In The Arts

Remembering artist Chris Medina

A large gathering of Chris Medina's friends recently held a celebration of his life at the home of Bren and Terry Briano in Canyon Acres, after the 40-year-old unexpectedly died from heart failure on November 6.

Medina was a talented artist, poet, musician and lover of nature. He was born in New York City and lived in England during his childhood. He attended high school in Virginia and graduated with honors from NYU in English literature. He has lived in California for the past decade, the most recent years at his studio/residence in Laguna Canyon. His paintings and original comic books often featured animals, and sometimes included pleas to respect the Earth and one another.

He is survived by his parents, a brother and two sisters.

Graphic novelist to visit Hi De Ho

Phil Yen, known as the "Godfather of the modern American Graphic Novel," will sign copies of his new children's books, including the award-winning "Dinosaurs Across America," at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hi De Ho Comics, 350 Broadway, Laguna Beach.

Recommended as one of the most outstanding 25 graphic novels for kids by the School Library Journal, the book teaches U.S. history and geography.

Yeh will also sign copies of his new book, "Steve the Dog & the Winged Tiger," which tells the story of a couch potato dog who learns to explore the world outside of the TV set, video games and the Internet. The special 1,500 hard cover edition has limited availability.

Yeh is also the founder of Cartoonists Across America and the World, a group of artists whose mission is to promote literacy and the arts. He founded CAA in 1985 when his friend, Wally Amos, informed him of the growing illiteracy crisis in the United States. Yeh's band of artists has painted more than 1,800 colorful murals promoting reading and the arts in 49 states and 13 countries, including a mural for the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution on the Capitol mall with President Reagan and the Library of Congress with former First Lady Barbara Bush.

He was recently a special guest of the 40th San Diego ComiCon where he was presented with an Inkpot Award for his contributions to the field of the comic arts.

Yeh will join writer Michael Aushenker and artist Rafael Navarro, who will make an encore appearance, in costume, to sign "Gumby's Gang Starring Pokey."

Ceramic art and sculpture show

Dave Tarullo will show his Structural Integration Sculpture Series as well as a selection of items from his pottery and ceramic tile lines from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at The New School of Structural Integration, 1027 N. Coast Hwy. Ste. E in Laguna Beach.

The opening party is from 5 to 9 p.m. today, and will including drinks and appetizers, and a performance by a virtuoso guitar player.

For more information, visit

Sawdust classes help military families

In honor of the U.S. Military, the Sawdust Art Festival will host a special arts education day for military spouses of deployed troops at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in the new jewelry studio, located on the festival grounds.

Sawdust members thought it would be fitting to offer this unique event during the Winter Fantasy on the Sawdust grounds, according to marketing director Cynthia Fung.

Ten military spouses from Camp Pendleton will take a two-hour vocational jewelry class, led by Marla Burns, who will teach skills in jewelry-making, which require little expense in tools. The class is intended to provide a skill that will foster additional income, and also as a positive outlet while they wait for their spouses to return from their military services abroad, Burns said.

With the assistance of Sawdust artists and jewelers, Georgette Cerutti, Mike Heintz, David Nelson, and Sawdust Board Member, Sally Wilde, Burns will cover the jewelry-making skills of stamping, dapping, planishing and metal-smithing in both silver and copper. Students will create an original set of earrings and a pendant to take home.

Children of deployed troops are also invited to take an "Animal Ornament Class" at the Children's Art Spot, while their mothers are immersed in the jewelry class.

In support of the U.S. Military, the Sawdust will also donate 10% of proceeds from the Sawdust Studio Art Classes to Camp Pendleton's art education program.

Complimentary to the Sawdust's military guests will be parking, festival entrance fee, supplies, equipment, instruction, lunch at Deb's Deli and snacks and candies and Fran's Popcorn booth.

The 20th Annual Winter Fantasy at the Sawdust Art Festival runs two more weekends, this Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 10, 11 and 12. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult admission is $6; Seniors $5, age 65 and up; $3 for children ages 6 to 12; children younger than 5 are free; and $9 for any season's pass.

