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Laguna Live! presents Black Market Reverie on April 10

Tuesdays through May, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

The Line-Up – Jazz Winter 2024

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

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Black Market Reverie – April 10

Wednesday, April 10, 6-8 p.m.

Black Market Reverie with their “speak easy” jazz, a mix of jazz, classic French pop and Americana.

Lyman Medeiros has toured the world playing bass with legendary artists including Michael Buble, Dianne Schuur and Steve Tyrell. A musical chameleon, you’ll find Renee Myara playing many instruments, along with writing and singing in multiple languages.

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

Wednesday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.

Raffia Thomas

Renowned Soul, Jazz and R&B vocalist, Raffia Thomas brings stunning vocals and soulful vibes along with her quintet.

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Raffia Thomas – April 27

Stage on Forest Felisha Dunne

Friday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Brian Roark

Saturday, April 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Jodi Siegel

Sunday, April 7, 5-7 p.m.

May 8: Grammy award winner Bijon Watson’s Latin Jazz Syndicate, featuring sizzling Cuban vocalist, Adonis Puentes.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!).

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Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Cyanotype Indigo Printing – April 12

Friday, April 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Cyanotype Indigo Printing

Learn this fascinating and oldest form of photography. Cyanotype photography is a camera-less method that involves laying items such as leaves, flowers or other objects onto paper that has been pre-treated with a sensitizer before exposing it to UV light. Once you’ve mastered the basics, we will move on to combining this method with other materials (sea salt, turmeric, mixed medium) to add shimmering, gold effects to your work. This is a simple yet stunning way to create beautiful white and indigo blue images that will look fabulous on any wall. Your final piece will be framed on a mat board.

Cost: $50 per person which is fully inclusive of all materials used including mixed media items and a mat board.

Pottery Wheel Experience – April 13, 20 and 27

Saturday, April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 1 p.m.

Pottery Wheel Experience

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit at a potter’s wheel and actually throw a pot?

Robert Jones will take you through the process step-by-step, allowing you to gain confidence so that, with his help, you will make your own pottery pieces on the wheel. Each student will make two pieces that he will then fire and glaze in his own studio so that you will end up with a beautifully glazed mug or bowl which you can truly call your own. Please note, the firing and glazing time will take approximately three to four weeks before it is ready to collect. If you wish your items to be mailed, there will be an additional cost to cover postage and packing.

Absolutely no experience is necessary to take this class, however closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing are recommended. All materials are included in the cost.

Cost: $105.

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Spring Camp – April 10, 11 and 12

April 8, 10,11 and 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Spring Break Art Camp

Each of the four classes will explore a different technique and medium of art while incorporating the basics and adding in creativity.

Day 2: Wednesday

Watercolor 101

Day 3: Thursday

Painting 101

Day 4: Friday

Cyanotype Printing

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Watercolor 101 – April 10

Wednesday, April 10, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Watercolor 101: Mountain Views

Learn the basics of watercolor painting in a fun way! Splash color onto paper and see how the paint runs to create beautiful designs without you even trying. In this explorative class you will learn about different techniques including wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, color bleeding, layering and the importance of light and shade in watercolor painting. You will also look at different materials including watercolor pencils, acrylic markers and the importance of good quality watercolor paper. You will explore the same scene several times using different colors and materials, changing the mood of the painting each time. At the end, you will choose your favorite design which will be framed in a mat board ready for hanging. A fun and informative class that is suitable for everyone.

Cost: $50 per person which is fully inclusive of all materials used including watercolor paints, brushes, pencils, acrylic markers, quality paper and a mat board.

Intro to Mosaic Art – April 13, 27

Saturday, April 13 and 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Intro to Mosaic Art

A two-day workshop over two weekends.

The ancient art of mosaics is one of the most beautiful and oldest in the history of mankind. Working closely with Ron Shearer, you will create a mosaic that you will be proud to display. It will open a whole new world of creativity that you can easily continue on your own. Step-by-step, he will take you through the process of design, materials, cutting techniques and then carefully guide you through the application, initially using glue for positioning. You’ll have a little bit of fun “homework” to do between classes. When you return to the second workshop, you can really home in on the fine details and finishing your artwork. A wonderful, informative and creative workshop and one that they have had many requests for. This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners or those who want to fine-tune their skills. All materials are provided including supplies from WitsEnd Mosaics.

Cost: $350 per student which is fully inclusive of six hours of intensive instruction over two weekends, and all materials including a pair of nippers that you can keep, mosaic glass tiles, design and backing board. Maximum 10 students per class – if you are a larger group, please contact them directly at learnart@sawdustartfestival.org.

Workshop Option #1:

Day 1 of 2: Saturday, April 13, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Day 2 of 2: Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Women’s Retreat Workshop – April 20 and May 18

–Saturday, April 20, 1-5 p.m.

–Saturday, May 18, 1-5 p.m.

Women’s Retreat Workshop – Michelle Burt

For a while now, Michelle Burt has been wanting to create a safe space for women to come together, reduce stress and create together. She has a process where participants can transform the stress of their lives into something beautiful.

Join in the adventure of creating abstract art by sheer intuition. Like dancing, you’ll find your own rhythm utilizing different textures, materials, colorful mediums and tools. You will explore oil pastels, acrylic paint, specialty papers, graphite, charcoal and inks. There are so many different items to choose from.

Women will share a lovely afternoon exploring and creating an abstract piece of art that will inspire them every day.

Note: This workshop is held off-site, but within Laguna Beach. Exact location address details will be provided upon registration.

Cost: $298.

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LBCAC adds new events to spring calendar

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Photos courtesy of LBCAC

Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors and Texas Blues Legend Anson Funderburgh – April 5

Friday, April 5, 8 p.m.

Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors and Texas Blues Legend Anson Funderburgh, The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) has stepped up to preserve one of America’s most powerful and influential art forms, by providing a memorable OC haven for national touring blues legends.

The LBCAC offers its intimate listening room, stellar acoustics, state-of-the-art sound system and a host town recognized as one of the nation’s leading arts-centric resort destinations.

Mark Hummel, a Grammy nominee, blues award winner, author and harp man has had another banner year. Grammy nominated for his Remembering Little Walter CD he produced and performed on, Hummel also won Best Blues CD and Best Traditional Blues CD at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tenn. Hummel’s “The Hustle Is Really On” climbed to #2 and stayed in the top five for four months on the Living Blues Radio Charts. Hummel’s book Big Road Blues: 12 Bars on I-80 garnered rave reviews and was nominated for best Independent Book release.

Anson Funderburgh has been an unstoppable force on the national blues circuit since his debut album with his Rockets, in 1981. Along the way, he listened to the greats of the genre, absorbing all he could. His biggest influences stylistically were Freddie King and B.B. King, but Funderburgh also embraced the West Side sounds of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Magic Sam. “I like all the guys that played behind the harmonicas, too – Luther Tucker and Robert Jr. Lockwood, Louis and David Meyers. I love all those old Jimmy Reed things with Eddie Taylor. There’s just so many.” Jazz greats Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel also had an impact.

For tickets, go to www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Andrew Synowiec (Band) – April 13

Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.

The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

Andrew Synowiec (Band)

Nearly 20 years ago, Grammy-winning artist Andrew Synowiec (‘Sin-o-wik) drove 2,700 miles west to Los Angeles with nothing but a few demo CDs, a couple guitars and one phone number for a possible lead on studio work. Today, with his collection of nearly 100 stringed instruments, Synowiec has become Hollywood’s go-to guitarist, contributing to countless Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning projects. As a solo artist, his first full-length release Second Story received wide-ranging airplay and praise from notable fans such as Steve Vai and Jay Graydon. His new album FUN was recorded by long-time Rick Rubin collaborator Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Tedeschi Trucks, Tom Petty, Wilco, Joe Satriani) and features Gary Novak (Chick Corea/Alanis Morissette), Jorgen Carlsson (Government Mule), Carey Frank (Tedeschi Trucks) and Pete Korpela (Josh Groban). The album debuts on September 8th and will be followed by a West Coast tour in November.

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The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024, come to the blues concert on April 19

Friday, April 19, 8 p.m.

Eric Sardinas

Slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Sardinas has a reputation for packing intensity into his live performances. He comes from the loud and proud school of blues boogie: Johnny Winter, Albert Collins and Elmore James, by way of rock & roll. His playing is aggressive, his lead work is done exclusively with a slide on a custom-built electric metal resonator dobro guitar.

For tickets, click here.

Eric Henderson – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m.

Eric Henderson

He’s back for an immersive and extraordinary Contemporary Classical concert experience, supporting the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center.

Eric Henderson, Laguna’s own world-renowned Concert Guitarist (who trained privately with Andrés Segovia), will be performing his own original compositions, along with instrumental covers of Classic Rock gems.

“I feel the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is the perfect venue for a small audience to actually feel how the guitar resonates,” Henderson said. “I’m putting the finishing touches on a new album and am excited about this opportunity to share some of my new music.”

For tickets, click here.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave.

Check out the calendar at www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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LOCA announces LOCA Arts Education online fundraiser

Art lovers will meet Laguna Beach’s most fascinating artists and industry professionals at LOCA Art Talks. Events are Thursday evenings through May in Downtown Laguna Beach. Attendees will receive a post-event coupon for 15% off dining at nearby restaurants.

Courtesy of LOCA

Sneak Preview online now

“For the Love of Art” Auction Sneak Preview and Donate Now. Bidding opens April 15.

LOCA Arts Education invites everyone to engage in their exciting online fundraiser. Help them to exceed their goal of $15,000 to support their workshops and lectures serving the entire community, from teens at the Youth Shelter, to families at the library, to online classes for everyone. They employ local artists, and every dollar makes a difference.

The auction Sneak Preview is open now – click here. Register now for free, donate cash at the green donate button and start a “Watch List” by clicking the heart icon on your favorite items. Actual bidding opens April 15, so mark your calendars now.

Auction items vary from a two-night stay in a rustic canyon view room at The Ranch Resort, a signed Mike Trout Angels Jersey and an immersive Pageant of the Masters experience – including tickets, a backstage tour and gift shop item. Unique items include private art parties and original art by favorite local artists. There’s something for everyone.

See something and can’t wait? Email loca@locaarts.org and buy-it-now at the listed value.

LOCA sends a big thank you to all who support them and value their services throughout our city and community.

Wednesday, April 10, 1-4 p.m.

Travel Journaling for Everyone with Dawn Buckingham

Professional artist Dawn Buckingham will guide you through creating a travel journal or visual diary of a past or recent adventure. During a recent trip to Italy, Buckingham kept a travel journal documenting the places visited, things she experienced and the memories that she wanted to save. The book is somewhat like Urban Sketching meets scrapbooking meets journaling. This class is appropriate for all levels.

You will begin by organizing a trip or experience using photos, flat memorabilia such as ticket stubs, maps and photos that you bring to class. Dawn will share collage and simple sketching techniques using permanent ink and watercolor pigment. You do not need to be an artist. All of the supplies, including a mix media journal will be provided.

What participants will need to provide:

Memories – This can be flyers, ticket stubs, printed photos, or anything that you might want to include in the journal. Also, have photos on your phone or tablet that you can use for reference to create small drawings. These do not need to be well composed. You might decide to draw only the lamppost from a photo. Glossy magazines from the area or brochures from places that you visited will also be great.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Creativity Quest – March 27

Wednesday, March 27, 1-4 p.m.

