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The 17th Annual Fête de la Musique once again showcased the spirited talent of our town

By MARRIE STONE

Photos by Jeff Rovner

As a long-time writer and resident of Laguna Beach, I’m often required to put into words what makes our community unique. Apart from the obvious answers about Laguna’s natural beauty and astounding topography, our many successful residents and quirky characters, an argument can be made that our town runs on the steam of its own passions.

There are countless examples. The Pageant of the Masters’ 900 volunteers have kept that organization alive for nearly a century. Our hilarious No Square thespians have performed decades of antics in the annual Lagunatics show. The Coast Film Festival, a relative newcomer to our arts scene, has brought Laguna’s active sports culture onto the big screen for the past five years. Last weekend, local musicians lit up the village with more than 30 bands and soloists performing across several genres. They, and many other steadfast servants, keep our town fun and funky. And they largely do it for free.

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The popular Grey Hill Gospel String Band returned again to perform in front of Tuvalu

Like Laguna’s other arts organizations, the Fête de la Musique sits at the intersection of tireless dedication and wide-ranging talent. Roughly 15 people are responsible for organizing this event, which has become synonymous with the start of summer. All the acts perform for free, and local shopkeepers forfeit some weekend business as locals and visitors soak up the sun and listen to tunes. It’s traditions like these, run by ardent supporters of the arts, that set our enclave apart.

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JJ & the Habibis Belly Dancers return year after year

“Once again, Laguna Beach came to play, and it made all of us who work on this event all year long so happy. I’m proud, but mostly it’s just pure joy and happiness that I feel,” said Laguna Beach Sister Cities (LBSC) President Maggie Hempen.

What began in 2007 as a small pop-up event with fewer than 15 performers (and no budget or advertising) has swelled into an annual tradition with thousands of people packing Laguna’s Main Beach and Downtown streets to see more than 30 live bands, soloists and ensembles.

The Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, got its start in France in 1982. Since then, it’s spread to more than 1,000 cities across 120 countries. In the U.S. alone, 117 cities participated alongside Laguna Beach.

“An invitation to Beverly Hills to attend their first Fête started the idea of having a Sister City and the Fête in Laguna Beach,” said Founding President Karyn Philippsen. “After French Consulate assistance and the effort of residents Fred and Jennifer Karam, the original delegation traveled to Menton, France at their own expense to attend the official ceremony linking the two cities.”

Three years after Laguna’s first Fête, LBSC won “Best New Arts Program” at the annual Art Star Awards. “We have continued to improve the Fête experience each year,” Philippsen said, noting that the number of performance sites grew to as many as 40 locations over the years. This year, there were 32. “I feel proud that our devoted group passionately embraces the vision. It is really about being a global citizen. Everyone does something to make the Fête happen.”

One key member who makes it happen is Fête Chair Ken Aubuchon who, alongside Jean Fallowfield, has selected the entertainers for 12 years. Aubuchon scours the local music scene all year – including Forest Avenue, The Cliff, The Ranch and the Sawdust Festival – to unearth new talent.

“Roughly three-quarters of the performers are returnees from either last year or a previous year,” Aubuchon said, noting longstanding artists like chanteuse April Walsh, classic rockers Jim & Warren, singer Lenelle Hamil, the Grey Hill Gospel String Band and JJ & the Habibis Belly Dancers. There were seven newcomers this year. “Having many of the same performers makes it easier to organize. On the other hand, one of the most exciting things for us is to find a new performer who immediately becomes a star!”

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Chanteuse April Walsh is one of the longest-running Fête performers, returning for at least 13 years

One rising star is newcomer band The 9AM, with vocalists and guitarists Tom Twyman and Savannah MayWood. The duo met last summer on Vampr – a networking app for musicians. MayWood is from Montana, Twyman from the U.K. They began busking on Forest Avenue, where they were discovered by Aubuchon and Fallowfield. When Shelton Taylor and The Forest Boys canceled the night before the Fête due to illness, Twyman and MayWood slid into their spot in front of the Rivian. The crowds went wild and, by day’s end, Rivian offered them a regular gig on Saturday afternoons. They’ll also be performing at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) on Friday, July 26.

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Playhouse offerings: A comedy and a musical offer theatergoers new opportunities at the end of June

By THERESA KEEGAN

This month’s offerings at the Laguna Beach Playhouse are not only entertaining, they’re also fleeting. Whether you’d like a hearty laugh or are ready to sing along and learn about some American history, the Playhouse has programs suited for all ages.

The fun starts with a showing of The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? on June 26 and 27, while Woody Sings – The Musical Legacy of Woody Guthrie takes to the stage June 29 and 30. Each is entertaining in its own way.

Robert Dubac’s solo show (The Male Intellect) about the differences between men and women has been going strong for almost 30 years.

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Courtesy of Robert Dubac

Actor, playwright and stand-up comedian Robert Dubac will perform his popular one-man show “The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron” at the Playhouse for two shows

“It’s a show about a guy who is sincere and trying to figure out women,” he said. Dubac started thinking about the show while performing as an actor on soap operas. The men were consistently being represented as “tiresome tropes.” Elsewhere, he saw men being portrayed as the “dumb old dad.”

He started writing some comedy skits about the situation, and ultimately it evolved into what he conversationally refers to as “The Male Intellect.” He never imagined it would still be going strong decades later and has been translated into numerous languages. At one point the demand for the play was so great there were multiple actors performing the show at different theaters throughout the world.

“This thing became its own industry,” said Dubac. “It’s one reason I stopped doing the acting I was doing.”

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Courtesy of Robert Dubac

Actor Robert Dubac assumes the role of multiple male characters in the show on June 26 and 27

Although the Santa Barbara resident has modified the script throughout the years to reflect societal expectations, particularly the #MeToo movement, the premise remains the same.

“I just evolve the content of it,” said Dubac. “I don’t think there’s a reason to make a sequel. Basically, the guy in the show is loosely based on somebody like me…It’s any guy who is tired of these clichés (about men and women) but doesn’t know how to get out of it.”

He divides the stage by having the “male brain” on the left hand side and the female brain on the right. The crux he is trying to figure out is what do women want. “He’s just trying to find some sort of balance.”

The set is visited by multiple characters, all played by Dubac, drinking a beer. Many are stereotypical men offering advice in a hilarious manner.

“There’s a little kernel of knowledge he can glean from each of them,” said Dubac. Meanwhile the audience appreciates the variety of people he portrays, doing nothing more than adding a pair of eyeglasses, or a vest, but each assuming very different qualities. He credits his former work as a stand-up comedian as laying the foundation for the show’s success.

“Once I could see it resonated (with audiences) I knew I was onto something,” said Dubac. “It’s one of those shows that appeals across ages, from teenagers to octogenarians.”

Following the two mid-week evening performances of Male Intellect, the Playhouse will take on a different scenario when the national premiere of Woody Sings opens over the weekend.

“Woody is a program developed over many years,” said David Lutken, lead singer and guitarist. “It’s a concert version of the musical Woody Sez.”

