In The Arts

The new curator of education at Laguna Art Museum will start her job on July 9, officials announced this week.

Marinta Skupin, a native South African, will join the museum's staff after spending four years as director of education at the San Diego History Center.

LAM has hired her to boost its educational programming and engage with the community by building relationships with K-12 schools and other groups offering children's after-school or enrichment programs.

"Like Ed Fosmire, our recently appointed deputy director, Marinta is a tremendous addition to the museum team," Executive Director Malcolm Warner said in a prepared statement. "She is a seasoned professional with experience in all aspects of museum education."

During her tenure at the San Diego History Center, Skupin played a key role in enhancing the visitor experience and strengthening school programs, the release said, noting that K-12 visits to the center's two museum's increased by 68%.

Before coming to San Diego, she worked in New Orleans, where she managed K-12 and family programs at the Louisiana State Museum. Prior to that, she served as education program coordinator at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

She trained in piano studies at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and received both a bachelor in fine arts and a master's in arts administration from the University of New Orleans.

"I am thrilled to join the museum at this exciting time," Skupin said in a prepared statement. "Not only am I absolutely delighted at the prospect of returning to an art museum, but I also couldn't have wished for a better opportunity to do that than at the Laguna Art Museum."

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LCAD-trained artist needs money to finish project

Alrik Yuill, a Costa Mesa-based artist who studied sculpture and painting at the Laguna College of Art & Design, has mounted a campaign to raise funds to complete his "In Bloom: The Girl and The Music" sculpture.

Yuill has poured more than $15,000 into the 8.5-foot sculpture, his largest project to date, but he needs at least an extra $10,000 to cast the sculpture in plaster, according to a news release.

Yuill and his sculpture in progress were featured in a Coastline Pilot article published in February.

On Thursday night, Yuill was scheduled to host a fundraiser at his Costa Mesa studio, and his Kickstarter online campaign to raise the extra cash is set to close at 10 p.m. on Friday, the release said.

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Hano to get baseball award

Arnold Hano, a 90-year-old Laguna Beach resident, author and lifelong fan of the national pastime, will go to Pasadena on July 15 to accept the Baseball Reliquary's Hilda Award during the organization's Shrine of Eternals 2012 Induction Day ceremony, according to a news release from the group.

The Baseball Reliquary is a Southern California-based nonprofit whose mission is to foster an appreciation of American art and culture through the lens of baseball. The Hilda Award, named in honor of Brooklyn Dodgers supporter Hilda Chester, recognizes distinguished service to the game by a baseball fan, the release said.

"I have been watching major league games since I was four," Hano said in a prepared statement. "I do not know whether this makes me dean of the school of fanhood, but surely I am the elder of the faculty. Most of the fires of my life have been banked.

"One passion remains hot and full. My passion is to attend ballgames. It is an urge not to be denied. It sustains me."

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Laguna gallery will show Verbicky works

JoAnne Artman Gallery in July will put on a solo exhibit of mixed-media art by Canadian-born and self-taught artist James Verbicky, followed by its annual group exhibit in August of works by artists including Jane Maxwell and Rimi Yang.

Verbicky's "Force Bloom" show will run from July 1 through July 31. An opening reception will take place at the gallery, from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 5, during next month's First Thursdays Art Walk.

The annual group show, titled "The Back Room," will go from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31, with an opening reception set 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 2.

RSVP by calling (949) 510-5481. For more information, visit http://www.joanneartmangallery.com. JoAnne Artman Gallery is at 326 N. Coast Hwy.

—Imran Vittachi

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