Laguna’s beloved Sawdust Arts Festival returns for its 53rd season Friday, June 28, through Sunday, Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The Sawdust features the work of more than 200 Laguna Beach artists.
Art enthusiasts, collectors, and novice artists have come to the Sawdust since the festival’s beginning in 1966 for its mix of fine art and craft. Media include hand-blown and fused glass, painting, jewelry, surf art, ceramics, clothing and textiles, wood and metal sculpture, scrimshaw, photography, and much more.
For tickets and more information, visit sawdustartfestival.org. The festival will close early at 6 p.m. on July 4.
$100K Raised to Create Cultural Arts Center
More than 100 people gathered at a fundraiser on Saturday, June 22, to help finance the final improvements necessary to transform the BC Space Gallery into the BC Cultural Arts Center.
“As an initial awareness fundraiser, we feel it was a success. People had loads of fun, and as always, Jason Feddy was fabulous,” event organizers said in a statement. “We were able to raise approximately $10,000.”
Mark Chamberlain and Jerry Burchfield founded BC Space Gallery in 1973. Chamberlain, a photographer, environmental activist and installation artist, along with Burchfield, are known for making the “Laguna Canyon Project: The Continuous Document,” which recorded changes in the canyon from 1980 to 2010. The partners are also known for “The Legacy Project,” which documented the transition of El Toro Marine Corps Air station into The Great Park.
Chamberlain, who passed away last year, had a vision for the 2,400-square-foot space to become a place where residents and visitors could reflect on Laguna’s history and also preview film screenings, take classes, and attend dance performances, poetry readings and artists’ talks.
“We are looking forward to honoring Mark Chamberlain’s tradition of celebrating the fall equinox with the formal opening/ribbon cutting of the new and improved BC Cultural Arts Center in the next few months,” event organizers said. “For those who want to help but weren’t able to attend the fundraiser, it is still possible to become an “artivist” by joining the GoFundMe effort.”
To view the GoFundMe page for the gallery, visit www.gofundme.com/f/lagunas-bc-cultural-arts-center-needs-us.
‘Undercurrents’ Opens at Avran
Avran Fine Art brings “Undercurrents,” a new exhibit by Los Angeles-based, Hungarian-born artist, Judit Csotsits, to Laguna Beach next month. Meet the artist at the opening reception on Saturday, July 6, from 6-9 p.m. at the gallery, 540 S. Coast Highway. Her artistic technique involves pouring acrylic paints onto a canvas and then tipping the canvas to create a dramatic flow of the paint, which is then enhanced using a fine-tipped brush.
FOA Opens ‘People and Places’ at Ritz-Carlton
Artworks from the Festival of Arts’ permanent art collection and selected set pieces from past Pageant of the Masters’ performances are now on exhibit at ‘People and Places’ running through Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive, in Dana Point.
“Along with the contemporary art exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to view images and actual painted wood props created by the Pageant of the Masters’ artisans, like the hand-painted dragon from the 2012 Pageant ‘Heroes & Heroines’ performance of St. George the Dragon, and urns from the re-creation of ‘The Land of Make Believe’ by artist Maxfield Parrish from the 2009 Pageant ‘The Muse,’ said Pat Sparkuhl, curator of the FOA’s permanent collectio
The exhibit is free to the public and is open daily. For more information, visit www.foapom.com.
Artist’s Book is Tribute to Life’s Work
“Moore Than Meets the Eye,” a retrospective book which features over 150 paintings and anecdotes of local artist Scott Moore’s life, is now available for pre-order. A limited edition comes in a slipcase and includes a signed commemorative giclee reproduction of “The Letterman,” made by the artist for the cover of the book. Moore, who is retiring after a 39-year career exhibiting at the Festival of Arts, was the recipient of the 2019 Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented during the 13th Annual Art Star Awards in April. To pre-order, visit scottmoorebook.com.
Laguna Playhouse Opens 99th Season
Abba’s “Mamma Mia!” will kick off Laguna Playhouse’s 99th season on Sunday, July 7. Music and lyrics are by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, with book by Catherine Johnson and musical direction by Ricky Pope. The show is directed and choreographed by Karen Babcock Brassea.
As wedding festivities commence on an idyllic Greek island, a young bride-to-be schemes to discover the identity of her father among three men from her mother’s past in this story of love and friendship. Audiences will enjoy Abba’s timeless hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance,” “Money, Money, Money,” and “SOS.”
The show will open on Sunday, July 7, at 5:30 p.m. and runs through Sunday, July 28, at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Drive. Tickets, $65 – $105, can be purchased online at lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling 949-497-2787. Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.
Instrument ‘Petting Zoo’ Comes to Boys & Girls Club
Laguna Beach Live! recently brought musicians from the Laguna Beach High School Jazz Band to the Laguna Boys & Girls Club to give members a chance to experience the feel and sound of instruments such as the violin, clarinet and various saxophones. Before allowing the instruments to be tried and “petted” by B&G Club attendees, the musicians—Elijah Dawson, Adam Retana and brothers Will and Theo Coffey—demonstrated their instruments and talked about the joys and benefits of being in a band. At the end of the visit, club director, Hans Laroche, encouraged an impromptu performance by the band members, enjoyed by everyone at the club.
The “Instrument Petting Zoo” is one of the free programs presented at the Club by Laguna Beach Live! that is made possible by a $3,000 grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation. Other education programs include performances at the Club and public schools by musicians who perform in the Live! at the Museum on the second Thursday of each month, and free concerts at the Susi Q Senior Center.
SAEF Receives Grant from FOA Foundation
The Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund (SAEF) was recently awarded a generous grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation that will assist in providing funds for art classes that are offered free to military personnel and their spouses. This program began in 2016 and offers classes in a variety of media including jewelry fabrication, printmaking, drawing, painting, and more. SAEF classes are taught by professional local artists on the Sawdust grounds. The classes provide an opportunity to receive art as therapy, or as a pathway to making a business for entrepreneurship.
SAEF is a philanthropic effort which supports educating the public through art programs that provide hands-on experiences. The art workshops are offered to seniors, at-risk youth, and military and their families. SAEF has also worked alongside the nonprofit organization American Family Housing to provide art classes to formerly homeless at-risk youth.
For more information about SAEF, visit sawdustartfestival.org/about/saef.