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Courtesy of David Lutken

Musician and actor David Lutken will portray Woody Guthrie in the upcoming performance of “Woody Sings” at the Laguna Playhouse

Each show depicts the songs of American folk singer Woody Guthrie. However, the musical, which was based on Guthrie’s newspaper column of the same name, is a more elaborate production. The songs included multiple stage sets and scenes as well as the songs. But now Woody Sings allows Guthrie’s music to be celebrated without the time and commitment of a full-blown theatrical show. The music will include “This Land is Your Land,” “Bound for Glory” “Roll on Columbia” and many other all-time favorites.

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ORGANIZATION INFO

3340 Recital Series

www.thirtythreeforty.com

City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission

www.lagunabeachcity.net

Coast Film & Music Festival

www.coastfilmfestival.com

Community Art Project (CAP)

www.caplaguna.org

Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters

www.foapom.com

First Thursdays Art Walk

www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com

Friends of the Laguna Beach Library

 

Gallery Q at THE SUSI Q

www.thesusiq.org

Laguna Art-A-Fair

www.art-a-fair.com

Laguna Art Museum

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC)

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

Laguna Beach Live!

www.lagunabeachlive.org

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association

www.lagunabeachsistercities.org

Laguna College of Art + Design

www.lcad.edu

Laguna Concert Band

www.lagunaconcertband.com

Laguna Craft Guild

www.lagunacraftguild.org

Laguna Dance Festival

www.lagunadancefestival.org

Laguna Playhouse

www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

www.lpapa.org

LagunaTunes

www.lagunatuneschorus.org

LOCA Arts Education

www.locaarts.org

Music History Hall Foundation

www.musichistoryhall.org

Neighborhood Congregational Church

www.ncclaguna.org

No Square Theatre

www.nosquare.org

Pacific Vocal Series

www.pacificvocalseries.com

Sawdust Art Festival

www.sawdustartfestival.org

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts

www.theartistsfund-foa.org

The Honarkar Foundation

www.thehonarkarfoundation.org

Third Street Writers

www.thirdstreetwriters.org

Visit Laguna Beach

www.visitlagunabeach.com


Artist reception for Joe Goode: Select Works | 1970s – 2000s’ draws crowd to Honarkar Foundation

On Saturday, June 15, the Honarkar Foundation welcomed a large turnout for the artist reception for Joe Goode: Select Works | 1970s – 2000s’.

“It was an honor to have Joe (the artist) himself present,” said Genevieve Williams, curator for the Honarkar Foundation. “We were delighted to see a mixture of collectors, locals, critics (Peter Frank) and some esteemed artists such as James Hayward, Eric Johnson, Andy Moses, Kelly Berg, Stephanie Bachiero, Jorg Dubin and Jimi Gleason, among others. Ed Ruscha, who currently has a major retrospective on at LACMA (to view, click here) also attended, which was a particular highlight.”

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Photos by Marielena Verdugo

Artist Joe Goode

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(L-R) Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode and Steven Steinman

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Reception attendees

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Trio of Joe Goode fans

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(L-R) James Hayward, Joe Goode and Suzanne Ponder

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Crowd mingles

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Back row, (L-R) Peter Frank, Diane Holland; Front row, (L-R) Hiromi Kalayama and Joe Goode with an admirer

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Gail Phinney and Eric Johnson

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Joe Goode

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(L-R) Andy Moses and Jimi Gleason 

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(L-R) Jeff Rovner, Marrie Stone, Jorg Dubin and Debbie Forsyth

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How to get there

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

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Spirit Possession: Celebration of Ghanaian Faces, African Culture & Heritage at LBCAC

By MARRIE STONE

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When I found I had crossed that line [to freedom], I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was glory over everything. The sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven. –Harriet Tubman, after crossing the Pennsylvania border in 1849

Textile artist Allyson Allen memorialized Tubman’s words on a quilt entitled “Jo’s Harriet” in 2012. The quote surrounds Tubman, who dances under the sun, arms stretched skyward into an open field ahead.

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Photo by Marrie Stone

“Jo’s Harriet” (2012). Machine pieced and quilted. Cotton and ethnic prints. Glass bead and cowrie shell embellishments.

The quilt is part of Spirit Possession, a three-person show on display at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) through July. Allen is joined by photographers Tom Lamb and Thomas Fynn.

The exhibition intends to draw attention to Juneteenth, a commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, which happened on June 19, 1865. A companion show of the same name is also currently on exhibit at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) in Santa Ana through June 29. The same exhibition showed in Ghana’s capital city, Accra, in May.

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Courtesy of OCCCA

(L-R) Tom Lamb, Allyson Allen and Thomas Fynn at OCCCA opening of “Spirit Possession.” In the background is Allen’s “75% HEArt – Helping Earth Art” (2024).

Spirit Possession puts an intimate and modern face on West Africa and the origins of the slave trade. Fynn, a documentary photographer from Ghana, has visually recorded his country’s tragic history alongside its rich culture and beautiful people.

The transatlantic slave trade from West Africa to the Americas lasted centuries. For nearly 150 years, Ghana was its epicenter. Approximately 10 million enslaved people were transported in the transatlantic slave trade at rates of up to 100,000 persons per year. The remnants of that haunting period still exist in dozens of forts and castles built by Europeans between 1482 and 1786. Cape Coast, east of Accra, contains more than 30 dungeons where slaves were held by Europeans before transport to the United States, South America and the Caribbean. Images of these dungeons, as well as “The Door of No Return” (the last place Ghanaians would touch their homeland), are on display in this exhibit.

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Photo by Tom Lamb

A visitor looks at Lamb’s images of Ghana’s holding cells for African women enslaved in the transatlantic slave trade

Since the mid-1970s, Fynn’s photography has celebrated cultural heritage, high-profile personalities, Ghanaian national events, eco-tourism and everyday modern life. His portraits capture the essence of his subjects. His landscape and architectural pieces portray a country both grappling with its own past and honoring its many rich traditions.

Through Fynn’s photographs, viewers can discover Ghana’s many traditional festivals. The annual Aboakyer (Deer Hunting) Festival, celebrated by the Simpa (now known as Winneba) people, occurs the first Saturday in May. The Homowo (“Hooting at hunger”) Festival began after a period of famine following a lack of seasonal rainfall to nourish the crops. The annual Feok Festival, occurring in northeastern Ghana, celebrates the victory of the Builsa warriors in the late 1800s when they fought off invaders and avoided enslavement. The Simpa Aboakyir Festival marks the migration of the Simpa people in the central region from the ancient Western Sudan Empire. And the Abangye Festival marks an annual activity in pre-colonial times when men went into the bush, singing and chanting, to cut sticks to fence the abode of their gods.

Spirit Possession provides both a beautiful way to explore another country’s cultural practices and painful history while reflecting on our nation’s own complicated and shameful past.

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Thomas Fynn poses with a wall of his photographs at OCCCA depicting various Ghanaian people and festivals

Lamb met Fynn on his first visit to Ghana in 1993. Lamb was part of an international design charrette team that intended to create sustainable tourism for the central region, including the first canopy walkway in Africa. He returned in 2002 and, most recently, in 2023. Some of Lamb’s early work can be seen in the OCCCA show. All the images at LBCAC are from 2023.

