LOCA Celebrates 30 years of Art Education in Laguna

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Caren Duarte wins a cake. Katie Clark/LOCA Arts Education

Art lovers in Laguna Beach gathered in support of LOCA Arts Education at its 30th Birthday Bash last Sunday. Bridge Hall at Neighborhood Church was abuzz with partygoers, who raised money for LOCA’s online and in-person art workshops and lectures. 

“It was a great success, and we are truly thankful to all our donors, attendees and supporters,” LOCA President Carla Meberg said. 

Jeff Meberg with Trish and Jeff Jennings. Katie Clark/LOCA Arts Education

 The fun included photo booths with hand-painted backdrops by LOCA board members Cindy Fletcher and Lisa Mansour. Themes included a Frieda Khalo painting, or Cottage Restaurant – inspired by Grant Wood’s “American Gothic. 

“The pitchfork was replaced with a surfboard to make it more Laguna Beachy,” Fletcher said. 

Donna Ballard, Susanne Mellor and Joan Gladstone. Katie Clark/ LOCA Arts Education

Cake-walkers danced to “Tequila,” performed live by the Jorg Dubin Quartet.

“These guys can hit a hard cue,” said Mike Tauber, who, along with Joy Vansell, controlled the music while calling the winning numbers. Betsy Jenkins was among the winners who took home 18 fabulous gourmet cakes. She and her husband Gary also bid on many silent auction items. “I’m hoping to win the stay at Montage Healdsburg,” she said. “Now that would be a fabulous vacation.”

 All auction items sold, except for the signed Mike Trout Angels jersey. “It’s an official jersey, valued at more than $1,500 and very collectible,” said KC Mechling, LOCA executive director. “It’s available now to any Angels fan emailing [email protected],” she said.

Attendees included Winter Bonham and Alexis Anderson from Crystal Cove State Park. 

“This event has allowed us to meet so many LOCA artists and community members,” Bonham said. “And we really value our partnership with LOCA. It is a perfect fit.”

Carla Meberg and board member Sharbie Higuchi led an enthusiastic call for live donations for programs, including afterschool classes for kids at Laguna Beach Public Library, for special needs adults at Glennwood House, and for Art Talks lectures online – which will allow viewers to learn about local artists and their careers, anytime and from anywhere. Jeff and Trish Jennings were among the many who raised paddles and were amazed to learn about the broad populations of people LOCA serves. 

LOCA Arts Education is a coalition of arts educators, professional artists and advocates interested in arts education for people of all ages, according to the website. 

The nonprofit currently provides workshops to Laguna Beach Unified School District, Glennwood House, Laguna Beach Public Library, Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club Canyon & Bluebird Park Branches, Waymakers Youth Shelter, and the Laguna Beach Community & SusiQ Senior Center. Workshops are also available to the public.

Those interested in becoming a LOCA member can visit www.LOCAarts.org or email [email protected] for more information. 

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