Artists Open Studios to Visitors

An Open Studios visitor assists sculptor Louis Longi.

An Open Studios visitor assists sculptor Louis Longi.

Art enthusiasts are invited to visit local professional artists in their work places on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as part of Laguna Beach’s free Artist Open Studios.

Participants may board a free shuttle service from the Act V parking lot, located at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road, and take advantage of free parking.

The majority of artist studios are nestled amid the oak trees and rich colors along Laguna Canyon Road, the backdrop for some of the town’s legendary artists such as William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, and Edgar Payne.

Today, visitors can observe 34 artists behind-the-scenes working in a spectrum of art media – glass blowing, fused glass hands-on workshops, ceramic, painting, printmaking, and bronze lost-wax demonstrations.

Just off the canyon on Ocean Avenue, and discover painters Vanessa Roth and Cliff Wassmann, who have studios opposite each other. Here, art enthusiasts will appreciate historic art studios, nearly 100-years-old.

“It’s different than a gallery experience. Wassmann said. A gallery can be intimidating, but in a studio – you get to see work in progress,” said Wassmann. “It’s more hands-on than a gallery; a little more intimate.”

The artist is currently working on a large 48×72 canvas of a slot canyon in Utah’s Buckskin Gulch.

At the first shuttle stop find sculptor Jon Seeman. Next, enjoy muralist Sandra Jones Campbell’s lively works, her striking configuration, and bold content.

And just up the canyon, don’t miss the opportunity to make your own piece of kiln formed glass with Maggie Spencer, and see her colorful completed work. Each month, she presents a new project for visitors to try.

Tucked in a serene spot in the canyon, enjoy a creative art glass studio space, with glassblowers Gavin Heath and Muffin Spencer-Devlin. Find mixed media artist Margaret Hemsley also on location.

Many artists are located at Laguna Canyon Artists. Join a number of new participating artists in exploring their studio space and art work. This artist complex is widely known for a number of imaginative and experimental printmakers, painters, jewelers, and mixed media artists, as well as established artists like oil painter Tom Swimm.

He finds Artist Open Studios serves as a great way to connect with people who appreciate and collect all forms of art. “When you send your work off to galleries, you usually don’t have access to comments about your work, or have any interaction with someone if they purchase a piece,” Swimm said. “I find that a lot of people like to meet the artist and talk about what inspires them; it’s a nice way to connect with people who like your work.”

The artist added, “I think it allows people to learn about how artists work and to see the environment that they have created to fit their own artistic personality. Many people have this perception that artists are inaccessible and that there is some magic or mystery to creating fine art.”

At the very last stop in the canyon, visit with artists Louis Longi, Olivia Batchelder and Micha von Doring who work on bronze, silk and wood respectively.

Longi creates one-of-a-kind bronze sculptures, abstracting the human form, and expressing the strength of human will. He has myriad public art pieces, including “Beacon” and “Usher In” at Act V. Currently, visitors can see the artist create new sculptures for the 2013 Laguna Beach Art Star Awards and work on several private commissions.

“I like to show the unique process of my sculpting technique, lost wax foundry process, and behind the scenes production cycle of creating contemporary sculptures,” Longi said. “During Artist Open Studios, people will experience hands-on sculpting, participating in the wax sculpting process with a new technique that I am working on. And they can check out an exterior studio and creative canyon environment.”

Longi said that he has received great feedback from attendees. “They’re glad they stopped by, and learned how bronze sculptures are made. They really enjoy the unique experience.”

For a list of participating artists, visit the Cultural Arts Department page at www.lagunabeachcity.net or call (949) 497-0722.


Participating Artists: Linda Ames, Marlo Bartels, Olivia Batchelder, Cynthia Britain, Hedy Buzan, Elaine Cohen, David P. Cooke, Lydia Delgado, Micha von Doring, Paul Gardner, Mark Garry, Lorenzo George, Gavin Heath, Margaret Hemsley, Fred Hope,  Gina Mead Howie, Robin Johnson, Sandra Jones Campbell, Louise Kerr, Louis Longi, Deborah Paswaters, Jeff Peters,  John Repka, Vanessa Rothe, Jon Seeman, Sheryl Seltzer, Michael Situ, Judi Smolin, Maggie Spencer, Muffin Spencer-Devlin, Tom Swimm, Cheyne Walls, Cliff Wassmann and Deborah Weinstein.

About the Author

Leave a Reply