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Multi-day Juneteenth observations planned for Laguna Beach will include movies, panels, concerts

By THERESA KEEGAN

Juneteenth celebrations are spreading throughout Laguna Beach this year, with a focus on the cultural elements of this observation.

“Juneteenth is much larger than the celebration of Emancipation,” said Rick Conkey, executive director of the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center and coordinator of most of the events. “It’s a celebration of humanity.”

The events include films, panel discussions, concerts and a photography exhibit, all with a focus on the impact of Juneteenth within the community and society. The federal holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the country. (It observes the day when Union Army General Gordon Granger told slaves in Galveston and throughout Texas, they were free. It was 1865, more than two and a half years since Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.)

The selected events for the Laguna Beach observations address the current and long-term implications of racism in our society.

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Courtesy of Dorothy Randall Gray

Writer and activist Dorothy Randall Gray will be participating in a panel during Laguna Beach’s Juneteenth celebrations

On the actual holiday, June 19, there is a free screening of Summer of Soul at the Cultural Arts Center and then more involved programming follows.

“A lot of fear, anger, concern and grievances have shaken this country to the core,” said Dorothy Randall Gray, a writer and activist who will lead the discussion panel following the showing of Ted Hawkins – Amazing Grace at the Rivian on June 20.

Hawkins was a talented musician who grew up in abusive situations and started singing while in reform school at age 12. Despite his many talents, he could never hold onto success and spent much of his adult life as a busker on a milk crate in Venice Beach.

Randall Gray says the societal hurdles that affect so many African Americans are only increasing and it’s imperative that people educate themselves about what is happening, and not just on Juneteenth.

“Whatever equity, balance was sought to be put into play is being uprooted every day,” she said. “Voting rights that were initiated after (President Lyndon B.) Johnson are being demolished. History is being rewritten.”

She cites redistricting that splits up politically powerful black communities, relocation of polling places, laws that prohibit anyone giving water to people waiting in line to vote. The rewriting of history books in Florida, where slavery is described as benefitting the slaves and in Texas, where slavery is being redefined, frightens her.

“I think these discussions are more timely than ever,” said Randall Gray. “You have this on-going denigration of power. There has to be a recognition this is happening.”

As a writer she conducts workshops designed to empower people and admits the past year has been overwhelming. War, the lies that are being embraced as truth and attacks on institutions that support black culture, initially left her unable to formulate a workshop.

Ultimately, she created her current series “Writing and Resistance in a Broken World.” She connects people by making the political personal. Instead of just telling her students to write about gun violence she gave each student a shell casing and asked them to write about it.

“I just want people to really think about and connect with issues that are larger than themselves,” she said. “There has to be a recognition of all that’s happened (and happening.)”

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Courtesy of Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas with Sister Leola and the Gospel Ambassadors will perform an acapella concert Friday, June 21 in Laguna Beach at the Cultural Arts Center

In addition to the screening and panel discussion, Laguna’s Juneteenth celebration will include a concert with two-time Grammy nominated musician Earl Thomas, who says he is currently in his “third act” of life. As a successful songwriter and touring musician, he will be performing acapella on Friday with Sister Leola and The Gospel Ambassadors.

“I always stayed away from gospel,” said Thomas. “It was too much brimstone.” But as he looked into his ancestral background – he’s a direct descendent of slaves in Tennessee – he gained a new perspective.

“The music they made was really their only free expression,” he said. “Once I saw it from that perspective, I felt it necessary to continue this tradition – it’s continuing the speech of my forebearers.”

While they are just back from a London tour, and will be performing in Norway in August, Thomas is thrilled the Laguna Beach concert at the Cultural Arts Center will be acapella.

“I love singing acapella. This is the way I learned these songs,” he said. “No instruments, just voices and the body singing. It’s all traditional. We’re using the voices as instruments.”

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The sun sets on Sunset Serenades

Photos by Scott Brashier

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The Friday, June 14 performance by Jessica Fichot ended the Sunset Serenades series for 2024. It drew a big crowd, and all those in attendance seemed charmed by the group’s eclectic style. Music at the Park kicks off on July 7 at Bluebird Park.

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Los Angeles-based chanteuse/songwriter Jessica Fichot drew from her multi-ethnic French/Chinese/American upbringing. Her music takes the listener on a twisting journey out of the French chanson tradition, into the land of 1940s Shanghai jazz, gypsy swing, international folk, and into the wilderness of her imagination.

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Chloe Feoranzo

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Fans enjoyed the performance

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(L-R) Tom Moose (guitar), Alexis Soto Jr. (upright bass), Jessica Fichot (vocals, accordion, toy piano) and Chloe Feoranzo (clarinet, sax)

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LCAD MFA Work on Display: Reflections of Resilience at LAM and Emerging Masters at LCAD Gallery (Part II)

By MARRIE STONE

On April 26, we introduced you to three of this year’s Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) MFA graduates (click here for that story). Today, we bring you the final four. Now through August 25, Laguna Art Museum (LAM) is showcasing a rich sampling of work by these up-and-coming artists. An additional exhibition, Emerging Masters, opens this week at the LCAD Gallery on Ocean Avenue.

Reflections of Resilience is an apt title for students grappling with today’s shifting world. COVID disrupted their education. Rising housing costs put the American dream out of reach for most of them. Climate change threatens their childhood homes, while others have been displaced from their homeland by politically oppressive regimes.

The graduates we previously profiled focused their artistic lens on interrogating standards of beauty (Janaise Sanchez), confronting death (Ryanne Phillips) and exploring vulnerability (Amber Foote).

Their contemporaries profiled today investigate notions of home, displacement and climate change. Some accomplished this through architecture, both structural (Kevin Yaun) and physiological (Eric Theodore). Others through symbolism (Sara Khakpour) and magical realism (Cara Baxter). But the umbrella of resilience binds the thematic strands of their work together.

The graduates invited Stu News inside their studios and inside their process, and their advisor – Professor Peter Zokosky – joined me to talk about their work.

Kevin Yaun reimagines the definition of home

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Photo by Ryan Howard

Kevin Yaun at work in his studio

Home may no longer hold the same meaning it once did. Especially for young adults just entering the work force, realizing the American dream isn’t as attainable as it once was.

But they’re not all wholly discouraged by the idea. Instead, some are choosing to reinvent the notion of home. Rather than planting backyard gardens, this generation invests in potted plants they can take with them from place to place.

Searching for Home sprang from Kevin Yaun’s nomadic lifestyle. Prior to entering LCAD, Yaun worked as a graphic designer and traveled the world, living in Amsterdam, Singapore, London, Thailand and elsewhere. “Travel allowed me to experience living in a lot of different places and learn what I thought was important,” he said.

But settling in Southern California made Yaun realize that even as we yearn for home, it’s not always financially feasible. “I’m looking at architecture from the point of view of a serial renter,” he said, noting the daunting reality of home ownership. “How can I showcase that idea in a way that shows positivity? There’s still a lot of beauty in Southern California, so it’s finding that balance.”