Creativity Quest

Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Senior Center

Hedy Buzan will use a book by Peter London in helping students jump start their creative process. Drawing exercises, rather that finished art, will be emphasized. Registration is required. LOCA members, $25/Non-members, $50. 383 Third St., Laguna Beach. Free parking in the garage.

To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

LOCA has added two exciting Paint Together sessions for April and a Family Sketch Whales event at the Rivian South Coast Theater.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Eileen McCullough – April 12

Friday, April 12, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor – Eileen McCullough

Register to join LPAPA Signature Artist Eileen McCullough for this fun and informative in-person LPAPA+LOCA “Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor” Paint Together session. In this Mentor lesson, McCullough will demonstrate her watercolor painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a local scene in Laguna Beach. The objective of the session will be to understand working from life “en plein air” and the importance of values. Come be inspired by McCullough’s unique style in watercolor. Limited to 15 registrants.

This is an in-person on location painting lesson. Registrants will bring their own outdoor painting supplies. Location details and a recommended supply list will be sent after registration, in advance of the event date.

Cost: $60 for LPAPA and LOCA Members or $75 for Non-Members.

To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

This in-person painting lesson is made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of an art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

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Courtesy of LOCA

Wendy Wirth – April 16

Tuesday, April 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Mentor Paint Together – Wendy Wirth

Join LPAPA Signature Artist Member Wendy Wirth online for a two-hour fun and informative LPAPA+LOCA live-streamed Mentor Paint Together. In this online virtual painting lesson Wirth will demonstrate her acrylic painting process, step-by-step, brush stroke by brush stroke, as she paints an Iconic Laguna Scene using a photo reference. Registrants can choose to paint together with Wirth or watch live as she paints, describes her process, and answers your questions. All paid registrants will have unlimited access to the post-event “play, pause and paint” recording.

The photo reference and recommended supply list will be provided after registration, prior to the live-stream and with the post-event recording link. The Zoom link to tune-in live will be provided with the registration confirmation and again prior to the event date. The post-event recording link is typically available within 48 hours after the live stream.

Cost: $50 (Discounted to $30 for LPAPA and LOCA Members.). To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

This live-streamed painting lesson is one of a six-part series made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of the art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

Wednesday, April 17, 1-4 p.m.

Off the Grid with Lesli Bonanni

Discover a fresh new approach to painting! Working with textured paper, water, pigments and tools, you will create outcomes that surprise and delight you. Bring an open mind and get ready for a unique experience.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

This class is held in the art room of the Susi Q Senior Center and made possible by a grant from the FAO Foundation.

Thursdays at 4 p.m. starting on April 18 and running through June 6

Art Classes for Kids at the Laguna Beach Library Laguna Beach at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. “Art Classes for Kids” will be held in the Children’s Wing of the Laguna Beach Library. Classes are free, and no registration required but space is limited, first come, first served, for children 5 and up. Please gather at 3:45 p.m.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Family Sketch Whales – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 10-11:30 a.m.

Family Sketch Whales at Rivian South Coast Theater, 162 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach

LOCA Arts Education is presenting a fun art workshop for families as part of Earth Day weekend festivities at Rivian South Coast Theater in Downtown Laguna Beach. The workshop, themed “Gray Whale,” will start with a video introduction by educators from Crystal Cove State Park. The video will teach about gray whale mothers and calves. Viewers will learn how these spectacular creatures survive along our coast and why they are important.

Following the presentation, art teachers from LOCA will lead everyone, step-by-step, in creating beautiful gray whale color sketches to take home.

Cost is free, but registration is required, now through April 18.

To register: email loca@locaarts.org and provide the following: Name, number attending, email, phone and ZIP Code.

By registering, participant agrees to allow LOCA to furnish contact information to Rivian South Coast Theater.

A confirmation will be sent by email from LOCA. Space is limited – no drop-ins at the door.

LOCA Art Talks schedule:

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Courtesy of LOCA

Art Talk – April 25

Art lovers of any background will be mesmerized by this show-and-tell presentation by globally renowned artist Andrew Myers. He will share stories from his experimental student days at Laguna College of Art and Design, to his years as a representational sculptor, when he created figurative bronzes for Saint Catherine of Sienna Church, and The Shopper for City of Laguna Beach. Myers will share insights on his series of life size figure drawings, defaced with scribblings of social commentary, satire, and humor. Lastly, he will discuss his signature “Screw Art” series, which although a pun, describes his collection of wall relief illustrations literally comprised of thousands of screws. Among them are narrative pieces, portraits and geometric sculptures that magically transform from an “X” to and “O” when viewed from different positions. As a special treat for LOCA, Myers will present materials from his studio including his overworked paint brushes that compose certain sculptures, and he will demonstrate his screwing techniques.

While Myers has had his share of road-bumps, such as having a public sculpture in Dallas take a bullet, he’s been embraced by blue-chip clients including Audi, who commissioned him to use automotive screws for a piece presented at a car show in Frankfurt, Germany.

Upon conclusion, everyone will receive a post-event certificate for 15% off food at nearby Lumberyard Restaurant.

Cost: Free to LOCA Members: Advance registration is required, email: loca@locaarts.org. Non-Members $20.

May: Public Art in Downtown Laguna Beach, with Mike Tauber and guest artists. Registration opens soon.

Become a LOCA member and enjoy free admission to all LOCA Art Talks, and many other benefits.

LOCA’s New Teaching Location:

LOCA’s newest teaching location is in the south end of Laguna Beach, easily reached from Downtown, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Clemente.

The expansion allows LOCA to offer “extended learning” series of classes whereby students, both adults and families, can build a “toolbox of skills” over several weeks.

LOCA students will enjoy the hilltop location, panoramic ocean views and free onsite parking. Laguna Beach Community and Recreation Center, 30516 S. Coast Highway. Enter on Cardinal Drive, just south of Nyes Place.

Know someone who loves art and Laguna Beach? Surprise them with a LOCA 2024 membership and they’ll enjoy a full year of art experiences of their choice! Your $50 purchase ensures them a bounty of benefits including free admission to six LOCA Art Talks lectures, an exclusive Membership Sunday Brunch and Art Talk, a shout-out feature in their eNewsletter, half-priced registration to LOCA’s workshops taught by well-known Laguna Beach artists throughout the town – and much more.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Give the gift of art experiences for a full year

What they’ll get:

Your thoughtfully chosen gift will be presented as a charming reusable box, topped with a LOCA pencil, and elegantly wrapped with a bow. Inside is a 2024 membership card listing the fantastic benefits. A $250 value!

Buy it now for $50:

Use LOCA’s secure and easy “Gift a Membership” red checkout button on their membership page by clicking here. Your package will arrive by mail in 4-7 business days.

Check out all the Custom Art Escapes LOCA has to offer – there’s something for everyone.

Courtesy of LOCA

Projects have included “Bioluminescence” inspired by recent ocean phenomenon

Families Love LOCA at the Library

LOCA’s Family Art Classes at Laguna Beach Public Library have been a smashing success. The “happy hour” 4-5 p.m. timeslot has made it convenient for parents and kids to enjoy a creative learning space, led by Allison Keefe. “We encourage parents and kids to work together,” Keefe said.

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Cultural Arts announces performers for Sunset Serenades in May

Sunset Serenades

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

The 2024 Sunset Serenades concert season starts the first Friday in May at the Heisler Park Amphitheater

Free Admission, click here for more information.

Friday, May 3, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

The Danny Green Trio (Jazz/Pop)

Friday, May 10, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

The Tailspins (Pop/Contemporary)

Friday May 17, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Steve Wade (Louisiana Jazz)

Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

Low-back beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older, but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

2024 Art That’s Small at City Hall

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Annual Art That’s Small at City Hall on exhibit until April 18

The 22nd Annual Art That’s Small at City Hall exhibition is on display now through April 18. View original artworks from 56 Orange County artists in the first-floor hallway gallery of Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public during city business hours.

Art That’s Small at City Hall is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

2024 Banner Competition Winners

Congratulations to Kate Cleaves, Kimberly Jordan Fleming, John Hanrahan and Suzanne Redfearn for having their banner designs selected for the 2024 Banner Competition. The banners will be hand-painted by each artist and displayed at Main Beach this summer.

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2024 Banner Winners

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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FOA joins Bloomberg Connects cultural app offering free multimedia digital guide of the Permanent Art Collection

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach (FOA) has launched a new digital guide on Bloomberg Connects, the free arts and cultural app created by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Joining hundreds of cultural institutions from around the world, the downloadable guide highlights the Festival’s Permanent Art Collection, with many artworks being available to the public for the first time. Users will find exclusive and never seen before multimedia content including videos, photos, audio, interactive tours, biographies and much more. Learn more and download the free Bloomberg Connects app today by clicking here.

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Courtesy of FOA

Get the app now, it’s free!

“We are excited to launch this digital guide in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies,” said Director of Exhibits Christine Georgantas. “Bloomberg Connects empowers the Festival of Arts to provide a new, dynamic way to experience art from our Permanent Art Collection and showcase our exhibitions and programs at a deeper level. We are grateful that Bloomberg Philanthropies has created such a powerful tool that not only increases opportunities for arts and cultural engagement at no cost to users, but also allows institutions like ours to share the art in our Permanent Art Collection with a wider, global audience.”

Housing more than 1,000 diverse and eclectic pieces, the Festival of Arts Permanent Art Collection is valued by the organization for its cultural and historical significance in relation to the art and culture of the Festival and local art scene in Laguna Beach. The Permanent Art Collection showcases how the Festival became a major influence in the art world of Southern California over the last nine decades, and many deem the collection a time capsule of art from the last century.

The Festival of Arts joins other notable visual art museums with digital guides on the Bloomberg Connects app, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art in New York City; Walker Art Center; Brooklyn Museum; Cincinnati Art Museum; The Design Museum, London, UK; El Museo del Barrio; The Frick Collection; Hammer Museum and ICA Miami, among others.

To access the Festival’s new digital guide as well as hundreds of other museums from around the world, users can download the free Bloomberg Connects app to their smartphones by clicking here. Bloomberg Connects is also available for a free download from Google Play or the App Store.

Stay updated on all things Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters by visiting www.foapom.com. The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show will run from July 3 through August 30, 2024 (closed July 4) and the Pageant of the Masters takes place July 6 through August 30.

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Laguna Community Concert Band will transport the audience “Around the World” during April 7 event at Artists Theater

By THERESA KEEGAN

You’ll only have to travel as far as the Laguna Beach High School’s Artists Theater to enjoy a trip around the world on April 7. That’s when the Laguna Community Concert Band is presenting its spring concert Around the World in 80 Minutes.

“We start where the original movie starts,” Mark Lowery, musical director said, referring to the classic 1956 movie that actually used days and not minutes for its marker. “So, we go from England and then we travel to Ireland and Italy, Russia, Africa…all over. One of my favorites is Hawaii, where we decided we’ll play the theme song from “Hawaii Five-O.’”

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Photo by Jade Nicoletti

The Laguna Community Concert Band performed at the Laguna Playhouse last year, as part of a fundraiser for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The upcoming show at the Artists Theater will also include images and a map that charts a musical trip around the world.

Background graphics, including a world map, will guide the audience along the journey as the band plays music from various countries. During the big transatlantic flight, the band will be performing the piece “Amelia Earhart.”

Vocalist Lisa Morrice, who often sings with the band, will be the emcee of the show.

