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Upcoming events at Laguna Art Museum

Check out these upcoming events at Laguna Art Museum (LAM). From topical discussions and participatory storytime to a book signing and figure drawing workshop, the line-up beckons.

Upcoming events Lit to Life Lizard

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“Lizard from the Park” by Mark Pett is the featured Lit to Life on June 25

–Saturday, June 25 from 10-11 a.m. – Lit to Life at LAM: Lizard from the Park

Bring literature to life during a participatory story time that will have you making and moving. On the fourth Saturday of each month, 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. Cost: Museum members, $7; Non-members, $14. All children receive free admission. Tickets are required for accompanying adults only. For tickets, go here.

Upcoming events figure drawing

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Peter Zokosky will lead a figure drawing workshop on June 26

–Sunday, June 26 at 10 a.m. – Artist Workshop: Figure Drawing

Taking inspiration from the exhibition Striking Figures: Francis De Erdely, join Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting at LCAD, for a figure drawing workshop. Learn the basics on how to draw the human form with a live model. Supplies included with purchase of ticket. Limited space available. Advance tickets recommended. Museum members: $20; Non-members: $30. More information can be found here.

Upcoming events realism

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Join the discussion on “Introduction to Realism” on July 10 

–Sunday, July 10 at 7 p.m. – Introduction to Realism: 1600 to the Present

Join Curatorial Fellow Jean Stern as he discusses Realism, from Dutch 17th century paintings to the present. Learn the differences between Traditional and Contemporary Realism with masterwork examples of the development of Realism throughout history. Advance tickets recommended. Museum members: $7; Non-members: $14. More information can be found here.

–Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. – Live! At the Museum: Duo Ondine

Join Duo Ondine as they perform on the harp and flute at the museum. Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live! Arrive early and enjoy the museum’s gallery and social time. More information can be found here.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. For more information, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


First one through the gate at Sawdust Art Festival preview night

First one art lover

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Photo by Scott Brashier

This enthusiastic art lover was the first to go through the gate on Tuesday, June 21 during Sawdust preview night. The 56th Annual Sawdust Art Festival officially opens today (opens Friday, June 24) to begin its summer run now through Sunday, Aug. 28. Guests will be invited to shop along sawdust-covered paths in a hand-built village of fine art and eclectic craftsmanship. All artists are Laguna Beach residents offering a variety of different art mediums for sale. For tickets and more info, go here.


Laguna Beach Sister Cities celebrates 15 years of Fête de la Musique

 By MARRIE STONE

Photos by Jeff Rovner

Some days feel quintessentially Laguna. They bring out the best in our town. They represent who we are and they highlight why we do what we do. The annual Fête de la Musique is one of those annual reminders – we live in a magical place.

Last Saturday (June 18), 33 musical acts took to our streets for a full afternoon celebrating the “Festival of Music.” The day included soloists, bands and ensembles. Crowds enjoyed jazz, opera, rock and bluegrass. Hawaiian meles played alongside acoustic rock, classic guitar and reggae. Thousands of folks strolled through our streets to hear a little taste of every genre. Ava August, a 2021 American Idol finalist, performed at the Presbyterian Church garden. Laguna Tenor Rick Weber belted out some well-known arias on Forest Avenue. Just down the street, jazz standard singer April Walsh, another former American Idol contestant from season 5, wowed the crowds with her flawless vocals. And that’s only a small sample of what the Fête offered that day.

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A crowd gathers to watch the Grey Hill Gospel String Band play country bluegrass near Tuvalu

“For me, this feels like an outside-the-box experience,” said lifelong local Mark Christy, one of the event’s major sponsors. “And Laguna is an outside-the-box place, so it’s a perfect fit. A little bit of quirkiness adds to the soul of our town. I walk around and see lots of faces I recognize soaking it in. I like the diversity of the music and I like the diversity of the town.”

Town traditions like this don’t happen by accident. The backstories behind Laguna’s Fête are nearly as wonderful as the event itself. I caught up with a few of the event organizers, as well as some of the musicians, to hear how this annual event came to our town and what it’s meant for our residents. 

