Laguna Beach philanthropists Terry Smith and Wayne Peterson enjoyed the spotlight at Laguna College of Art & Design’s recent fundraising gala for their numerous contributions to the college and its scholarship fund.
Freshly minted graduate Charity Oetgen thanked the duo for their generosity, saying that without their scholarship she would not have been able to complete her art education.
Guests could see for themselves what that potential loss might have meant as Oetgen presented her senior capstone video about fellow classmate Nina Fitzpatrick, 22, who was fatally injured in a crosswalk connecting the main campus with senior studios on April 3.
Following the presentation, auctioneer Zack Krone called for pledges of support for the Nina Fitzpatrick Family Endowed Scholarship, to be awarded annually to a student in need of tuition money. Contributions ranged from $10,000 pledged by the chair of LCAD’s board of trustees, Patricia O’Brien, to $100 by random individuals hoisting yellow auction cards.
Initial hopes for $25,000 were far exceeded, with $61,000 raised altogether during the 25th annual Collectors Choice soirée Saturday, June 21, said college President Jonathan Burke.
A festive atmosphere prevailed among the 400 guests who attended the LCAD fundraiser for student scholarships.
Guests included college trustees, alumni, faculty and friends, including Laguna art commission members and the Moulton family, whose matriarch Nellie Gail helped found the college in 1961.
Altogether, ticket sales, an art raffle, silent auction and live auction netted $250,000.
Arts Commission member Lisa Mansour, a current LCAD student, and the city’s cultural arts manager, Sîan Poeschl, each contributed an art work to the evening’s silent auction.
Last year, 420 guests brought in $176,000. However, even though this year’s number of attendees was smaller, an increase in ticket prices to $250 per person from $200 helped raise event proceeds.
Live auction items included, among others, paintings by Kathy Jones, Regina Jacobson, Ken Auster and Burke, whose landscape brought in $6,000. Sculptors including Louis Longi and Richard McDonald contributed three-dimensional works.
“I am touched that Richard McDonald not only donated the sculpture but gives of his time teaching a master class in sculpture and serving as honorary chairman of the figurative sculpture department,” said Burke.
Other changes this year included a raffle of art made exclusively by students and post-dinner jazz and dessert. The latter took place in a classroom converted into an intimate lounge. Its focal point was “L’Après Soirée,” a temporary mural painted by LCAD students Kraig Blue and Erick Listman and commissioned by trustee Suzanne Chonette.
In remarks preceding the live auction, Burke said LCAD now ranks fourth among animation programs in the state, behind USC, UCLA and Cal Arts. “Our design and media major is currently competing with eight other premiere design schools throughout the United States,” he said.