“I will act as something of a tour guide as we travel ‘Around the World in 80 Minutes,’” she said. “Jules Verne would probably approve.”

Lowery credits the group’s concert committee for the innovative theme. However, going from concept to reality is a bit more involved.

“You can’t just throw a tune out and expect us to play it if it’s not already arranged for concert band,” he explained.

So Lowery and assistant conductor Jennifer Baker review the suggestions of the seven-member committee and modify programs based on availability of music, talent within the current band and other factors.

“Once a theme is established, the conductors curate music that is fun and appropriate for the audience and the group,” said Baker. Of the 16 pieces selected for this concert, she will be conducting six and the remaining pieces she will be playing clarinet as Lowery conducts.

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Photo by Jade Nicoletti

Mark Lowery is the musical director and conductor of the Laguna Community Concert Band

In December, Lowery and Baker started gathering the music, putting it in the musicians’ folders and the band started playing and rehearsing.

“We’re getting better every week,” said Lowery.

The diverse programming appeals to Theresa Marino, flutist and a founding member of the community concert band.

“This is really original – it’s something that we’ve never done in the past,” she said. “But musicians love to play and perform. We get excited over any concert we’re involved with.”

That passion for performance is the heart of the Laguna Community Concert Band, which has woodwinds, brass and percussion sections.

“For most people it (playing an instrument) is a wonderful hobby. And people in the community band have a love and passion for music,” said Jay Kramer, board secretary and community engagement coordinator. “It (the band) is really something very special. Once people come to rehearsals, they become addicted to it, and it becomes a family.”

He explained the group has a diversity of talents including professional musicians, a Julliard graduate, numerous school music instructors and others who haven’t picked up an instrument since high school or college.

“We make the music something that can be comfortable for those not at advanced levels and others who are seeking more challenging pieces,” Kramer said. “It’s kind of a fun process and at rehearsal we can try out different arrangements.”

The group meets on Tuesday nights at the high school band room, and while membership fluctuates based on schedules, travel and life events, right now about 50 people belong to the community band.

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Photo by Peyton Webster

Every Memorial Day the Laguna Community Concert Band brightens people’s holiday by performing on the cobblestone patio at Main Beach

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Laguna Craft Guild to hold spring show on April 7

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Courtesy of Laguna Craft Guild

The Laguna Craft Guild’s spring show will be held on the Main Beach Cobblestones on Sunday, April 7 from 9 a.m. until an hour before sunset. Shop local and find some unique gifts from among the jewelry, ceramics, glass blown art, paintings and more. For more information and the schedule of future shows, visit www.lagunacraftguild.com.

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Laguna Live! presents Black Market Reverie on April 10

Tuesdays through May, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

Sunday, April 7, 1 p.m.

Live! at the Museum, Douglas Masek, Saxophone and James Lent, Keyboard

Join LAM in the Steele Gallery for an intimate performance by internationally renowned saxophonist Douglas Masek and Los Angeles-based pianist James Lent. They will present A Saxophone Soundscape…a mélange of stylistic music for saxophone and piano that will transport you on a melodic journey to your very own “distant memories.”

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 are recommended.

Laguna Art Museum members and Laguna Beach Live! members: free; Non-members: $14 per person. For tickets, click here.

The Line-Up – Jazz Winter 2024

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

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Black Market Reverie – April 10

Wednesday, April 10, 6-8 p.m.

Black Market Reverie with their “speak easy” jazz, a mix of jazz, classic French pop and Americana.

Lyman Medeiros has toured the world playing bass with legendary artists including Michael Buble, Dianne Schuur and Steve Tyrell. A musical chameleon, you’ll find Renee Myara playing many instruments, along with writing and singing in multiple languages.

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

Wednesday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.

Raffia Thomas

Renowned Soul, Jazz and R&B vocalist, Raffia Thomas brings stunning vocals and soulful vibes along with her quintet.

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Raffia Thomas – April 27

Stage on Forest Felisha Dunne

Friday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Brian Roark

Saturday, April 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Jodi Siegel

Sunday, April 7, 5-7 p.m.

May 8: Grammy award winner Bijon Watson’s Latin Jazz Syndicate, featuring sizzling Cuban vocalist, Adonis Puentes.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!).

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Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Cyanotype Indigo Printing – April 5 and 12

Friday, April 5 and Friday, April 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Cyanotype Indigo Printing

Learn this fascinating and oldest form of photography. Cyanotype photography is a camera-less method that involves laying items such as leaves, flowers or other objects onto paper that has been pre-treated with a sensitizer before exposing it to UV light. Once you’ve mastered the basics, we will move on to combining this method with other materials (sea salt, turmeric, mixed medium) to add shimmering, gold effects to your work. This is a simple yet stunning way to create beautiful white and indigo blue images that will look fabulous on any wall. Your final piece will be framed on a mat board.

Cost: $50 per person which is fully inclusive of all materials used including mixed media items and a mat board.

Body Mapping Healing Class – April 4

Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m.

Body Mapping Healing Class

Unlock the blocks of your creativity with Mary Church.  Proficient California Certified massage therapist and Polarity Body healer working with all age groups, Church begins her class with chakra mediation, allowing you to connect the spiritual planes with sound and color. This class is about positive self-discovery through art in a joyful, meditative way. She encourages you to have fun while outlining your physical body onto block paper using various art materials such as oil pastels and watercolors. Then, tapping into the polarity process (thought energies linked with the elements of the body) you will begin to unlock stored stress that allows the wheelhouse of creativity to flow. The result is a powerful body map that will promote meditation and the continual release of stress through time.

This class is suitable for all ages, and family groups are very welcome.

Cost: $120

Pottery Wheel Experience – April 6, 13, 20 and 27

Saturday, April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 1 p.m.

Pottery Wheel Experience

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit at a potter’s wheel and actually throw a pot?

Robert Jones will take you through the process step-by-step, allowing you to gain confidence so that, with his help, you will make your own pottery pieces on the wheel. Each student will make two pieces that he will then fire and glaze in his own studio so that you will end up with a beautifully glazed mug or bowl which you can truly call your own. Please note, the firing and glazing time will take approximately three to four weeks before it is ready to collect. If you wish your items to be mailed, there will be an additional cost to cover postage and packing.

Absolutely no experience is necessary to take this class, however closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing are recommended. All materials are included in the cost.

Cost: $105.

Floral Painting – April 6

Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m.

Floral Painting

Learn how to paint beautiful flowers in acrylic on canvas with Michelle Burt. She will discuss composition and values while teaching you how to paint flowers step-by-step in a fun and friendly atmosphere. You will also be sculpting the paint with palette knives to bring rich texture to the flowers.

Each participant will leave with a completed floral painting.

Cost: $110.

Art Meets Technology – April 8

Monday, April 8, 10 a.m.

Art Meets Technology

A brand-new pop-up class where you can really let your imagination fly! With AI technology, we will create a computerized image using your ideas. This printed image will be the basis for your painting. You’ll transfer this image onto paper using a printing plate.
The process is simple with really satisfying results. You will learn to use different types of medium in this fun class, including gelli plates, posca markers, acrylic paints, and other mixed media including Mica powder and stencils. This is a great way to loosen up those creative juices.

Suitable for both adults and children over 10 years of age. Cost is inclusive of all materials, a colored digital print and a finished acrylic painting that will be framed in a mat board for you to take home.

Once you have registered for this class, we will ask you for a few short sentences to best describe what you would like to paint so that we can prepare your digital image. If you wish, you may bring your own image or design.

Cost: $50.

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Spring Camp – April 8, 10, 11 and 12

April 8, 10,11 and 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Spring Break Art Camp

Each of the four classes will explore a different technique and medium of art while incorporating the basics and adding in creativity and flare! Classes are open to all ages 10 through adult. Anyone 10 and under should be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $150 per student for the entire week (four classes), which is fully inclusive of all materials. Maximum 12 students per class.

Note: They will not be hosting the workshop on Tuesdays.

Day 1: Monday

Art Meets Technology

Day 2: Wednesday

Watercolor 101

Day 3: Thursday

Painting 101

Day 4: Friday

Cyanotype Printing

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Watercolor 101 – April 10

Wednesday, April 10, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Watercolor 101: Mountain Views

Learn the basics of watercolor painting in a fun way! Splash color onto paper and see how the paint runs to create beautiful designs without you even trying. In this explorative class you will learn about different techniques including wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, color bleeding, layering and the importance of light and shade in watercolor painting. You will also look at different materials including watercolor pencils, acrylic markers and the importance of good quality watercolor paper. You will explore the same scene several times using different colors and materials, changing the mood of the painting each time. At the end, you will choose your favorite design which will be framed in a mat board ready for hanging. A fun and informative class that is suitable for everyone.

Cost: $50 per person which is fully inclusive of all materials used including watercolor paints, brushes, pencils, acrylic markers, quality paper and a mat board.

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LBCAC adds new events to spring calendar

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Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors and Texas Blues Legend Anson Funderburgh – April 5

Friday, April 5, 8 p.m.

Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors and Texas Blues Legend Anson Funderburgh, The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) has stepped up to preserve one of America’s most powerful and influential art forms, by providing a memorable OC haven for national touring blues legends.

The LBCAC offers its intimate listening room, stellar acoustics, state-of-the-art sound system and a host town recognized as one of the nation’s leading arts-centric resort destinations.

Mark Hummel, a Grammy nominee, blues award winner, author and harp man has had another banner year. Grammy nominated for his Remembering Little Walter CD he produced and performed on, Hummel also won Best Blues CD and Best Traditional Blues CD at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tenn. Hummel’s “The Hustle Is Really On” climbed to #2 and stayed in the top five for four months on the Living Blues Radio Charts. Hummel’s book Big Road Blues: 12 Bars on I-80 garnered rave reviews and was nominated for best Independent Book release.

Anson Funderburgh has been an unstoppable force on the national blues circuit since his debut album with his Rockets, in 1981. Along the way, he listened to the greats of the genre, absorbing all he could. His biggest influences stylistically were Freddie King and B.B. King, but Funderburgh also embraced the West Side sounds of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Magic Sam. “I like all the guys that played behind the harmonicas, too – Luther Tucker and Robert Jr. Lockwood, Louis and David Meyers. I love all those old Jimmy Reed things with Eddie Taylor. There’s just so many.” Jazz greats Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel also had an impact.

For tickets, go to www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Andrew Synowiec (Band) – April 13

Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.

The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

Andrew Synowiec (Band)

Nearly 20 years ago, Grammy-winning artist Andrew Synowiec (‘Sin-o-wik) drove 2,700 miles west to Los Angeles with nothing but a few demo CDs, a couple guitars and one phone number for a possible lead on studio work. Today, with his collection of nearly 100 stringed instruments, Synowiec has become Hollywood’s go-to guitarist, contributing to countless Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning projects. As a solo artist, his first full-length release Second Story received wide-ranging airplay and praise from notable fans such as Steve Vai and Jay Graydon. His new album FUN was recorded by long-time Rick Rubin collaborator Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Tedeschi Trucks, Tom Petty, Wilco, Joe Satriani) and features Gary Novak (Chick Corea/Alanis Morissette), Jorgen Carlsson (Government Mule), Carey Frank (Tedeschi Trucks) and Pete Korpela (Josh Groban). The album debuts on September 8th and will be followed by a West Coast tour in November.

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The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024, come to the blues concert on April 19

Friday, April 19, 8 p.m.

