Volume 15, Issue 76  |  September 22, 2023SubscribeAdvertise

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The Rainmaker reminds us how far women have come, and what unites them across time


Lizzie Zerebko, the lead actress and only woman starring in N. Robert Nash’s 1950s play The Rainmaker, proves the right match for her role as Lizzie Curry. Like the character who shares her name, Zerebko describes herself as a strong and intelligent realist with a bit of a dreamer streak. That might be just the right combination of traits women need to not only endure but find some satisfaction in a man’s world.

Set in the rural Midwest in 1936 during a scalding summer drought, Lizzie Curry’s prospects of finding a husband are about as likely as growing a fertile crop. Despite her skills in the kitchen, she’s a plain and socially awkward woman who fails to attract the attention of men. Her widowed father and two brothers worry more about her withering on the marital vine than they worry about their starving cattle.

Thankfully, as with every good romantic comedy, along comes a man who changes everything. Bill Starbuck, a slick and sweet-talking con man from out of town, brings the promise of rain for the bargain price of $100. He also opens Curry’s eyes, allowing her to see herself in a whole new light.

The play opens this weekend on the Laguna Playhouse stage and runs through Sunday, Oct 8. I spoke with both Zerebko and Director Andrew Barnicle about their take on the play and the timely themes behind this Americana classic, which they hope will both challenge and delight modern audiences.

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Photos by Jason Niedle

(L-R) Jeffrey Markle (seated), Richard Baird, James Taylor Odom, Nick Tag and Lizzie Zerebko star in the Laguna Playhouse production of “The Rainmaker”

Our conversations have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Director Andrew Barnicle returns to the Playhouse stage

Laguna Playhouse fans will well recognize the name Andrew Barnicle, who served as artistic director from 1991-2010. During that time, he produced more than 100 Playhouse shows and directed more than 40 of them. Barnicle returns this season to the Playhouse to both direct and act in The Rainmaker.

Stu News: How would you summarize The Rainmaker?

Andrew Barnicle: It’s a play about what women go through to get by in a world run by men. What’s expected of them. How they can overcome issues they may be having. It’s about a world that wants Lizzie to be cute and flirty and not honest with herself in her approach to men. She needs to find a man who appreciates her for who she is when everybody’s telling her to pretend to be who she isn’t. That’s the basic conflict of the play.

This character Starbuck comes in and, even though he’s a con man, somehow manages to convince her that she’s beautiful in and of herself.

SN: Did you have any relationship with the play before being asked to direct this production?

AB: I played Starbuck in 1974 when I was in summer stock. I was just a kid, starting my undergraduate work.

The movie came out in 1956 with Burt Lancaster and Katherine Hepburn. I really loved that movie. It was based on the play that came out two years earlier. So, yeah, it’s got a long history. I think a lot of people will know of it.

SN: How do you think modern-day audiences will react to some of the perceived sexism in the play?

AB: Well, the play sounds very contemporary. It’s got good humor. We get a chance to see how women were perceived and what was expected of them in the 1950s when the play was written. It’s fascinating for me to see that. I’m old enough to remember being there. But for younger people who aren’t aware of it, I think it’s very informative. It might anger some people. But ultimately, Lizzie is going to find herself and everybody’s going to realize what fools they were.

SN: This is the second play under the new Artistic Director David Ellenstein’s stewardship. Has his vision changed the feel of the Playhouse?

AB: David is very eclectic. He likes all different kind of plays. He likes musicals and Shakespeare. He’s doing a Molière this year (Tartuffe). He loves comedies. He does original work. That’s what an artistic director, in my opinion, should do. Everybody in this community will have at least one play in their wheelhouse. And the die-hard theatergoers will have a whole season of plays to enjoy because they’re different kinds of pieces.

David is also an expert at producing because he’s been the artistic director of the North Coast Repertory Theatre (Solana Beach) for the last 20 years and he’s done more than 100 plays down there. He knows how to talk to people and he’s a very good manager. I’m really glad he’s here.

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Live! at the Museum:

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Laguna Live!’s monthly chamber music concert in collaboration with Laguna Art Museum welcomes guitarist Fabio Zini

Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Art Museum

7pm – 8pm

Free to Laguna Live! members & museum members; $14

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.494.8971 (Museum) 949.715.9713 (Laguna Live)


Live! Music Matters

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Laguna Live!’s free interactive music program for kids up to age 6 with caregiver involvement. Led by musician Zach Churchill

Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre Street

11:30 am


949.715.9713 (Laguna Live)


The Soul of Jazz

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An evening of outstanding Jazz music performed by The Laguna Live! All-Stars led by 2023 Grammy Award-winning Trumpeter Bijon Watson

Laguna Beach Live!

[seven degrees] 8981 Laguna Canyon Road

Concert 6-8 pm; doors open at 5pm for bar and social hour

$37.50 in advance; $40 at the door

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

949.715.9713 (Laguna Live)


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The Soul of Jazz: Upcoming Laguna Live! show, starring Grammy-winning artist and powerhouse vocalist, highlights evolution of jazz


While changing sunset times reflect the seasons, in Laguna Beach the art offerings mark the passage of time for many. Not only do the art festivals open and close summer, but the celebration of plein air painting defines fall, the Coast Film Fest is a precursor to the holidays and dotted throughout is jazz.

