint, they’re excited to take what they’ve learned and put it on the canvas.”

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Founder of the program and LPAPA Signature Member Jeff Sewell instructs the group at Alta Laguna Park before sending them out on their paint-out

The paint-out day finally arrived at Alta Laguna Park and students were fully engaged. Sewell gathered them around for a pre-paint pep talk. He refreshed their memories about that “French phrase plein air” and the meaning of impressionism. He reintroduced the rainbow scale and the difference between realism and abstract art. “We all paint different,” he told them. “And we all paint to the best of our abilities.” Using a paper plate as a canvas, Sewell began mixing colors and laying out his composition. Students offered their suggestions – dark colors in the foreground, cool temperature colors for the distance. “Remember that word ‘foreground?’” he asked. They did.

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How to get there

Visit Laguna Beach City Map Visit Laguna Beach Coast Map

Funds for this calendar are provided by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

LBArtsAllianceLogo

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“Art in Public Places” – Interlude by Peter Busby

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Some of the art you see around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life; and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents. 

Created by artist Peter Busby, Interlude was installed at Alta Laguna Park in 1993. It is part of the Art in Public Places collection and was funded by the City of Laguna Beach. 

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“Interlude” was installed in 1993 

Born the youngest of six brothers in Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island, N.Y., Busby has lived in and traveled to places such as Indonesia, China, Thailand, Israel, Crete, Denmark and the Caribbean.

Busby attended Det Fynske Kunst Akademi, (Art Academy) in Odense, Denmark, from 1982-86. He has multiple public art sculptures installed all over the U.S., dating back to 1978, and has participated in many group and solo exhibitions.

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The sculptures must be seen in person to be fully appreciated   

According to a 2019 Connecticut Magazine article, in 1984, while living in an old farmhouse outside of Odense, Denmark, where Busby’s wife is from, he dragged some tree limbs over from the farmer next door who had just trimmed them. It took numerous rounds on the back of his bicycle, but he amassed enough to construct a life-size elephant. The elephant was displayed at the Odense Zoo, then later the City of Odense bought it, awarding it to an elementary school as part of an environmental awareness program. 

Busby now creates larger-than-life structures in his home studio in Cornwall Bridge, Conn., before they are unleashed into private collections and public spaces around the country. Using mostly simple hand tools as well as some welding equipment, Busby molds steel rods into impossibly large animals, giving viewers an opportunity to appreciate them from every angle. He has a months-long process he stands by, from pencil-tracing the formations on drywall to manipulating materials to represent a specific shift of an animal’s head or body. 

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Easier to sense the scale of the sculptures with a boy in the scene 

“I approach art from the perspective of inclusion,” Busby states on his website. “Through sculpture, I hope to inspire and foster a connection between the environment, my work and a broad spectrum of viewers. My aim is to create works of art that are elegant, yet simple, create a sense of place, leave a lasting impression upon viewers, and achieve a sense of timelessness and beauty.” 

This focus is reflected in Interlude.  According to Busby, “Such was my intent while creating the whale tails that are seen diving into a sea of grass at Alta Laguna Park. This sculpture is representational of and inspirational to the environment and cultural spirit of the community of Laguna Beach.”

Busby explained his process: “My artwork has evolved from the concept of space being defined by a single line, to structures defined by woven surfaces. I work with steel rods in a way that echoes lines drawn by pencil, only my metal markings are free of paper and, thus, create three-dimensional drawings.”

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Busby invites viewers to complete the volume the framework suggests 

“My particular attention to line results in sculptures comprised of both positive and negative space. This spatial interplay causes the sculptures to feel both empty and full, and invites viewers to complete the volume that the framework suggests. The negative space, which has become a fundamental aspect of my work, also allows viewers to pass through the work, thereby incorporating the surrounding environment. This interaction and interplay between the artwork, the viewer and the environment is what I continually strive to achieve with my work.”

Alta Laguna Park is located at 3299 Alta Laguna Blvd., Laguna Beach.

This is the 90th article in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are more than 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

For more information on Peter Busby, go to www.peterbusby.com.

For a map of Art in Public Places (not every piece is listed), click here.

To apply for the Arts in Public Places program, click here.

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ORGANIZATION INFO

www.lagunabeacharts.org

City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission

www.lagunabeachcity.net

Community Art Project (CAP)

www.caplaguna.org

Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters

www.foapom.com

First Thursdays Art Walk

www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com

Friends of the Laguna Beach Library

 

Gallery Q at THE SUSI Q

www.thesusiq.org

KX 93.5 Radio

www.kx935.com

Laguna Art-A-Fair

www.art-a-fair.com

Laguna Art Museum

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC)

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

Laguna Beach Live!

www.lagunabeachlive.org

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association

www.lagunabeachsistercities.org

Laguna College of Art + Design

www.lcad.edu

Laguna Concert Band

www.lagunaconcertband.com

Laguna Craft Guild

www.lagunacraftguild.org

Laguna Dance Festival

www.lagunadancefestival.org

LOCA Arts Education

www.locaarts.org

Laguna Playhouse

www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

www.lpapa.org

LagunaTunes

www.lagunatuneschorus.org

No Square Theatre

www.nosquare.org

Sawdust Art Festival

www.sawdustartfestival.org

[seven-degrees]

www.seven-degrees.com

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts

www.theartistsfund-foa.org

Third Street Writers

www.thirdstreetwriters.org

Visit Laguna Beach

www.visitlagunabeach.com

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The Big One: The life and legacy of Laguna artist Robert Young

By MARRIE STONE

Photos by Jeff Rovner

Longtime locals might remember the fierce winter storm that struck Laguna in 1978. That February, 25 eucalyptus trees came down in the canyon, flattening cars and smashing roofs. By then, Laguna Beach artist Robert Young (1936 – 2012) was seven years into his biggest project – a 15’ x 9.6’ acrylic and mixed media painting on stretched canvas that came to be known as The Big One

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Robert Young’s acrylic and mixed media painting “The Big One” (1971-1978) is currently on display at the Laguna Art Museum through February 12

While the trees destroyed Young’s home and property, they spared The Big One. The story of how that happened, where The Big One went next, and Young’s enduring legacy was, in part, the subject of a talk last Saturday at the Laguna Art Museum (LAM). Young’s wife and daughter, alongside longtime friend and colleague Eric Johnson, gathered at the museum to share anecdotes and memories. Charlotte (daughter) shared her magical upbringing and what it was like for a millennial to be raised by an artist from the Silent Generation. Deborah (wife) told several stories about their 35-year relationship and how it all began. Johnson talked about Young’s unique approach to art, his process and how it influenced Johnson’s own work. 