Eric Sardinas

Slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Sardinas has a reputation for packing intensity into his live performances. He comes from the loud and proud school of blues boogie: Johnny Winter, Albert Collins and Elmore James, by way of rock & roll. His playing is aggressive, his lead work is done exclusively with a slide on a custom-built electric metal resonator dobro guitar.

For tickets, click here.

Eric Henderson – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m.

Eric Henderson

He’s back for an immersive and extraordinary Contemporary Classical concert experience, supporting the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center.

Eric Henderson, Laguna’s own world-renowned Concert Guitarist (who trained privately with Andrés Segovia), will be performing his own original compositions, along with instrumental covers of Classic Rock gems.

“I feel the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is the perfect venue for a small audience to actually feel how the guitar resonates,” Henderson said. “I’m putting the finishing touches on a new album and am excited about this opportunity to share some of my new music.”

For tickets, click here.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave.

Check out the calendar at www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Cultural Arts announces performers for Sunset Serenades in May

Sunset Serenades

Free Admission, click here for more information.

Friday, May 3, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

The Danny Green Trio (Jazz/Pop)

Friday, May 10, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

The Tailspins (Pop/Contemporary)

Friday May 17, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Steve Wade (Louisiana Jazz)

Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

Low-back beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older, but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

2024 Art That’s Small at City Hall

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Annual Art That’s Small at City Hall on exhibit until April 18

The 22nd Annual Art That’s Small at City Hall exhibition is on display now through April 18. View original artworks from 56 Orange County artists in the first-floor hallway gallery of Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public during city business hours.

Art That’s Small at City Hall is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Stage on Forest Felisha Dunne

Friday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Brian Roark

Saturday, April 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Jodi Siegel

Sunday, April 7, 5-7 p.m.

2024 Banner Competition Winners

Congratulations to Kate Cleaves, Kimberly Jordan Fleming, John Hanrahan and Suzanne Redfearn for having their banner designs selected for the 2024 Banner Competition. The banners will be hand-painted by each artist and displayed at Main Beach this summer.

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

2024 Banner Winners

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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LAM ushers in spring with more events

Spring is busting out all over and LAM has added more exciting events to its calendar. In addition to the ongoing exhibits.

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Photos courtesy of LAM

Adam Neeley, “Modern Alchemy” continues through July 29

–Modern Alchemy: The Fusion of Art and Nature in the jewelry Designs of Adam Neeley

Adam Neeley is an award-winning artist/jeweler who transforms precious metals and gemstones into wearable art by traditional goldsmith techniques and modern technologies. His unique designs are inspired by the vast variety of shapes and colors found in the natural world. In fact, it was his childhood interest in collecting rocks that eventually drew Neeley to the master goldsmiths in Italy, where he would study the art of jewelry making. Eventually he developed his own style and techniques of goldwork that have won him international acclaim, as well as prestigious awards across the jewelry industry.

Through many years of trial and error, Neeley developed a never-before-seen technique that he calls Spectra Gold, which seamlessly changes one color of gold into another. This is accomplished by a labor-intensive forging process to create a subtle gradient, or ombré, of color from yellow gold to white gold and more. This, along with his creation of totally new colors of gold, adds to the sense that his jewelry is created by a modern-day alchemist.

This exhibition will explore both the creative working processes of this innovative jeweler, and some of the raw and faceted gems and minerals used by him to create his art. Collaborating with world-class lapidaries, such as Stephen Avery, Neeley creates truly imaginative pieces that go beyond contemporary designs into the realm of dreams and fantasy inspired by imagination and the world around him. Neeley is a true 21st century alchemist.

Brain Health: the Impact of Art and Nature – April 5

Friday, April 5, 11 a.m.

Brain Health: the Impact of Art and Nature

Join Dr. Cheryl Alvarez for a docent-led gallery tour and a valuable discussion about activities that help to promote brain health. The contemplation of art, connecting with nature and the great outdoors, putting your hands in dirt as you garden, and maintaining social activity are all good for the human condition, and may play a large role in protecting a healthy brain. Learn about current research and how to improve your health with everyday choices.

Dr. Alvarez is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Program Director at Mind & Memory Program, which was launched in partnership with Mission Hospital and is the first of its kind in the nation. She holds a Master’s and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. Dr. Alvarez is passionate about working with the patients and caregivers to improve their health and increase their quality of life.

Advance tickets recommended, Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18. For tickets, click here.

Cheech Museum – April 6

Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Art Access: Cheech Museum

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry, which is part of the Riverside Art Museum, focuses on showcasing and analyzing Chicano art from different parts of the United States. This center is a product of the collaborative efforts of Cheech Marin, a stand-up comedian, actor, writer and art collector, who has donated or promised his collection of more than 700 Chicano art pieces. The center aims to become an institution of the highest quality for the research and examination of “all things Chicano art.” It is the first museum facility in North America that is solely dedicated to Mexican American and Chicano art.

Guests will be given a private tour of The Cheech Center and Riverside Museum. Afterward, they will have the opportunity to explore the museum on their own before heading to a group lunch and a private tour of John Sonsini’s Riverside studio.

For tickets, click here.

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Music to your ears? You must be thinking of the Susi Q in April!

This April, the Susi Q will be hosting three musical events, each of which is guaranteed to fill up fast, so act now to reserve your spot.

Begin the season with the free “Spring Swing” Concert featuring the Laguna Beach Community JaZz Band on April 18 from 6-8 p.m. Under the direction of Lynn Olinger, the popular event also features the talented, vocalist Ginger Hatfield.

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Courtesy of Laguna Concert Band

Ginger Hatfield

Hatfield explained why she believes that swing is so enduringly popular. “The swing beat is infectious, and the songs are romantic and fun,” she said. “Our show is a big dose of positivity that all ages respond to. Even folks just walking by add a swing to their step!”

The vocalist began her singing career as a youngster. “My first vocal solo in front of an audience was as part of Mrs. Mudge’s kindergarten chorus at Aliso Elementary School. I was so petrified that a classmate was assigned to walk up to the front of the stage with me,” said Hatfield, who joined the JaZz Band in 2007.

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Courtesy of Laguna Concert Band

Laguna JaZz Band 

The “Big Band” is a traditional 18-piece jazz band featuring five saxophones, four or five trombones, four trumpets, piano, bass, guitar, drum-set and aux percussionist.

To register for the Spring Swing Concert, click here.

Excitingly, the Susi Q’s wildly successful partnership with Lyric Opera of Orange County continues in April with the presentation of Verdi’s Falstaff. The lecherous Falstaff finally meets his match when his underhanded plans to solve money troubles have the three Merry Wives of Windsor conspiring to teach him a lesson.

“We knew this hysterical and timeless tale was a great way to end an amazing first season with Susi Q! It’s full of incredible music, lots of laughs and one of the most iconic fugues of all time where each of the 10 characters sing simultaneously,” said Diana Farrell, Lyric Opera of Orange County’s artistic director/president.

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Courtesy of Lyric Opera of Orange County

Lyric Opera of Orange County’s cast of “The Marriage of Figaro” from last year’s Susi Q’s performance

Lyric Opera of Orange County’s operas are presented in a concert format, with minimal to no staging or costumes, but with piano accompaniment. English supertitles appear on Susi Q’s large flatscreen TVs to aid the audience in following the narrative backbone of the opera.

Featuring an all-star cast of performers, Falstaff takes place on Wednesday, April 24 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Center, 380 Third St. A token fee of $5 secures your registration for this popular event. Register by clicking here.

Before attending the Falstaff presentation, you might want to bone-up on opera by attending Maestro Jeffrey Briar’s free Music Appreciation Class: Spotlight on Opera, which will take place on Thursday, April 11 between 3 and 4:30 p.m.

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Courtesy of Lyric Opera of Orange County

Members of Lyric Opera of Orange County

With accomplished pianist/composer Jeffrey Briar at his keyboard, learn about opera’s place in musical history – composer’s influences, social factors and how each masterpiece has stood the test of time.

“Once you have learned to love opera, it can touch you more deeply than just about any other form of art. It can inspire profound feelings and thrill you in ways you can hardly imagine,” Briar said. Register by clicking here.

Visit www.thesusiq.org, or to RSVP by phone, call 949.715.8105, or email christineb@thesusiq.org.

The Susi Q offers a wide range of educational and fun programs, classes and clubs for older adults – though all ages are welcome. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed and independent. For more information on The Susi Q, the portal to access the best of Laguna’s community resources, visit www.thesusiq.org.

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LAM announces opening of On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

This exhibition, previously showcased at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in 2021, now takes center stage at Laguna Art Museum (LAM), offering a unique and enhanced experience. It will be on view from March 23 through September 2. The LAM exhibition will present earlier works from the 1960s, bringing a historical perspective to the evolution of Los Angeles art, including works from artists Daniel LaRue Johnson, Dora De Larios, Charles Garabedian, Vija Celmins, Tony Berlant and others.

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Photos courtesy of LAM

Joan and Jack Quinn and painting by Alexis Smith, 1980

The exhibition introduces additional artists, including John McCracken and Bruce Conner, enriching the narrative of this pivotal period in art history. Distinctive pieces from Billy Al Bengston and James Hayward were also added to the exhibition to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of Los Angeles’ artistic evolution. Notably, On the Edge at LAM unveils never-before-exhibited works from Lita Albuquerque, Ken Price, Lynda Benglis and Ed Ruscha, providing visitors with an exclusive glimpse into the artistic journey of these influential figures.

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Ed Ruscha, 1964

“Our anticipation for the opening of On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection grows stronger each day as we prepare for a truly epic and extraordinary gathering of artworks and artists here on the Southern California coast, a place that has informed so much of the artwork in the exhibition,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director, Laguna Art Museum. “We are grateful to the Quinn family for being open to the incorporation of artists like, Jose PRIME Reza and Joey Terrill, alongside others not featured in previous iterations of the exhibition, and for allowing us to display artworks by Frank Gehry, Andy Warhol and Laddie John Dill, among others that have never been exhibited publicly. By incorporating artists and artworks that align with the museum’s permanent art collection and carefully selecting works from the earlier decade of the 1960s and work created less than a year ago, we have created a fresh experience for visitors.”

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David Hockney, 1991

Joan Agajanian met Jack Quinn at the University of Southern California where she was studying to be a teacher, and he was a law student. They were a happily married couple for 56 years until Jack’s passing in 2017. Together, they raised identical twin daughters, Amanda and Jennifer. Collectively, the family has amassed artworks by Los Angeles’ most prominent artists that document the development of contemporary art in Los Angeles, and uniquely, the family itself. In the early ‘50s, a 17-year-old Joan met the brash young Billy Al Bengston while both were working at Desmond’s department store on Crenshaw Boulevard. Bengston was Joan’s initial connection to Ed Kienholz, Ed Moses, Ken Price and others. Those artists were a close-knit group affiliated with the Ferus Gallery and they were making an impact in Los Angeles. The Quinns’ home became a meeting place for their diverse group of friends ranging from the arts, the social set and the legal community. Joan, who notoriously had a camera in tow, documented these gatherings where friendships were deeply established, and patronage of the arts was encouraged.