Like its melodic counterpart, the jazz offerings at Laguna Live! swing around, pop up at unexpected times, change their tune and yet, still, consistently please.

So it is that Grammy-winner Bijon Watson is thrilled to be presenting The Soul of Jazz on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at [seven-degrees].

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Courtesy of Laguna Live!

Trumpeter Bijon Watson will lead the Laguna Live! show “The Soul of Jazz” on September 27

“This is one of the special concert presentations that usually takes place in the fall,” said Watson. “It’s a one-off type concert.”

Joining Watson will be the Laguna Live! All Stars and the powerhouse singer Maiya Sykes.

The show will feature work by musicians who have influenced soul and jazz genres for decades.

“We’ll be playing music that shows the way jazz has evolved over the years,” said Watson. “There’s more soul and rhythm and blues in jazz now.”

As 2023’s Grammy winner for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, it’s evident trumpeter Watson knows a thing or two about his signature music genre. The album that garnered him, and fellow musician Steven Feifke the Grammy, Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra, features both new and established musicians, each bringing individual perspectives and styles to jazz through the years, with a focus on mentorship.

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Courtesy of Laguna Live!

Bijon Watson won a Grammy earlier this year, for an album he produced that celebrated multi-generational performers

“I’ve been at this awhile as a professional musician,” said Watson. “Your career goes through changes as you adapt to the landscape.”

Those evolutions will be heard as they perform selected works by jazz greats such as Bobby Caldwell and Herbie Hancock. Watson is thrilled to be performing Hancock’s “Tell Me a Bedtime Story.”

“It’s an instrumental piece of music that just emulates the time of the early ‘80s, when kids used to play outside and dinner was a family-type thing,” said Watson. “It’s a real chill groove that brings back memories of the time when families weren’t so tied to social media and there was just greater communication.”

Another artist whose work will influence the show is Ronnie Laws. Watson believes the saxophonist, best known for his jazz fusion and smooth jazz songs, is a consummate instrumentalist.

“Before there was smooth jazz, there were these consummate instrumentalists working within the rhythm and blues,” he said. “David Sanborne is a pioneer of the instrumental rhythm and blues. It has so many jazz elements…It’s a lot more melodic than the smooth jazz.”

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LPAPA Quick Draw Painting Event


On Sunday, October 8, 2023, all 35 Laguna Plein Air Invitational Artists will gather for a 2-hour Quick Draw Painting Competition (9AM – 11AM) throughout Heisler Park in Laguna Beach. The public is invited to join us to witness the creation of plein air masterpieces — from start to finish in 2 hours! — while enjoying a Sunday walk through the park! Our “on the ground” LPAPA reporter will be live-streaming the Quick Draw paint out on Facebook and Instagram as the artists paint during the 2-hour competition!

At the end of the 2-hour painting competition, the Artists will take their wet paintings to the Laguna Festival of Arts for framing and preparation for the Quick Draw Quick Sale Silent Auction (1:30-2:30PM). Join us for a Meet & Greet with the artists (1-1:30PM), or purchase a ticket for private Lunch with the Artists at noon (and/or Sponsor an Artists Lunch)!

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA)

Heisler Park - 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA

Sunday October 8th Quick Draw Schedule 9AM – 11AM Quick Draw Painting Competition at Heisler Park

12PM – 1PM Lunch with the Artists at Laguna Festival of Arts (Tickets: $20/Member, $25/Non-Member)

1PM – 1:30PM Meet & Greet at Laguna Festival of Arts (free entry beginning at 1PM)

1:30PM – 2:30PM Quick Draw Silent Art Auction at Laguna Festival of Arts (free entry beginning at 1PM)

Lunch with artists after Quick Draw: : $20/Member, $25/Non-Member

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.



25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational “Collectors Gala”


Join us Saturday, October 14th at 6:30 pm*, for the “Collectors Gala” at the Festival of Arts and enjoy an enchanting evening under the stars en plein air, immersed with art, artists and art lovers to celebrate the 25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational.

Guests will enjoy access to the Invitational Art Show with the first* opportunity to view and purchase the artwork created during the week and submitted by the Artists for awards judging. Through the generous support of our Sponsors, guests will enjoy an abundance of gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by Saltwater Catering, out Sponsor-hosted open bar, followed by “artistic” desserts as guests settle in for the Awards announcement!

The Gala ticket price includes complimentary valet parking, provided at the lot across the street from the Festival of Arts entry, and a special 25th Anniversary Swag Bag that includes the 2023 collectible Invitational Art Catalog and more!

Evening or cocktail attire is suggested with jackets or wraps recommended for your outdoor weather comfort. Attendees must be 21 or older.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA)

Festival of Arts Grounds - 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651


LPAPA Member Price: $300 per person for 6:30 pm Gala Entry

Non-Member Price: $350 per person for 6:30 pm Gala Entry

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.



25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational Art Show

On Sunday, October 15, 2023, the doors open at 10AM with free entry for all art lovers to see the 25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational Art Show at the Laguna Festival of Arts! Come meet the Invitational Artists and immerse yourself into the Laguna Plein Air Painting tradition as we celebrate the artistic legacy that helped to establish Laguna Beach as an art colony more than a century ago. Paintings created during the week* will be on exhibit, the Artists will be at their easels painting. It’s a great opportunity to engage in person in art conversations… and consider adding a special Laguna Plein Air original work of art to your collection!

