Photographer Explores Renewal

Fine art photographer Brooke Shaden’s “Hidden #2” and “Release” are part of an upcoming show at JoAnne Artman Gallery. Images courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery.

Brooke Shaden, a fine art photographer specializing in staged photography that combines allegorical symbolism with personal narrative, will open a new show, “Begin Again II” at JoAnne Artman Gallery, 326 North Coast Highway, in November. Shaden’s dreamscapes can be seen as the fashioning of a new reality, a means of taking control of life’s uncertainties and anxieties.

In this new series, Shaden portrays a dystopian future, emphasizing the improbable odds of humankind in the face of the vastness of nature. Yet despite some of the darker elements, the tone of Shaden’s new body of work maintains a sense of optimism and a playful lightness. Begin Again depicts a rebirth of self. Alluding to a reimagined future, reevaluated preconceptions, and a reinvention of the artistic process, Shaden thoroughly explores the idea of renewal.

The show will run through January 2020.


Pastelists Present “Illuminating Elements”

Elizabeth Wallace’s “Swallows Gaze” and Mary Aslin’s “Rush of Spring” are two of the works to be exhibited at the CAP Gallery as part of the Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature series. Images courtesy of CAP.

As part of Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature series, The CAP Gallery, 260 Ocean Avenue, is presenting an exhibit of pastel works by Mary Aslin, Lesli Bonanni, Gil Dellinger, Mike Ishikawa, Margaret Lindsey, Marie Tippets and Elizabeth Wallace. The exhibit, which runs through Jan. 31, features a variety of styles, palettes and viewpoints of what Art & Nature can mean, including wildlife, land, water and even man-made items, and the effects of natural light on those elements.

Visit for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits or to become a member and supporter of CAP, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.


Jewish Collaborative Presents Play by Murry Sidlin

A live theatrical reading of a one-act play will be performed at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13, at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 2200 San Joaquin Hills Road, in Newport Beach. Lauren Simon will direct it.

The play with music imagines the meeting between conductor Ravi Schächter and the Jewish Council of Terezín in 1943 when Schächter wanted the Council’s blessing to permit his choir to perform Verdi’s “Requiem” in the Jewish ghetto. For Schächter, the performance would be a powerful and life-affirming act of resistance against Nazi efforts to dehumanize the Jews.

President John Forsyte of the Pacific Symphony will lead a post-play conversation. The reading is free, but donations to the Jewish Collaborative are appreciated. RSVP to [email protected].


 Festival of Arts Acquires ‘Heart of Gravity’

The Festival of Arts recently acquired Pegah Samaie’s “Heart of Gravity,” for their permanent collection. Image courtesy of Festival of Arts

The Festival of Arts recently acquired Pegah Samaie’s “Heart of Gravity,” for their permanent collection. Approved by the board, Samaie, a first year exhibitor, was one of 24 new artists juried into the Fine Arts Show in 2019. Her oil painting will join the over 1,000 two-dimensional and three-dimensional works in the Festival’s Permanent Art Collection, some dating back to the early 1900s.

Samaie is American-Iranian artist who was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She uses art as a tool to face the experiences she and other women have encountered in a culture dominated by patriarchal governments and households. She received her bachelor’s degree with honors from Laguna College of Art and Design and is now working on her master’s degree there.

“Heart of Gravity” features a woman with hair decorations composed of cups and holding a flowerThe painting also features a galaxy behind the figure, and the eight cups represent the eight planets in the solar system. “The cups symbolize women as beautiful strong vessels,” said Samaie. “All are orbiting in the same order, no cup is closer or farther, no cup is shinier or dimmer than other. They don’t touch, hit, or break each other. They follow the right format in order to respect each other. They give each other power to stand straight; their companionship helps them to grow and show us the beauty of life.”

“The significant symbolism in Samaie’s work reflects her inspiration from art history and the on-going discussions surrounding oppression and equality – bringing us up to date on important topics of our current times,” said Pat Sparkuhl curator of the Festival’s permanent collection.

 No Square Theatre Receives Community Grant

The Lodging Establishments and the City of Laguna Beach have given No Square Theatre, Laguna’s local community theater, a grant of $32,000 for facility rental, artist fees, and the marketing and promotion of six off-season productions. The No Square season includes plays, musicals, cabarets, and “Lagunatics,” the annual musical parody of local life. Lagunatics #27, “Shticks & Shtones,” will kick off the 2019-2020 season on Oct. 11.

: No Square Theatre’s Lagunatics #27, “Shticks & Shtones,” will kick off the 2019-2020 season on Oct. 11

No Square Theatre is a nonprofit organization, providing performance opportunities and theatrical experience to local amateur performers, directors, and technical staff of all ages. No Square exists by the generosity of public grants and contributions from patrons.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street. For more information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, visit


 Festival of Arts Accepting Applications for Summer 2020

Artists who would like to apply for the 2020 Festival of Arts show should submit three digital images per media and a completed application form to the Festival of Arts by Oct. 31.

The Festival of Arts is a prestigious, highly competitive, regional juried fine art show featuring original artwork by Orange County’s finest artists. The 2020 show will run July 6 – Sept. 3. Artists who would like to apply for the 2020 fine art show should submit three digital images per media and a completed application form to the Festival of Arts by Oct. 31 by 4 p.m. Applicants must apply online through the Festival’s website, For more information call 949-464-4234.

Artists applying to the Festival of Arts must be able to show that they have resided in Orange County for at least one year prior to Oct. 31. Jurying fees are $50 per medium submitted. The jurors will score the submitted artwork based on quality, intention and content; excellence of craftsmanship; facility with media; excellence in the use of design elements; and professional presentation.


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