Come experience beauty...

Laguna Beach is Southern California's premier seaside destination, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. A year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beach goers, Laguna Beach features seven miles of soft sand and surf.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Surf Cabanas

Looking for a relaxing and hassle-free way to experience Laguna Beach? Pacific Edge Hotel  has new, beachfront Surf Cabanas to meet your every need for a luxury fun-filled day at the beach. The cabanas are private rooms that have been renovated for day use with amenities including air conditioning, flat screen TV’s & CD/MP3 sound systems, a wet bar, a fully stocked fridge and snack bar, and private bathrooms and showers.

Each Surf Cabana also has direct access to the beach with reserved lounge chairs and umbrellas. Complete with a Cabana concierge, you will receive top-notch service with food and bottle service from The Deck restaurant. The concierge will also gladly reserve extra amenities such as private massages, manicure/pedicures, surf lessons, gallery tours or even art classes.

The Surf Cabanas are for day use (10am to 10pm) and you do not have to be a guest of the hotel to book!  The Surf Cabanas are the perfect way to experience Laguna Beach VIP style with friends and/or family.

647 South Coast Highway
To book your Surf Cabana call 949.290.9039

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Only Make Believe

Starting as a tradition 78 years ago, the Pageant of the Masters continues to wow audiences year after year. This year’s theme “Only Make Believe,” continues in the tradition of capturing imagination and bringing to life some of the most iconic masterpieces in the art world.

What is Pageant of the Masters?

Its ninety minutes of tableaux vivants or "living pictures" - incredibly faithful art re-creations of classical and contemporary works with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. An outdoor amphitheater, professional orchestra, original score, live narration, intricate sets, sophisticated lighting, expert staff, and hundreds of dedicated volunteers have won recognition for the Pageant as the best presentation of its kind.

This year’s Pageant of the Masters is venturing into magical artistic realms. Only Make Believe will be your passport to explore worlds populated by ancient and modern superheroes and strange, mythical creatures. It will also showcase the creative expressions of artists who devoted themselves to conjuring everything from Victorian historical fantasies, illustrations for fairytales beginning "once upon a time," to futuristic visions of things to come, all in a breathtaking performance of "art that lives and breathes."

Some Highlights:

Children fairytale classics such as Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland are brought to life with vibrancy.

Other tales explored were the illustrations of Virgina Sterrett’s “Arabian Nights.” To see this great story brought to life in this unique way was breathtaking. Dragons and knights also made an appearance capturing that childhood awe we all had when we first learned of these mythical creatures.

The Pageant didn’t just present the land of fairytales, but it leapt into a world of Greek gods, myths and monsters. Some pieces explained what the future might be imagined to be. According to artist, Sandow Birk, his piece “In Smog and Thunder: The Great War of the California’s,” showed a fictitious depiction of war between San Francisco and Los Angeles. We were also treated to the future, as it was imagined in the late 1920s by Frank R. Paul, in his ‘Jet Man, Invisible Man and Astronauts’ magazine covers for Amazing Stories.

As always the Pageant of the Masters was closed with a depiction of the last supper. Instead of the traditional showing of Leonardo Divinci’s, “The Last Supper,” the Pageant team thought another version may better fit the theme of ‘Only Make Believe.’ This year Salvador Dali’s “Sacrament of the Last Supper” was chosen. Dali is arguably one of the most iconic surrealists of all time and I’m sure would have been delighted to be included in the world-renowned Pageant of the Masters.

Pageant of the Masters

Now thru August 31
For tickets click HERE

“From the mythological legends of ancient Greece to evocations of classic stories of buried treasure, spooky encounters and the simple pleasures of playing dress-up, the 2011 Pageant promises no shortage of fantasy fun for the entire family.”

–Pageant of the Masters

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sawdust Art Festival 2011

The 45th summer Sawdust Art Festival is here!!! As always, my entire family was eager to head over to the festival to see what this year’s show had in store.  With over 200 artists, 30 of them new exhibitors, I knew that we would all find something to enjoy.

For the kids their all-time favorite Sawdust Art Festival activity is the Ceramic Canter’s potters wheel. Here, they get to have a hands-on experience with throwing clay. We opted for the $15 option, so we could get the clay fired, glazed and shipped to our home. The kids are now starting a collection of bowls and cups that they've made over the years at Sawdust.

I always look forward to seeing what the new theme will be at the Patch Toe ring booth. This year it is 'Toe Story.’

See if you can find all the toe rings.

