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Museum Opens Trio of Solo Shows

Wayne Thiebaud’s “Dessert Circle,” one of 60 works the artist selected himself for the new museum exhibition.

Wayne Thiebaud’s “Dessert Circle,” one of 60 works the artist selected himself for the new museum exhibition.

Three new shows, “Wayne Thiebaud: American Memories,” “Travels with Millard Sheets: 1950-1986” and “Expose: Dana Harel” open to the public at the Laguna Art Museum on Sunday, Feb. 23.

While Sheets counts among the stalwarts of American scene painting, Thiebaud is an icon among Southern California artists whose work reflects the sunny climate and the region’s optimism.

Harel cutting-edge series “Expose” will debut here for the first time, curated by  contemporary art curator Grace Kook-Anderson.

Thiebaud, 93, who recently donated the painting “Jolly Cones” to the museum’s permanent collection, curated his own exhibition of 60 paintings. It shows the prolific career of a painter, draftsman and print maker with an eye for colorful food items but also city and landscapes.

A concurrent exhibition of his works on paper can be found at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Malibu’s Pepperdine University.

Dr. Steven Nash will lecture on Thiebaud on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. Another lecture on food and wine in painting on March 6, also at 7 p.m., will fall to museum Executive Director Malcolm Warner.

“Travels with Millard Sheets” is comprised of 20 paintings created during his travels to Mexico, Hawaii, Europe and Asia, which are from the Diane and E. Gene Crain Collection and curated by the museum’s historical art curator Janet Blake.

She will lecture on Sheets on March 27 at 7 p.m.

“Expose: Dana Harel,” features “Between Dreams and Nightmares,” a series of mixed media works inspired by the artist’s relationship to men and the Israeli military in her family.  The exhibition also includes “Wrestling with God,” a large-scale drawing that stems from Jacob wrestling an angel in the Book of Genesis. Harel references this ambiguous moment as a way of illustrating the male psyche in a place of perpetual war.

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