Sunday, October 15th (10AM – 4PM) will be your last chance to meet plein air master painters that have gathered in Laguna for the week from near and far who are dedicated to continuing the plein air painting tradition. Come support the arts and the artists! Come support nonprofit LPAPA’s Mission! Proceeds from the sale of artwork benefit the artists and nonprofit Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.

The LPAPA Gallery will host a Post-Invitational Showcase of available artwork October 16th – 30th, 2023. The LPAPA Gallery is located at 414 N. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach; gallery hours are 11AM to 5PM, Thursday through Monday, and by appointment.

When you join the celebration, you become part of the tradition and legacy! Free entry throughout the day!

*Artwork sold during the Collectors Gala on Saturday, October 14th, including sold award-winning paintings, will not be available for viewing during the Sunday Art Show. We will, however, share images of the award-winning art as soon after the Gala as possible.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA)

Festival of Arts Grounds - 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651


Free Entry



Suzy Baker 3-day “Signature Artist in Residence” Plein Air Painting Workshop


Experience a fun-filled, guided, hands-on learning experience. Students receive instruction on principles of painting ranging from drawing, color, value, composition, color theory, and so much more. Every day you will apply what is being taught by getting outside to paint. You will see field demos and receive one-on-one instruction at your easel during the workshop.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA)

In and around Laguna Beach, California

Class meets from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day

Workshop Tuition: $500 for LPAPA Members, $550 for Non-Members

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.



“Art and Nature” Opening Art Reception

A collaboration with Laguna Art Museum’s City wide art festival.

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The public is welcome to enjoy beverages, appetizers and live music while viewing over 70 pieces of artwork among the artists and fellow art lovers

Gallery Q

Gallery Q at the Susi Q and Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Senior Center 380 Third Street, Laguna Beach

5:00 – 6:30pm

Free-Open to the public

949.715.8106 Judy Baker, Arts Coordinator


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Two new murals brighten up our town


Photos by Jeff Rovner

From Top of the World down to the sea, Laguna is the lucky recipient of two gorgeous new murals. The city commissioned Super Natural Bloom by DabsMyla, installed at Alta Laguna Park in mid-August and dedicated on Thursday, Sept 7. Three days later, LOCA unveiled Mike Tauber’s latest community mural, Swimming in Sea Life at The Taco Stand on PCH and Cleo.

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“Super Natural Bloom” by DabsMyla now on display at Alta Laguna Park

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“Swimming in Sea Life” by LOCA’s Mike Tauber and his 95 community artists is now on display at The Taco Stand on PCH and Cleo Street

Both pieces were collaborations. Super Natural Bloom was created by the husband and wife team Darren and Emmelene Mate who go by the artist name DabsMyla. Swimming in Sea Life, orchestrated by Tauber, incorporated the work of 95 community members in a four-by-nine-foot underwater mosaic.

In a town rich with public art – Laguna boasts more than 30 public and private murals – there’s plenty of appetite for more. DabsMyla received an enthusiastic response throughout their installation process from tennis coaches and students alike, loving the colorful super blooms that sprung up on the formerly drab gray wall in Alta Laguna Park. The Taco Stand, which came in over budget on their remodel, was grateful to LOCA for brightening up their white exterior wall that faces PCH. The wall was already pre-lit in anticipation of art, and LOCA was happy to deliver.

I caught up with both groups to hear a bit of the backstory behind their murals. It’s fitting that the super blooms brighten up our hillside while the sea lions swim down by Cleo Street beach. What’s more fitting is how the projects, particularly LOCA’s, pulled the town together.

Swimming in Sea Life by Mike Tauber and his 95 assistants

Using techniques of pixelation and pointillism, Swimming in Sea Life is at once a mural of two giant sea lions and, upon closer inspection, a mosaic of more than 100 unique underwater scenes. Tauber controlled the color palette, ensuring each strategically placed tile stayed within its range, but gave participants freedom over their designs. “It reads like a quilt of ocean-themed hieroglyphics – including sea urchins, sea stars, kelp, octopus and whales,” the LOCA website says. “From far – one sees a playful pair of sea lions submerged in colors diffusing from sunlit aquas down to deep blues.”

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Mike Tauber designed and orchestrated “Swimming in Sea Life,” which consists of more than 100 tiles designed by 95 community members

“It’s a rare opportunity that a lot of citizens get to create public art, point to it for years to come and think, ‘Look what I did. I’m part of the City of Laguna Beach’s public art collection,’” said Tauber, the principal artist behind Swimming in Sea Life. Tauber called out to the community and 95 artists-in-waiting responded. He held three workshops in June, inviting anyone over the age of 10 to create their own underwater tile.

“As a local and a covert self-taught artist, I was always interested in ways to participate in community art projects and events,” said Lynn Epstein. “LOCA has provided so many fabulous opportunities! When I [heard] what Mike Tauber was up to, I knew I wanted to be part of it. It was so cool learning about painting a mosaic and then watching people of all ages create and paint designs. One of the many reasons I love Laguna.”

