Town Crier News: Week of Feb. 3


Messy Church to Host Love-Centered Activities and Stories this Sunday

February brings the challenge to “love one another,” both friend and foe. Activities and stories will revolve around the universal nature of love. People of all ages are welcome to explore these timeless lessons on Feb. 5, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church, 21632 Wesley Drive. A meal is always served. A $5 donation per family is requested but not required. RSVP can be made to [email protected]

A trio of Messy Church attendees make effigies to burn, emulating the Brazilian celebration of the New Year. Messy Church welcomed the New Year with traditions from all over the world. Photo courtesy of Messy Church

African American/Black History is Your History Too

African American/Black History Events begins Feb. 3, 2023. Rebecca Lindsey invites all of you to participate in the upcoming African American History Events. All are welcome. This is a gentle contribution taken at the door. All events will be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 428 Park Ave. Laguna Beach, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Feb. 3 – Oppression

Michael Lapsley is the virtual keynote speaker and will speak about a personal story detailing his sacrifice during apartheid. Lester Mackenzie, Pastor of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, will elaborate on tonight’s theme, ‘Oppression.’ Attendees are in for an authentic South African presentation, including a musical feature.    

Feb. 10 – Resistance

Rebecca Lindsey will step onto the stage and speak to the theme of ‘resistance,’ which is the national Black history theme. Lindsey plans on talking about her experience with the manifestation of resistance. Attendees will watch two different trailers, identify how resistance is played out in the media and compare the two movies, determining how one works through oppression using resistance. Both oppression and resistance are ethnically blind. This is a free event.

Feb. 24 – Expression through Celebration

Feb. 24 is set aside to celebrate the 97th year of African American history. All multi-ethnic art will be exhibited for your enjoyment, and Laguna Beach saxophonist Reggie will play music from the 70s to the 90s. He’ll have attendees tapping their feet, clapping hands, and moving to the groove to the sounds of his saxophone and Motown. 

LCAD President to Address Residents and Environmental Group Monday

On Feb. 6, Steve Brittan, President and CEO of Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD), will present an exciting program that will give the public insight into recent developments on the college’s campus, its innovative academic programs, and collaborations with industry and institutions.

Brittan has a prior extensive background in sustainable design in academia and the private sector, including creating affordable housing in large urban cities in the public sector. Neighbors of the college’s campus and students in high school considering a career in creative arts and design will want to attend this program.

The program will start at 5 p.m. and is being held at LCAD’s studio arts building at 2825 Laguna Canyon Road and is being coordinated with the Laguna Canyon Conservancy environmental group. LCAD students will direct guests to park near the building. Light refreshments will be served. The public is invited, however, space is limited. So reservations are needed. There is no admission fee. Please RSVP online at

Laguna Beach Garden Club Monthly Meeting and Speaker Series-Special Plant & Planter Sale

From baskets bursting with bright spring blooms to romantic heart-shaped containers planted with blushing pansies to sleek modern creations, unique container gardens will be auctioned to the public at the annual Plant & Planter Sale on Feb. 10 in downtown Laguna Beach. In place of the regular speaker series presented monthly by the Laguna Beach Garden Club, in February, the public is invited to mingle with garden club members, have garden questions answered by certified Master Gardeners and bid on beautiful and imaginative arrangements donated by club members. More than 50 container gardens, plants, crafts, and a boutique of vintage garden objects and books will be for sale in the courtyard outside the lovely Laguna Presbyterian Church Tankersley Hall. This is an opportunity to buy a distinctive Valentine’s gift for your special someone and beat the Valentine’s Day rush! Feeling Lucky? Enter the raffle to win one of many prizes donated by artists and local vendors. The public is welcome to this special annual Garden Club event.

Please join us on Feb. 10, from 9:30 to 10 a.m. for social time and refreshments. The meeting begins promptly at 10 a.m. Meetings are held at Laguna Presbyterian Church in Tankersley Hall located at 415 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach, Ca. Non-members are invited to attend for free on their first visit. For more information on the garden club:

No Square Presents: Trashy Love – a Valentine’s Day Concert With Attitude

No Square Theatre is holding to its honored tradition on Feb 10 and 11. They do Valentine’s Day for the real world. None of that chocolates and teddy bears nonsense. Chips on shoulders. Keyed cars. Stalking. You know. The kind of dysfunction you can laugh at or, at the very least, relate to. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available at

American Association of University Women’s Annual Literary Luncheon Tickets Available 

Tickets are now on sale for the AAUW Laguna Beach’s 34th Annual Literary Luncheon. The event will be held at the Surf & Sand Hotel, 1555 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach on Mar. 11, 2023. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for the silent auction, book sales, and book signings—followed by lunch and author talks. This year’s featured authors are Jennifer Coburn, Dori Jones Yang, and Maggie Shipstead.

Laguna Art Museum’s Tenth Annual Art & Nature Festival Announces New Public Programs

Laguna Art Museum’s tenth annual Art & Nature Festival is currently on view, featuring groundbreaking, immersive exhibitions, including The Sea Around Us by artist Rebeca Méndez, Pyramidion by artist Kelly Berg, The Big One by artist Robert Young and Five Summer Stories: The Exhibition. The museum is pleased to announce new Art & Nature public programs, including innovative workshops, panel discussions, nature excursions, immersive yoga and an exhibition-closing celebration.

On view through Feb. 5, immerse yourself into the depths of the Pacific Ocean with Rebeca Méndez’s groundbreaking installation of The Sea Around Us. This 360-degree video art installation drops you straight into the depths of the ocean, usually untouched by humans. Surrounded by vivid depictions of sea life, oozing barrels of DDT descend around you, creating a sense of ominous calamity and immersing you into the thick of the conflict of environmental wrongdoing. 