This year I brought my sister along for her first visit to Sawdust. She fell in love from the moment we crossed through the front gates. The Sawdust Art Festival seems to have that affect on people. You get transported to another place while inside…its walls under the canopy of eucalyptus trees, the feeling of wood chips under your feet and music floating in the air.

My sis gravitated toward the Earl Reid booth where his sterling silver and gold hair comb clips are one of the most popular items at the festival.

By far, the most exciting part of our day at Sawdust was learning about rings that were passed down to us from our Mother. When I began writing for the Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau my mom told me that the rings she had given my sister and I were purchased at the Sawdust Art Festival in the 70s. So this year my mission was to find the jeweler that made those rings. And we did! John Skaggs has been exhibiting at Sawdust for over 40 years making beautiful jewelry. His stylized rings are recognized by Laguna Beach locals and as soon as we walked up to his booth, we knew that we had found the jeweler that made our mom’s rings.

John Skaggs’ stylized rings

Mom’s ring from the 70’s

Another family favorite are the sculptures of Dion and Ruth Wright. We enjoy seeing the creative ways they manipulate sterling silver utensils and other common items into all sorts of sculptures. My twins especially liked the Pegasus and fish. You can often find Dion and Ruth working right in their booths manipulating metal.

After our first of what I am sure will be many visits to the 45th Sawdust Art Festival, it looks like it's going to be an exciting year!

Open now through August 28th
10am to 10pm Daily

Mark your Calendars for these special events:

Wine-tasting Wednesdays - Every Wednesday, 6-10 pm
Hawaiian Surf Day – Saturday, July 9
Green Day – Saturday, July 23
80s Day – Thursday, August 4
Artists' Benevolence Fund Auction - Sunday, August 7, 2-5 pm
Beatles Day - Saturday, August 20
Original Collectors' Panels Auction - Sunday, August 21, 3-5 pm
Honda Car Raffle - Sunday, August 28, 4 pm

For complete listing of Special Events HERE 

A Passport to the Arts season pass can be purchased for $19 and allows unlimited access to Art-A-Fair, Sawdust Art Festival and Festival of Arts all summer long. You will also receive a free, one-time parking pass and various merchant discounts around town.

By Anne-Marie S.

Humpback Whale Spotted in Park!

A humpback whale has been spotted at Heisler Park above Laguna’s Main Beach! Not a whale happening by in the shoreline below – but a new breaching whale sculpture erected near Rockpile Beach.

The “Breaching Whale” sculpture was the recent addition to a five-year, $7.5 million park renovation, which officially reopened on June 10, 2011. Improvements to Heisler Park include two new restrooms, a terraced gathering area, improved landscaping, pathways, view areas, picnic benches and tables, new art installations and a better park infrastructure. Funding was provided through $3.6 million of grant funds from California State Water Board’s Clean Beaches Initiative, Integrated Regional Water Management program and grants to protect Areas of Special Biological Significance grant programs.

The sculpture was completed a year ago by sculptor Jon Seeman, but the installation of the stainless steel and COR-TEN steel "Breaching Whale" was delayed by renovations, which included the new amphitheater.

Originally recommended in 2009 by the City of Laguna Beach for installation in front of the Third Street Community and Senior Center in the downtown area as the fulfillment of the Arts in Public Places requirement, the city council voted to move the placement of the sculpture to oceanfront Heisler Park as a more suitable site for the 16-foot-tall public art piece. There will be a public art dedication for this piece on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 5pm as a prelude to First Thursdays Art Walk. The cost of the commission and installation totaled $115,000.

“We are delighted that the breaching whale sculpture will be an ongoing focal point in Heisler Park for visitors and residents to enjoy for many years to come,” said Karyn Philippsen, President of the Board of Directors of the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau. “It seems like a fitting home for a sculpture that recognizes the beauty of the whale migrations that grace our shores annually, as well as our commitment to keeping our beaches pristine, while providing countless ocean activities to discover,” said Judith Bijlani, LBVCB Executive Director.

About Laguna Beach Public Art An artists’ haven for more than 100 years, Laguna Beach has evolved into a renowned destination for world-class artists, festivals and galleries. Local and international artists have created more than 70 pieces of public art in Laguna Beach. Each is an original piece of work, made in an array of different media for a specific site.

These installations are facilitated and funded through or by the City of Laguna Beach and its Arts Commission. Each of these public art pieces reflects the importance of the arts in Laguna Beach. Visitors can view a public art documentary at, or pick up a self-guided tour map of the artworks at the Laguna Beach Visitors Center at 381 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach. The map delineates where public sculptures, art in public places and artist-designed benches are located throughout town, while identifying the artists and the history behind each piece.