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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 64  |  August 11, 2020

Laguna Art Museum to host virtual Gala 2020 Benefit Bash on September 26

On Saturday, September 26, Laguna Art Museum will host the virtual Gala 2020 Benefit Bash. The highlight of Orange County’s gala calendar supports LAM’s exhibitions and far-reaching art education programs. For 2020, the event is re-imagined as an online extravaganza of art and music.

LAM executive director Malcolm Warner and Laguna Beach Arts Alliance’s 2019 Artist of the Year Jason Feddy will emcee the virtual event. The Benefit portion of the evening for sponsors, benefactors, and patrons will feature a tribute to honorees Greg and Barbara MacGillivray; guest appearances by art stars of Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, and beyond; and a sneak preview of the museum’s 2020 Art & Nature commission of a large-scale outdoor installation.

Following the Benefit, the online Bash invites the museum’s community – in Laguna Beach and around the world – to a publicly available program featuring Jason Feddy and his Joe Cocker tribute band, Mad Dogs & The Englishman; demonstrations by caricature artists; a visit to the museum’s vault to see new acquisitions; a virtual membership table and paddle raise room; and opportunity prize drawings for a weekend getaway courtesy of Aston Martin and The Ranch at Laguna Beach, as well as an original artwork by one of California’s most distinguished living artists, Wayne Thiebaud, kindly donated by the artist himself.

Laguna Art toy counter

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Courtesy of SFM

Event sponsors, benefactors, patrons, and donors to the virtual “Make a Difference paddle raise” will be entered to win “The Toy Counter” (1970) by Wayne Theibaud 

The Gala 2020 Benefit Bash will be the first event of its kind in Laguna Beach – a virtual event that embraces the possibilities of an online art experience and welcomes audiences from around the world. The event will offer a festive community experience to celebrate the premier museum of California art, 100 years strong and building, with proceeds benefiting the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

Greg and Barbara MacGillivray are the Honorary Chairs for Gala 2020. Greg has been producing and directing award-winning films for more than 40 years. Today, he has more than 50 films to his credit, including over 35 IMAX productions. Greg has produced some of the most enduring films in the giant-screen genre; he has shot more 70mm film than anyone in cinema history and is the first documentary filmmaker to reach the $1 billion benchmark in worldwide ticket sales. 

Greg has received two Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject: first in 1995 for The Living Sea, and second in 2000 for Dolphins. In 2002, the Giant Screen Theater Association honored Greg as one of the five most important contributors to the success of the industry. That same year, Greg accepted the Bradford Washburn Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Museum of Science in Boston, for his contribution to science education. 

Laguna Art MacGillivrays

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Courtesy of

Greg and Barbara MacGillivray will serve as Honorary Chairs

A passionate ocean conservationist, Greg and his wife Barbara founded the One World One Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit public charity dedicated to educating and inspiring the public through giant-screen films and companion programming about the need to take action to protect the world’s ocean. Greg also serves on the Board of Directors for The Great Park in Orange County and Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue, as well as the Laguna Playhouse and Laguna Art Museum. 

Barbara and Greg met in the 9th grade – she sold tickets for his first surfing film – and making films has always been a part of their relationship. Over the years she has worked multiple capacities with production and post-production of the films, bringing their two children, Meghan and Shaun, along with them whenever possible on film shoots. Barbara has also worked for 30 years in Children/Youth Services for the Orange County Health Care Agency as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. The best part of her job is being with her family, doing what she loves: making films with messages about conservation and education.

Laguna Art Feddy

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Courtesy of

Jason Feddy and Mad Dogs & The Englishman

Jason Feddy will co-host the evening and his band, Mad Dogs & The Englishman, will provide a top-notch soundtrack. Feddy is Laguna Beach Arts Alliance’s 2019 Artist of the Year and a central figure in the music scene of Laguna Beach. He was the daily morning DJ on Laguna’s local radio station and he has produced the city’s popular Sunset Serenades, World Music, and Music in the Park concerts series. His all-star band, Mad Dogs & The Englishman, pays tribute to the legendary Joe Cocker. Fronted by Feddy, the Mad Dogs are an incredible gathering of touring and recording musicians whose performances have audiences on their feet. 

For donations made during the online Bash, supporters will be automatically entered into a prize drawing for a weekend getaway package that includes a complimentary vehicle from Aston Martin Newport Coast, as well as a two-night stay and dinner for two at Harvest Restaurant at The Ranch at Laguna Beach (estimated value: $4,500). 

Event sponsors, benefactors, patrons, and donors to the virtual “Make a Difference paddle raise” will be entered to win Toy Counter (1970) by Wayne Thiebaud. This classic eight-color serigraph by California’s most beloved artist is a framed, signed artist’s proof kindly donated by Mr. Thiebaud himself (estimated value: $17,000).

The Gala 2020 committee is led by co-chairs Carla Meberg and Kristin Samuelian; and committee members Kathleen Abel, Wendy Aird, Nikki Bostwick, Susan Davis, Jason Feddy, Michelle Fisher, Chuck Fry, Kate Mathis, Chris Quilter, and Deborah Schlesinger.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Cliff Drive.

The museum is temporarily closed.

For more information, visit


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

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