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(L-R) Mike Tauber, Lisa Hershman, Marta Veneciano, Billiejo Lee, Janine Luciano, Susan Brown and Paige Strayer point to their hand created tiles

Tauber hand-cut each of the tiles to give them a uniquely crafted look. In some cases, he cut tiles in half, giving husbands and wives or mothers and daughters the opportunity to create something together.

“I’m not much of an artist, but I do love the ocean as habitat for all the amazing sea life,” said Winter Bonnin, educational director for Crystal Cove State Park. “So, I invited my 82-year-old mom to join me. She’s always dabbled in art projects. She’s now living in a senior facility and partakes in their artistic offerings. I knew she would enjoy painting a tile and I thought it would be fun for us to do together.”

Tauber says his title plays with the idea of swimming with sea life. “Are the sea lions swimming in sea life, or does it speak to a mermaid, snorkelers and other people swimming in sea life?” he said. “You see a lot of everything, from urchins to sand dollars. There are whales and lobsters. A lot of diversity of sea life.”

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City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission

Community Art Project (CAP)

Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters

First Thursdays Art Walk

Friends of the Laguna Beach Library


Gallery Q at THE SUSI Q

3340 Recital Series

Laguna Art-A-Fair

Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC)

Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association

Laguna College of Art + Design

Laguna Concert Band

Laguna Craft Guild

Laguna Dance Festival

LOCA Arts Education

Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association


No Square Theatre

Sawdust Art Festival

Coast Film & Music Festival

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts

Third Street Writers

Visit Laguna Beach

Neighborhood Congregational Church

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Bold and beautiful: Artwork of famed artist James Strombotne now showing at LCAD Gallery


When James Strombotne was 5 years old, he realized he could draw. And for the next 85 years, that’s what he’s been doing.

“I was a prodigy. Then I went to Pomona (College) and then also studied for my MFA at Claremont University,” he said. “I added the academic background to the talent.”

But what really drives this successful artist, is that right from the beginning, he was both fearless and confident, a byproduct he attributes to his parents’ indifference when he was growing up.

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Photo by Theresa Keegan

James Strombotne, age 89, arrives in his studio daily, reads the paper, has coffee and then sets to work painting. The majority of art in his one-man show at the LCAD Gallery has been painted within the past five years.

“My childhood was Dickensian, which is true of a lot of creative people,” he said. “When you go through a certain amount of poverty and ugliness you learn survival skills.”

But Strombotne has done much more than survive – he thrives. And his latest show at the LCAD Gallery certainly reflects that.

“When I saw his work, I just knew we had to get a show,” said Bryan Heggie, LCAD Gallery manager. “And after meeting with him, it’s obvious he really has a lot to give. As artist to artist, I thought our students needed to see this simplistic use of the figure.”

Heggie is thrilled that much of the work in the current show, which he curated along with Strombotne, has been created in the last five years.

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Courtesy of LCAD Gallery

The LCAD show includes Strombotne’s first “The Entry of Christ into Los Angeles” (back wall, left). The large painting was done in 1993.

“It was very easy – we were on the same page,” said Heggie. He’s hopeful the students will gain a new perspective where the paint and strokes are more simplified and direct. “Very few students are bold enough to paint like that.”

This is the 110th one-man show of Strombotne’s work, another accomplishment in his storied career.

His work is in multiple permanent collections, including that of the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorm Museum, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and locally at the Laguna Art Museum and the Festival of Arts. He has participated in dozens of retrospectives and in major group shows throughout the country, including the Whitney and Corcoran biennials and Carnegie International. He’s received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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Courtesy of LCAD Gallery

Strombotne’s last “The Entry of Christ into Los Angeles X,” painted in 2019, is also in the show

“I have to be fearless in what I do, and be confident in what I want to do,” said Strombotne. “There’s a continuity in my work, just based on how particular I am as an artist, and as a person.”

That commitment to his work resulted in early career successes. He had his first one-man show in 1956 at age 22 in San Francisco. When he was shown at the esteemed Frank Perls Gallery in Beverly HIlls in 1961, Time Magazine referred to Strombotne as “one of the most promising of the young figurative artists now working around Los Angeles.”

Unlike many artists, the early accolades didn’t intimidate Strombotne.

“I just accepted it for what it was,” he said. “What was important was the work and not the trappings of success. My work has been a constant in terms of the quality.”

And it’s what continues to define his work.

“I’m not really happy unless the work is extraordinary,” he said. “I want it to be stunning.”

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How to get there

Visit Laguna Beach City Map Visit Laguna Beach Coast Map

Funds for this calendar are provided by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

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Coast Film & Music Festival early bird passes and tickets now on sale, schedule of events announced

The Fifth Annual Coast Film & Music Festival (CFMF), the flagship event of the nonprofit Coast Film Foundation announced the release of early bird tickets and passes for their 5th Annual Film and Music Festival. The special reduced pricing is available until Saturday, Sept. 30 and available via the website at The CFMF takes place November 8-12.

–Four-Day VIP Pass (before October 1 - $275). The Four-Day VIP Pass allows access to all ticketed events, including the opening night kick-off at Hobie Surf Shop (Laguna Beach) and exclusive VIP-level perks and privileges.

–Four-Day General Admission Pass (before October 1 - $135). The Four-Day General Admission Pass allows access to all ticketed events, except the opening night kick-off at Hobie Surf Shop (Laguna Beach) and GA-level perks and privileges.

