Town Crier: Week of Jan. 20

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Laguna Craft Guild Show this Sunday 

The Laguna Craft Guild will be having a show at the Main Beach Cobblestones on this Sunday. The original date was postponed due to rain. 

Village Laguna General Meeting to Feature Guest Speaker Councilmember Rounaghi 

Village Laguna’s next general meeting will feature Councilmember Alex Rounaghi as our guest speaker. Join us on Monday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. on zoom to learn more about how he sees our city’s future. To ask questions in advance, submit topics you’d like him to address and/or receive the zoom link, send an email to [email protected] All are welcome.

Kathy Lajvardi to Host Art Reception at the SUSI Q Jan. 20

Join artist Kathy Lavardi for a public art reception on Jan. 20 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. with complimentary refreshments, music and snacks at the Laguna Beach Community Center, 380 Third Street Laguna Beach. Lavardi will show two pieces from the KW collection launched during SOMMX. Artwork will be on public display in Gallery Q during regular business hours from Jan. 18 to Mar. 8 at Susi Q. 

Multiethnic Art Event at St. Mary’s on Jan. 27

Come and be amazed by the works of masterful multiethnic artists, including Laguna Beach Boys and Girls Club students at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Guild Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. All of the artwork is breathtaking, speaks of diverse cultural histories and explores the deep feelings of the artists and imagery that expresses inspiration and transformation. Listen as some artists share their heartfelt stories. The Los Santos Mariachi Band from Santa Ana High School will perform, and local resident Jeri St. Clair will demonstrate and explain the middle eastern art of belly dancing. Tickets are $22.85. More information is available by emailing [email protected] 

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.

Toastmasters returns to Laguna Beach

Toastmasters is returning to Laguna Beach. After a break for Covid, the popular speaking club is returning, and everyone is invited to learn more about joining the new club at an upcoming event.

An information meeting and open house will be held on Thursday evening, Jan. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Guildhall, behind St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 428 Park Avenue in Laguna Beach. Parking in the church lot is free, and refreshments will be served. Former members who belonged to the club before the pandemic are encouraged to attend the open house and share their success stories. The club will meet every Thursday evening at the Guildhall from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Toastmasters is a community non-profit that helps people improve public speaking, communication and leadership skills in a comfortable and safe environment. Prior to the pandemic, the club had over 30 active members and was one of the most successful clubs in South Orange County. Toastmasters has a long history of helping people overcome the fear of public speaking and gain confidence as speakers. The organization turns 100 in 2024. Laguna resident David Makela, former president of the Laguna Beach club, said, “Toastmasters is a proven way to help people improve their public speaking skills. By speaking every week in club meetings, members gradually build confidence and begin to see noticeable progress. And it’s amazing how quickly people improve. The secret is regular practice.”

More information is available by contacting John Barry at (714) 457-2279 or by emailing [email protected]. Linda Robinson is also available to contact at (714) 370-1184 or [email protected]

No Square Theatre presents Waiting in the Wings: The Musical

No Square Theatre is pleased to present Waiting in the Wings: The Musical, a silly and irreverent comedy by Jeffrey A. Johns, who also stars in the show. This local production will be the last stop before it opens in New York off-Broadway in April. The storyline follows a mistake in casting that lands Tony (a New York stripper) in a musical and Anthony (a musical theater enthusiast from Montana) in a role as a stripper. Both men are understandably uncomfortable and must re-think their comfort limits to succeed. Ella Wyatt directs, with music direction by Christopher W. Smith and choreography by Jennifer Kornswiet.

The show is based on a 2014 movie written by Johns and also starring Sally Struthers, Shirley Jones, and Lee Meriwether. The masters for a movie sequel were destroyed in a fire, prompting Jones to create this stage version. Waiting in the Wings, despite dealing with strippers (and some bare bums), is described as wholesome and hilarious, a welcome escape from current real-world news headlines. 

“The music is really fun, and it has heartwarming moments,” director Ella Wyatt said.

The creative team will also hold Q&A sessions for interested audience members after the show.

Tickets are $35. Performances are Jan. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29. For more information, visit the No Square website at www.nosquare.org.

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, Jan. 21

Deep dive into Robert Young and The Big One. Robert Young, an avid scuba diver and ocean lover, worked on his magnum opus for decades adding colorful fish, pristine reefs, corals and other sea life onto the canvas of his piece The Big One. This talk will examine Young’s life, career and masterpiece The Big One, with firsthand accounts from his wife, Deborah Young and close friend Eric Johnson. Leading the conversation will be Marrie Stone. Tickets are available for $7 for museum members and $14 for non-members.

Sunday, Jan. 22

Discover the amazing world of tidepools during this educational excursion to Laguna’s Heisler Park Beach. Just a short walk from the museum, join the Laguna Ocean Foundation for an in-depth look at the tidepools and the organisms that call them home. This program will require participants to maneuver the beach, including sand and rocks. Please wear appropriate footwear. This program is in partnership with the Laguna Ocean Foundation and begins at 3 p.m. on Jan. 22. Tickets are $20 for museum members and $30 for non-members.

Sunday, Jan. 29

Join Laguna Art Museum on Jan. 29 at 11 a.m. for The Big One Kids Workshop. Celebrate the beautiful creatures of the ocean as Robert Young did in his various art pieces. Led by our education staff, you will create your own under-the-sea masterpiece inspired by Young’s vibrant painting, The Big One, currently exhibiting as part of Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature. Tickets are $7 for museum members and $14 for non-members. Children 12 & under are free when accompanied by at least one paying adult.

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. 

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. 

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

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