For more information or to view a complete list of activities, visit or call (949) 494-3030.

Canyon artists sale this weekend

Fifty artists from Laguna Canyon Artists studios will open their doors from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday for their annual Open Studio sale. Admission and parking are free.

Visitors can stroll door-to-door, to view and buy art directly from working studios. Participating artists include Sherry Seltzer, Fred Hope, Judi Smolin, Doug Stotts, Tom Swimm, Ebraham Amin, Michael Situ and many more.

Live glass bead torch work will be demonstrated by jeweler Linda Ames, and classical portraits will be drawn by Lorenzo. Classes include "Learn to Gold Leaf" with Mike Tauber, available through Laguna Outreach for Community Arts. Other highlights include the "Small Wonders" show at the Southern California Artists Assn. studio, an artist-supplies table provided by "Judy the Brush Lady," and 30 artistic wreaths, donated to Shanti Orange County, and on display throughout the complex.

Original art, prints, and sale items will be priced from $20 to $20,000. Some artists accept credit cards and cash sales are always invited. The complex is at 3251 Laguna Canyon Road. Artist information, schedules and maps are available on the Events page at


More than 30 wreaths created by local artists and businesses will be auctioned off from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday (Dec.8) at Mozambique, 1740 S. Coast Hwy., to benefit the Shanti Orange County's HIV and AIDS services programs.

The wreaths feature an array of original styles and themes, including a 4-foot indoor-outdoor "Going Green" piece by Shelly Evans; a "Prince Charming" design, adorned with green frogs and giant lips, by Sian Poeschl and Sharbie Higuchi; and a "Rustic Wreath" by Hedy Buzan, made from grape vines, maple pods and pinecones from a fallen tree in Jahraus Park.

The free event will also include a no-host bar, complimentary appetizers from 6 to 7 p.m. and a live bidding led by Mike Tauber from 7 to 9 p.m. and an auction staff of fitness models.

All wreaths will be available for advance viewing during the "Open Studios Sale" at, 3251 Laguna Canyon Road. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Shanti Orange County serves those living with HIV/AIDS, helping them to survive their diagnoses, become as healthy as possible and live the rest of their lives with dignity and resilience. Offering a variety of health supportive services and educational programs for patients, family members, health professionals and the general public, it's been on the front lines of the AIDS crisis since 1987 working to increase awareness, promote prevention and ensure that essential services remain available to all in need.

For more information, visit

FOA posters at Wells Fargo

A retrospective of Festival of Arts annual posters from the past 25 years is now on display at the downtown Laguna Beach Wells Fargo through Jan. 11.

"The exhibit invites the viewer to take a visual stroll through history as well as explore a variety of artistic styles," curator Pat Sparkuhl said.

The poster exhibit portrays not only the history of the Festival of Arts, but also that of Laguna Beach. Included are the 2006 poster "Casa La Vita" by Caroline Zimmermann, the 1993 Festival of Arts poster by Eugene Kaspin called "Moss Point Beach" and the 2009 Festival poster "Crystal Cove Surf" by Todd Kenyon. Other posters include reproductions of paintings by Hal Akins, Ken Auster, Sandra Jones Campbell, Agnes Copeland, Marci Lyster, Jacobus, Kathy Jones, Michael Obermeyer, Virginia Wooley, Joanne Cromwell, Julie Watson, and Karl Yens. There are also Pageant of the Masters posters from the 1999 "20th Century" by David Solomon, 2008 "Souvenir Program Collection" featuring past souvenir program covers and 2009's "The Muse". As well as the addition of the new 2010 poster, "Eat, Drink and be Merry", showcasing Tom Swimm's "Splendido Evening".

The exhibit is on the third floor of the Wells Fargo building at 260 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach. The Sawdust Festival has an exhibit on the main floor of the building, while Community Art Project (CAP) has an exhibit on the second level. The building is open to the public 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For more information call (949) 464-4282.

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