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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 47  |  June 11, 2021

Poets join artists in Connecting through Color show

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts has extended its Connecting Through Color show through late September online and at Laguna Beach City Hall. Originals by 40 Festival artists are exhibited in 10 color groupings, along with color-themed poems submitted by the public.

Poems were curated by Lojo Simon, Laguna Beach Literary Laureate Emeritus. Fifty-seven poems were received, and 10 were selected. “It was quite a challenge to pick finalists, the quality of submissions was quite high,” Simon said. The curators’ prize went to Janis Settle Murray for her piece titled “Laguna”. 

Murray, a published book author and former CNN correspondent was thrilled with the accolade. “My heart is so touched; I can hardly breathe. As a poet, it is important to me,” she said. Her work was inspired by her view from the Top of the World neighborhood.

Other poems were selected by artists mostly known for their visual art. These include painter Karen Petty, a longtime Sawdust Festival exhibitor, whose untitled poem was selected for the red category. 

Poets join artists Lynne

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Submitted photo

Lynne Welker, “Glass Beach”

Festival of Arts exhibitors whose poems are featured include Richard Kendrick Ferncase, who received an honorable mention for his yellow-themed submission, and Tom Swimm and Patrick James Whelan, who have both poetry and paintings in the show. Additional poems are by Lisa Hughes Anderson, Jan Friend, Jennifer Irani, Ellen Girardeau Kempler, Logan Leeds, and Grace Wilson.

Visual artist awards were juried by Maria Hall-Brown, Executive Producer of arts and culture programming at PBS SoCal. Top prize, best in theme, went to Susan Hoehn for her painting Afternoon at the Met in the red color group. Elaine Twiss won first place for her still life painting of a mason jar filled with crayons. Second place went to Bruce Burr for his surrealist painting in the blue category, featuring ravens and the title creatively painted into the frame. Third place went to Casey Parlette for his dramatic Hercules Beetle bronze and wood wall sculpture in the brown category.

Poets join artists Swimm

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Submitted photo

Tom Swimm, “Golden Light Reflections”

Hall-Brown was challenged with narrowing the choices to four winners. “I am in awe of artists and the miracles they create, so deciding on just four caused me pause time and again,” she said. As a result, she added two honorable mentions. These included Migration, a vignette of flying birds, in the black and white group, by printmaker Noriho Uriu, and Nephi Window by photographer Mitch Ridder. 

The exhibit is supported by a grant from the Laguna Beach Community Foundation. Proceed from sales support The Artists Fund for artists in need. To receive announcements, poems, and links to a video slideshow email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find links to poetry and the Connecting Through Color online gallery at

 Laguna Beach City Hall is at 505 Forest Ave. In-person visits are limited to business activity only until further notice.


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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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