In The Arts

'New Beginnings' at DeMossa Gallery

Jovan Karlo Villalba's will feature his recent cinematic painting series "New Beginnings" through October 2 at DeMossa Gallery in Laguna Beach.

The exhibit, which explores the natural and man-made world's possibility for restoration and revitalization following an imagined catastrophic event, illustrates spectacular scenes of natural cleansing, transformation and rebirth, undoubtedly inspired by the Creation narrative from the Book of Genesis.

Villalba uses a variety of strokes, washes, bleeds and blends over multiple layers of paint in each piece, creating a gratifying and refreshing experience by stimulating contemplation and escapism in a viewer.

He shades realism into abstraction, similar to Turner's "Fisherman at Sea" (1796).

Born in Quito, Ecuador in 1977, Villalba studied fine art at New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida and received a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. Over the past 10 years, he has shown his work at galleries throughout the U.S. and in biennial exhibitions at Exit Art and the Queens Museum of Art in New York City. He currently lives and works in Miami.

For more information, visit art@demossagallery.com or call (949) 715-9229.

Sunset Serenades in Sept.

The City of Laguna Beach will present September Sunset Serenades from 5:30 p.m. to sunset every Friday this month at the Heisler Park picnic area. The Global Beat Foundation will perform world beats on Friday ,Fugowies, a pop harmony duo, peforms Sept. 10, with Arte Hernandez performing Latin Jazz on Sept. 17 and Nancy Sanchez, a contemporary jazz singer/songwriter, performing on Sept. 24.

Admission is free. For more information, call (949) 497-0722 or e-mail spoeschl@lagunabeachcity.net.

'Laguna Reads' program debuts

Laguna Beach Books is launching a city-wide reading program in conjunction with St. Mary's Episcopal Church. The featured author is Heidi Durrow, author of "The Girl Who Fell From the Sky," who will be appearing at St. Mary's at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 to discuss her book and sign copies. There is no charge for this event.

Chosen by Barbara Kingsolver as the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice, the novel has garnered rave reviews since its February 2010 publication. "The Girl Who Fell From the Sky" recently hit the LA Times Bestseller List and is now in its fourth printing.

The novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy. With her African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community. Growing up in the 1980s, she confronts her identity as a bi-racial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

Durrow is a graduate of Stanford, Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, and Yale Law School. She is the recipient of a Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Writers, and a Jentel Foundation Residency. She has also received fellowships to the Norman Mailer Writers' Colony and the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she has worked as a corporate litigator and as a consultant to the NFL and NBA. She is the co-host of the weekly podcast Mixed Chicks Chat, and co-founder of the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival. Her writing has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Literary Review, Callaloo, and Essence.

Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 S. Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 494-4779.

Create a sea lion print

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach will feature a tour and printmaking workshop from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept 11, where participants can view live seals and sea lions being nursed back to health, and later create their own sea lion print with artist Sue Linder.

Cost is $20 for adults, $15 for ages 6 to 18 accompanied by an adult, and includes art supplies. Advanced registration is required; contact Laguna Outreach for Community Arts at (949) 363-4700 or LOCAarts@yahoo.com. For more information, visit http://www.LOCAarts.org. Free on-site parking.

New director at Whelan

Amber K. Henry, gallery director of Whelan Gallery in Laguna Beach, recently announced that she has resigned from her position in order to pursue her personal art career.

The gallery is welcoming a new director, Kate Urschel, who has an extensive professional background in the arts and is currently pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts at Laguna College of Art and Design.

Anyone who wishes to keep in touch with Henry can do so at akhenryfinearts@cox.net.

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