He strikes that balance in his use of light. Are the glowing windows an inviting promise of comfort and security? Or are they a mocking reminder of The Great Gatsby’s unattainable dream?

Incorporating elements of Rothko and invoking ideas from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”), Yaun’s paintings pay homage to architecture while indicting the systems that conspire to keep swaths of our population from obtaining it.

“Like Carroll’s book, which was a sequel for Alice in Wonderland, ‘Twice as Fast’ was intended as a sequel for ‘Houseplant.’ It shows a ghosted figure, engulfed by traffic lights, and even further disconnected from the distant homes. I chose soft warm sunset lighting to create a colorful but haunting mood,” Yaun wrote.

“Kevin already has a gallery. He’s got shows lined up. He’s achieving the kind of success that validates being in one place for a while and finding a home,” Zokosky said.

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

“Twice as Fast,” oil on canvas, 2024

Cara Baxter’s whimsical waning world

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Cara Baxter inside her studio with “Prophet” (2023)

Growing up on the floodplains of Eastern Texas gave Cara Baxter a front row seat to climate change. Intense hurricanes have battered that region for decades. They increase in both frequency and intensity each year, even as many Texan residents resist the science of climate change. Witnessing what’s happened to her homeland gave rise to Baxter’s latest series and the subject of her LCAD thesis, The Flooded World.

But Baxter is an optimist, and it shows in her paintings. Using mythical figures like foxes, bears and snakes, Baxter responds to her anxieties about our climate and her own loneliness using the language of fantasy. “I graduated from college just as the stay-at-home orders happened. It’s been a journey, processing that loneliness and anxiety while remaining hopeful, which is why I love the title, Reflections of Resilience,” she said.

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Experience the magic of Laguna Beach’s Sawdust Art Festival, June 28 through September 1

The enchanting Sawdust Art Festival returns for its 58th season, June 28th through September 1. Nestled in the heart of Laguna Beach, Sawdust Art Festival transforms into a unique artist village where visitors can shop for handcrafted treasures along sawdust-covered paths, enjoy lively musical performances on three entertainment stages and indulge in complimentary art classes or mesmerizing glass-blowing demonstrations. Sawdust Art Festival celebrates the arts in all forms, a diverse array of artistic mediums created by more than 180 local Laguna Beach artists, makers and musicians.

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

2023 Sawdust Festival

“I am honored to be among the many artists who have contributed to this multi-generational art festival, sharing our work with the community amidst this ancient eucalyptus forest,” said Andrew Soliz, president of the Sawdust Art Festival board of directors. “On behalf of the artists and entertainers who came before us, and all of us present today, I extend a hand of friendship to everyone attending the 58th Annual Sawdust Festival,” Soliz added.

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Visitors enjoy the art (2023)

In addition to immersive artistic experiences, the Sawdust Art Festival offers a feast for the senses with the legendary Sawdust Saloon and four outdoor dining venues. This year marks the highly anticipated return of Chef Rebollar’s Taco Loco, a Pacific Coast Highway staple for 37 years before closing in 2023. Attendees can also enjoy a variety of specialty coffees, craft beer and Jackson Family Wines.

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Just one example of the treasures to be found at the Sawdust

Sawdust Art Festival offers a vibrant blend of experiences for all ages. Live music all day, every day, featuring local musicians, known as the heart and soul of Laguna Beach. Tickets start at $5 for children and $12 for adults and can be purchased by clicking here.

One legendary grove of eucalyptus trees. Sixty-six days of pure creativity. And endless opportunities for making favorite memories. This is where art meets magic. This iconic gathering brings together art lovers of all types for a summer celebration of art, music, food and community. Come for the magic, stay for the memories. See you at Sawdust.

The Sawdust will run from Friday, June 28 – Sunday, Sept. 1, 2024. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday – Saturday. The Sawdust is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. For more information, visit https://sawdustartfestival.org.

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FOA classes and workshops

Youth Art Classes

Fridays-Sundays, 12:30 p.m.

July 5 – August 25

Bring out that creative spark in your young artist at the Youth Arts Classes this summer at the Festival of Arts. Kids ages 5-12 will enjoy art classes taught by professional artists in mixed-media, ceramics, sculpture and more. Meanwhile, parents will have free time to view the artwork on display throughout the Festival grounds.

Art instructors will share some of their creative techniques in a fun and friendly environment that will inspire your kids to come back every week.

For a full listing of the class schedule and to register, click here.

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Photos courtesy of FOA

Youth Art Classes – Ceramics

Teen and Adult Art Classes

Fridays-Sundays at 3 p.m.

July 5 – August 25

Let your creativity run wild this summer in Laguna Beach! Discover your inner artist at the Festival of Art’s Adult and Teen Art Workshops! Award-winning talented artists will lead you step-by-step through the process of creating your own masterpiece.

These classes are perfect for vacationers and locals alike looking to try something new, have fun, and soak in the artistic atmosphere.

For a full listing of the class schedule and to register, click here.

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Teen and Adult Art Classes

Prints and Pinots Art Classes

Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.

July 11 – August 22

Create a beautiful one-of-a-kind print!

Using a variety of colorful handmade papers and hand-cut relief blocks, students will learn the basics of monoprint, collage and overprint techniques in this creative printmaking class.

Beginners and all levels are invited; take home your finished masterpiece.

For a full listing of the class schedule and to register, click here.

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Prints and Pinot Art Classes

Paint and Sip Art Classes

Fridays at 8:30 p.m.

July 12 – August 23

Uncork your creativity this summer at the Festival of Arts.

Enjoy a fun painting workshop, while surrounded by beautiful art. Learn easy painting step-by-step processes, as taught by Nikita Young.

Beginners and all levels are invited; take home your finished masterpiece.

For a full listing of the class schedule and to register, click here

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Paint and Sip Art Classes

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Festival of Arts announces 2024 Summer Concert Series

From July 3 through August 30, join Festival of Arts (FOA) for live music on the Festival’s Concert Stage. This year’s concert line-up features Grammy winner Poncho Sanchez; jazz all-stars Grace Kelly and Gregg Karukas; Eric Clapton-approved tribute band, The Cream of Clapton, funk legend Greg Adams and more. Concerts are free with Festival admission.

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Photos courtesy of FOA

Greg Adams and East Bay Soul perform July 6

The daily schedule for Festival of Arts Summer Concert Series is now available online by clicking here.

All concerts are free with Festival admission.

For select concerts, limited “nightclub” seating is available in the reserved section for an additional fee. To reserve seats, click here.

