LCAD annual gala raises $172K for academic programs, scholarships

Artist Kayla James, an LCAD alumna, was on-hand to paint a landscape of Laguna Beach. Courtesy of Xun Michael Chi, LCAD

Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) raised $172,000 at its Annual Collector’s Choice Gala on June 5 at LCAD Big Bend Campus.

The gala was co-chaired by LCAD Trustees Suzanne Chonette, Bonnie Livingston and Ilona Martin; including a socially distant in-person event and online simulcast. This has been the college’s principal fundraising event for 31 years and supports award-winning programs, faculty recruitment, and $2.5 million in annual merit scholarships.

“Seeing all of you in person is wonderful and a joy to behold as we return,” Interim LCAD President Hélène Garrison told the gala patrons. “How artists describe the world is something we’re all excited about and what we witness tonight and when we walk the hallways or visit the studios here at LCAD.”

Auctioneer Mark Thomas engaged and excited the audience, which included art collectors, LCAD supporters, trustees, faculty, students, alumni, staff and others to bid for exceptional paintings and a sculpture by LCAD alumni and faculty, as well as from Laguna Beach galleries.

Featured auction items were a hand-picked collection of paintings and sculptures contributed by several artists and collectors, including Lisa Dallendorfer, Jorg Dubin, Jennifer Griffiths, Deborah Harold, Mark Jacobucci, Kayla Janes, Tim Lemen, Hilary McCarthy, Elizabeth McGhee, Siân Poeschl, Bradford J. Salamon, Anthony Salvo, Jeff Sewell, Marc Whitney and Scott Yeskel.

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Daniel is currently managing editor for the Laguna Beach Independent. He first started reporting on Laguna Beach in 2018. Daniel moved to Orange County from his hometown of Santa Barbara in 2008 to attend Chapman University. He wrote for the college newspaper, The Panther, for nearly four years before obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English with an emphasis in journalism. While attending Chapman, he started interning at the Orange County Register as a community blogger in Orange. In 2012, he was hired as a staff writer covering Orange and Villa Park. He went on to cover the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum as well as housing, development, education, water, and local politics in other Orange County cities. Since leaving the Register in 2015, he has written for Law360, the Foothills Sentry, the Newport Beach Independent, the Laguna Beach Independent, Los Angeles Times Community News,, and the California Business Journal. When Daniel isn't busy covering Laguna Beach, he serves as ​engagement editor for a nonprofit newsroom, The War Horse. He lives in Irvine with his wife and son.


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