This moving experience inspires awe and strengthens the bond between sea and viewer, inspiring the courage to face environmental misconduct, take restorative action and avoid repeating transgressions against our natural resources. 

Pyramidion is an interactive sculptural experience that invites viewers to contemplate the layered history and unique geology of Laguna Beach. The Big One by artist Robert Young is thought to hold the record still as the largest painting ever created in Laguna Beach and is on display in the California Gallery. Pyramidion and The Big One are on view through Feb. 12.

Five Summer Stories: The Exhibition, presented in partnership with MacGillivray Freeman Films and Coast Film Festival in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic surf documentary, includes a sneak peek of the film and historic imagery, clothing and items from the era of the film. The exhibition is on view through Mar. 12, 2023.

The Art & Nature Festival is the museum’s largest public program of the year, bringing together tens of thousands of participants to foster an appreciation of nature, raise environmental awareness and discover cross-sections between nature and the arts.

Art & Nature Festival 2023 Events 

Saturday, Feb. 4 

Surrounded by the underwater seascape of The Sea Around Us by Rebeca Méndez, this is a one-of-a-kind immersive yoga class experience at 10 a.m. on Feb. 4. Tickets are $20 for museum members and $30 for non-members. Admission is free for children under 12. Children must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.

Saturday, Feb. 4

For the closing celebration of the Laguna Art Museum’s 10th Annual Art & Nature Festival, join past Art & Nature featured artists alumni and Curatorial Fellow, Rochelle Steiner, as they discuss the previous years’ installations and the importance of Art & Nature. Champagne and hors d’œuvres will be available during this final opportunity to see the exhibitions. The celebration begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for museum members and $30 for non-members. 

Saturday, Feb. 4 

Experience a one-of-kinda immersive yoga class surrounded by the underwater seascape of The Sea Around Us by Rebeca Méndez. Led by UPLIFT Yoga Foundation, you’ll own your whole wellness and create meaningful connections in the world around you. Please bring your yoga mat. Class designed for ages 11 plus. Advance tickets are recommended for the 10 a.m. class. 

Sunday, Feb. 5

In this illustrated lecture, Museum Curator Jean Stern will discuss the Life and Art of Anna Hills (1882-1930), one of California’s most important artists. Born in Ohio, Hills studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and studied in Paris, London and Holland before returning to the United States. She came to Laguna Beach in 1913 and lived there for the rest of her life. She was a founding member of the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918 and served as president twice, from 1922 to 1925 and again from 1927 to 1930. Under her leadership, the Association raised money to purchase the land and construct the building that housed the Laguna Beach Art Association and is now the Laguna Art Museum. The lecture starts at 10 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 12 

Inspired by Robert Young’s painting, The Big One, local artist Jo Situ Allen (aka DIRTY ERASER) will lead a mixed media collage workshop using found images, objects and reproductions of marine life from The Accidental Naturalist, her books on native California species. Jo will share some insights about the wonderful species found just off the beaches of Laguna. Energized by the intuitive flow of the ocean, students will create their own magical underwater landscape through colors, forms and textures. The Oceanic Flow workshop will begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase through the Laguna Art Museum website and cost $20 for museum members and $30 for non-members. Children under 12 can attend the workshop for free but must be accompanied by at least one paying adult. Supplies for the workshop are included with the ticket. 

Sunday, Feb. 12

Inspired by Robert Young’s painting, The Big One, local artist Jo Situ Allen (aka DIRTY ERASER) will lead a mixed media collage workshop using found images, objects and reproductions of marine life from The Accidental Naturalist, her books on native California species. Energized by the intuitive flow of the ocean, students will create their own magical underwater landscape through colors, forms and textures. The workshop begins at noon.

Sunday, Feb. 26 

Join historian Alison Rose Jefferson for a presentation where she will share stories about how African Americans from the 1900s to 1960s created recreational and relaxation spaces at Southern California beaches and other places. In the process, African Americans could form communities and create business projects at these sites. These stories are drawn from her recent book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era and other work. She will also share how some of these stories are being used in contemporary public history remembrance and public policy actions. The presentation starts at 1 p.m.

For more information about the tenth annual Art & Nature and Laguna Art Museum exhibitions and programming, visit To stay connected and learn about upcoming events, follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

Laguna Art-A-Fair’s Call for Artists Deadline Approaching Fast

The Laguna Art-A-Fair’s 57th annual Call for Artists deadline is fast approaching on Feb. 6. The Call for Artist Exhibitor Application to compete for participation in the highly coveted festival is now completely online to make it more convenient. Laguna Art-A-Fair is a “juried” show, meaning that any artist hoping to exhibit must submit samples of their work to be reviewed by a panel of judges. There are no residency requirements or limits to the number of mediums one can submit. The jury panel is comprised of nine jurors. An Olympic scoring system eliminates the highest and lowest scores, then adds up the remaining scores for a total jury score. The festival is lauded for its high-quality fine art exhibits in multiple mediums. Laguna Art-A-Fair continues throughout the summer and hosts approximately 120 artists. Tourists, patrons and artists from California, the United States and the world flock to the beautiful festival grounds at 777 Laguna Canyon Road, just a few blocks from downtown Laguna Beach. Attendance varies from approximately 30-50 thousand for the run of the show. Those interested can find the online Exhibitor Application at Laguna Art-A-Fair will be open daily from June 30 to Sept. 3.

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