In 1978, Andy Warhol asked Joan to join his Interview magazine as its West Coast editor. She soon also became the Los Angeles Herald Examiner society editor known as “Culture Cween,” and wrote for national and international publications. That path along with her appointment to the California Arts Council allowed Joan to promote the work of the growing circle of Southern California creatives, while Jack actively championed their circle of artists by connecting them with the legal community. He was the first to transform the walls of his three-story law firm into a captivating art space, akin to a museum. Artist Joe Goode once said the Quinns were a “primary support system for artists in L.A. at a time when you could count the city’s art dealers on one hand.”

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Ken Price, 1981

Joan, called one of the most painted, sketched and sculpted women alive by W Magazine, has been a subject for artists such as David Hockney, Shepard Fairey, Claire Falkenstein, Steven Arnold, George Hurrell, Yolanda Gonzalez, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Robert Graham and Matthew Rolston, to name a few. The exhibition includes more than 25 portraits of Joan and the Quinn family, a poignant representation of friendship, appreciation and respect.

Generously sponsored by Bank of America, Christie’s and JHM Foundation, On the Edge promises an enriching and immersive encounter with the diverse expressions of Southern California art. The exhibition not only showcases the Quinn family’s pivotal role in shaping the Los Angeles art scene, but also emphasizes the dynamic evolution of artistic styles over the decades.

For more information about On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection, visit https://lagunaartmuseum.org/.

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

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Spring into hilarity with Comedy Night at the Playhouse on April 23

With the funniest line-up this side of the canyon, Laguna Playhouse presents another night of hilarity with its ongoing series, Comedy Night at the Playhouse. Comedy Night at the Playhouse will take place on Tuesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. This is geared for mature audiences.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

Mark Christopher Lawrence

Hosted by Mark Christopher Lawrence, this evening of stand-up is sure to get audiences laughing. Tapping into his extensive list of talented comedian friends, Lawrence is joined by hilarious comedians from all over Southern California, in the Playhouse’s ongoing “Comedy Night” series. Audience members can grab drink specials and free small bites in the lobby.

Lawrence has been nominated for two Emmy Awards for his work on the short film The Flourish and on his co-produced short $TACK$. He is a recipient of the San Diego Critics Circle’s Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Actor of The Year. He’s a national headliner that has worked with the likes of Sinbad, Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield and Jeff Foxworthy as well as, having headlined clubs and colleges and churches all over the U.S. and Canada.

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Mal Hall

Mal Hall is a comedian, host and online personality who has made a name for himself as one of the brightest up-and-coming comedians in the country. He has a conversational style, keen observations, and a cool delivery that has earned him a devoted following among young and old audiences alike. Hall is a nationally touring comedian who hails from San Diego. He has performed on stages across the country, including on hundreds of college campuses, and has made appearances on TV shows such as Fox’s Laughs, AXS TV’s Mockpocalypse, and Fusetv’s Offbeat. Hall’s first comedy special, The Ice Cream’s Not Ready, was released in 2022 and is now available for streaming at http://malhalltv.com/, or on YouTube by searching for MalHallTV.

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Mark Schumacher

Mark Schumacher is a high school teacher, speaker and stand-up comedian. Since 2006, Schumacher has performed comedy across the country, including internationally in Paris and London. He’s been featured in and written comedy for the Los Angeles Times. In 2012, he was named “Orange County’s Funniest Person.” In 2015, he was selected as one of the top 100 comedians in the country and performed on NBC’s Last Comic Standing.

Mike Hughes

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, comedian Mike Hughes brings his unique perspective to the perils of raising and dealing with three adult children with his wife of 33 years. He is a regular performer at both the Comedy Store in Hollywood and La Jolla, The Laugh Factory, as well as the Hollywood Improv, the Irvine Improv and the Ontario Improv. Hughes will be performing at Zanies in Nashville next month and this coming fall, he will be filming a DryBar Comedy Special.

Comedy Night at The Playhouse will perform on Tuesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Tickets range from $35-$45 and can be purchased online at https://lagunaplayhouse.com, or by calling 949.497.ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949.497.2787, ext. 229.  Prices are subject to change.

The box office is open Tuesdays – Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m.; Mondays open 2 hours prior to show time and until 15 minutes after curtain. Open until showtime on all performance days.

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Laguna Live! presents Black Market Reverie on April 10

Tuesdays through May, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

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Tracy Newman and Kurtis Gentile – April 2

Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays, Tracy Newman and Kurtis Gentile

Concerts are in person and held at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach on a Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Sunday, April 7, 1 p.m.

Live! at the Museum, Douglas Masek, Saxophone and James Lent, Keyboard

Join LAM in the Steele Gallery for an intimate performance by internationally renowned saxophonist Douglas Masek and Los Angeles-based pianist James Lent. They will present A Saxophone Soundscape…a mélange of stylistic music for saxophone and piano that will transport you on a melodic journey to your very own “distant memories.”

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 are recommended.

Laguna Art Museum members and Laguna Beach Live! members: free; Non-members: $14 per person. For tickets, click here.

The Line-Up – Jazz Winter 2024

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

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Black Market Reverie – April 10

Wednesday, April 10, 6-8 p.m.

Black Market Reverie with their “speak easy” jazz, a mix of jazz, classic French pop and Americana.

Lyman Medeiros has toured the world playing bass with legendary artists including Michael Buble, Dianne Schuur and Steve Tyrell. A musical chameleon, you’ll find Renee Myara playing many instruments, along with writing and singing in multiple languages.

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

Wednesday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.

Raffia Thomas

Renowned Soul, Jazz and R&B vocalist, Raffia Thomas brings stunning vocals and soulful vibes along with her quintet.

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Raffia Thomas – April 27

Stage on Forest Felisha Dunne

Friday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Brian Roark

Saturday, April 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Jodi Siegel

Sunday, April 7, 5-7 p.m.

May 8: Grammy award winner Bijon Watson’s Latin Jazz Syndicate, featuring sizzling Cuban vocalist, Adonis Puentes.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

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Cultural Arts invites public to Art Thats Small at City Hal Awards reception on April 4

2024 Art That’s Small at City Hall

The public is invited to attend the awards reception on Thursday, April 4, at 6-7 p.m.

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Awards Reception for Art That’s Small at City Hall on April 4

The 22nd Annual Art That’s Small at City Hall exhibition is on display now through April 18. View original artworks from 56 Orange County artists in the first-floor hallway gallery of Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public during city business hours.

Art That’s Small at City Hall is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Stage on Forest Felisha Dunne

Friday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Brian Roark

Saturday, April 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Jodi Siegel

Sunday, April 7, 5-7 p.m.

2024 Banner Competition Winners

Congratulations to Kate Cleaves, Kimberly Jordan Fleming, John Hanrahan and Suzanne Redfearn for having their banner designs selected for the 2024 Banner Competition. The banners will be hand-painted by each artist and displayed at Main Beach this summer.

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

2024 Banner Winners

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

–Sunset Serenades Artwork

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

“Sunset Beats” by Kimberly Duran

Kimberly Duran’s design was selected by the Arts Commission for the Sunset Serenades Promotional Artwork competition. The 2024 Sunset Serenades concert season starts the first Friday in May.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

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LAM ushers in spring with more events

Spring is busting out all over and LAM has added more exciting events to its calendar. In addition to the ongoing exhibits.

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Photos courtesy of LAM

Adam Neeley, “Modern Alchemy” continues through July 29

–Modern Alchemy: The Fusion of Art and Nature in the jewelry Designs of Adam Neeley

Adam Neeley is an award-winning artist/jeweler who transforms precious metals and gemstones into wearable art by traditional goldsmith techniques and modern technologies. His unique designs are inspired by the vast variety of shapes and colors found in the natural world. In fact, it was his childhood interest in collecting rocks that eventually drew Neeley to the master goldsmiths in Italy, where he would study the art of jewelry making. Eventually he developed his own style and techniques of goldwork that have won him international acclaim, as well as prestigious awards across the jewelry industry.

Through many years of trial and error, Neeley developed a never-before-seen technique that he calls Spectra Gold, which seamlessly changes one color of gold into another. This is accomplished by a labor-intensive forging process to create a subtle gradient, or ombré, of color from yellow gold to white gold and more. This, along with his creation of totally new colors of gold, adds to the sense that his jewelry is created by a modern-day alchemist.

This exhibition will explore both the creative working processes of this innovative jeweler, and some of the raw and faceted gems and minerals used by him to create his art. Collaborating with world-class lapidaries, such as Stephen Avery, Neeley creates truly imaginative pieces that go beyond contemporary designs into the realm of dreams and fantasy inspired by imagination and the world around him. Neeley is a true 21st century alchemist.

Thursday, April 4, 6-9 p.m.

First Thursdays Art Walk featuring Laguna Dance Festival – FALCO

FALCO is a project-based dance company founded in 2021 by director and choreographer, Madison Falconer. FALCO strives to empower compassionate curiosity through sensory-accessible dance work that centers love, empathy and humanity.

First Thursdays Art Walk celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach and is free to the public with participation by more than 30 member galleries. First Thursdays Art Walk is held on the first Thursday of every month. Admission to the museum is free on each month’s First Thursdays Art Walk.

Featured Exhibitions: Modern Alchemy, On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection and Reflections of Resilience.

Brain Health: the Impact of Art and Nature – April 5

Friday, April 5, 11 a.m.

Brain Health: the Impact of Art and Nature

Join Dr. Cheryl Alvarez for a docent-led gallery tour and a valuable discussion about activities that help to promote brain health. The contemplation of art, connecting with nature and the great outdoors, putting your hands in dirt as you garden, and maintaining social activity are all good for the human condition, and may play a large role in protecting a healthy brain. Learn about current research and how to improve your health with everyday choices.

Dr. Alvarez is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Program Director at Mind & Memory Program, which was launched in partnership with Mission Hospital and is the first of its kind in the nation. She holds a Master’s and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. Dr. Alvarez is passionate about working with the patients and caregivers to improve their health and increase their quality of life.

Advance tickets recommended, Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18. For tickets, click here.

Cheech Museum – April 6

Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Art Access: Cheech Museum

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry, which is part of the Riverside Art Museum, focuses on showcasing and analyzing Chicano art from different parts of the United States. This center is a product of the collaborative efforts of Cheech Marin, a stand-up comedian, actor, writer and art collector, who has donated or promised his collection of more than 700 Chicano art pieces. The center aims to become an institution of the highest quality for the research and examination of “all things Chicano art.” It is the first museum facility in North America that is solely dedicated to Mexican American and Chicano art.

Guests will be given a private tour of The Cheech Center and Riverside Museum. Afterward, they will have the opportunity to explore the museum on their own before heading to a group lunch and a private tour of John Sonsini’s Riverside studio.

For tickets, click here.

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Laguna Community Concert Band will transport the audience “Around the World” during April 7 event at Artists Theater

By THERESA KEEGAN

This story is a part of our Arts section. For more arts stories as well as our arts calendars, visit www.stunewslaguna.com/arts.

You’ll only have to travel as far as the Laguna Beach High School’s Artists Theater to enjoy a trip around the world on April 7. That’s when the Laguna Community Concert Band is presenting its spring concert Around the World in 80 Minutes.

“We start where the original movie starts,” Mark Lowery, musical director said, referring to the classic 1956 movie that actually used days and not minutes for its marker. “So, we go from England and then we travel to Ireland and Italy, Russia, Africa…all over. One of my favorites is Hawaii, where we decided we’ll play the theme song from “Hawaii Five-O.’”

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Photo by Jade Nicoletti

The Laguna Community Concert Band performed at the Laguna Playhouse last year, as part of a fundraiser for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The upcoming show at the Artists Theater will also include images and a map that charts a musical trip around the world.