Wed., July 3, 5:30-7 p.m., Street Corner Renaissance, Acapella

Fri., July 5, 5:30-7 p.m., Terry Wollman, R&B/Jazz

Sat., July 6, 1-2:30 p.m., Greg Adams and East Bay Soul, Jazz Concerts on the Green, $60

Sat., July 6, 5:30-7 p.m., Missiles of October, Blues, $45

Sun., July 7, 1-2:30 p.m., The Afro Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, $20

Sun., July 7, 5:30-7 p.m., Melanie Taylor, R&B/Jazz, Wow… That Girl Can Sing! $45

Mon., July 8, 5:30-7 p.m., Shawn Jones, Rock/Blues, Americana, $30

Tues., July 9, 5:30-7 p.m., The 133 Band, Rock, $30

Wed., July 10, 5:30-7 p.m., Kay-Ta Crypto String Society, Jazz, $30

Thurs., July 11, 5:30-7 p.m., Téka, Brazilian Jazz, $50

Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate, sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery

Fri., July 12, 5:30-7 p.m., The Cream of Clapton Band, Rock/Blues, Tremendous Tributes, $45

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Grace Kelly performs July 13

Sat., July 13, 1-2:30 p.m., Grace Kelly, Jazz, Concerts on the Green, $60

Sat., July 13, 5:30-7 p.m., Josh Nelson, Jazz, $45

Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano, Sponsored by City of Hope

Sun., July 14, 12-3 p.m., Family Art Day, Special Event

Sun., July 14, 5:30-7 p.m., Paris Chansons, French, Wow… That Girl Can Sing! $45

Mon., July 15, 5:30-7 p.m., Miskey Mountain Boys, Bluegrass, Americana, $30

Tues., July 16, 5:30-7 p.m., Slim Man, R&B/Jazz, $30

Wed., July 17, 5:30-7 p.m., Laguna Community Jazz Band, Jazz, $30

Thurs., July 18, 5:30-7 p.m., The New Jet Set, Jazz – Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate

Sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery, $50

Fri., July 19, 5:30-7 p.m., The Eagles Allstars, Country Rock, Tremendous Tributes, $45

Sat., July 20,1-2:30 p.m., BP.M. (Brian Bromberg, Paul Brown, Michael Paulo), Jazz Concerts on the Green, $60

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John Proulx Trio performs on July 20

Sat., July 20, 5:30-7 p.m., John Proulx Trio, Jazz, Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano

Sponsored by City of Hope, $45

Sun., July 21, 1-2:30 p.m., Laguna Community Concert Band, Jazz

Sun., July 21, 5:30-7 p.m., Raffia Thomas, R&B/Soul, Wow… That Girl Can Sing! $45

Mon., July 22, 5:30-7 p.m., Buzz Campbell and the Heartaches, Rockabilly Americana, $30

Tues., July 23, 5:30-7 p.m., Quarteto Nuevo, Jazz, $30

Wed., July 24, 5:30-7 p.m., Beth and Steve Wood, Folk/Rock, $30

Thurs., July 25, 5:30-7 p.m., Spencer Day, Jazz – Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate

Sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery, $50

Fri., July 26, 5:30-7 p.m., Tony Guerrero – A Tribute to Chuck Mangione, Jazz Tremendous Tributes, $45

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Poncho Sanchez – July 27

Sat., July 27, 1-2:30 p.m., Poncho Sanchez, Latin Jazz, Concerts on the Green, $60

Sat., July 27, 5:30-7 p.m., Scott Wilkie Trio, Jazz, Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano

Sponsored by City of Hope, $45

Sun., July 28,12-3 p.m., Miskey Mountain Boys, Bluegrass

Sun., July 28, 5:30-7 p.m., Lia Booth, Jazz Wow… That Girl Can Sing! $45

Mon., July 29, 5:30-7 p.m., Eugene Edwards Band, Country/Rock, Americana, $30

Tues., July 30, 5:30-7 p.m., “Listen to the Seventies” – Folk/Rock, $30

Wed., July 31, 5:30-7 p.m., Opera Laguna, Opera, $30

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Laguna Live! announces Live! Music Matters will run all year

Live! Music Matters, the much in demand free children’s program, presented by Laguna Beach Live! is now set to run continuously throughout the year.

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Courtesy of Laguna Live!

Live! Music Matters will continue to run all year long

Led by musician Zach Churchill, the 30-minute sessions for kids up to age 6, take place at Laguna Beach Library on Tuesday mornings, 11:30 a.m. Live! Music Matters provides Laguna tots the opportunity to engage in musical experiences through singing, movement and using child friendly percussion instruments. These activities not only promote sensory development, imagination and coordination but also enhance numeracy skills, motor skills, emotional intelligence, social activity and more.

Laguna Beach Live! is offering this program to the community as part of their education mission, and is grateful to Festival of Arts Foundation, Assistance League of Laguna Beach, and Laguna Beach Rotary Club for support of their educational programming.

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LBCAC adds Juneteenth events

Courtesy of www.earlthomasmusic.com

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Earl Thomas and Sister Leola – June 21

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

Friday, June 21, 8 p.m.

Juneteenth Weekend Celebration Concert

The 2x Grammy-nominated Blues Ambassador Earl Thomas featuring Sister Leola

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 their 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.

Hailing from the realm of blues stardom, the illustrious 2x Grammy-nominated Ambassador, Earl Thomas, has graced the music industry for more than three decades with his unparalleled voice and style. With a staggering 21 recordings under his belt, he stands as a beacon of influence and productivity in the blues genre, captivating audiences worldwide. Not only has he garnered acclaim from legends like Etta James, Solomon Burke and Sir Tom Jones through his songwriting prowess, but he has now embarked on a new musical journey back to his gospel roots.

In what he dubs his “third act,” Thomas seamlessly blends his legendary status with a modern-day innovation, solidifying his place among the greats of African American gospel. Thomas continues to reign supreme, a living legend and a pioneer in his own right.

For tickets, click here.

Sunday, June 23, 4 p.m.

3rd Annual Laguna Beach Juneteenth Jubilee Event

Free Admission; Donations Appreciated

Limited Seating.

In April 1969, a small group of Black and Puerto Rican students shut down the City College of New York, an elite public university located right in the heart of Harlem. Fueled by the revolutionary fervor sweeping the nation, the strike soon turned into an uprising, leading to the extended occupation of the campus, classes being canceled, students being arrested and the resignation of the college president. Through archival footage and modern-day interviews, follow the students’ struggle against the institutional racism that for more than a century had shut out people of color from this and other public universities. The Five Demands revisits the untold story of this explosive student takeover and proves that a handful of ordinary citizens can band together to take action and affect meaningful change.

Screenings will be followed by a led discussion.

To RSVP, click here.

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Eric Henderson – June 30

Sunday, June 30, July 14 and 28, August 11 and 25

Summer Concert Series, every other Sunday

Step into the world of musical enchantment with a LBCAC Summer Concert Series, featuring the internationally acclaimed Concert Guitarist Eric Henderson and his extraordinary quartet, Malaga.

Witness the magic as Curtis Mathewson and Richard Bredice mesmerize on electric guitar, Henderson serenades on Spanish guitar, Jimmy Perez sets the rhythm on bass and Frank Cotinola brings beats to life on drums.