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JJ & the Habibis Laguna Beach Belly Dancers performed on the main stage

The origins of a town tradition

The Fête de la Musique (also known as Music Day, Make Music Day or World Music Day) traditionally takes place annually on June 21. To ensure it happens on a weekend, Laguna recognizes the event on the third Saturday of June. Celebrated in more than 700 cities across 200 countries, townspeople are encouraged to play music in their neighborhoods or in public spaces and parks. Since its beginning, the idea of having “music everywhere and concerts nowhere” flourished around the world. 

The tradition originated in France in 1982. The Fête de la Musique got its start in Laguna 15 years ago when the founding members of the Laguna Beach Sister Cities visited Menton, France, to initiate their relationship. “During that trip, as luck would have it, the Fête del la Musique was taking place all over the streets in most of the towns in France,” said President Maggie Hempen. “The idea was born then and, from that moment on, the wonderful and talented Carol Reynolds [founding member of Laguna’s Fête and co-founder of the Laguna Community Concert Band] went about making it happen here in Laguna Beach.” 

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The Laguna Community JaZz Band opened the festivities on Saturday morning

Menton, located in the Côte d’Azur resort on the French Rivera, looks shockingly like Laguna Beach. With both beach and hilltop homes ringed by protective mountains, the cities share roughly the same population and same commitment to the arts. Both experience the same climate and both are tourist towns. They also suffer the same risks – fires and landslides. 

“Sister Cities are selected based on their similarities,” said Karyn Philippsen, founding president of Laguna’s Sister Cities chapter, noting that in addition to Menton, France, Laguna’s two other sister cities are San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico and St. Ives, England. “We look at their population. They have to be located on the ocean or sea. They must have a commitment to the arts or host art festivals. They need to have a college or some educational component that deals with the arts. And they must have a museum. All three of our sister cities have those same similarities and all are tourist destinations.”

Modeling itself after Menton, the first Fête was held in Laguna in 2007. There were fewer than 15 performers that first year and no budget, advertising or publicity. Nonetheless, just three years later, the event won the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance “Best New Arts Program.” 

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Elvis impersonator John Lin strikes a pose at Areo

Philippsen’s favorite memory from that first year happened at the Christian Science Church near the Pavilions in North Laguna. Reminiscent of a similar experience she’d had at the Basilica St. Michel in Menton, Philippsen said: “It was the hottest day of the year – record breaking heat – and the church had no air conditioning. But they played the loveliest church bell music, accompanied by an amazing organist. What a way to cap off that first year. It felt like we were back in Menton.”

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Guided by art: The Laguna Beach Poetry Trail offers visitors and locals alike a new way to explore our town

By MARRIE STONE

Regardless of how long you’ve lived in Laguna, the town always seems willing to show you something new. Even for those who know every nook and cranny, and all the city’s hidden secrets, there are nonetheless fresh ways to experience old gems. Last week, when local poet and writer Ellen Giradeau Kempler offered me a guided tour of Laguna’s Poetry Trail, I expected to discover some creative voices and original perspectives on our public art. But I never imagined how much I’d learn about the places I pass every day. 

After living in town for nearly 25 years, I’d never seen the koi pond, stocked with swimming turtles, tucked inside the Water District’s “Waterwise Garden.” While I’ve walked by Road Blossoms (a seating sculpture created by Kyungmi Shin and Todd Gray) countless times on my way into Whole Foods, I’d never paid attention to all those mosaic details. And though I’ve seen several photos of Raymond Persinger’s poetic stained-glass screen located in Brown’s Park (entitled Sight and Sound), I’d never visited in person. 

Beyond that, though I’ve seen much of our town’s art, I haven’t taken enough time to reflect on it. Nor have I experienced it through someone else’s imaginative point of view. That’s what the Poetry Trail offers – lots of art, some Laguna history, local poetry and a little exercise. It’s a reminder to slow down and take our town in and it gives us an opportunity to see old treasures anew.

“Laguna was founded as an art colony, and visual art has always had a strong presence here,” said Kempler. “But we have also become a cultural arts destination. It’s time we recognize the role creative writers have in contributing to a healthy and thriving arts community.”

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Local poet and writer Ellen Giradeau Kempler created the Poetry Trail after receiving a grant from the City of Laguna Beach. Kempler chose 10 poems written by community members in response to 10 pieces of public art. 

