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Author Archive for Daniella Walsh

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Hirst, the Art Darling of Forgers

Hirst, the Art Darling of Forgers

The subject of mega-millionaire artist Damien Hirst divides people into camps. Some  love him for trumping Jeff Koons in controversial inventiveness and others loathe his commercialism and exploitation of animals, such as the notorious cow’s head suspended in formaldehyde (“Out of Sight out of Mind”). In the last week, a monumental public sculpture by Hirst […]

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New Venue Opens Views Artists Never See

New Venue Opens Views Artists Never See

After spending the last 25 years painting all over the country, plein air painter Gavin Brooks moved to Laguna Beach earlier this year from Owings Mills, Md. She describes the town as ground zero for today’s generation of plein air painters, an art colony with an art legacy that few other in the U.S. can […]

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Candidates Vie to Unseat Festival Incumbents

Candidates Vie to Unseat Festival Incumbents

Members of Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts begin casting ballots next week to elect three leaders to the board of one of Laguna Beach’s most influential arts organizations. Candidates include three incumbent members, one newcomer and a former board member. Ballots and candidates’ statements will be mailed out on Oct. 8 to about a third of […]

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Foul Odor Upends ‘Lagunatics’

Foul Odor Upends ‘Lagunatics’

When the Festival of Arts’ operations director Gary Fowler entered his office Tuesday, he was overcome by a reek that spelled trouble for him but also for the nearby Forum Theater. He couldn’t know immediately if a cast of brawling belly dancers, prancing goats and swaying trees might suffer ill affects from the foul stench, […]

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Darrow Retrospective

Darrow Retrospective

Spotlighting the Reluctant Renaissance Man At age 92, Laguna Beach artist Paul Darrow does not venture down the rickety stairs to his memento-filled home basement very often. But, that’s where friend Mark Chamberlain found him during a recent visit. Darrow had immersed himself in the slightly musty confines, contemplating an uncounted trove of art works […]

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Museum Open House Fills Galleries

Museum Open House Fills Galleries

Membership in the Laguna Art Museum rose by 13 percent in the last year and the museum for the first time held two art camps for kids this summer, executive director Malcolm Warner said during an annual open house this past Tuesday, Sept. 10. The museum recently acquired a 1933 untitled landscape painting by one […]

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Sculptures Rejected for Lifeguard HQ

Sculptures Rejected for Lifeguard HQ

Both finalists in a $60,000 sculpture commission to embellish Laguna Beach’s lifeguard headquarters came away empty-handed when the city’s Art Commission unanimously rejected their proposals at a meeting Monday, Sept. 9. It was the second setback for the competition, which was subject to a second round of submissions after commissioners postponed the initial selection in […]

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Paintings of Nude Men Banished From Art-A-Fair

Paintings of Nude Men Banished From Art-A-Fair

Accepted into another art festival even before Art-A-Fair had officially ended, the Escondido-based painter shipped out his Laguna inventory and restocked the emptied booth with three large paintings depicting buff men in full frontal nudity. He put those canvasses up on a Tuesday night. They were removed the next day, apparently under the direction and […]

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Laguna Dance Festival Promises to Defy Gravity

Laguna Dance Festival Promises to Defy Gravity

He appears on stage slowly, his movements precise and slightly exaggerated to focus the audience’s attention on his presence. Then the stage blacks out. Somewhere in the corner of one’s vision, the dancer moves with dizzying speed, making perhaps scores of leaps in mere seconds. They register briefly in one’s perception as if the dancer […]

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A Long-lived Home for Late Bloomers

A Long-lived Home for Late Bloomers

  As daughter of renowned illustrator Ben Stahl, Gail Stahl predictably would inherit a predisposition for ink. Instead she worked 25 years as a special education teacher before taking up brushes herself. Now 78 and a 17-year member of the Quorum Gallery artist cooperative, she is currently its senior artist. Composed of 12 artists working […]

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Building Bridges Between Mediums

Building Bridges Between Mediums

Ekphrasis, rooted in Greek, defines an interpretation of one form of art through another. Now, it is also the working title of an innovative commission, a first among a partnership of three Laguna Beach arts organizations that more typically present art rather than originate it. The resulting collaboration announced this week between the Laguna Art […]

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Elephant Herd on the March

Elephant Herd on the March

A little pachyderm ambassador in residence at Laguna Beach’s Art-A-Fair until Sept. 1 is about the size of a six-months-old Asian elephant, but this one is made of fiberglass. Thirty Art-a-Fair artists will decorate the virtual representative of their species, endangered by ivory-hunting poachers and in southeast Asia by unexploded land mines. Un-named, the little […]

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A Town and Gown Collaboration


A Town and Gown Collaboration


Ingenuity and Original Music Animate Student Film   A young, slim redhead folds towels in a laundromat amid huge washers and dryers, greenish neon lighting, a rickety folding table and a bedraggled man who looks homeless. As she prissily brushes off specs of lint, she frowns at the fat, wheezing geezer lurking in the corner. […]

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A ‘Lucky Stiff’ Comes to Life

A ‘Lucky Stiff’ Comes to Life

English shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon comes home one night to find a message that Anthony Hendon, an uncle he’s never met, has nonetheless left him $6 million. It comes with a catch: escort the dead uncle skydiving while on a Monte Carlo vacation or else the money will go to the dogs, literally. In this […]

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Last Call for Songwriter’s Showcase

Last Call for Songwriter’s Showcase

An eager crowd of music lovers packed every chair, the edge of the stage, the aisles and the tiny foyer of the Marine Room Tavern this past Tuesday. As the evening progressed, the party spilled into the street even as some patrons doubled up on bar stools. They included under-age fans sipping Cokes, seniors nursing […]