What follows are a few excerpts from their discussion that highlight the impact this artist had on our town, the kind of man he was and what he left behind.

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(L-R) Eric Johnson, Charlotte Young and Deborah Young gathered Saturday, Jan. 21 at LAM to discuss the life and legacy of Robert Young and his painting, “The Big One”

The Big One

The Big One began in 1971 when Young transported his passion for the ocean onto dry land. Too big to paint inside, Young constructed a scaffolding out of telephone poles to support the massive canvas. 

“Over the years, people would come to the house and ask, ‘How are you doing on the big one?’ It kept that name,” said Deborah. “It felt right, because Robert did everything in a big way, starting out with building that structure underneath it, which helped save our lives.” 

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Deborah Young standing with her late husband’s magnum opus, “The Big One”

Young wrote about The Big One and his process before his death. “I stretched the canvas in the spring of 1969 with a broken hand,” he wrote. “Since then, I have re-stretched it only once. It is a work in progress – a reflection on diving experiences, a study in color, a use of multiple techniques, a series of concepts, an attempt at a sense of wholeness.” 

Young began by using washes to cover the surface. He traveled to Hawaii to explore the coral reefs of Molokai. After returning, he started recreating his experiences, relying on small forms of coral and photos he took while diving. “The metamorphoses I have gone through since then are many, and the painting keeps growing,” he wrote. “The canvas has been painted completely six times, some areas as many as 25 times. Various people say I’m overworking it. My feeling is, I’m just coming to terms with it.” 

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Attendees at LAM’s talk look on at “The Big One”

Strange things began happening as Young worked it over. “I felt the light rays from the sun were not totally refracting against the surface color. I was getting a degree of light-absorption below the surface,” Young wrote. “I had over 50 fish swimming around in there. They kept changing and reappearing. All my light sources began to channel themselves toward the center of the painting and light started to emerge from within.” 

Young said some fish became composites, changing expression and character. “The painting was in one way coming closer to the viewer, and in another perspective was opening out to a larger vista,” he wrote. “The early nautilus vortex was getting stronger, and the large elliptical circle was becoming more defined.”

It took years for Young to settle on a direction for the painting. As he discovered new techniques, he incorporated them into the work. “My approach, using dots and overlays, was slow and painful,” he wrote. “But buildup of brush work would eventually give me a more symphonic color range and achieve the feeling of a coral environment. When completed, The Big One will have over two million dots.”

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Close-up image from Robert Young’s “The Big One,” 1971-1978

“He finally found a metaphorical reef in his backyard, one small dot of color at a time,” wrote fellow artist and friend Dion Wright in 2012, following Young’s death. 

The Big One found an apropos home at SeaWorld, originally in a restaurant on the premises. Eventually that building became the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. After Young’s death in 2012, Deborah decided to bring The Big One home. It was on display at the Festival of Arts grounds in 2013 and is currently being shown at LAM through February 12.

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Gallery Q is Mixing it Up in latest show – art by new and established artists in many mediums

By THERESA KEEGAN

Both the display and those in attendance at Gallery Q’s recent opening celebration took the exhibition’s title to heart and really were “Mixing it Up.” 

 “The looseness of that title made submissions (for the juried show) broader,” said Bill Atkins, art director for Gallery Q. “I wanted to make sure a lot of people are participating.” 

Participate they did. In fact, with more than 80 pieces selected to be displayed in the show, it was one of the most successful openings organizers have ever had at the gallery, which is located throughout the Susi Q Community Center. 

Pieces on display ranged from sculpture and textiles, to watercolors, pastels and everything in between. The experience of the 50 artists whose works were chosen also represented a broad swath of experience. 

Some, such as Tom Lamb, whose patterned aerials are displayed at the Festival of the Arts as well as collected internationally, are well known to area art aficionados. But others were new to the art scene – some even displaying their work for the first time. 

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Photos by Theresa Keegan

The opening reception for “Mixing it Up” at Gallery Q, held January 20, brought many visitors throughout O.C. to the Susi Q Community Center, including into the library (which served as an additional gallery). The show is on display through March 9.

“It’s kind of fun having people look at my paintings,” said newcomer Jeri Silva. The octogenarian was encouraged by her grandchildren to submit some of the work that she’s created over the years. 

“She’s been painting her whole life,” said granddaughter Hannah Miller. 

Indeed, Silva’s painting of a golden sunset on The Strand literally glittered in the community center’s Great Room, where it was gathered with other scenic paintings. To its left was another piece of Silva’s, also of The Strand, but from a more traditional perspective. 

“I used acrylics and oils to create a background glossiness for the piece Golden Sea,” she said. The show inspired a renewed commitment to her chosen field, which she had been shying away from recently. 

“I could draw before I could walk,” she explained. “But I never thought I’d be showing. I never had enough confidence.” 

Miller and her older sister, Maddie, 26, were so proud of their grandmother’s work they drove from their Yorba Linda home to be at the opening. 