“Groups like Third Street Writers, Laguna Poets and the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance, the library’s annual poetry contest and the Cultural Arts Commission’s literary laureate program have encouraged adult writers,” Kempler said. “But we need more recognition of the ways all the arts can inspire each other. We also need to encourage young people to explore the written word with creative writing classes, workshops and projects like the Poetry Trail. I have long advocated a literary festival that would bring people together to celebrate books, reading and writing of all forms.”

In 2020, Kempler received a Fostering Creativity in a Time of Crisis Grant from the City of Laguna Beach. Funded by the city with a donation from the Wayne Peterson Trust through the Laguna Beach Community Foundation, the funds allowed Kempler to partner with the Friends of the Laguna Beach Library and produce a 26-page free booklet that guides visitors throughout Downtown Laguna to explore 10 different pieces of public art and their accompanying poems. The roughly 1.7-mile walk takes visitors through City Hall, down Ocean Avenue, over to Forest and eventually to Brown’s Park and Main Beach. The trail ends in North Laguna at the opening of Jahraus Park. 

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Local artist Jessica DeStefano was inspired by Ralph Tarzian’s bronze sculpture, “The Discussion,’ located at the corner of Ocean and Forest avenues in front of Anastasia Café

“When I found out about the Poetry Trail, I was very excited to walk it and let each art piece inspire prose,” said local artist Lisa Mansour. “I’ve always loved the concept of Art in Public Places. A few of the public art pieces were installed during my tenure as a Laguna Beach Arts Commissioner, so it was particularly fun visiting those stops.”

Between November 2020 and April 2021, after choosing 10 pieces of contemplative and thought-provoking art, Kempler solicited community members to contribute poetry that engaged with the pieces. In the literary world, the exercise is known as ekphrastic poetry – works written in response to art. Ekphrasis paints a picture with words. But, of course, those words are refracted through the creative lens of the writer and reflect their own experiences and vision of the art. Of the 127 submissions anonymously submitted, Kempler blindly chose 10 poems to represent each of the 10 public art pieces. The contributors represent a range of ages, backgrounds and life experiences.

The first stop on the poetry trail is Gerard Stripling and Michele Taylor’s collaborative sculpture Moving Forward. Installed in front of the Susi Q Community Center, the limestone bench protects an array of bronze shoes and one pair of glass ballet slippers enclosed in protective glass. 

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Joy Dittberner, executive director of the Laguna Dance Festival, wrote about her bygone ballet days in response to Stripling & Taylor’s 2009 installation, “Moving Forward”

“I’m not a poet, but I decided to submit something,” said Joy Dittberner, executive director of the Laguna Dance Festival and board member of the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance. “Since I’m involved in the Laguna Dance Festival, it was appropriate to write about the ballet shoes under the bench at the Susi Q. It was fun to try something new, stretch to find some creativity and be involved in the project. I cannot wait to walk the Poetry Trail with friends and share the artistic vibrancy of Laguna Beach.”

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A behind-the-scenes look as the Sawdust Art Festival readies to open

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

The Sawdust Art Festival opens this Friday, June 24 to begin its summer run in Laguna Beach now through Sunday, August 28, where guests will be invited to shop along sawdust-covered paths in a hand-built village of fine art and eclectic craftsmanship.

All artists are Laguna Beach residents offering a variety of different art mediums including ceramics, clothing & textiles, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, print making, sculpture and woodwork.

This week, the finishing touches to the village take place, in preparation for tonight’s invitation-only sneak preview.

Sawdust Art Festival sawdust

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What’s a Sawdust Art Festival without sawdust…lots of it!

Sawdust Art Festival preview

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A sneak peek of the new mural for this year’s Sawdust Art Festival

Sawdust Art Festival mural artist

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Artist Ryan Gourley is the man behind the new mural, “Where the Canyon Comes Alive”

Sawdust Art Festival prepping the grounds

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Finishing touches mean shoring up the booths and spreading all new sawdust throughout the grounds

Sawdust Art Festival final checks

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Final checks to make certain everything is ready for move-in

Sawdust Art Festival selfie mural

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And, when you arrive, make certain you get a photo at the selfie mural

The Sawdust Art Festival will be open daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For tickets, go to https://sawdustartfestival.org/shop/2022-summer-festival-tickets/.


“Art in Public Places” – Water Puppy by Terry Thornsley

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 Terry Thornsley, Water Puppy was installed at the Festival of Arts (FOA) in 1987. The bronze sculpture is 14x19x12 and was funded by a Festival of Arts purchase award. It was originally placed in front of FOA, but when the grounds were reconfigured in 2017, the sculpture was relocated to the concert area.