Experience the soulful resonance of the guitar in the intimate setting of OC’s premier listening room, where every note is a symphony of emotions. Join this unforgettable evening filled with Spanish classical guitar masterpieces by Henderson and a captivating blend of new tunes and timeless classics like “Little Wing” and “Paint It Black.” Embrace the harmonious fusion of talent and passion at LBCAC’s Summer Concert Series.

For tickets, click here.

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center concessions available, not currently ADA accessible, steep stairs only.

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

Check out the calendar at www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Cultural Arts announces temporary art installation and public art dedication on July 12

Temporary Art Installation

A ceramic mural titled Seagull Eclipse by local artist Jesse Bartels will be installed at the pocket park on Laguna Frontage Road near Woodland Drive mid-June through September 2024. This project has been made possible through a gift from the Wayne Peterson Fund of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation.

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

“Seagull Eclipse” by Jess Bartels

Public Art Dedication – An Attempted Murder

The Arts Commission invites the public to attend the dedication of the temporary sculpture installation An Attempted Murder by artist Jack Champion at City Hall on July 12 at 4 p.m.

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

“An Attempted Murder” by Jack Champion to be dedicated on July 12

Music in the Park

Sundays, July 7 – August 18, 5-7 p.m.

Bluebird Park, 772 Cress St.

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Courtesy of www.thegreatnorthspecial.com

Great North Special performs at Bluebird Park on July 7

Music in the Park is a free public concert series held Sunday evenings in July and August, at Bluebird Park. Concerts start at 5 p.m. Set-up is not permitted before 3 p.m. No dogs are allowed at Bluebird Park (LBMC 6.16.020). No smoking (LBMC 7.40.030). No display or sale of merchandise (LBMC 18.04.015). Low-seating 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.

2024 CONCERT SCHEDULE

–July 7 – The Great North Special

(Psych-rock, Country, Blues and Funk-soul)

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Courtesy of www.thetabuband.com

Tabu will be featured on July 7

–July 14 – TABU

(Latin)

–July 21 – The Shagwells

(‘60s and ‘70s hits)

–July 28 – Upstream

(Caribbean, Reggae, Calypso, Steel Drum)

–August 4 – 133 Band

–August 11 – Betamaxx

(1980s cover)

–August 18 – The Tina Turner Tribute featuring Debby Holiday

(Tribute)

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

For questions, contact Cultural Arts at 949.497.3311.

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Laguna Playhouse presents legendary musical Camelot on July 24

Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce the creative team and full casting for one of the most legendary musicals of all time, a transfer production from North Coast Repertory Theatre of Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot, book & lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe, original production directed and staged by Moss Hart.

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Photos by Aaron Rumley

North Coast Repertory Theatre (NCR) cast of “Camelot”

Laguna Playhouse also announces that single tickets will go on sale Tuesday, June 25 for its 2024-2025 season of shows. This sensational season begins with a special bonus production of the legendary musical, Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot (now on sale); followed by an uproarious comedy.

Based on The Once and Future King by T.H. White, the play features new orchestrations by Steve Orich, musical direction by Daniel Lincoln, choreography by Jill Gorrie Rovatsos and directed by Jeffrey B. Moss.

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NCR cast members

Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot begins previews on Wednesday, July 24, will open on Sunday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. (press opening); and perform through Sunday, Aug. 11 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Prepare for an evening of enchantment in Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot, brilliantly adapted for intimate theatres. This Tony Award-winning fairy-tale musical resounds with such memorable songs as, “I Loved You Once in Silence,” “If Ever I Would Leave You” and the title song, “Camelot.”

Based on the King Arthur legend, it features the iconic characters King Arthur, Guenevere, Sir Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. This epic story centers on the quest for democracy, justice and the tragic struggle between passion, aspiration and kingdoms.

Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (composer) wrote some of the American theater’s most memorable musicals, including My Fair Lady, Camelot, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon and Gigi.

Jeffrey Moss (director) has staged more than 35 national and international tours including Guys And Dolls, Hello, Dolly!, Man of La Mancha, The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, On The 20th Century, The Music Man, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, The Music of The Night, Annie, West Side Story and 42nd Street.

Daniel Lincoln (musical director) As pianist/conductor/pit musician (keyboards): Such acclaimed productions as Broadway: Wicked, On Your Feet!, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and The Cher Show.

Jill Gorrie Rovatsos (Choreographer) has worked on productions such as Romance Romance, Desperate Measures, The Remarkable Mister Holmes); SDMT (Fiddler on the Roof, Singin’ in the Rain, 42nd Street and Damn Yankees.

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(L-R) Brian Krinsky, Jered McLenigan and Lauren Weinberg (part of NCR cast)

The cast of Camelot features (in alphabetical order): Nick Apostolina as Squire Dap/Mordred, Jacob Caltrider as Sir Dinadin, Jason Heil as Merlyn/Sir Gareth, Scott Hurst, Jr. as Lionel, Brian Krinsky as Lancelot, Jered McLenigan as Arthur, Eben Rosenzweig as Tom of Warwick, Noah Weibel also as Tom of Warwick, Lauren Weinberg as Guenevere and Elias Wygodny as Sir Sagramore. Cole Fletcher will understudy the roles of Merlyn, Sir Gareth, Sir Dinadin, Sir Sagramore and Sir Lionel.

The design team for Camelot is as follows: scenic design by Marty Burnett; costume design by Elisa Benzoni; lighting design by Matt Novotny; sound design by Ian Scot; props design by Audrey Casteris; hair and wig design by Peter Herman and fight coordination by Benjamin Cole. The Production Stage Manager is Phil Gold.

Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com.

Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot will preview on Wednesday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, July 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 27 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; will open on Sunday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. (press opening) and perform through Sunday, Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Performances will be Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. There will be added performances on Thursday, Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. There will be no performance on Sunday, August 4 at 5:30 p.m. There will be a post-show talkback following the Friday, Aug. 2 performance.

Tickets range from $55-$94 and can be purchased online at www.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 through Sundays, 12-4 p.m.; Mondays open two hours prior to show time and until 15 minutes after curtain. It is open until showtime on all performance days.

For more information on all shows and programming, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

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LAM introduces Neighborhood Nights

Leave a Legacy

Lobby tiles are a great way to: Support the mission of the museum. Leave a lasting legacy with your name. Give a unique gift to honor a loved one, friend or colleague or promote your business.

Contact Crystal Tosello if you would like to donate $10,000 for a custom tile engraving. Crystal Tosello, development manager, ctosello@lagunaartmuseum.org, 949.494.8971, ext. 215.

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Photos courtesy of LAM

Support the mission of LAM with a lobby tile

LAM introduces Art Museum Neighborhood Nights

All summer long, locals can take advantage of a free night at the Laguna Art Museum (LAM) with a raffle, tours, local food and drinks (LAM is collaborating with local spots), and activities for the entire family.

Each part of the Laguna community has their own night.

Free nights (5-7 p.m.)

Thursday, June 20 – North Laguna

Thursday, July 18 – The Village

Thursday, Aug. 15 – South Laguna

Thursday, Sept. 12 – Top of the World

A Summer of Fun and Learning, begins in June

Throughout summer 2024, LAM will be welcoming kids into the museum for expanded learning and creative opportunities that can be found only at Laguna Art Museum. Starting off with their Summer Camp, they will announce new phases of LAM Kids Summer on this page. Stay tuned and make sure you register!