“Her art is really good,” said Maddie. “And I’m glad she’s in a show with such high-quality artists. When we saw this (show announcement) posted we made her know she had to it.” 

Hannah, 21, was enjoying the opportunity to see other artists as well. 

“This whole show is really good,” she commented. 

Gallery Q 2

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The opening night reception featured food, wine and musical accompaniment by Music for a New Century, which included pianist Jeffrey Briar and vocalist Samantha Morrice 

Diverse offerings selected

Atkins was thrilled at the number of high-quality, submitted pieces the gallery received for this show. 

“I wanted to see what would happen if I let the show title be wide open…I loved having slightly more than 80 pieces to display,” said Atkins. But he soon discovered such success also present logistical challenges, including finding room to hang so many pieces, as well as typing up each title card, but he said it was worth the extra work.

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A handcrafted tea pot by ceramicist Paulette Adams builds upon Laguna Beach’s ocean theme by replicating detailed shells and flowing seaweed

He was particularly thrilled members of Laguna Bluebelt Coalition submitted some of their high-quality photographs. Roger Su’s stunning photograph, The Legend of Goff Island had a place of honor centered on the mantle in the library room.

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Bare Bones presents L’Dor v’Dor lll, a new play in the trilogy by Lojo Simon, at LBCAC

 One year after it first debuted Lojo Simon’s play L’Dor v’Dor (from Generation to Generation), Bare Bones presents the final reading of the trilogy on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC), 235 Forest Ave. in Downtown Laguna Beach.

 “I’m super excited to share this play, which is set in Natchez, Miss., during the Civil Rights movement, as part of Black History Month,” Simon said. “I’ve gotten to know these characters so well over the last 18 months of writing about them. When I watch them come alive in the voices and bodies of actors – that’s one of the great rewards of the collaborative process that is making live theater.”

Bare Bones Nzinga

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Photos courtesy of Bare Bones 

Nzinga Moore makes her Bare Bones debut in February’s play reading, which honors Black History Month

Ava Burton directs the play, which features actors Jaidyn Johns, Sarah Levin, Nzinga Moore, Veltria Roman, Sheila Silver and Tyee Tilghman. The audience is invited to stay after the reading to discuss themes of race, assimilation and social justice with facilitator Pastor Rod Echols.

 “We’ve been developing this trilogy for the past year at Bare Bones, which is a great honor as both an actor and director to be involved in the early creative process of making a new play,” Burton said. “I can’t wait to share it with an audience, so they all can see where the story’s gone and discuss it with Lojo and Pastor Rod.”

Bare Bones Tyee

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Tyee Tilghman makes his Bare Bones debut in February’s play reading

General admission is $30; $50 tickets include premium seating and a bar drink. For tickets, click here.

 Please note that LBCAC is not currently ADA-accessible, as it requires patrons to walk up steep stairs. (Once upstairs, the theatre is ADA-friendly.) 

Bare Bones is a project of ART WOW (Art Without Walls), bringing theater you can chew on to discerning Laguna Beach audiences.

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is a creative epicenter in Downtown Laguna with exhibition space, events, and promotion to support artists in theater, visual arts, music, video and still photography, film, dance, prose and poetry, and arts education.

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LagunaTunes Community Chorus is turning 20

 LagunaTunes Community Chorus resumes rehearsals on Monday, Feb. 13, in preparation for a 20th anniversary celebration performance called Lagunatunes, Greatest Hits.

Several members of LagunaTunes sang their appreciation for a cultural arts grant to City Council in November, inviting them to the 20th anniversary performance. The concert is a look back at the group’s favorite music from 2003, when the group was founded, to the present. In a survey sent to all past and present members, participants were invited to vote for their favorite songs from the last 20 years. Past members are particularly urged to return to the stage, greet old friends, and join in this nostalgic trip down memory lane. 

LagunaTunes City Council

Courtesy of LagunaTunes 

LagunaTunes singing at City Council 

The concert – LagunaTunes, Greatest Hits – will be on Sunday, June 11 at 4 p.m. in the Artists Theater at Laguna Beach High School. Both new and past members are welcome, and there are no auditions. All you need is a desire to sing and learn with a fun group of people and a great director. Recorded rehearsal tracks are available for all parts. Listen to them in your car, while exercising, any time you want, to learn effortlessly between rehearsals.

To join LagunaTunes, come to the rehearsal on February 13 from 7-9 p.m. at Thurston Middle School, 2100 Park Ave., Laguna Beach. Bring a check for $90 (music fee) and a willingness to sing. COVID vaccinations, though not required, are encouraged. 

The chorus is led by Bob Gunn, former long-time director of Orange County’s Men Alive chorus and Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone (no auditions). Funding is by the FOA Foundation, and the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, visit www.lagunatuneschorus.org, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Fourth Annual “LPAPA Strong” Postcard Art Auction fundraiser opened January 30

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) has announced that the 4th Annual “LPAPA Strong Painted Postcards Art Auction” fundraiser opened online at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 30. The auction continues until 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2. Those interested can view the painted postcards online by clicking here.

Fourth annual Bretzke

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Photos courtesy of LPAPA

Postcard by artist Carl Bretzke

LPAPA’s 4th Annual LPAPA Strong Painted Postcard Art Auction is a unique online silent auction featuring original painted 5” x 7” painted postcard art. This annual fundraiser is your opportunity to help them raise funds to “show the love” in support of nonprofit LPAPA and its artists. More than 150 LPAPA artists are contributing painted postcards for this year’s auction. Auction participants have the opportunity to bid on one (or more) of the original 5” x 7” “LPAPA Strong” postcards that they fall in love with.

Fourth annual Lynch

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By artist Sherry Lynch

The Art Walk Gallery Show Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 6-9 p.m.