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“Water Puppy” in its current location 

Thornsley’s other public art installations in Laguna include, Laguna Locals at Crescent Bay Beach, Laguna Kelp Beds and Peacescape in South Laguna, Pacific Patinas in North Laguna and Grace at the Lifeguard Station at Main Beach.

Working in bronze, stone, marble and mixed media, Thornsley produced hundreds of paintings and sculptures, many of them sea creatures such as sea lions, dolphins, turtles and fish. 

Thornsley, who passed away in May 2015, was a prolific artist. Beginning at 14, with his first art show in Coronado, CA., he was immediately committed to a life of making art. The son of a Navy family, he traveled extensively throughout his youth, all the while, sketching and painting. 

art in close up water puppy

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“Water Puppy” gets a lot of attention from visitors to the FOA and is said to have a shiny spot on its head from being patted

In 1976, just out of high school, Thornsley trained in foundry work at Mt. San Jacinto College. In his 20s, he moved to Laguna Beach, where he worked in both painting and sculpture. His success is shown throughout the region with the many public artworks that solidify his legacy as a master. He was a longtime artist at the Festival of Arts and also exhibited at the Sawdust Festival.

Thornsley, a resident of Laguna for 31 years, lived and worked in the home/studio he built in Laguna Canyon. He shared the studio with artist Randy Bader who described Thornsley as meticulous in his design, to such an extent that he made his own bolts and was insistent that they weren’t visible in his works. In 2015, he was nominated for the Ninth Annual Art Star Award.

This is the 64th 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 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.


New artists, offerings at this year’s Sawdust Art Festival

The highly anticipated Sawdust Art Festival – a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public and promoting art created in Laguna Beach –returns for its 56th year. This year, guests will discover six new artists and 154 returning artists. A full spectrum of art classes will be offered free with admission and the iconic cafe, A la Carte, has been added to the concessions line up. 

New artists, offerings Ober

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Photos courtesy of Sawdust Art Festival

Patsee Ober in her Underwater Photography booth at the Sawdust

Open daily from Friday, June 24 through Sunday, August 28, the 66-day summer festival features the original artwork of Laguna Beach artists, three stages of live music and entertainment, complimentary art classes for all ages and special events all summer long. Voted Most Popular Festival/Family Attraction in the LA Times Best of Southland and OC Register’s Best of Orange County in 2021, Sawdust Art Festival draws 200,000 visitors annually to shop unique artwork along sawdust-covered paths in the festival’s renowned outdoor venue featuring an eclectic, handcrafted artist village that is located in the heart of a historic eucalyptus grove.

New artists, offerings artworks

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Stroll the sawdust-covered paths to peruse the variety of artworks

“I can never tell who is more excited to be at the Sawdust, our guests or our artists. We’ve put together a magical show this year and I’m so proud to be hosting the opening ceremony this year as president of the board of directors,” said Rachel Goberman.

New artists, offerings mural

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Ryan Gourley’s recent Sawdust mural titled “Where the Canyon Comes Alive”

Long-time Sawdust artist, Ryan Gourley, who recently completed the latest Sawdust mural titled Where the Canyon Comes Alive, is inspired by his five decades as an exhibitor. “I love to see the Sawdust come alive every year through booth building and fresh sawdust and the fascinating displays artists create,” Gourley said enthusiastically. “Soon the air will fill with the smell of popcorn and the sound of live music.”

Booth mates and first-time exhibitors Tyra Vassallo and Ed Chang also share in the excitement of showcasing their work at the Sawdust Art Festival. “I’ve often admired the creations and community that the artists have cultivated,” said Chang. “I’m excited to finally be a part of it. These are my people,” added Vassallo. “The encouragement of current exhibitors has really helped push me to take part of this gem within the community, where new artists feel welcome,” Vassallo said.

New artists, offerings glass

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Colorful glassworks capture the eye in this Sawdust booth

Also making their debut this summer are 28 up and coming young artists from Laguna Beach High School, who will have their own gallery displayed on the grounds as High School Hall. 

