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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.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Laguna Beach Arts and Culture featured at John Wayne Airport

The Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau formed a committee of the major non-profit arts destinations of Laguna Beach to showcase Laguna’s art past and present as part of John Wayne Airport’s exhibition program titled: “Orange County: Destination Art & Culture.”  The exhibit debuts on July 15th, 2012, and runs through October of this year.

The Laguna Beach exhibit entitled “A Legacy of Art” features – Laguna Beach Yesterday, Laguna Beach Today and images from Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters, The Laguna Playhouse and Laguna Art Museum, dating from 1904 to the present.
John Wayne Airport Orange County launched the new program in conjunction with the opening of its new Terminal C in November 2011. The program allows the airport to highlight Orange County’s non-profit arts and cultural venues to the millions of passengers and visitors who travel through the airport each year.
“Laguna Beach has long been synonymous with the arts – both visual and performing,” said Alan L. Murphy, Airport Director. “We are delighted to help showcase these amazing venues and hope that passengers and local residents alike will be moved to see some of them first-hand in beautiful Laguna Beach.”
The 11 wall-mounted art display cases are located along a pedestrian walkway between Terminal B & C ticket counters, prior to the security checkpoints, and are open to the general public for viewing.
“We are honored that Laguna Beach has been chosen to feature its wealth of arts and cultural organizations in the summer/fall 2012 exhibit at John Wayne Airport,” said Judith Bijlani, president and CEO of the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau.

Cynthia Fung, exhibit curator and Marketing Director for Sawdust Art Festival, explained “the showcases tell the story of the arts of Laguna Beach and the history of our festivals through both two and three- dimensional works of art and photographs.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Genius, 2012 Pageant of the Masters

Up close with a "living picture"

There is an excitement in the air this time of year in Laguna Beach. The town is flooded with visitors and locals enjoying the summer sun with the hot topic on everyone’s lips being ‘art.’ It’s no wonder because with the warming of the weather it means it’s festival season and time for the world-renowned production of  Pageant of the Masters. Celebrating their 80th anniversary, the Pageant of the Masters has been combining the world of theater and art by creating tableaux vivants – “living pictures” of some of the world’s most well-known works of art.

Each year the Pageant comes up with a new theme, new tableaux vivants, an original score and other unique surprises. This year, Director Diane Challis Davy chose a theme of power and strength that explores the relationship between art and advances in science and technology, The Genius. “I’m curious about the materials and techniques used by the old masters,” Challis Davy said. “One hundred and fifty years ago, artists had to make their own paints! In a way, you had to be a chemist. I’m fascinated by the huge roles played by developments in optics and photography when painting realistic works. But, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy The Genius.” In fact, you only need a sense of wonder (and maybe a cozy blanket) to enjoy the show.

The lights go down, music from the live orchestra plays and we hear the narrator announcing the start of the show. The curtains part and we see the first tableaux, Samuel F.B. Morse’s “Gallery of the Louvre.” The audience sits spellbound seeing this life-sized picture. We all know that there are volunteer actors in the roles of the people featured in the painting, however it is difficult to distinguish there is no movement. The narrator tells us that Morse featured himself front and center in the painting and as he says this, the actor playing Morse breaks his pose and turns to face the audience. All at once we sigh with the shock of seeing him move. The show continues like this, repeatedly putting the audience in a place of awe and wonder when seeing famous works of art (by Michelangelo, Manet, Rockwell, Rodin, van Gogh and many others) come to life right before our eyes.

There is a famous quote by Vincent van Gogh that is featured in The Genius that I think sums up the show just perfectly. “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars make me dream.” While you sit in the outdoor amphitheater, under the starry sky, watching this extraordinary production, you too will be moved to dream.

See Genius nightly at 8:30pm
July 7- August 31, 2012
Tickets start at $15

By Anne-Marie S.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Silver Blue and Gold

Two years ago local jewelry artisan Karin Worden fulfilled a lifelong dream and opened a gallery focused on handcrafted jewelry: Silver Blue & Gold. Before opening Silver Blue & Gold, Karin was making her own line of jewelry in a studio located in Laguna Canyon and was an exhibitor  at Festival of Arts and the American Craft Council shows. This is where she met other fine artisans with similar aesthetics. With an eye for fine craftsmanship, Karin began gathering a group of artists to represent in her gallery. All of the jewelry carried at Silver Blue & Gold is hand fabricated, using ancient techniques of metal construction that demonstrate a deep respect for the precious metals and gems that they are made with.

Elements + Alloy is a husband and wife team from Philadelphia who met in architecture school. The influence of symmetry and order are reflective in their work.

