Laguna in a Word: Wonder


[Wonder: a person, thing or event that causes astonishment and admiration…(Webster’s New World Dictionary)]


One word “Wonder” is unveiled at the sight of the mural to be painted for LCAD instructor Mia Tavonatti’s Power of Words project. From left to right: Cesar Balderas, Le Dillan, Lorenzo Minaca, Alex Eng, Cheryl Kook, Stephen Cartolano, Matthew Nishi, Mia Tavonatti, Senator Curren Price, Major Jane Egly, Jonathan Burke, Paulina Michel, Bobby Skelton, and Jenna Morgera.

“Wonder” is the one word chosen to represent Laguna Beach that was unveiled Saturday at the site of a mural to be painted as part of the Power of Words Project.

“Love, full of wonders and things….” goes the refrain to the song “Wonders and Things,” made famous by the late South African singer Miriam Makeba.

It’s quite likely that some Lagunans voting for the winning word that defined their feelings and aspirations for their city may have been inspired by Makeba’s poignant ode to love; but it’s more likely that they looked at “wonder” as defined in a dictionary. Still, it’s the word that will guide 10 Laguna College of Art and Design students and their instructor Mia Tavonatti to design and execute the new mural replacing the one that was erroneously painted over by Laguna Canyon Winery proprietor Marlowe J Huber. “It is great to see the community involved in the creative process,” he said while attending the ribbon cutting ceremony at the site last Saturday.

“Wonder is so appropriate for Laguna; it captures us,” said Mayor Jane Egly before wielding the oversized ceremonial scissors with Sen. Curren D. Price, Jr. (D-Ca) and Mia Tavonatti, the Laguna College of Art and Design mural production instructor.

Inspired by the artistic, communicative and healing power of words, Tavonatti initiated the Power of Words Project which called for Laguna Beach residents to send in their choice words via e-mail, and last week a nteam of helpers sifted through examples like “aspire, affirmation, diversity, sanctuary, love and diversity” among 1,100.

“The community has selected a word and it’s a good one,” said Tavonatti. “The more I think about ‘wonder,’ the more appropriate it becomes.” She went on to say that this is the inaugural step of the Power of Words Project that she plans to spread throughout the nation.




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