Background graphics, including a world map, will guide the audience along the journey as the band plays music from various countries. During the big transatlantic flight, the band will be performing the piece “Amelia Earhart.”

Vocalist Lisa Morrice, who often sings with the band, will be the emcee of the show.

“I will act as something of a tour guide as we travel ‘Around the World in 80 Minutes,’” she said. “Jules Verne would probably approve.”

Lowery credits the group’s concert committee for the innovative theme. However, going from concept to reality is a bit more involved.

“You can’t just throw a tune out and expect us to play it if it’s not already arranged for concert band,” he explained.

So Lowery and assistant conductor Jennifer Baker review the suggestions of the seven-member committee and modify programs based on availability of music, talent within the current band and other factors.

“Once a theme is established, the conductors curate music that is fun and appropriate for the audience and the group,” said Baker. Of the 16 pieces selected for this concert, she will be conducting six and the remaining pieces she will be playing clarinet as Lowery conducts.

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Photo by Jade Nicoletti

Mark Lowery is the musical director and conductor of the Laguna Community Concert Band

In December, Lowery and Baker started gathering the music, putting it in the musicians’ folders and the band started playing and rehearsing.

“We’re getting better every week,” said Lowery.

The diverse programming appeals to Theresa Marino, flutist and a founding member of the community concert band.

“This is really original – it’s something that we’ve never done in the past,” she said. “But musicians love to play and perform. We get excited over any concert we’re involved with.”

That passion for performance is the heart of the Laguna Community Concert Band, which has woodwinds, brass and percussion sections.

“For most people it (playing an instrument) is a wonderful hobby. And people in the community band have a love and passion for music,” said Jay Kramer, board secretary and community engagement coordinator. “It (the band) is really something very special. Once people come to rehearsals, they become addicted to it, and it becomes a family.”

He explained the group has a diversity of talents including professional musicians, a Julliard graduate, numerous school music instructors and others who haven’t picked up an instrument since high school or college.

“We make the music something that can be comfortable for those not at advanced levels and others who are seeking more challenging pieces,” Kramer said. “It’s kind of a fun process and at rehearsal we can try out different arrangements.”

The group meets on Tuesday nights at the high school band room, and while membership fluctuates based on schedules, travel and life events, right now about 50 people belong to the community band.

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Photo by Peyton Webster

Every Memorial Day the Laguna Community Concert Band brightens people’s holiday by performing on the cobblestone patio at Main Beach

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LBCAC adds new events to spring calendar

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Beth’s Tuesdays – April 2

Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays, Joel Rafael and Jim Quealy

Activist writer/singer Joel Rafael has released a stunning collection of Americana albums, including a two-volume set of Woody Guthrie songs, with five Guthrie/Rafael co-writes. His latest work, ROSE AVENUE, San Diego Music Awards Best Country/Americana Album Nominee, is a 10-song masterpiece that gracefully defines Rafael’s contribution to the American canon.

Jim Quealy continues to write and perform his own material as well as countless reinterpreted covers, after 50 years and counting. Ten studio albums of his original material can be heard on most of the streaming platforms, along with a few tribute projects.

For tickets, click here.

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Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors and Texas Blues Legend Anson Funderburgh – April 5

Friday, April 5, 8 p.m.

Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors and Texas Blues Legend Anson Funderburgh, The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) has stepped up to preserve one of America’s most powerful and influential art forms, by providing a memorable OC haven for national touring blues legends.

The LBCAC offers its intimate listening room, stellar acoustics, state-of-the-art sound system and a host town recognized as one of the nation’s leading arts-centric resort destinations.

Mark Hummel, a Grammy nominee, blues award winner, author and harp man has had another banner year. Grammy nominated for his Remembering Little Walter CD he produced and performed on, Hummel also won Best Blues CD and Best Traditional Blues CD at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tenn. Hummel’s “The Hustle Is Really On” climbed to #2 and stayed in the top five for four months on the Living Blues Radio Charts. Hummel’s book Big Road Blues: 12 Bars on I-80 garnered rave reviews and was nominated for best Independent Book release.

Anson Funderburgh has been an unstoppable force on the national blues circuit since his debut album with his Rockets, in 1981. Along the way, he listened to the greats of the genre, absorbing all he could. His biggest influences stylistically were Freddie King and B.B. King, but Funderburgh also embraced the West Side sounds of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Magic Sam. “I like all the guys that played behind the harmonicas, too – Luther Tucker and Robert Jr. Lockwood, Louis and David Meyers. I love all those old Jimmy Reed things with Eddie Taylor. There’s just so many.” Jazz greats Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel also had an impact.

For tickets, go to www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Andrew Synowiec (Band) – April 13

Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.

The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

Andrew Synowiec (Band)

Nearly 20 years ago, Grammy-winning artist Andrew Synowiec (‘Sin-o-wik) drove 2,700 miles west to Los Angeles with nothing but a few demo CDs, a couple guitars and one phone number for a possible lead on studio work. Today, with his collection of nearly 100 stringed instruments, Synowiec has become Hollywood’s go-to guitarist, contributing to countless Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning projects. As a solo artist, his first full-length release Second Story received wide-ranging airplay and praise from notable fans such as Steve Vai and Jay Graydon. His new album FUN was recorded by long-time Rick Rubin collaborator Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Tedeschi Trucks, Tom Petty, Wilco, Joe Satriani) and features Gary Novak (Chick Corea/Alanis Morissette), Jorgen Carlsson (Government Mule), Carey Frank (Tedeschi Trucks) and Pete Korpela (Josh Groban). The album debuts on September 8th and will be followed by a West Coast tour in November.

Eric Henderson – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m.

Eric Henderson

He’s back for an immersive and extraordinary Contemporary Classical concert experience, supporting the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center.

Eric Henderson, Laguna’s own world-renowned Concert Guitarist (who trained privately with Andrés Segovia), will be performing his own original compositions, along with instrumental covers of Classic Rock gems.

“I feel the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is the perfect venue for a small audience to actually feel how the guitar resonates,” Henderson said. “I’m putting the finishing touches on a new album and am excited about this opportunity to share some of my new music.”

For tickets, click here.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave.

Check out the calendar at www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!).

Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Intro to Sewing – April 4

Thursday, April 4, 2 p.m.

Introduction to Sewing

Learn the basics of sewing and pattern making in this super cute class that is ideal for ages 7 and over (adults are welcome, too!). Absolutely no previous experience is required for this introduction to sewing. Artist Carmen Gundelach will show you how to make your own bag. You’ll learn to trace the pattern onto fabric and cut it out before using a sewing machine to put it all together. Materials and tools will be provided.

You can either bring your favorite fabric or choose from supplies that Carmen will have. If you choose to bring your own, make sure to bring enough materials. If you have any questions about suitable fabric and amount of fabric, reach out at learnart@sawdustartfestival.org.

This class requires three students minimum, so encourage your friends to sign-up with you.

Class length: 1.5 hours.

Cost: $70.

Intro to Mosaic Art – April 13, 27

Saturday, April 13 and 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Intro to Mosaic Art

A two-day workshop over two weekends.

The ancient art of mosaics is one of the most beautiful and oldest in the history of mankind. Working closely with Ron Shearer, you will create a mosaic that you will be proud to display. It will open a whole new world of creativity that you can easily continue on your own. Step-by-step, he will take you through the process of design, materials, cutting techniques and then carefully guide you through the application, initially using glue for positioning. You’ll have a little bit of fun “homework” to do between classes. When you return to the second workshop, you can really home in on the fine details and finishing your artwork. A wonderful, informative and creative workshop and one that they have had many requests for. This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners or those who want to fine-tune their skills. All materials are provided including supplies from WitsEnd Mosaics.

Cost: $350 per student which is fully inclusive of six hours of intensive instruction over two weekends, and all materials including a pair of nippers that you can keep, mosaic glass tiles, design and backing board. Maximum 10 students per class – if you are a larger group, please contact them directly at learnart@sawdustartfestival.org.

Workshop Option #1:

Day 1 of 2: Saturday, April 13, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Day 2 of 2: Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Women’s Retreat Workshop – April 20 and May 18

–Saturday, April 20, 1-5 p.m.

–Saturday, May 18, 1-5 p.m.

Women’s Retreat Workshop – Michelle Burt

For a while now, Michelle Burt has been wanting to create a safe space for women to come together, reduce stress and create together. She has a process where participants can transform the stress of their lives into something beautiful.

Join in the adventure of creating abstract art by sheer intuition. Like dancing, you’ll find your own rhythm utilizing different textures, materials, colorful mediums and tools. You will explore oil pastels, acrylic paint, specialty papers, graphite, charcoal and inks. There are so many different items to choose from.

Women will share a lovely afternoon exploring and creating an abstract piece of art that will inspire them every day.

Note: This workshop is held off-site, but within Laguna Beach. Exact location address details will be provided upon registration.

Cost: $298.

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LOCA announces LOCA Arts Education online fundraiser

Art lovers will meet Laguna Beach’s most fascinating artists and industry professionals at LOCA Art Talks. Events are Thursday evenings through May in Downtown Laguna Beach. Attendees will receive a post-event coupon for 15% off dining at nearby restaurants.

Courtesy of LOCA

Sneak Preview online now

“For the Love of Art” Auction Sneak Preview and Donate Now. Bidding opens April 15.

LOCA Arts Education invites everyone to engage in their exciting online fundraiser. Help them to exceed their goal of $15,000 to support their workshops and lectures serving the entire community, from teens at the Youth Shelter, to families at the library, to online classes for everyone. They employ local artists, and every dollar makes a difference.

The auction Sneak Preview is open now – click here. Register now for free, donate cash at the green donate button and start a “Watch List” by clicking the heart icon on your favorite items. Actual bidding opens April 15, so mark your calendars now.

Auction items vary from a two-night stay in a rustic canyon view room at The Ranch Resort, a signed Mike Trout Angels Jersey and an immersive Pageant of the Masters experience – including tickets, a backstage tour and gift shop item. Unique items include private art parties and original art by favorite local artists. There’s something for everyone.

See something and can’t wait? Email loca@locaarts.org and buy-it-now at the listed value.

LOCA sends a big thank you to all who support them and value their services throughout our city and community.

Wednesday, April 10, 1-4 p.m.

Travel Journaling for Everyone with Dawn Buckingham

Professional artist Dawn Buckingham will guide you through creating a travel journal or visual diary of a past or recent adventure. During a recent trip to Italy, Buckingham kept a travel journal documenting the places visited, things she experienced and the memories that she wanted to save. The book is somewhat like Urban Sketching meets scrapbooking meets journaling. This class is appropriate for all levels.

You will begin by organizing a trip or experience using photos, flat memorabilia such as ticket stubs, maps and photos that you bring to class. Dawn will share collage and simple sketching techniques using permanent ink and watercolor pigment. You do not need to be an artist. All of the supplies, including a mix media journal will be provided.

What participants will need to provide:

Memories – This can be flyers, ticket stubs, printed photos, or anything that you might want to include in the journal. Also, have photos on your phone or tablet that you can use for reference to create small drawings. These do not need to be well composed. You might decide to draw only the lamppost from a photo. Glossy magazines from the area or brochures from places that you visited will also be great.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Creativity Quest – March 27

Wednesday, March 27, 1-4 p.m.