This year, LPAPA will be exhibiting the postcards at the LPAPA Gallery, opening the last day of the online auction on Thursday, Feb. 2 (the gallery opens at 11 a.m., with extended hours for First Thursdays Art Walk to 9 p.m. and the auction will end at 8 p.m. The LPAPA Gallery is open Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment, with extended hours to 9 p.m. the first Thursday of each month. 

Fourth annual Swimm

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Artist Tom Swimm

All postcards have a starting bid of $50 with $10 bid increments. LPAPA is hoping participants will bid generously and help them raise funds to support LPAPA’s art programs and the artists. You will need to open a free www.32auctions.com account in order to place a bid. When bidding, you can choose to place an exact bid, or you can choose to place a proxy bid and let 32auctions bid for you.

 If you have questions or need assistance, call the LPAPA Gallery at 949.376.3635, or contact LPAPA’s Senior Executive Director Rosemary Swimm at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 949.584.9162; or LPAPA’s Executive Co-Director Bonnie Langner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 925.683.8374, or you can reach out to LPAPA President Toni Kellenberg by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 949. 291.0882. 

 Follow hashtag #LPAPAstrong on social media.

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Festival of Arts now accepting student scholarship applications until March 10

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach has announced that applications for the 2023-2024 academic school year are now open to local students. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior who resides in Laguna Beach or attends Laguna Beach High School. Applications will be accepted through the Festival’s website at www.foapom.com/scholarships until the March 10 deadline.

“This program is a tremendous opportunity for students who are considering a career in the arts,” said Festival of Arts Board Secretary and Scholarship Chair Pat Kollenda. “The arts are such a critical part of a student’s overall education as well as continued personal development. It is with great pride that the Festival rewards and encourages the development of careers in the arts.”

 Since 1957, the Festival of Arts scholarship program has supported rising young artists by making it possible for students to pursue college studies in the arts. To date, the Festival of Arts has awarded more than $3.5 million in scholarships.

festival of students

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Courtesy of FOA

Past recipients of FOA Scholarships

 Last year, five students were each recognized with $20,000 scholarships by the Festival of Arts. Each recipient was granted $5,000 per year over a four-year period as long as he/she continues to meet the specified requirements. “I learned about the Festival of Arts scholarship through my art teacher, Ms. Porter and the high school scholarship advisor, Ms. Shipp,” said Colette Reed, 2022 Festival of Arts Student Scholarship recipient. “I’m so grateful for this scholarship – it’s helped me take more classes in college, and pursue my degree in Art and potentially an MFA, which is so fantastic!”

 The four-year, highly competitive scholarships are awarded to students who excel in Film, Performing Arts (dance, music and theater arts – including performance and production), Visual Arts and Writing. A student may apply for any or all of the four categories, but will only be awarded one scholarship. The Festival of Arts Scholarship Committee includes Chair Pat Kollenda and committee members Wayne Baglin, John Connolly, Marge Earl, Jacquie Moffett, and Jeff Rovner.

Festival of aerial shot

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Photo by Robert Hansen

FOA accepting scholarship applications until March 10

 Scholarship recipient Reed added, “I was so, so excited to learn I was a scholarship recipient! I worked really hard on this scholarship, and I was really honored to be recognized for it, and to be among such an awesome group of artists! I feel so grateful to the Festival and the board, because this scholarship will and already has helped me so much in college.”

The Festival of Arts, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has always been a local leader that has helped with the growth and development of the community and the arts in Laguna Beach. Established in 1932, the Festival of Arts’ mission is to promote, produce and sponsor events and activities that encourage the appreciation, study and performance of the arts. The Festival of Arts annually produces two world-class events: The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters. Together both shows attract more than 225,000 visitors into Laguna Beach.

 For general scholarship information call Michelle Reindl at (949) 464-4201 or visit the website at www.foa.com/scholarships. The Festival of Arts is a nonprofit organization that produces the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters. Its mission is to support the arts and art education in and about Laguna Beach.

The Festival of Arts, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has always been a local leader that has helped with the growth and development of the community and the arts in Laguna Beach. Established in 1932, the Festival of Arts’ mission is to promote, produce and sponsor events and activities that encourage the appreciation, study and performance of the arts. The Festival of Arts annually produces two world-class events: The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters. Together both shows attract more than 225,000 visitors into Laguna Beach.

For more information, visit www.lagunafestivalofarts.org, or call 949.494.1145.

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LBCAC presents Broadway YOUR Way, a musical tribute to a made-up composer on February 6

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) presents Broadway YOUR Way on Monday, Feb. 6 from 7-9 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Broadway YOUR Way Soiree, an improvised musical biography with John Ballinger, Mike McShane and Brian Lohmann, is a tribute to a great American composer who never existed. Two deep-cut fans of A Made-Up American Musical Catalog (played by Lohmann and McShane) improvise the songbook of a fictitious composer with anecdotes, scenes and songs all created on the spot. 

The music is entirely improvised and arranged spontaneously by multi-instrumentalist Ballinger. He also lobs curveballs at the hosts (a random owl hoot, a thunderstorm, a ring tone) that they have to somehow incorporate into the evening.

LBCAC presents Ballinger

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Multi-instrumentalist John Ballinger

Audience suggestions like a job, a knick-knack from grandma’s house, as well as improv stand-bys, such as song titles and music genres, will keep everybody involved in creating the show.

This celebration of creativity and show biz is loony and unpredictable – it’s improvised – but these veterans entertain while taking the audience on a wild ride through a night of seat-of-your-pants songwriting. 

