When Patrick Whelan dreams, he dreams big.
The artist from Whelan Galleries woke up one morning nearly a year ago with the phrase "Night of 100 Angels" in his head. He didn't know what it meant, but he couldn't get it out of his mind.
"I don't know where the idea came from, but it came from somewhere," Whelan said.
So he decided to create an event with that name in Laguna Beach.
He approached Laguna gallerist Nancy Stubbs and The Cottage Gallery Director Adam Sandy to help bring the idea to fruition. That was in January or February.
"I wanted to bring angel art from all over the world," Whelan said. "Angels are a form of our own higher self. They answer the questions we have in the night."
The organizers invited artists from across the globe to submit angel artwork in paintings, sculptures, mixed media and digital works for a juried show. The entries were due July 15.
Artwork included in the monthlong angel show will be published in a "Night of 100 Angels" full-color book in spring 2012, according to a press statement.
Organizers also invited women to enter an angel costume contest, with the winner to be awarded a $500 prize.
Ten percent of proceeds from the art show and sale will be given to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County and the Inland Empire.
Planning for the event was extensive, and Whelan said the date was pushed back more than once before organizers settled on 6 p.m. Saturday.
At the event, Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman will officiate at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Cottage Gallery. The opening festivities will continue until 10 p.m.
A procession of costumed "angels" carrying lights will wind through Laguna Beach, beginning about 8 p.m. A half an hour later, the "angels" will arrive at Whelan's North Laguna gallery for the costume judging.
Artwork will be judged by longtime Laguna artist Bob Schaar, who will also speak at the opening reception.
Whelan, a 1991 Laguna College of Art & Design graduate, is known for his classical style of illustration for magazines and books, such as "Alice in Wonderland" and the Nancy Drew series, and numerous others for major publishers. His work is included in two volumes of "The Spectrum Book of Fantastic Art."
Whelan said he hopes the angels convey a message of peace and love.
"That's what angels stand for," he said.
Both galleries will showcase the angel artwork until Sept. 20.
If You Go
What: "Night of 100 Angels"
When: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Cottage Gallery, 1524 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach (6 p.m. ribbon-cutting)
Whelan Galleries, 353 N. Coast Hwy. (8:30 p.m. costume judging)
Information: Call (949) 494-5076 or visit http://www.whelanartgalleries.com