–Single Day Tickets start at $35.

Coast Film and Music Ariel Tweto

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Photo by Ashley Barker Photography

Ariel Tweto walks movie poster row at Festival of Arts

Schedule of events:

Wednesday, Nov. 8:

~Opening night film and music at Hobie Surf Shop, Laguna Beach

Thursday, Nov. 9:

~Mountains and snow films

~NEW! Coast Summit from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Festival of the Arts. The inaugural Coast Summit is a full-day symposium featuring distinguished filmmakers, athletes and environmental experts who will collectively explore the profound influence of storytelling on environmental stewardship and social transformation. Happy Hour with artists Great North Special and an After-Party with music at the Marine Room.

Friday, Nov. 10:

~Outdoor and adventure films with special guest musical performance at Festival of the Arts.

Saturday, Nov. 11:

~Ocean and water films with musical performance by Matt Costa and other artists TBA at Festival of the Arts.

Sunday, Nov. 12:

~#GetOutside mountain bike and dirt films with musical performance by Common Sense.

Highlights of the Coast Film & Musical Festival include:

–60+ documentary and adventure film screenings

–Live music

–Q&As with film directors, athletes and special guests

–Speaker panels and workshops

–Youth filmmaker and environmental stewardship programs

–Art exhibitions and artist signings

–A lively exhibitor village with sponsors, nonprofits and environmental partners

–Networking opportunities with filmmakers, athletes and creators

–Party time with local food, drink and silent disco

Coast Film & Music Festival is proud member of 1% for the Planet and pledges a percent of its sales towards environmental protection and to future filmmakers and projects. To learn more visit, or direct questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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LBCAC celebrates Laguna’s place in the history of Hippiedom with “The Gathering”

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) is looking forward to these upcoming events as summer turns to fall. LBCAC has also added a screening and discussion of the documentary AlphaGo.

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Courtesy of LBCAC

"The Gathering" – from September 22-October 5

Thursday, Sept. 22-Thursday, Oct. 5

"The Gathering"

“The Gathering” celebrates Laguna Beach’s place in the storied history of hippiedom. From the innocence of youthful artists, musicians and poets seeking enlightenment to the alleged societal crimes of Timothy Leary, the colorful past of our art colony is worth gathering to remember.

–September 22 | Hippie Dance Party

–September 23 | Trevor Green in Concert

–September 24 | The Fantastic Fungi | Film Screening

–October 5 | Hippie Art Show & Closing Night Concert

Concert will be performed by rock virtuoso James Clay Garrison.

Get your tickets today, space is limited, click here.

Thursday, Oct. 26, 6:30 p.m.

Documentary AlphaGo and discussion of film

AlphaGo is a critically acclaimed 2017 documentary about the AI program that beat the world’s top Go player while 150 million people watched.

Paul Freeman will introduce the film and Jeff Rovner will lead a discussion of the movie – and what AlphaGo suggests about AI and its potential prospects and problems for us.

Freeman, formerly Laguna Beach mayor and a strategy and project management consultant, is a ranked amateur in (and obsessed with) Go. Rovner, a Festival of Arts exhibiting photographer and attorney, is a nationally recognized expert in the application of AI to the practice of law.

Cost is $25. For tickets, click here.

Note that the second-floor Center is not currently ADA-accessible from the street level.

LBCAC has installed a Patriot Air Purification System to ensure a virus free environment.

Grant funding was made possible by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

For tickets and the LBCAC calendar, go to

LBCAC has installed a Patriot Air Purification System to ensure a virus-free environment.

Grant funding was made possible by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

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Laguna Art Museum unveils 11th Annual Art & Nature on November 2

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) will present the 11th Annual Art & Nature, an immersive journey into the symbiotic relationship between art and the natural world. The Art & Nature initiative addresses the environmental situation through a creative and unique lens – the artist’s perspective. Beginning November 2, this transformative multidisciplinary event will converge art, science and nature on a grand scale. Art & Nature is the museum’s largest public program of the year, bringing together thousands of participants to foster a love of nature, raise environmental awareness and discover cross-sections between science and the arts.

At the heart of Art & Nature 2023 stands Cristopher Cichocki, the visionary artist whose outdoor installation Rising Inversion will debut at Laguna’s Main Beach on November 2-5. Rising Inversion harnesses oceanic and planetary elements engaging in direct dialogue with the surrounding natural landscape of Laguna Beach. From dawn to dusk, this transformative installation morphs from a sprawling arc of sand and barnacles into a luminescent orb rising over the Pacific shoreline. This synergy encircled within the elements of water and light will illuminate throughout the night in a phosphorescent glow powered from the residual energy of the sun.

Laguna Art Cichocki

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Photo by Lance Gerber

Cristopher Cichocki in his studio

Cichocki is a trailblazing multidisciplinary artist renowned for exploring the cyclical patterns of decay and rejuvenation within the intricate tapestry of human-nature interactions. His trajectory of work spans the realms of painting, land art, sound art and natural science – encompassing eras from ancient oceans to present-day deserts.

“The 11th Annual Art & Nature unites us all in celebrating the profound connections we can make to understanding the natural world through creativity,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “As a testament to our museum’s unique heritage as a center for the appreciation of artistic sensibility towards nature, the events of Art & Nature honor our commitment to embracing environmental awareness through contemporary art, our desire to present immersive and though-provoking programming for all and to support bold artistic experimentation to create a better world.”