Notable events will include “Sip, Talk and Walk,” an insider’s tour with artist introductions and a complimentary wine tasting every Wednesday at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; “Bizarre Bazaar,” a fashion show on Sunday, Aug. 7 and the Artists’ Benevolence Fund Art Auction on Sunday, Aug. 14, which features the original work of Sawdust artists in both silent and live auctions.

New artists, offerings crafts

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Sawdust provides the opportunity to watch artists at their crafts and inquire about their creative process

Sawdust Art Festival is open daily through Sunday, August 28. Hours of operation are 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday. For more information on exhibiting artists, special events, entertainment and art class schedules, visit www.SawdustArtFestival.org. Presale tickets may be purchased in advance online, or in person at the Box Office during festival hours: $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+) and $5 for children (6-12). Children 5 and under are free. 

Sawdust Art Festival is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.


Upcoming events at Laguna Art Museum

Check out these upcoming events at Laguna Art Museum (LAM). From topical discussions and participatory storytime to a book signing and figure drawing workshop, the line-up beckons.

Upcoming events Lit to Life Lizard

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“Lizard from the Park” by Mark Pett is the featured Lit to Life on June 25

–Saturday, June 25 from 10-11 a.m. – Lit to Life at LAM: Lizard from the Park

Bring literature to life during a participatory story time that will have you making and moving. On the fourth Saturday of each month, 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. Cost: Museum members, $7; Non-members, $14. All children receive free admission. Tickets are required for accompanying adults only. For tickets, go here.

Upcoming events T. Jefferson Parker

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T. Jefferson Parker will discuss his book “A Thousand Steps” and hold a book signing on June 25

–Saturday, June 25 from 6-8 p.m. – Hippie Mystery: A Night with author T. Jefferson Parker

Laguna Beach in the 1960s is the setting for New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker’s latest novel A Thousand Steps. Join Parker as he discusses his new book, his time in Laguna Beach and a brief reading of the novel. Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to get your very own copy of A Thousand Steps signed by Parker at a book signing.

Parker was born in Los Angeles and has been a life-long resident of Southern California. He grew up in Orange County and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Irvine in 1976. He has written numerous novels and short stories and is the winner of three Edgar Awards (Silent Joe, California Girl and the short story “Skinhead Central”), as well as the recipient of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best mystery (Silent Joe). Before becoming a full-time novelist, he was an award-winning reporter.

A Thousand Steps is a beguiling thriller, an incisive coming-of-age story, and a vivid portrait of a turbulent time and place. Matt is 16, broke and never sure where his next meal is coming from. His mom’s a stoner, his deadbeat dad is a no-show, his brother’s fighting in Nam…and his big sister Jazz has just gone missing. The cops figure she’s just another runaway hippie chick, enjoying a summer of love, but Matt doesn’t believe it. Not after another missing girl turns up dead on the beach. Advance tickets recommended. Cost: Museum members, $7; Non-members, $14. For tickets, go here.

Upcoming events figure drawing

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Peter Zokosky will lead a figure drawing workshop on June 26

–Sunday, June 26 at 10 a.m. – Artist Workshop: Figure Drawing

Taking inspiration from the exhibition Striking Figures: Francis De Erdely, join Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting at LCAD, for a figure drawing workshop. Learn the basics on how to draw the human form with a live model. Supplies included with purchase of ticket. Limited space available. Advance tickets recommended. Museum members: $20; Non-members: $30. More information can be found here.

Upcoming events realism

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Join the discussion on “Introduction to Realism” on July 10 

–Sunday, July 10 at 7 p.m. – Introduction to Realism: 1600 to the Present

Join Curatorial Fellow Jean Stern as he discusses Realism, from Dutch 17th century paintings to the present. Learn the differences between Traditional and Contemporary Realism with masterwork examples of the development of Realism throughout history. Advance tickets recommended. Museum members: $7; Non-members: $14. More information can be found here.

–Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. – Live! At the Museum: Duo Ondine

Join Duo Ondine as they perform on the harp and flute at the museum. Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live! Arrive early and enjoy the museum’s gallery and social time. More information can be found here.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. For more information, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Join the Great Plein Air Art Experience

Celebrate more than 100 years of plein air art at Crystal Cove State Park. Come spend a relaxing day capturing the beauty of Crystal Cove on canvas with the guidance of a Crystal Cove plein air artist.

Join the Great Plein artists

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Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

Plein air painting at Crystal Cove

Classes are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 5 through August 30 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and are likely to sell out. Register now.