For classes, click here.

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Kids Camp runs through July 29

LAM Kids Summer Fridays

Drop in and create masterpieces of your own. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. every summer Friday, their Studio/Lab is open to all kids who want to explore their creativity and participate in hands-on art projects. Members of the Education Staff will be onsite to help kids find inspiration and create their works of art.

Drop ins are free with museum admission.

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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.

Exhibitions:

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“Skyward” by Eric Theodore

Reflections of Resilience through August 25

Reflections of Resilience presents a sampling of the artwork from the 2024 Master of Fine Art graduates from Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD). Remarkable artists are attracted to LCAD because of the understanding that time-honored skill joined with personal contemporary concerns can create vital, memorable art.

LAM is delighted to introduce Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

On the Edge through September 2

Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

Joan and Jack Quinn represent a crucial moment in art history, as Los Angeles came to symbolize an innovative and prolific brand of creative freedom. On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection, explores the experimental approaches to minimalism and new materials from the 1960s through 2000s, the diversification of practices and makers, and the vital role the Quinns played in both documenting and contributing to the story of Los Angeles art. Revealed is a period of artmaking that is pivotal to understanding current practices and the west coast mentality, and collectively exudes a unique spirit of anti-conformity and the “California Cool” ethos.

Art Workshop – June 21

Friday, June 21, 4-7 p.m.

Art Workshop, Figure Drawing

Join Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting at LCAD, for a figure drawing workshop. Learn the basics and build on your knowledge of how to draw the human form with a live model. Supplies are included with purchase of a ticket.

Class Dates: June 21, July 19

Please note that the model will be nude.

Advance tickets are recommended. Adults (18+) only. Museum members: $30, Non-members: $45. For tickets, click here.

Kids Studio – June 22

Saturday, June 22, 11 a.m.

LAM Kids Studio

Unleash your imagination and create your own masterpieces at their monthly LAM Kids Studio program. With guidance from LAM’s Education Team, kids will experiment with different artistic mediums and styles, explore the museum galleries and engage in fun-filled activities.

LAM Kids Studio activities and themes change every month.

Free with admission: Members: Free; Adults: $12; Youth 12 and under: Free; Active Military, Seniors and Students: $9.

Every student must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the workshop.

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LPAPA Gallery announces screening of John Cosby documentary on July 17

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John Crosbys-Gallery Solo Exhibition runs through July 1

Photos courtesy of LPAPA

John Cosby, Artist in Residence

John Cosby “Artist in Residence” LPAPA Gallery Solo Exhibition

Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love

The LPAPA Gallery is proud to present a special “Artist in Residence” Solo Exhibition featuring major works, and plein air studies, created by Signature Artist and Founding Member John Cosby on June 6 through July 1.

LPAPA’s Annual “From Dusk to Dawn”

LPAPA’s Annual “From Dusk to Dawn” juried nocturne art show will feature both plein air and studio works. Gallery exhibition dates for the juried Finalists are August 1 through September 2 with juried Semi-Finalists to be exhibited at City Hall.

Five cash awards to be given with the top prize of $500. Plus, all submitting members receive $5 in LPAPA Loyalty Reward credits.

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Less is More – Show opens on July 1

18th Annual Less is More

The show opens with an online Art Catalog and Preview Auction on Monday, July 1, followed by the LPAPA Gallery opening for First Thursdays Art Walk on Thursday July 11, 6-9 p.m. (a week after the first Thursday due to July 4th holiday).

Four cash awards to be presented.

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Aimee Erickson Exhibition – July 5-29

Aimee Erickson: Artist in Residence at the LPAPA Gallery

Online Preview Auction & LPAPA Gallery Show July 5 through July 29.

Online Preview Auction: Opens 10 a.m. July 5 – Ends 8 p.m. July 11.

Gallery Show & Online Exhibition: Friday, July 5 – Monday, July 29.

Art Walk Reception: Thursday, July 11, 6-9 p.m.

Plein Talk at the LPAPA Gallery: Sunday, July 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The LPAPA Gallery is pleased to present their Artist in Residence Showcase Exhibition featuring original works by Signature Artist Aimee Erickson opening with an online preview and auction Friday, July 5 at 10 a.m. followed by the gallery opening at 11 a.m. and a post-holiday First Thursday Art Walk Reception on Thursday, July 11, 6-9 p.m.

The art show and sale continue through Monday, July 29.

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“John Cosby: A Journey in Art” will be screened at the Rivian South Coast Theater – July 17

John Cosby: A Journey in Art

July 17 Premiere of Documentary Film at the Rivian South Coast Theater.

LPAPA presents John Cosby: A Journey in Art at the Rivian South Coast Theater on Wednesday, July 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This will be the first public screening of an extended version of the short documentary film that Cosby has been working on. Q&As with Cosby will follow the screening.

Plan to join LPAPA for the fun, food and drinks, and lively conversation in support of LPAPA.

Cosby is one of the original Founding Members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art organization founded in Laguna Beach in 1996. Your support is greatly appreciated. Proceeds generated through ticket sales supports the program and helps sustain nonprofit LPAPA’s mission and year-round art and education programs.

Thank you for being part of the Laguna Plein Air Painting tradition and legacy.

Cost: $45 Registration fee; $35 for LPAPA Member

For tickets, click here.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association/LPAPA Gallery is located at 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

Click here to access LPAPA’s calendar and event schedule.

For more information, go to www.lpapa.org.

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Note from Sawdust artist Joan Gladstone: She will be introducing vibrant new oil paintings that celebrate summer and iconic California coast imagery. The Sawdust Festival opens June 28 and continues every day through September 1. “This is my fourth year exhibiting at the Sawdust Art Festival, Southern California’s premier outdoor art festival. I’ll teach a watercolor class every Monday at 2 p.m.” There are art classes for all ages, great music and a magical atmosphere are always free with admission.

Courtesy of Joan Gladstone

“American Dream” by Joan Gladstone

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!). For more information, click here.

Courtesy of Sawdust

Intro to Sewing: Messenger Bag – June 21

Friday, June 21, 10 a.m.

Intro to Sewing: Messenger Bag

Learn how to sew a one-of-a-kind messenger bag on a sewing machine in this introduction to textiles with Carmen Gundelach. Working with a selection of sewing supplies (needle, thread, buttons, webbing, scissors and a sewing machine), Gundelach will show you how to cut out the bag pattern, the basics of sewing on a sewing machine (if you’ve never used one!) and using straight stitches to assemble your pieces. You can choose to bring your own materials if you wish, but upholstery fabric and lining is included in the price of this class.

This class is not suitable for children under 7 years of age; children aged 7-10 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $125.

Courtesy of Sawdust

Intro to Mosaic Art – July 13 and 20

Saturday, July 13 and 20

Introduction 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 home in on the fine details and finishing your artwork. A wonderful, informative and creative workshop, and one that we 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, contact Sawdust directly at learnart@sawdustartfestival.org.