Creativity Quest

Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Senior Center

Hedy Buzan will use a book by Peter London in helping students jump start their creative process. Drawing exercises, rather that finished art, will be emphasized. Registration is required. LOCA members, $25/Non-members, $50. 383 Third St., Laguna Beach. Free parking in the garage.

To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

LOCA has added two exciting Paint Together sessions for April and a Family Sketch Whales event at the Rivian South Coast Theater.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Eileen McCullough – April 12

Friday, April 12, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor – Eileen McCullough

Register to join LPAPA Signature Artist Eileen McCullough for this fun and informative in-person LPAPA+LOCA “Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor” Paint Together session. In this Mentor lesson, McCullough will demonstrate her watercolor painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a local scene in Laguna Beach. The objective of the session will be to understand working from life “en plein air” and the importance of values. Come be inspired by McCullough’s unique style in watercolor. Limited to 15 registrants.

This is an in-person on location painting lesson. Registrants will bring their own outdoor painting supplies. Location details and a recommended supply list will be sent after registration, in advance of the event date.

Cost: $60 for LPAPA and LOCA Members or $75 for Non-Members.

To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

This in-person painting lesson is made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of an art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

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Courtesy of LOCA

Wendy Wirth – April 16

Tuesday, April 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Mentor Paint Together – Wendy Wirth

Join LPAPA Signature Artist Member Wendy Wirth online for a two-hour fun and informative LPAPA+LOCA live-streamed Mentor Paint Together. In this online virtual painting lesson Wirth will demonstrate her acrylic painting process, step-by-step, brush stroke by brush stroke, as she paints an Iconic Laguna Scene using a photo reference. Registrants can choose to paint together with Wirth or watch live as she paints, describes her process, and answers your questions. All paid registrants will have unlimited access to the post-event “play, pause and paint” recording.

The photo reference and recommended supply list will be provided after registration, prior to the live-stream and with the post-event recording link. The Zoom link to tune-in live will be provided with the registration confirmation and again prior to the event date. The post-event recording link is typically available within 48 hours after the live stream.

Cost: $50 (Discounted to $30 for LPAPA and LOCA Members.). To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

This live-streamed painting lesson is one of a six-part series made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of the art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

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Courtesy of LOCA

Family Sketch Whales – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 10-11:30 a.m.

Family Sketch Whales at Rivian South Coast Theater, 162 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach

LOCA Arts Education is presenting a fun art workshop for families as part of Earth Day weekend festivities at Rivian South Coast Theater in Downtown Laguna Beach. The workshop, themed “Gray Whale,” will start with a video introduction by educators from Crystal Cove State Park. The video will teach about gray whale mothers and calves. Viewers will learn how these spectacular creatures survive along our coast and why they are important.

Following the presentation, art teachers from LOCA will lead everyone, step-by-step, in creating beautiful gray whale color sketches to take home.

Cost is free, but registration is required, now through April 18.

To register: email loca@locaarts.org and provide the following: Name, number attending, email, phone and ZIP Code.

By registering, participant agrees to allow LOCA to furnish contact information to Rivian South Coast Theater.

A confirmation will be sent by email from LOCA. Space is limited – no drop-ins at the door.

LOCA Art Talks schedule:

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Courtesy of LOCA

Art Talk – April 25

Art lovers of any background will be mesmerized by this show-and-tell presentation by globally renowned artist Andrew Myers. He will share stories from his experimental student days at Laguna College of Art and Design, to his years as a representational sculptor, when he created figurative bronzes for Saint Catherine of Sienna Church, and The Shopper for City of Laguna Beach. Myers will share insights on his series of life size figure drawings, defaced with scribblings of social commentary, satire, and humor. Lastly, he will discuss his signature “Screw Art” series, which although a pun, describes his collection of wall relief illustrations literally comprised of thousands of screws. Among them are narrative pieces, portraits and geometric sculptures that magically transform from an “X” to and “O” when viewed from different positions. As a special treat for LOCA, Myers will present materials from his studio including his overworked paint brushes that compose certain sculptures, and he will demonstrate his screwing techniques.

While Myers has had his share of road-bumps, such as having a public sculpture in Dallas take a bullet, he’s been embraced by blue-chip clients including Audi, who commissioned him to use automotive screws for a piece presented at a car show in Frankfurt, Germany.

Upon conclusion, everyone will receive a post-event certificate for 15% off food at nearby Lumberyard Restaurant.

Cost: Free to LOCA Members: Advance registration is required, email: loca@locaarts.org. Non-Members $20.

May: Public Art in Downtown Laguna Beach, with Mike Tauber and guest artists. Registration opens soon.

Become a LOCA member and enjoy free admission to all LOCA Art Talks, and many other benefits.

LOCA’s New Teaching Location:

LOCA’s newest teaching location is in the south end of Laguna Beach, easily reached from Downtown, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Clemente.

The expansion allows LOCA to offer “extended learning” series of classes whereby students, both adults and families, can build a “toolbox of skills” over several weeks.

LOCA students will enjoy the hilltop location, panoramic ocean views and free onsite parking. Laguna Beach Community and Recreation Center, 30516 S. Coast Highway. Enter on Cardinal Drive, just south of Nyes Place.

Know someone who loves art and Laguna Beach? Surprise them with a LOCA 2024 membership and they’ll enjoy a full year of art experiences of their choice! Your $50 purchase ensures them a bounty of benefits including free admission to six LOCA Art Talks lectures, an exclusive Membership Sunday Brunch and Art Talk, a shout-out feature in their eNewsletter, half-priced registration to LOCA’s workshops taught by well-known Laguna Beach artists throughout the town – and much more.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Give the gift of art experiences for a full year

What they’ll get:

Your thoughtfully chosen gift will be presented as a charming reusable box, topped with a LOCA pencil, and elegantly wrapped with a bow. Inside is a 2024 membership card listing the fantastic benefits. A $250 value!

Buy it now for $50:

Use LOCA’s secure and easy “Gift a Membership” red checkout button on their membership page by clicking here. Your package will arrive by mail in 4-7 business days.

Check out all the Custom Art Escapes LOCA has to offer – there’s something for everyone.

Courtesy of LOCA

Projects have included “Bioluminescence” inspired by recent ocean phenomenon

Families Love LOCA at the Library

LOCA’s Family Art Classes at Laguna Beach Public Library have been a smashing success. The “happy hour” 4-5 p.m. timeslot has made it convenient for parents and kids to enjoy a creative learning space, led by Allison Keefe. “We encourage parents and kids to work together,” Keefe said.

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LPAPA holds Inaugural Spring Fling Fundraiser, through April 15

LPAPA is hosting its Inaugural Spring Fling Fundraiser during the month of April to help raise the much-needed funds to sustain and grow its Art and Education Programs that are designed to promote and preserve the century-old Laguna Plein Air Painting Tradition and Legacy.

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Photos courtesy of LPAPA

Spring Fling Fundraiser – April 1-15

LPAPA kicked off the fundraiser with a Silent Auction that opened online at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 1 with artwork, art lessons and more, with an opening auction price based on 50% of the value! The online silent auction will end at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 15.

Annual Waterworks Juried Art Show

Notifications for Artwork Entries for the 8th Annual “Waterworks” Juried Art Show, a celebration of paintings created by LPAPA members using transparent watercolors were sent out yesterday (April 1) or as soon as jurying is complete. This show is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation.

This show is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation.

Show Overview & Timeline:

Shipped Artwork Delivery: Needs to arrive at the LPAPA Gallery by 5 p.m., Friday, April 26.

Hand-carried Artwork Delivery: Gallery open for delivery Tuesday, April 30 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Online Art Catalog Exhibition (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): April 29 through June 3.

Online Preview Auction (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): 10 a.m., April 29 to 8 p.m., May 2.

LPAPA Gallery Show (Finalists): Thursday, May 2 through Monday, June 3.

Art Walk Gallery Reception: Thursday, May 2, 6-9 p.m. (awards at 7 p.m.).

Pick Up of Unsold Artwork at the Gallery: Tuesday, June 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Friday, April 12, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor – Eileen McCullough

Register to join LPAPA Signature Artist Eileen McCullough for this fun and informative in-person LPAPA+LOCA “Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor” Paint Together session. In this Mentor lesson, McCullough will demonstrate her watercolor painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a local scene in Laguna Beach. The objective of the session will be to understand working from life “en plein air” and the importance of values. Come be inspired by McCullough’s unique style in watercolor. Limited to 15 registrants.

This is an in-person on location painting lesson. Registrants will bring their own outdoor painting supplies. Location details and a recommended supply list will be sent after registration, in advance of the event date.

Cost: $60 for LPAPA and LOCA Members or $75 for Non-Members.

This in-person painting lesson is made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of an art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

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Artist Debra Huse

LPAPA’s 3rd Annual World Arts Day Celebration & Paint Out on April 15

Join LPAPA’s 3rd Annual World Arts Day Celebration & Paint Out on April 15. On this day, LPAPA recognizes and celebrates Laguna’s community of artists, art organizations, art educators, art businesses, galleries and all those who participate and support the arts.

LPAPA is inviting everyone to visit the LPAPA Gallery to “Make Your Mark” on their Community Canvas at the LPAPA Gallery where lead Signature Artist Debra Huse will be laying in a painting and inviting you to add your brush stroke to the painting in progress! Mentor Artists will be at the gallery to answer questions, mixing paint and encouraging you to make your mark for art. This is a free interactive art event, but donations in support of their nonprofit’s mission are gratefully accepted, and new artist and supporter members are welcomed.

In addition, plan to enjoy a walk through Laguna’s Heisler Park and watch Laguna Plein Air Artists in action as they paint en plein air. LPAPA Artists will be in Heisler Park (from dawn to dusk) for an All-Member Paint Out celebrating plein air painting and the arts, as well as painting around town for the LPAPA Gallery “Spring Fling” Art Show.

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LCAD announces opening reception for 49th Annual Color it Orange exhibition

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Photos courtesy of LCAD

Opening Reception for “Color it Orange” – April 4

Thursday, April 4, 6-9 p.m.

Opening Reception for 49th Annual Color it Orange

Laguna College of Art + Design is presenting the 49th Annual Color It Orange exhibition showcasing a collection of original works from across Orange County high school students.

The exhibition will run through April 21.

Color It Orange is one of the longest running collaborative exhibitions between a college and Orange County high schools. LCAD’s goal is to inspire and encourage the next generation of artistic expression, and to honor teachers by providing the opportunity to showcase works by their most talented students. Color It Orange was founded 49 years ago by the Designing Women, LCAD’s founding support group. LCAD will host an opening reception at the LCAD Gallery to provide special recognition and to award scholarships to their Summer Pre-College Program.

LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

LCAD Gallery admission is always free.

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Laguna Live! presents Black Market Reverie on April 10

Tuesdays through May, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

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Tracy Newman and Kurtis Gentile – April 2

Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays, Tracy Newman and Kurtis Gentile

Concerts are in person and held at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach on a Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Sunday, April 7, 1 p.m.

Live! at the Museum, Douglas Masek, Saxophone and James Lent, Keyboard

Join LAM in the Steele Gallery for an intimate performance by internationally renowned saxophonist Douglas Masek and Los Angeles-based pianist James Lent. They will present A Saxophone Soundscape…a mélange of stylistic music for saxophone and piano that will transport you on a melodic journey to your very own “distant memories.”

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 are recommended.

Laguna Art Museum members and Laguna Beach Live! members: free; Non-members: $14 per person. For tickets, click here.