Sessions are held in Cottage #13 (The Beaches Cottage) in Crystal Cove State Park’s Historic District.

The cost is $100 per workshop; $85 for Conservancy Members.

All supplies are provided. Class size is limited to 12 people, ages 18 and up only. www.crystalcove.org.


15th Annual Fête de Musique tomorrow will fill streets with returning favorites, new additions – all to the crowds’ enjoyment

Join the 2022 Laguna Beach Fête de la Musique on Saturday, June 18, where the streets of Laguna Beach will be filled with joyful music and memorable performances. Presented by the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, this year’s event celebrates the Fête de la Musique’s 15th annual anniversary, and of course, the start to a beautiful summer. The Fête de la Musique is an international event, taking place in approximately 1,000 cities around the world.

Similar to previous years, the festivities begin on the Main Beach Cobblestones. Starting at 11 a.m., the Laguna Community JaZz Band, with 15 musicians and vocalists Lisa Morrice and Ginger Hatfield, will be performing right up to the opening ceremony. Opening Ceremony festivities include short speeches by local dignitaries, the singing of both the U.S. and French National Anthems and the Official Welcome by Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf.

Immediately following at 1:20 p.m., the attention will shift to the spacious elevated stage at the cobblestones, thanks to the generosity of Platinum Sponsors – The Ranch, Hobie Sports and Tuvalu. From 1:20-3 p.m., one of the locals’ favorite bands, Pilot Touhill, will kick it off with their reggae-infused rock. Then, continuing the fun from 3-3:20 p.m., JJ and the Habibis, the Laguna Beach belly dance troupe, will be putting on a lively and vibrant show. Filling the final hours with their rock covers from the ‘80s, the CoverUps, a six-piece band, will be performing from 3:20-5 p.m.

15th Annual Fete Bluegrass Band

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Photo by Steve Orlick

Bluegrass Band performed at Tuvalu Corner at a previous Fête

Simultaneously, between 1:30-4 p.m., performers will be spread across 32 different locations throughout downtown. There will be 14 performance venues along Forest Avenue, 11 along Pacific Coast Highway and another seven along Ocean Avenue. 

At the lower end of Forest Avenue, Laguna Tenor Rick Weber will once again enthrall audiences with his opera songs. At the opposite end of the Promenade on Forest, long-time Fête performers Lenelle Hamil and April Walsh will be respectively performing at Moulin Bistro and 2bella. The musical bliss doesn’t end there. Just across the street, Tuvalu Corner will once again be occupied by the Grey Hill Gospel String Band, with six members, each playing an instrument, and several members singing, with no amplification. 

Continuing up Forest Avenue, across from Hobie, Jaszy Lady will be singing Jazz and R&B standards in the Landmark Plaza. Slightly further up Forest Avenue, in the Peppertree parking lot connecting Forest and Ocean avenues, the gears shift to specialized Argentinian folk music performed by Los de Alla, a six-member band. 

In previous events, the delightful Rose Garden of the Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church has been solely used to showcase local students. However, this year, the beautiful garden will also serve as the venue for a very special event, a concert by American Idol Top 12 contestant Ava August, from 2:30-4 p.m. 

15th Annual Fete folk music

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

This Argentinian Folk Music Band will once again perform at the Peppertree parking lot 

At the steps of the Forest Avenue mall, across the street from the Presbyterian Church, Christi Hardy and The Pancakes will be performing fan favorites. Singer/songwriter Eric Alcouloumre will be performing in front of Miche Art Jewelry. And in Lumberyard Plaza, brother/sister duo Sandro and Tamara Eristavi will be performing international songs in several different languages. 

At the end of Forest Avenue, will be the six-member South Laguna Garden Band, located in the Laguna Beach County Water District’s Waterwise Garden.

“We are so proud of our collaborations with our local partners, the city and the county. And we are especially grateful for the volunteers and Fête committee for their devotion and passion to continue to bring joy to the streets of Laguna,” said Karyn Philippsen, founding president of the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association. “We look forward to celebrating our 16th anniversary honoring our relationship with our first sister city, Menton, France. See you next year at the Fête de la Musique on June 17, 2023.” 

Finally, the Fête de la Musique is back, and it is time to fill the streets of Laguna Beach with music, fanfare and lots of smiles.

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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