McShane was in the original cast of Whose Line is it Anyway UK and was in the films Office Space, Richie Rich and Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. He was a series regular in the sitcom, Brotherly Love and was memorable as FDR in Seinfeld. Stage credits include Broadway with Harvey Fierstein and Matthew Broderick and West End shows in London, including Little Shop of Horrors and Assassins

LBCAC presents Lohmann

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Singer songwriter Brian Lohmann

Singer songwriter, Lohmann, has performed at the Laguna Playhouse in Two’s a Crowd, and Tickled Pink, with Rita Rudner. Other theater credits include The Old Globe San Diego, A.C.T., Off-Broadway and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Film work includes, Jack, and He Was a Quiet Man. He sang in the Bay Area for decades as Johnny Lonely, an act that grew out of his work with the seminal comedy troupe, Faultline, which also featured McShane. He recorded and toured with John Wesley Harding and was a part of the vocal jazz sextet, Acapella Gold, who recorded with Tee Carson and hosted the Feather River Jazz Festival, (ala Lambert Hendricks and Ross at Newport). His songs were featured in the Indie film, Thanks, with Rita Rudner and Edi Patterson.

LBCAC presents McShane

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Courtesy of unitedagents.com

Television, movie and stage actor Mike McShane 

Ballinger was the guitarist on the Dancing With the Stars national tour, toured with Rufus Wainwright, and composed and performed with O-Lan Jones and Overtone Industries. He has also worked with Van Dyke Parks, Ann Wilson, Grace Jones, Billy Zane, Pato Baton, Tracy Bonham and composed songs for the film Life Support by Larry Clarke. He played multiple instruments on the soundtrack for Flag Day, a film by Sean Penn. He is currently the composer and musical director for the comedy podcast, Live From The Lounge, with Keythe Farley.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

For tickets and the LBCAC calendar, go to www.LBCulturalArtsCenter.org.

LBCAC has installed a Patriot Air Purification System to ensure a virus-free environment. 

Grant funding was made possible by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

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Jazz Wednesdays presents “The Soul of Jazz: A Jazz Tribute to the legends of Soul and Groove” on February 8

Laguna Live! kicks off their Jazz Winter Wednesdays season on Wednesday, Feb. 8, with 2023 Grammy®-nominated Bijon Watson and acclaimed vocalist Maiya Sykes with “The Soul of Jazz: A Jazz Tribute to the legends of Soul and Groove.” 

The event will be held at [seven degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Road, from 6-8 p.m. (Venue capacity has been reduced to 50% for comfort and safety.) Doors open at 5 p.m. for the bar and social hour. Lite Bites are available to pre-order. 

jazz wednesdays Sykes

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Maiya Sykes performs with Bijon Watson on February 8

Join Watson and Sykes along with the Laguna Live! All-Stars as they perform a Jazz Tribute to legends of Soul and Groove playing the music of Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Doobie Brothers, Chaka Khan, Joe Cocker, Dionne Warwick and others. 

Watson and Sykes have performed on stages worldwide to capacity audiences. Sykes is known for her appearances on The Voice®, and with the immensely popular group Post-Modern Jukebox. She is a sought-after recording artist who can be seen performing with an amazing array of artists as well as on The Hour of Power and wowed Laguna Live! audiences on August 18, 2022 with her “Blues” concert. 

jazz wednesdays Watson

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2023 Grammy-nominated Bijon Watson 

Watson most recently garnered a Grammy® nomination this year in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble category for his group the Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra that he co-leads with Pianist/Composer Steven Feifke. Watson has performed or recorded with artists such as Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Justin Timberlake, Prince and Stevie Wonder, to name a few.

Prices are as follows: Concert $37.50; $150 for full season. 

Tickets are available at http://lagunalive.org/, or by calling 949.715.9713.

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Laguna Community Concert Band celebrates 23rd season with “Songs from the Heart” at the Artists Theater

The Laguna Community Concert Band opens its 23rd season at the Artists Theater on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. with a mix of vocal and instrumental music, “Songs from the Heart,” that tugs at our very heartstrings.

Lush orchestrations and thrilling vocals transport us to other times and places. “Moonriver,” sung by Laguna Beach baritone Gary Greene returns us to the ‘60s and Breakfast at Tiffanys. Lyric soprano Candice Carvalho’s “When I Fall in Love,” reminds us of the ‘90s and Sleepless in Seattle. Emcee and principal vocalist Lisa Morrice riffs on George Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” harking back to the ‘40s and the magic of Fred Astaire.

Laguna Community Concert Band Carvalho

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Courtesy of Laguna Community Concert Band

Candice Carvalho

The concert band plays the hauntingly beautiful “Bring Him Home,” from Les Miserables, as well as lilting pieces from England and Ireland, and “God’s Country,” a majestic work that takes listeners on a journey of picturesque landscapes – from beautiful mountain ranges to breathtaking waterfalls.

As with all of the band’s performances, this concert is free. “As a group, we continue to evolve and enlarge our repertoire,” said Mark Lowery, co-conductor of the Laguna Community Concert Band. “Especially now, many musicals and concerts remain financially out of reach for so many. These free performances bring the joy of live music to everyone in the community.”

The Artists Theater is located at Laguna Beach High School at 625 Park Ave., Laguna Beach. No ticket is necessary to attend the band’s free concerts. The Laguna Community Concert Band rehearses at the Laguna Beach High School band room on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

For the latest news about the band and a calendar of concerts, go to www.lagunaconcertband.com.

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Pageant of the Masters is offering a “lovable” discount for your favorite Valentine

Looking for a unique gift for that special loved one? Pageant of the Masters is helping charm sweethearts this Valentine’s Day with tickets to the nation’s most iconic presentation of living pictures with a lovable discount! Special for Valentine’s Day, save 20% on tickets to this summer’s production with promotional code VDAY23 (excludes loge center and premium ticket seats).

Pageant of the Masters Women in the Garden

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Courtesy of Festival of Arts Laguna Beach

Pageant of the Masters’ re-creation of “Women in the Garden” by Claude Monet will appear in the 2023 production “Art Colony: In the Company of Artists,” taking place July 7 through September 1

To take advantage of this incredible offer, call 800.487.3378, or visit www.PageantTickets.com. This offer is good through February 14. Give a gift that lasts through summer with tickets to the 90th Annual Pageant of the Masters production of Art Colony: In the Company of Artists, offering shows nightly July 7 through September 1. 