Natasha’s work is strongly influenced by two places: Tibet, where she studied on a Fulbright Scholarship, and Brooklyn, her hometown. Although drastically different, both find their way into her work.

Davide is originally from Florence, Italy where he became an apprentice at the age of 14. Later he worked for large manufacturing companies before he made the decision to forge out on his own. Now he splits his time between Italy and Northern California working on his unique line of jewelry.

Much of her own work is inspired by the nature that surrounds her whether it’s on a hike in Laguna Canyon, while seeing the bloom of a wildflower, or a day at the beach seeing the varied blues of the Pacific.

“I love the process when I’m working on a piece. I let the metal speak to me. When I’m hiking and I see a flower I think to myself, what metal does this look like?  What texture would look like that? And I see that in a lot of the artists I represent. Many of them have a similar tactile (focus) in their work,” says Karin. Silver Blue & Gold is a jewelry gallery with a personal touch that Karin, as an artisan with over 20 years of experience, can bring to her clientele.  The gallery features over a dozen artists and there is something for everyone  with prices ranging from $50 to 5,000.

The art on the walls is not just a decorative piece to the gallery; it is part of the gallery. Each painting is coordinated with the showcase and is for sale. Pictured here is “Ocean” by Sheryl Smith Seltzer.

1492 S. Coast Hwy. #5
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-3000
Wednesday – Sunday 11am to 6pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Find them on Facebook for the latest news on trunk shows and special shows.

By Anne-Marie S.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The First of Its Kind: Official Laguna Beach App Makes Its Debut on July 6th Introducing – Trolley Tracker and ‘Come to Life’ functions

The Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau, in partnership with the City of Laguna Beach and Phondini Partners, will launch the Official Laguna Beach Travel Info Mobile App on July 6, 2012. Introducing a ‘Come to Life’ augmented reality feature powered by Aurasma and a local “Trolley Tracker” utilizing GPS information, the app is in beta phase through July 5th.

Visitors and residents alike can download the official Laguna Beach Travel Info app to navigate their way through Laguna Beach. The current weather, tide tables, maps, and real-time local transit information can be found via GPS while in town. “For the first-time ever, riders this summer will have the ability to stand at a trolley stop and see where the next trolley is in proximity to their location,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Jane Egly.

App users will also have the ability to search hotel, restaurant, shopping and activities in addition to viewing a local events calendar. Getaway offers and app-only specials will be available to subscribers in the fall. “We are extremely grateful to all of our partners who have worked to bring the free Laguna Beach app to market for so many people,” stated Judy Bijlani, President & CEO of the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau.

The LBVCB has partnered with Aurasma, an HP Company, and embedded the powerful image recognition software within the Laguna Beach app.  Users of iPhones (3Gs and above), iPads (iPad 2 and above) and high-powered Android devices (2.2 and above) will be able to download the Laguna Beach app from the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Amazon.  By simply clicking on ‘Come to Life’ from the main menu screen, residents and visitors can scan photos coded with the lifeguard tower icon within the new Laguna Beach Visitors Guide, and see them ‘come to life’ through the use of video providing an opportunity to learn more about the triggered image. 

In addition, a GPS-driven map will provide clues (‘auras’) to other places throughout town where the ‘Come to Life’ function will be able to be used in conjunction with points of interest, art and more.  Updates throughout 2012-13 will provide more ‘locational auras’ and ever-growing opportunities for using the functionality.

Jennifer Rapp, Aurasma’s general manager, added, “It’s been a pleasure working with the LBVCB, because they’re open and eager to introduce Aurasma’s cutting-edge technology to the city’s regular influx of global travelers.  As one of the top tourist destinations on the west coast, Aurasma’s augmented reality companion gives the millions of annual visitors the flexibility and independence to learn about the city’s tourist attractions in a convenient and interactive mobile experience.  We are proud to see Aurasma’s platform being integrated into a longer-term strategy that has the potential to make Laguna Beach the very first completely augmented destination!”
Aurasma, the world’s leading augmented reality platform, represents the future of how we will use our mobile devices.  Aurasma brings the physical and virtual worlds together for the first time and recognizes images, symbols and objects in the real world.  The opportunity to leverage the Aurasma software as part of the official Laguna Beach app was brought to the Bureau by local artist Roark Gourley.  Visitors to Roark’s summer showing at seven-degrees in Laguna Canyon will be able to utilize the Laguna Beach app to watch art come to life. Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau Board Member, Mark Orgill, spearheaded bringing the App to fruition.
“We're very excited to be working with the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau and the City of Laguna Beach on this breakthrough mobile application, featuring a number of firsts in its category,” said Joe Falcone, managing partner and founder of Phondini Partners.