Art & Nature will include Cichocki’s Circular Dimensions, a multi-sensory audiovisual performance that will activate onto Rising Inversion on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 4. Running concurrently to Rising Inversion from November 2-26, Cichocki will present: Primordial Water, a solo exhibition of the artist’s latest work showcased at Laguna College of Art + Design’s LCAD Gallery located near the museum. Additionally, a new decade of Art & Nature is being ushered in with a dynamic schedule of events including the annual free Family Festival.

Multidisciplinary artist Cichocki encapsulates the cycle of decay and renewal through examining relationships between humankind, the natural world and industrial mutation. The scope of Cichocki’s self-defined New Earth Art underlines the increasingly toxic global environment confronting our planet in the new millennium. Within his site-responsive practice, Cichocki generates new ecosystems configured between organic and synthetic materials and sounds. His aesthetic invokes opposites; the desert is submerged underwater, while macrocosms enter the view of a microscopic lens. All of these elements culminate into Circular Dimensions – Cichocki’s ever-evolving series of audiovisual performances showcased within the framework of live performances and multi-sensory installation environments.

Cichocki attended CalArts and Yale Norfolk School of the Art. Hailing from the Coachella Valley, he has explored the depths of the California desert over the past three decades, while generating exhibitions and performances throughout North America, South America, Asia and Europe that include the Museum of Image & Sound (São Paulo), Biennale Urbana (Venice), Casa França Brasil (Rio de Janeiro), Platforme (Paris), Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego), Museum of Moving Image (New York) and the Coachella Music and Arts Festival (Indio). His work is held in many permanent and private collections including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum and Lancaster Museum of Art. In 2014, Cichocki founded the curatorial platform Epicenter Projects that has recently partnered with the Paris-based Fondation LAccolade - Institut de France to create THE ELEMENTAL, a contemporary center for the arts located in Palm Springs focused on building intersections of art, science and environment.

Continuing Laguna Beach’s legacy as a center for the arts, Art & Nature provides a unique opportunity for the Southern California community to come together for a festival of art and ideas, to inspire artists and enhance the appreciation of nature as a place that inspires awareness about the environment we share.

For more information, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

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Laguna Live! announces Maiya Sykes to take the stage with Bijon Watson on September 27

Laguna Beach Live! looks forward to the exciting events scheduled for September.

It brings Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Bijon Watson to usher in the fall at [seven degrees].

Laguna Live Zach

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – Tuesdays through November 14

Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Tuesday, September 26, October 3, 10, 7, 24, November 7 and 14, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters Returns

With thanks to grants from Festival of Arts, Assistance League of Laguna Beach and Laguna Beach Rotary Club, Laguna Live! announced the return of Live! Music Matters, their free interactive music program for children ages up to 6 years with caregiver involvement. The eight weekly sessions, led by local musician Zach Churchill, will run from September 19 through November 14* and will take place at Laguna Beach Library on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m.

*No session on October 31.

Dates: Tuesdays - September 19, 26; October 3, 10, 17, 24; November 7, 14, Time: 11:30 a.m., Venue: Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach, Cost: Free.

The Live! Music Matters sessions have been immensely popular with local tots and caregivers alike.

Testimonies from Happy parents:

“Amazing experience for kids and mamas, best part of our Tuesday.”

“We have loved coming every week, our child is only 11 months old, but he has learned how to use the egg shaker and sticks to make a four count!”

“Music class with Zack is the highlight of our week; he has a natural ability to engage with the kids and makes music so much fun.”

laguna live Watson

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Courtesy of LagunaLive!

Laguna Beach Live! is excited to announce the perfect “End of Summer-Welcome Fall” event: Bijon Watson - September 27

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for drinks and social hour. (Food available to pre-purchase.)

The Soul of Jazz featuring The Laguna Live! All-Stars led by
Grammy Award-winning Trumpeter Bijon Watson

Laguna Live! is excited to announce that powerhouse jazz and blues vocalist, Maiya Sykes, will join Bijon Watson on stage for The Soul of Jazz concert on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Sykes was last seen in Laguna Live!’s crowd-pleaser Shout Hallelujah, when she brought the house down with her magnificent vocals and infectious energy.

Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Watson is a sought after and in-demand lead trumpet player that can be heard on television, in films and award-winning recordings with iconic and world-class artists such as Michael Bublé, Justin Timberlake, Harry Connick Jr., Diana Krall, Arturo Sandoval and Lady Gaga, to name just a few. Laguna Live! is honored to have Watson as their artistic director for jazz and is delighted that he is available to perform after his recent Grammy win.

Laguna live Ordiano

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Carlos Ordiano

The All Stars:

On tenor sax and flute, Grammy winning writer, producer and performer, Scott Mayo. On guitar the incredible Will Brahm. The astonishing Carlos Ordiano on keys. The outstanding Edwin Livingston on bass and world class drummer Jamey Tate.

Led by Grammy® Award-winning trumpeter Bijon Watson and featuring powerhouse vocalist Maiya Sykes, the Laguna Live! All-Stars will take the audience on a musical journey showcasing the artists that continue to shape, define, and influence Soul and Jazz to this day. Not to be missed!