Pageant of the Masters takes place on the Festival of Arts grounds located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. For more information, visit www.foapom.com.

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February brings close to Tenth Annual Art & Nature Festival, the opening of a new exhibit and more programs and events

Laguna Art Museum’s (LAM’s) 10th Annual Art & Nature Festival celebrates its close on February 4 at 6 p.m. However, the exhibitions are still on view, featuring groundbreaking, immersive exhibitions including The Sea Around Us by artist Rebeca Méndez, Pyramidion by artist Kelly Berg, The Big One by artist Robert Young and Five Summer Stories: The Exhibition. The museum has announced new Art & Nature public programs, including innovative workshops, panel discussions, nature excursions, immersive yoga and an exhibition-closing celebration.

February brings Spence

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Photos courtesy of LAM

 From the Stuart and Judith Vida Spence Collection: “I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art” by John Baldessari, 1971 lithograph

On February 4, the exhibition featuring Southern California Contemporary Art Gifts from the Stuart Spence and Judith Vida Spence Collection will open and continue through July 2023. For more than 30 years, the Spences collected and lived with contemporary art in their home in Los Angeles, as well as lending pieces to exhibitions and making significant donations to art museums – most notably LAM.

This major gift by Judy and Stuart Spence to Laguna Art Museum includes artworks from the 1970s to the present spanning California Conceptualism, West Coast Pop and Los Angeles’s Lowbrow art movement.

February brings Mendez

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See Rebeca Mendez’s installation of “The Sea Around Us” through Sunday, Feb. 5

On view through February 5, immerse yourself into the depths of the Pacific Ocean with Rebeca Méndez’s groundbreaking installation of The Sea Around Us. This 360-degree video art installation drops you straight into the depths of the ocean usually untouched by humans. Surrounded by vivid depictions of sea life, oozing barrels of DDT descend around you, creating a sense of ominous calamity and immersing you into the thick of the conflict of environmental wrongdoing. 

This moving experience inspires awe and strengthens the bond between sea and viewer, inspiring the courage to face environmental misconduct, take restorative action and avoid repeating transgressions against our natural resources. 

February brings pyramidion

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Kelly Berg’s “Pyramidion” 

 Pyramidion is an interactive sculptural experience that invites viewers to contemplate the layered history and unique geology of Laguna Beach. The Big One by artist Robert Young is thought to still hold the record as the largest painting ever created in Laguna Beach and is on display in the California Gallery. Pyramidion and The Big One are on view through February 12.

February brings stories

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Visitors have until March 12 to see the “Five Summer Stories” exhibition

Five Summer Stories: The Exhibition, presented in partnership with MacGillivray Freeman Films and Coast Film Festival in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic surf documentary, includes a sneak peek of the film and historic imagery, clothing and items from the era of the film. The exhibition is on view through March 12.

 –Saturday, Feb. 4, 10 a.m.

Immersive Yoga Experience

Surrounded by the underwater seascape of The Sea Around Us by Rebeca Méndez, this is a one-of-a-kind immersive yoga class experience at 10 a.m. on February 4. Tickets are $20 for museum members and $30 for non-members. Admission is free for children under 12. Children must be accompanied by at least one paying adult. For tickets, click here.

 –Saturday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m.

Closing celebration of LAM’s 10th Annual Art & Nature Festival

For the closing celebration of the Laguna Art Museum’s 10th Annual Art & Nature Festival, join past Art & Nature featured artist alumni and Curatorial Fellow Rochelle Steiner, as they discuss the previous years’ installations and the importance of Art & Nature. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be available during this final opportunity to see the exhibitions in their entirety. The celebration will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for museum members, $30 for non-members. For tickets, click here.

February brings Masek

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Live! at the Museum on February 9, Douglas Masek

Thursday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Live! at the Museum, Douglas Masek and Bryan Pezzone

Join this duo consisting of a saxophone and keyboard as they perform in the museum. Please arrive early and enjoy the museum’s exhibitions and social time. Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Live! concerts are partially funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Advance tickets recommended. Laguna Art Museum members and Laguna Beach Live! members: Free, Non-members: $14 per person. For tickets, click here.

February brings Anna Hills

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Anna Hills, “After the Storm, Hemet, California,” 1922, Gift of the estate of Anna A. Hills, Laguna Art Museum

Sunday, Feb. 5, 10 a.m.

Jean Stern Presents: The Life & Art of Anna Hills

In this illustrated lecture, Stern will discuss the Life and Art of Anna Hills (1882-1930), one of California’s most important artists. Born in Ohio, Hills studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and studied in Paris, London and Holland before returning to the United States. She came to Laguna Beach in 1913 and lived there for the rest of her life. She was a founding member of the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918 and served as president twice, from 1922-1925 and again from 1927-1930. Under her leadership, the Association raised the funds to purchase the land and construct the building that housed the Laguna Beach Art Association and is now the Laguna Art Museum.

 The lecture consists of about 100 slides and lasts approximately 45 minutes with time for questions and answers afterwards. Advance tickets are recommended.

Museum members: $7, Non-members: $14. For tickets, click here.

February brings mixed media

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Collage Workshop 

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m.

Jo Situ Allen leads Mixed Media Collage Workshop

Inspired by Robert Young’s painting, The Big One, local artist Jo Situ Allen (aka Dirty Eraser) will lead a mixed media collage workshop using found images, objects and reproductions of marine life from The Accidental Naturalist, her book on native California species. She will share some insights about the wonderful species found just off the beaches of Laguna. Energized by the intuitive flow of the ocean, students will create their own magical underwater landscape through colors, forms and textures. The Oceanic Flow workshop will begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase through the Laguna Art Museum website and the cost is $20 for museum members and $30 for non-members. Children under 12 can attend the workshop for free, but must be accompanied by at least one paying adult. Supplies for the workshop are included with the ticket.