Saturday, July 20, 3 p.m.

Seascape Palette Knife Painting

Painting with a palette knife creates a sense of color vibrancy that is added to the artwork. The viewer is drawn into a visual array of color and texture.

At first it may seem different to learn painting with a palette knife but with little practice and artist-led instruction, students will be amazed at what can be achieved. Join artist Michelle Burt to learn one of the most rewarding techniques that produce absolutely eye-catching effects.

The fundamentals of values, color mixing, atmospheric perspective and composition will be discussed in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Each participant will leave with a completed painting ready to hang.

Cost: $110.

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Laguna Live! presents Live! at the Museum on July 7

Tuesdays, 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

Taso Comanescu and Anastasia Malliaras – July 7

Sunday, July 7, 1 p.m.

Live! at the Museum

Laguna Live! welcomes Taso Comanescu and Anastasia Malliaras guitar and soprano to Laguna Art Museum.

American guitarist Taso Comanescu is a colorful performer full of subtle nuance and strong musicianship. His programs present a variety of repertoire that creatively captures his audiences. He is an in-demand solo performer, ensemble artist and instructor whose accomplishments have taken him around the globe.

Soprano Anastasia Malliaras is gracefully exploring new depths of her artistry and voice. With a beautiful blend of warm and bright colors, her timbre is distinguishable, and vocal tone elegant and natural. Her voice has led her to play the classic operatic roles of Nannetta, Olympia, Zerbinetta, Marie and Frasquita, to name a few. In 2017, she was seen in the world premiere of the opera Tesla where she portrayed the role of Marie Astor Hampton.

Advance reservations are recommended. Come early to enjoy the art.

For tickets, click here.

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Artists Fund invites public to visit Art-To-Go FOA

–Tuesday, July 2, 2024 (hours TBA)

“Art-To-Go at FOA Preview Reception” to view 100 originals donated by FOA exhibitors and vote for Art-To-Go People’s Choice!

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Courtesy of Artists Fund

“Necessary Vices” by John Straub, photography

July 2 – August 28

“Art-To-Go at Festival of Arts” View 100 originals donated by FOA exhibitors, new items added weekly. Proceeds support their Hardship Grant fund. Free with regular Festival admission.

Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Coming Up

June 15:  FOA Exhibitor Yearbook (digital) launches.

July 2, 5-9 p.m.: Art-To-Go opens at FOA Preview Night Invitational.

July 2-5: Vote for People’s Choice Art-To-Go piece at the displays.

July 6, 5:15 p.m.: Awards Presentation to winning Art-To-Go exhibitors.

To view them online, click here.

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LCAD’s Emerging Masters 2024 exhibition runs through July 14

LCAD’s Emerging Master 2024 exhibition, which opened on June 6 at LCAD Gallery will run through July 14.

Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) is proud to present Emerging Masters 2024. This diverse and impressive group exhibition features artwork by the most recent graduating students from LCAD’s Master of Fine Arts programs in Drawing and Painting. These skilled creatives are among today’s most promising emerging artists.

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Courtesy of LCAD

Cara Baxter, “The Journey,” acrylic on panel, 36” x 24”, 2024

Students come to LCAD because the college believes that enduring art comes from a fusion of contemporary ideas and time-honored skills. Learning how to draw and paint with a high level of skill is a discipline that enables the artist to truly see and effectively communicate.

Exhibiting Artists: Cara Baxter, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

LCAD Gallery is located at 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

LCAD Gallery admission is always free.

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Pageant offering matching campaign for Masters at Giving 

Share the Pageant of the Masters magic and double your impact!

For every $45 Director’s Tier Side Section ticket you purchase for the Pageant of the Masters through their Masters at Giving program, they’ll match your donation. This means your contribution is doubled, spreading twice the joy!

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Courtesy of Festival of Arts Laguna Beach

Share the Pageant of the Masters magic and double your impact

–Enchanting Evening for Local Non-Profit Organizations: Your 100% tax-deductible donation gives military families, veterans, at-risk youth, senior centers, art students, community service organizations and more a chance to experience the magic of the Pageant of the Masters.

–Summer-Long Art Access: Recipients also gain entry to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, enriching their summer with art appreciation.

–Double the Generosity: Your donation goes twice as far, reaching more people in our community.

Join the Pageant to make a bigger impact today. Share the magic of living pictures and art with those who may not otherwise have the opportunity.

To donate now, go here.

The Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. IRS tax ID 95-1964772. Donations are used to support the arts and are tax-deductible.

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Laguna Art Museum gets wild with Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) will present Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature, set to showcase the influential work of Southern California native artist, Fred Tomaselli. The exhibition, exploring the intersections of art, nature and contemporary culture, will be on view from October 6 through February 2, 2025.

Tomaselli, who grew up and formed his early artistic sensibilities in Southern California, attended California State University, Fullerton, where he graduated with a BA in Painting and Drawing in 1982. His work is deeply influenced by the fantasy culture and natural beauty of the coastal environment, themes that are prominently reflected in his artworks.

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Photo by Dan Bradica Studio

Fred Tomaselli, “Irwin’s Garden,” 2023, acrylic, photo collage, leaves and resin on wood panel, 48” x 48”, courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York, ©2024

“Fred Tomaselli’s work offers a vital narrative emphasizing the beauty and turmoil of our times. His uncanny ability to incorporate contemporary issues within his unique and eye-catching artistic approach allows for important conversations and deeper enjoyment of his stunning work,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum.

The exhibition, guest-curated by Laguna Art Museum Curatorial Fellow Rochelle Steiner, will feature approximately 50 of Tomaselli’s new and recent works. The works highlight his unique approach to collage-based resin paintings and his engagement with topics such as global warming, the impact of the pandemic and today’s most pressing social issues.

“Tomaselli’s work is a powerful exploration of the world at large through ideas of individual perception, shared reality and the altered states between,” said Steiner, guest curator for the exhibition. “This exhibition promises to provide an insightful look at today’s most pressing issues by considering collisions of nature and culture, humans and animals, science and art and our need to process the fever pitch noise that surrounds modern life.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Laguna Art Museum will publish a fully illustrated catalog authored by Steiner; it will also feature a conversation between Tomaselli and writer Dan Nadel and include images of all the works in the exhibition. Specially designed by Barbara Glauber/Heavy Meta, the catalog provides insights into Tomaselli’s West Coast inspirations and deeper understanding and appreciation of his recent practice. The publication will be available in late 2024.

The exhibition aligns with the museum’s annual Art + Nature initiative and will include public programs such as a talk by Tomaselli on October 6. Further details about the series of talks, and lectures elaborating on the exhibition themes, as well as the launch of the new publication, will be announced.

Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature is organized by Laguna Art Museum and guest curated by Rochelle Steiner. Generous support for the exhibition provided by Elie Weaver and Hilton Weinberg. Generous support for the publication provided by James Cohan, New York.

For more information about Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature, visit https://lagunaartmuseum.org/.

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

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