Venue: [seven degrees] 891 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Price: $37.50 in advance, $40 at the door

Tickets for all events are available at, or call 949.715.9713.

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Cultural arts announcements and September Sunset Serenades

 The winners of the Juried Fine Art Exhibition will be on display beginning September 25. Don’t miss the September Serenades Series this Friday, Sept. 22 featuring Pacific Opera Project.

cultural arts banners

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Courtesy of Arts Commission

Winners of Banner Contest

Banner Winners Announced

The Arts Commission has selected four designs to replace the hand-painted banners displayed in the City Council chambers. Congratulations to Bill Atkins, Carole Boller, Erika Bradberry and Al Esquerra, on having their designs selected. The completed banners will be unveiled and the artists recognized at an upcoming City Council meeting.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

cultural arts brad singing

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Heisler Park was thoroughly rocked last Friday evening by Lead Singer/Guitarist Brad Wilson and his band playing the classic rock songs that we all grew up to and loved

cultural arts new crowd

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Photo by Scott Brashier

A beautiful evening for Brad Wilson’s concert on September 15

cultural arts dancing

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Photo by Scott Brashier 

Fun was had by all, and it was hard to not want to get up and dance!

Sunset Serenades, 5:30-7 p.m.

September 22 – Pacific Opera Project

Fridays in September

Heisler Park Amphitheater

Come enjoy free live music performances Friday evenings in September at the Heisler Park Amphitheater featuring:

–September 29 – Las Colibri (Mariachi)

–October 6 – Pacific Symphony

cultural arts las colibri

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Las Colibri performs on September 29 at Heisler Park

Call for artists:

Holiday Palette Competition

Deadline: October 2

Honorarium: $700

For details on competitions, click here.

Artistic Innovation Grants for Artists

Deadline: October 9

Grant amounts: $5,000-$20,000

Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition

Deadline: November 20

The Arts Commission invites artists to apply for its exhibitions, grants and programs. These programs are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

cultural arts pink

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Melody Nuñez, “Motherhood: VOID,” 2022 Juried Fine Art - First Place

The deadline for the annual Juried Fine Art exhibition has passed. Elected works of the Juried Fine Art exhibition will be displayed at Laguna Beach City Hall from September 25 through November 16.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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Sawdust Art Festival classes for September and October

Although the Sawdust Art Festival has concluded for the year, there are still classes being offered.

Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.


Encounter the magic of glassblowing with one of their master Sawdust glassblowers! In this truly unique experience, you will be taken through the glassblowing process step-by-step in their famous glass demo booth. You will receive individual, one-on-one instruction to create a beautiful piece of artwork.

They are happy to accommodate another day/time during the week. Please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to coordinate.

Cost: $300

sawdust art pottery

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Photos courtesy of Sawdust Festival

Pottery Wheel Experience, September 16 and 30

Saturday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m.

Pottery Wheel Experience with Robert Jones

Robert Jones will take students through the process step-by-step, allowing them to gain confidence so that, with his help, attendees will make their own pottery pieces on the wheel. Each student will make approximately three to four pieces that he will then fire and glaze in his own studio so that you will end up with a beautifully glazed mug or bowl which you can truly call your own. Please note, the firing and glazing time will take approximately three to four weeks before pieces are ready to collect. If you wish your items to be mailed, there will be an additional cost to cover postage and packing.

Absolutely no experience is necessary to take this class, however closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing is recommended. All materials are included in the cost.

Cost: $100. To register, click here.

Sawdust art mosaic

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Intro to Mosaic Art, October 7 and 14

Saturday, Oct. 7 and 14, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Intro to Mosaic Art with Ron Shearer

A two-day workshop over two weekends.

The ancient art of mosaics is one of the most beautiful and oldest in the history of mankind. Working closely with Ron Shearer, participants will create a mosaic that not only will they be proud to display, the class will open a whole new world of creativity where participants can easily continue on your own. Step-by-step, Shearer will take you through the process of design, materials, cutting techniques and then carefully guide you through the application, initially using glue for positioning. You’ll have a little bit of fun “homework” to do between classes. When you return to the second workshop, you can really focus on the fine details and finishing your artwork. A wonderful, informative and creative workshop, and one that Sawdust has had many requests for. This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners or those who want to fine-tune their skills. All materials are provided including supplies from WitsEnd Mosaics.

Cost: $350 per student, which is fully inclusive of six hours of intensive tuition over two weekends, and all materials including a pair of nippers that you can keep, mosaic glass tiles, design and backing board. Maximum 10 students per class – if you are a larger group, contact the Sawdust directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To register, click here.

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LAM adds more to the great line-up for October and announces 11th Annual Art & Nature

Many exciting exhibitions are on view at Laguna Art Museum (LAM) and the museum has added more public programs, including a talk by costume designer Holly Poe Durbin about fashion history and an interactive event by Third Street Writers. The opening of the 11th Annual Art & Nature on November 2 is a highly anticipated event.

Laguna Art Museum unveils 11th Annual Art & Nature on November 2

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) will present the 11th Annual Art & Nature, an immersive journey into the symbiotic relationship between art and the natural world. The Art & Nature initiative addresses the environmental situation through a creative and unique lens – the artist’s perspective. Beginning November 2, this transformative multidisciplinary event will converge art, science and nature on a grand scale. Art & Nature is the museum’s largest public program of the year, bringing together thousands of participants to foster a love of nature, raise environmental awareness and discover cross-sections between science and the arts.