For tickets, click here

February brings bookcover

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Storytime Saturday 

Saturday, Feb. 25, 11 a.m.

Storytime Saturday, The Day You Begin

Bring literature to life during a participatory story time that will have you making and moving! You’ll craft a storytelling experience inspired by a museum artwork or exhibition to foster children’s understanding of art’s role in their lives. Read-alouds will be supplemented with mindfulness exercises, art-making projects, or in-gallery activities that promote meaningful connections with caregivers and others. Sessions are designed for PreK-2 learners and their families.

A special Storytime celebrating Black History Month featuring The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson with an activity that encourages participants to see the beauty in what makes us unique. All children receive free admission. Tickets are required for accompanying adults only. Museum members: $7, Non-members: $14. For tickets, click here.

February brings black beach culture

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Black Beach Culture   

Sunday, Feb. 26, 1 p.m.

Black Beach Culture

Join historian, Alison Rose Jefferson, where she will share stories about how African Americans from the 1900s-1960s created recreational and relaxation spaces at Southern California beaches and other places. In the process sometimes, they were able to form community and created business projects at these sites. These stories are drawn from her recent book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era and other work. She will also share how some of these stories are being used in contemporary public history remembrance and public policy actions. 

As leisure was gaining centrality as part of the American Dream, Black Californians were working to make it an open, inclusive reality for all. African Americans fought for dignity, equal access and the full range of human experiences and fulfillment in exploration of California’s offerings as they contributed to the state’s development and the broader freedom rights struggle in the United States. Advance tickets recommended. Museum members: $7, Non-members: $14. For tickets, click here.

For more information about the 10th Annual Art & Nature Festival and Laguna Art Museum exhibitions and programming, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

 Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

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More fun events and workshops added to LOCA’s February calendar

LOCA just added two new events to this month’s calendar – “An Evening with Nelson Coates” on February 22 and “Illustrate Create for Kids” on February 27 (a five-part series).

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Contemporary Landscapes with Cydette Vikander, Feb. 7 and 8 

Laguna Beach Community Center, 380 Third St., Laguna Beach.

Two Day Workshop: Tuesday and Wednesday, February 7 and 8 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Working from photo references, students will learn what makes a strong composition and how to arrange it on their canvas. Participants will be using water mixable oil colors. Participants may bring their own supplies if they choose. Members: $50. To register, click here.

more fun Vikander

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Vikander’s work 

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Contemporary Landscapes with Cydette Vikander 

Laguna Beach Community Center, 380 Third St., Laguna Beach.

Two Day Workshop: Tuesday and Wednesday, February 7 and 8 from 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Working from photo references, students will learn what makes a strong composition and how to arrange it on their canvas. Participants will be using water mixable oil colors. Participants may bring their own supplies if they choose. Members: $50, Non-members $100. 

more fun valentines

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Open Studio with Joy Vansell – make Valentine’s Day cards

Thursday, Feb. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

Art Talk, Open Studio, Joy Vansell 

LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

Love is in the air at the Art Talks “open studio” event where everyone gets to create a valentine card to take home. Visitors may select from an amazing array of specialty decorative papers provided by Joy Vansell, who will be on hand to show how to arrange the cuttings and affix them to a card using a glue stick. Plastic templates will be available to create fitted envelope liners. The casual, “open studio” format allows everyone to work at their own pace, and come and go as desired. Members are free, non-members $20. Advance registration is required, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

more fun Coates

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Nelson Coates, multi-award-winning production designer 

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 5:30-7p.m.

“An Evening with Nelson Coates”

Laguna Beach Community Center, 380 Third St., Great Room, Laguna Beach.

Everyone who likes TV and movies will love this “must see” presentation by multi-award-winning Production Designer Nelson Coates. He will share stories of creating visual concepts including sets, props and costumes for hit feature films including Crazy Rich Asians, Hocus Pocus 2 and In the Heights, and for television including The Morning Show and Home Before Dark. Advance registration is required, so to register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visitors are $20, Free to LOCA members. 

more fun Boller

Carole Boller 

Saturday, Feb. 25, 9-11 a.m.

LPAPA and LOCA - Carole Boller: Laguna Plein Air Paint Together 

Heisler Park, 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. 

Register to join LPAPA Artist Member Carole Boller for this fun and informative LPAPA+LOCA in-person Mentor Paint Together session on “Boller’s Bloomers: The Value of Plein Air Painting.” In this mentor session, Boller will demonstrate her oil painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a lovely garden scene at Heisler Park in Laguna Beach. LPAPA and LOCA members $25, non-members $50. To register, click here. Advance registration is required, so to register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

more fun owl

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Participants will draw a Great Horned Owl on February 27 

Monday, Feb. 27, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Illustrate Create for Kids

Laguna Beach Public Library, 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach.

LOCA has partnered with Crystal Cove State Park in this five-week series of afterschool workshops for kids, ages 7-11. Students will learn about sea and animal life as taught by an educator from the State Park, then enjoy an art lesson with Elizabeth McGhee. Subjects include Great Horned Owl on February 27 (pictured), March 6 is Octopus, 13th is Opossums, 20th is Sea Star and 27th is Sharks. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and no registration is required. Free. For a map, click here. For questions, call the library at 949.497.1733.

LOCA Art Talks are for anyone and everyone who loves the visual arts. Their events, offered monthly in Laguna Beach and surrounding areas, are educational and informative, yet casual and fun. Attendees get to meet fascinating artists and industry leaders, and learn about their work and careers. 

For more information about LOCA, go to www.locaarts.org.

