A&E: Exhibit of Sculptures by Gwynn Murrill to Open at LAM

Gwynn Murrill’s, “Coyote I,” “Coyote III,” and “Coyote IV,” 1983, with “Black Antelope,” 1972. Image courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Art Museum will open the exhibition “Sculptures by Gwynn Murrill,” the first exhibition to present 20 works from the artist’s entire career, on Sunday, June 16.

The Los Angeles-based artist Gwynn Murrill is best known for her sculptures in wood, marble and bronze of animals. Her practice has been rooted in the close study of the landscape’s inhabitants around her home as well as in photographs, memory, and imagination.

Murrill has been an exhibiting artist for over 40 years and won the Year in Review Award from the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network and other awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Prix di Roma Fellowship. Her sculpture is in many public and private collections of note, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and the U.S. Embassy, Singapore.

The artist will discuss her work in a public program at the museum on Aug. 29. The exhibit runs through Sept. 22 at 307 Cliff Drive.


Thurston Middle School Presents ‘Into the Woods, Jr.’

Students at Thurston Middle School will perform “Into the Woods, Jr.” Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Black Box, Room 4101 at Thurston, 2100 Park Avenue. The Tony Award-winning musical centers on a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse, and wind up changed forever.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased at lbhs.booktix.com.


Soka Presents ‘Journey to Freedom’

Bernard Gilmore’s oratorio “Journey to Freedom,” a powerful contemporary setting of the Exodus, receives its world premiere at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at Soka Performing Arts Center, Aliso Viejo. Performed by the UCI Symphony and the University of Kansas Symphonic Chorus, conductors Dr. Stephen Tucker and Dr. Paul Tucker, twin brothers, join forces with world-class soloists baritone José Rubio, soprano Awet Andemicael, and tenor Genaro Méndez. The Exodus, the libretto’s source, has been distilled into key scenes and phrases with additions from the Psalms and Gilmore’s own original material. “Journey to Freedom” contemplates humankind’s eternal search for freedom, the unforeseen hardships of liberty, and the universal message of redemption. Also featured is Forrest Pierce’s “Mirror Cantata” with soprano soloist Sarah Tannehill Anderson. Ticket information is available at Soka University box office, 949-480-4278 or online www.performingarts.soka.edu.


Nonprofit Announces Inaugural Gala

Liz Nguyen-Espinoza

The Journey of Courage, the inaugural gala and fundraising dinner for the Rosa Thay Nguyen Children’s Foundation will take place from 5:30 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, June 15, at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, 21500 Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. “The inaugural gala is dedicated to generations of women who selflessly made many sacrifices so the next generations of children could have a better life,” a statement from the Foundation said.

Rosa Thay Nguyen escaped Vietnam with her 8-year-old daughter, Liz, after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Once settled in Orange County, Thay-Nguyen could not forget how powerless she had been to help her neighbors in the war years. Liz Nguyen-Espinoza had promised her mother that once she retired from her career with the Department of the Treasury, she would help her with her years long informal charity work bringing aid to orphans in Vietnam.

Nguyen-Espinoza founded RTNCF when her mother died unexpectedly at age 65. Nguyen-Espinoza, a recent LCAD post- baccalaureate graduate, enlisted other artist friends to join the cause. “I have found a new purpose for my art,” Nguyen-Espinoza said. “My paintings are a way to express the foundation’s spirit and to fundraise so we can get medical care to children in third world countries.”

The gala includes a release of butterflies ceremony, cocktails, live entertainment by Lila Owen and Kevin Wood, dinner, and live and silent auctions. “The RTNCF is about love and compassion for humanity, especially children who desperately need our help for a chance to live a healthy life. A little impact is so much greater than no impact at all,” said Nguyen-Espinoza.

To purchase a ticket, $250, or learn more about the foundation, visit RTBCF.org. Nguyen-Espinoza’s artwork will be on exhibit at John Wayne Airport in December.

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