October 14, 2023-January 7, 2024

Breaking the Rules: Paul Wonner and Theophilus Brown

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) announces Breaking the Rules: Paul Wonner and Theophilus Brown, on view from October 14, 2023, through January 7, 2024. This remarkable showcase pays tribute to the pioneering artists Paul Wonner and Theophilus Brown, renowned for their contributions to Bay Area Figuration. Throughout their artistic journeys, they fearlessly explored new styles and subjects, from captivating landscapes featuring classic bathers to Baroque-inspired still lifes adorned with everyday objects, animals and flowers. Breaking the Rules is an immersive experience with a rich collection of 75 paintings, watercolors and drawings, offering an in-depth exploration of these trailblazing artists’ exceptional talents.

lam adds new exhibit

New exhibition is now open and runs through September 30

Continues through September 30

Brand Spanking New: Freshly acquired Artwork at LAM

Though Laguna Art Museum traces its roots back to 1918, it did not begin developing a permanent art collection until 1940. Today, the collection spans nearly every historical period of California art from 1835 until present day. This exhibition of 14 recently acquired artworks expresses unabashedly Californian ideas including excess, optimism, irreverence and perfection. Many embrace experimentation, environmentalism and social change.

Artworks are by Joseph Birren, Elanor Colburn, Albert Contreras, Scot Heywood, Sandow Birk, Don Bachardy, Tom Wudi, John Baldessari, William Griffith, Buena Johnson, Edward & Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Francis De Erdely, William Wendt and Gunnar Widfoss.

lam adds storytime

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Storytime Saturday - September 23

Saturday, Sept. 23, 11 a.m.

Storytime Saturday

Bring your little ones to Laguna Art Museum for an interactive storytime and art-making experience unlike any other. Read-alouds will be supplemented with mindfulness exercises, art-making projects, or in-gallery activities that promote meaningful connections with caregivers and others.

This Month’s Session

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, kids will engage in a read aloud and art-making activity featuring El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!, written by Donna Barba Higuera and illustrated by Juliana Perdomo.

Cost: Museum members: $7, Non-members: $14

All children receive free admission. Tickets are required for accompanying adults only. For tickets, click here.

lam adds writers

Third Street Writers: Paint a Picture with Words - September 23

Saturday, Sept. 23, 6 p.m.

Third Street Writers: Paint a Picture with Words

Third Street Writers is proud to present an ekphrastic writing workshop on the work of Joseph Kleitsch. As well as an exclusive tour of the current Laguna Art Museum exhibit of Kleitsch’s work, they will guide you through techniques and approaches to creative writing about art, whether as poetry, prose, or personal essay. In this intensive but supportive environment, their goal is for you to come away with an original work of literature centered on your responses to the work of this important American artist. After the workshop, they invite all participants to join an open mic. Writing supplies provided.

Please arrive early to enjoy the museum’s exhibitions, social time and light refreshments.

Advance tickets are recommended. Laguna Art Museum members: $20 per person, Non-members: $30 per person. For tickets, click here.

LAM adds Durbin

Holly Poe Durbin - September 14

Sunday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m.

Fashion History with Costume with Holly Poe Durbin

Costume designer Holly Poe Durbin takes us back in time through an exploration of fashion history inspired by the closing exhibition Joseph Kleitsch: At Home and Abroad in Old Laguna.

Although his landscapes preserve California in its historic state, the people in Kleitsch’s paintings wear fashions that capture the rush toward Modern California. Joseph Kleitsch’s career spanned roughly 1907-1931, recording the very years that modernism emerged and setting the stage for California to become a defining force in American fashion. This gallery talk will highlight fashions from the paintings and use real examples to explore these important years.

Advance tickets recommended. Laguna Art Museum: $20 per person,

Non-members: $30 per person. For tickets, click here.

For more information about Laguna Art Museum exhibitions and programming, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

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LPAPA’s 25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational Catalog Art Show continues at the gallery

LPAPA’s 25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational Catalog Art Show opened online with a virtual gallery Art Catalog and silent Preview Auction, showcasing original works created en plein air and in studio by their invited Artists and Founding Members.

lpapa 25th catalog

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Courtesy of LPAPA

The show opened on September 7 during Art Walk

The show opened at the LPAPA Gallery on Thursday, Sept. 7 and continues through Monday, Oct. 16, with artwork that was unsold at the auction still available for purchase, at the full gallery price.

The Catalog Art Show represents a showcase painting from each of the 35 Invitational Artists participating in LPAPA’s 25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational plus a showcase painting from each of LPAPA’s Founding Members for their Silver Anniversary celebration. The art will be featured in this year’s published Invitational Art Catalog (2023 Collectors Gala guests, Catalog Art collectors and auction winners will receive a complimentary copy of the printed catalog).

Proceeds generated through the sale of artwork supports the artists and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art organization.

The 25th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational will be presented October 7-15 with the Annual Collectors Gala on Saturday, Oct. 14. Learn more about the Invitational here.

The LPAPA Gallery is located at 414 North Coast Highway on Gallery Row between Jasmine and Myrtle streets. Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment.

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