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February happenings at The Artists Fund at FOA

Here are two events you won’t want to miss presented by The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts (FOA).

Taking place now and continuing through February 25, Lani Emanuel, a portrait and figurative artist based in Laguna Beach, is having her solo exhibition, Beside Herself on view at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

February happenings Emanuel

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Photos courtesy of The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts

Artist Lani Emanuel in her Laguna Beach studio

The collection, attracting many visitors, features adolescent and teen female figures on large canvases in Emanuel’s signature muted palettes. “The teen years can be the most formative in a woman’s life. My paintings explore the subtleties of this transitional time,” Emanuel said. Her additional upcoming activities include teaching painting for the Saddleback College Emeritus Program, leading a LOCA Art Talks open critiques workshop in May and exhibiting at Festival of Arts in summer 2023. To read more about her exhibition, go here.

February happenings Haron

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Judith Haron offers customized workshop on creating travel journals

Artist Judith Haron is offering customized classes on creating travel journals in watercolor for adults ages 18 and up. Subjects may include architecture, flowers, landscapes and natural scenes, and projects may be in the illuminated letters or illuminated manuscript styles. “We can include calligraphy and metallic gold paint to add some panache!,” Haron said.

Lessons are customized to fit individual needs and goals. Students may choose to book a series of three or more lessons to help build progression of skills. Workshops are two hours. Cost is $100 per individual single and $80 per individual in groups of two to four. Supplies are extra. 

To contact the Judith Haron Studio in Laguna Beach, call 949.306.8090.

For more information about The Artists Fund, visit https://theartistsfund-foa.org.

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New art exhibition at City Hall

Continuing through March 10, there is a new artwork display at City Hall, titled 2023andMe.

New art visitors

Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

“Visitors,” 24” x 30” oil on canvas, 2022 by Kevin Yuan

According to the city’s newsletter, “This group exhibition kicks off the 23rd year of this century with recent artwork by Master of Fine Arts students from Laguna College of Art + Design. The new year is a time to reflect on how we got here and make choices on where we are headed. Like the 23 pairs of chromosomes referenced in the title, our future is shaped, but jot determined, tby the past. The arts are a constantly evolving cultural inheritance.”

The artwork is displayed in the first floor hallway gallery and is open to the public during city business hours.

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Laguna Beach FOA Foundation now accepting 2023 grant applications

The FOA Foundation has announced applications are now available for 2023 Art Grants. Nonprofit organizations with programs promoting fine arts in and about the City of Laguna Beach may apply. Grant applications are available online by clicking here, and the submission deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 28.

“The FOA Foundation is looking forward to receiving applications from the many talented organizations here in Laguna Beach,” said Kathy Jones, FOA Foundation president. “We look forward to helping fund programs that provide enrichment to our community.”

The Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation (now named the FOA Foundation) was established in 1989 to preserve and promote the fine arts and all other artistic endeavors in and about the City of Laguna Beach, Calif. 

laguna beach kids

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Courtesy of FOA Foundation

FOA Foundation annually distributes grants to local nonprofit art organizations

The FOA Foundation is comprised of a board of trustees who oversees and administers the program including Kathy Jones (president), John Campbell (vice president), Bob Earl (treasurer), Jacquie Moffett (secretary), Jeff Redeker (board member), Jeff Rovner (board member) and Kirsten Whalen (board member).

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 nonprofit art organizations.

For more information on the grant application process, contact Kathy Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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LCAD president to address residents and environmental group on February 6

On Monday, Feb. 6, Steve Brittan, president and CEO of Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD), will be the featured speaker at the upcoming Laguna Canyon Conservancy (LCC) meeting.

Brittan will be presenting an exciting program that will give the public insight into recent developments on the college’s campus, their innovative academic programs, and collaborations with industry and institutions.

LCAD president Steve Brittan

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Courtesy of LCC

Steve Brittan, president and CEO of Laguna College of Art + Design

Brittan has a prior extensive background in sustainable urbanization, including the creation of affordable housing in large urban cities, as well as his experience in the art and design in academia and the private sector. Neighbors of the college’s campus and students in high school considering a career in creative arts and design will want to attend this program.

LCAD students will direct guests to parking near the building and light refreshments will be served. 

The program, coordinated with the LCC environmental group, will start at 5 p.m. and is being held at LCAD’s studio arts building at 2825 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. The public is invited, but space is limited, so reservations are required. There is no admission fee. Please RSVP online at www.lagunacanyonconservancy.org/LCAD.

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Laguna Art-A-Fair invites local and global artists to compete for a change to exhibit at 2023 festival

The Laguna Art-A-Fair’s 57th Annual Call for Artists deadline is fast approaching on Monday, Feb. 6. The Call for Artists exhibitor application to compete for participation in the highly coveted festival is now completely online to make it more convenient. 

Prestigious Laguna Art A Fair exterior

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Courtesy of Laguna Art-A-Fair

Laguna Art-A-Fair will be open daily June 30-September 3

Laguna Art-A-Fair is a “juried” show, meaning that any artist hoping to exhibit must first submit samples of their work to be reviewed by a panel of judges. There are no residency requirements or limits to the number of mediums one can submit. The jury panel is comprised of nine jurors. An Olympic scoring system is used that eliminates the highest and lowest scores, then adds up the remaining scores for a total jury score. 

The festival is lauded for its high-quality fine art exhibits in multiple mediums. Laguna Art-A-Fair continues throughout the summer and hosts approximately 120 artists. Tourists, patrons and artists from California, the U.S. and indeed the world, flock to the beautiful festival grounds located at 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, just a few blocks from downtown Laguna Beach. Attendance varies from approximately 30,000-50,000 for the run of the show. 

You can find the online exhibitor application at www.art-a-fair.com/call-for-artists.

Laguna Art-A-Fair will be open daily June 30-September 3.

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

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