The Line-Up – Jazz Winter 2024

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

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Black Market Reverie – April 10

Wednesday, April 10, 6-8 p.m.

Black Market Reverie with their “speak easy” jazz, a mix of jazz, classic French pop and Americana.

Lyman Medeiros has toured the world playing bass with legendary artists including Michael Buble, Dianne Schuur and Steve Tyrell. A musical chameleon, you’ll find Renee Myara playing many instruments, along with writing and singing in multiple languages.

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

April 24: Renowned Soul, Jazz and R&B vocalist, Raffia Thomas brings stunning vocals and soulful vibes along with her quintet.

May 8: Grammy award winner Bijon Watson’s Latin Jazz Syndicate, featuring sizzling Cuban vocalist, Adonis Puentes.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

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Cultural Arts announces Dream Big Pet Adoption today

Friday, March 29, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Dream Big Pet Adoption Info

On Friday, March 29 at 2:30 p.m., the Cultural Arts Department of the City of Laguna Beach, the city’s Police Animal Services and PUP Laguna Beach (Protecting Unwanted Pets) will be gathering at the art installation, Dream Big by Elizabeth Laul Healey, on the lawn of City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. The community is invited to join in to learn more about adopting a pet from the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, and to take your selfie with the nine-foot-tall whimsical dog sculpture. Also, donations of Head and Shoulders shampoo and True Chews dog treats will be accepted to benefit the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter in their good care of animals in need.

Stage on Forest

Friday, March 29, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Andrew Corradini

2024 Art That’s Small at City Hall

The public is invited to attend the awards reception on Thursday, April 4, at 6-7 p.m.

The 22nd Annual Art That’s Small at City Hall exhibition is on display now through April 18. View original artworks from 56 Orange County artists in the first-floor hallway gallery of Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public during city business hours.

Art That’s Small at City Hall is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

2024 Banner Competition Winners

Congratulations to Kate Cleaves, Kimberly Jordan Fleming, John Hanrahan and Suzanne Redfearn for having their banner designs selected for the 2024 Banner Competition. The banners will be hand-painted by each artist and displayed at Main Beach this summer.

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

2024 Banner Winners

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

–Sunset Serenades Artwork

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

“Sunset Beats” by Kimberly Duran

Kimberly Duran’s design was selected by the Arts Commission for the Sunset Serenades Promotional Artwork competition. The 2024 Sunset Serenades concert season starts the first Friday in May.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

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Laguna Playhouse’s stunning new show addresses a family’s loss, love and the power of moving forward in life

By THERESA KEEGAN

The latest show at Laguna Playhouse, A Shayna Maidel (“a pretty girl,” in Yiddish), carries a powerful message: Even in the depths of despair, there’s hope.

“It’s about finding goodness through bad things, and to look ahead,” said artistic director David Ellenstein, whose passion for the play is evident in his enthusiasm. “It points out how good we can be as people.”

While the play’s theme is far from uplifting – it addresses the impact of the Holocaust on one family that was separated across two countries – the love that develops and endures with the characters offers a universal message of hope.

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Photos courtesy Laguna Playhouse

Marnina Schon started her theater experience at Berkley Rep in Tony Kushner’s “Brundibar.” She will portray Hanna, who was killed in a concentration camp during the Holocaust.

“It shows their resiliency, their heart,” said Ellenstein. “It takes you all the way down and all the way up.”

The story centers around two sisters: Rose, played by Eden Malyn and Lusia, played by Zarah Mahler. It’s 1946 and Rose, who left Poland with her father before the war broke out, is an independent spirit, in her own apartment in New York. Lusia, who endured the war, and the deaths of her mother, and best friend Hanna in the camps, has also lost her baby. She is searching for her husband, Duvid, played by Josh Odsess-Rubin, convinced he is alive because his name has not shown up on any war lists. She arrives in New York from Poland and moves into her sister’s apartment.

The two sisters have not been together in years and their resentment toward each other is evident and sincere. Rose doesn’t want to share her life – or apartment – with this new arrival and Lusia resents the fact her sister was able to come to America with her father.

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L.A.-based actor Josh Odsess-Rubin has appeared on stages and in television as well as “Shakespeare Orange County.” He is portraying Duvid, Lusia’s husband.

(Illness kept Lusia and her mother in Poland, and once the war started it was impossible to leave the country.) The girls’ father, played by Joel Swetow, also has deep emotional experiences throughout the play, confronting agonizing losses, guilt and also, love.

“When there’s so much divisiveness, it shows how important family and love is – and also being able to get through things,” said Ellenstein.

This is the third time he’s producing this play, and he readily acknowledges the profound effect it’s had on him.

The initial production in 1989 at the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego plunged him into the world of directing, rather than acting. He hasn’t looked back.

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This will be the third time David Ellenstein will be directing the play “A Shayna Maidel.” It has had a profound positive effect on him professionally and personally.

“As a director it’s all about focusing – making sure the audience is paying attention to what you want them to pay attention to,” he explained. That allows the audience to experience and feel the play most powerfully. He saw the effect of his work when the audience departed, and people were uplifted by the entire experience.

“Actors need to be mono-focused, but as a director you’re looking beyond to the experience the audience will have,” he said. “The director is empowering the actors and designers to do their best work.”

The 2007 production he directed at North Coast Rep left Ellenstein with deep thoughts about what it means to be human.

“It’s about family, but family is a general term,” he said. “What does family mean – it’s a community of friends who support you.”

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Actor Joel Swetow has appeared in select New York City and regional theaters as well as select theaters in Los Angeles

The play’s six actors have not worked together before, but as they spent the past three weeks rehearsing and preparing and living in Laguna Beach, they’ve become a unit, said Ellenstein. They’ve shared meals and time together and that camaraderie makes the family scenes on stage seem more authentic.

“All six of these actors are new to this play and I’ve never worked with them before,” said Ellenstein. “We put the family together afresh for this production.” Other actors include Samantha Klein as the mother and Marnina Schon as Hanna.

“It’s great to always work with new, talented amazing artists,” he said.

A Shayna Maidel was slated to be performed at the Laguna Playhouse in 2020, but the pandemic caused plans to shift.

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LBCAC adds new events to spring calendar

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Beth’s Tuesdays – April 2

Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays, Joel Rafael and Jim Quealy

Activist writer/singer Joel Rafael has released a stunning collection of Americana albums, including a two-volume set of Woody Guthrie songs, with five Guthrie/Rafael co-writes. His latest work, ROSE AVENUE, San Diego Music Awards Best Country/Americana Album Nominee, is a 10-song masterpiece that gracefully defines Rafael’s contribution to the American canon.

Jim Quealy continues to write and perform his own material as well as countless reinterpreted covers, after 50 years and counting. Ten studio albums of his original material can be heard on most of the streaming platforms, along with a few tribute projects.

For tickets, click here.

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Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors and Texas Blues Legend Anson Funderburgh – April 5

Friday, April 5, 8 p.m.

Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors and Texas Blues Legend Anson Funderburgh, The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) has stepped up to preserve one of America’s most powerful and influential art forms, by providing a memorable OC haven for national touring blues legends.

The LBCAC offers its intimate listening room, stellar acoustics, state-of-the-art sound system and a host town recognized as one of the nation’s leading arts-centric resort destinations.

Mark Hummel, a Grammy nominee, blues award winner, author and harp man has had another banner year. Grammy nominated for his Remembering Little Walter CD he produced and performed on, Hummel also won Best Blues CD and Best Traditional Blues CD at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tenn. Hummel’s “The Hustle Is Really On” climbed to #2 and stayed in the top five for four months on the Living Blues Radio Charts. Hummel’s book Big Road Blues: 12 Bars on I-80 garnered rave reviews and was nominated for best Independent Book release.

Anson Funderburgh has been an unstoppable force on the national blues circuit since his debut album with his Rockets, in 1981. Along the way, he listened to the greats of the genre, absorbing all he could. His biggest influences stylistically were Freddie King and B.B. King, but Funderburgh also embraced the West Side sounds of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Magic Sam. “I like all the guys that played behind the harmonicas, too – Luther Tucker and Robert Jr. Lockwood, Louis and David Meyers. I love all those old Jimmy Reed things with Eddie Taylor. There’s just so many.” Jazz greats Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel also had an impact.

For tickets, go to www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Andrew Synowiec (Band) – April 13

Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.

The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

Andrew Synowiec (Band)

Nearly 20 years ago, Grammy-winning artist Andrew Synowiec (‘Sin-o-wik) drove 2,700 miles west to Los Angeles with nothing but a few demo CDs, a couple guitars and one phone number for a possible lead on studio work. Today, with his collection of nearly 100 stringed instruments, Synowiec has become Hollywood’s go-to guitarist, contributing to countless Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning projects. As a solo artist, his first full-length release Second Story received wide-ranging airplay and praise from notable fans such as Steve Vai and Jay Graydon. His new album FUN was recorded by long-time Rick Rubin collaborator Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Tedeschi Trucks, Tom Petty, Wilco, Joe Satriani) and features Gary Novak (Chick Corea/Alanis Morissette), Jorgen Carlsson (Government Mule), Carey Frank (Tedeschi Trucks) and Pete Korpela (Josh Groban). The album debuts on September 8th and will be followed by a West Coast tour in November.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave.

Check out the calendar at www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!).

Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Drypoint Etching – March 29

Friday, March 29, 10 a.m.

Drypoint Etching with Hedy Buzan

Learn this fascinating printmaking process with long-time artist and printmaker, Hedy Buzan. Step-by-step, Buzan will show you how to print line etchings using the drypoint process. You will start the class by drawing a simple design (either from a favorite photo or picture that you bring with you, or from an image Buzan will provide). You will then transfer it onto a plate, which is printed onto paper using an etching press. Buzan will also demonstrate how to create prints at home without using a press. Your beautiful, finished print will be mounted on matt board, ready for you to frame and hang on your wall.

Cost: $125.

Animal Portraits – March 29

Saturday, March 29, 3 p.m.

April 5

Animal Portraits

Are you an animal lover who loves to paint? Join Sawdust for this fun and value-packed class to the alla prima style of oil painting, or “wet on wet” direct oil painting.

Attendees will paint the animal portrait from a photo (provided) or you can bring a photo of your pet. All skill levels are welcome.
In this fast-paced, two-hour class, Tatyana Zen will take you through all stages and tools – brushes, paint, palette and support. You will learn not only the fundamentals – composition, drawing, establishing value and color harmony, but also be encouraged to notice unique characteristics that capture the essence of the animal.

Note: A reference photo is provided. Students can use their own photo (printed or on a digital device to reference during class).

Cost: $95.

Intro to Sewing – April 4

Thursday, April 4, 2 p.m.

Introduction to Sewing

Learn the basics of sewing and pattern making in this super cute class that is ideal for ages 7 and over (adults are welcome, too!). Absolutely no previous experience is required for this introduction to sewing. Artist Carmen Gundelach will show you how to make your own bag. You’ll learn to trace the pattern onto fabric and cut it out before using a sewing machine to put it all together. Materials and tools will be provided.

You can either bring your favorite fabric or choose from supplies that Carmen will have. If you choose to bring your own, make sure to bring enough materials. If you have any questions about suitable fabric and amount of fabric, reach out at learnart@sawdustartfestival.org.

This class requires three students minimum, so encourage your friends to sign-up with you.

Class length: 1.5 hours.

Cost: $70.

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