In The Arts

A day for the kids at FOA

Saturday promises to be a day full of fun for children and their parents at the Festival of Arts. To press home this point, Festival officials said that a 44,000-pound steamroller will be brought in for the occasion to make prints outside the FOA grounds at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

From noon to 3 p.m., the Festival's Family Art Day program will involve kids in art projects and activities, including ceramics, scavenger hunts, marionette shows, balloon art and face painting.

"Family Art Day is always a favorite day at the Festival," Susan Davis, the FOA's special events director, said in a prepared statement. "If your family has never participated, this is the year to do it, because this year's Family Art Day is going to be the best one yet!"

Children under age 12 get in for free, and as they enter the FOA grounds, kids will be given a coupon booklet for them to use at the various Family Art Day activities.

The program is free with a ticket to the Festival of Arts. General admission is $10. Senior citizens and students pay $6. For more information, call (949) 494-1145 or go to http://www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.

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Dance performances coming to Laguna Playhouse

Tickets are on sale for a series of dance productions coming to the Laguna Playhouse during the weekend of Sept. 7 through 9, and which will be presented by the Laguna Dance Festival.

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, Backhausdance, a dance company based in Orange County, will mark its 10th anniversary with a production featuring "Sitting on January," "Push," "Love and Other Impossibilities" and other pieces.

The show will include "The Margin," a dance number that will be performed on a 4-foot by 4-foot platform, according to a news release from the playhouse. A pre-show conversation with Artistic Director Jennifer Backhaus will take place at 6:30 p.m.

At 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 8, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, a contemporary dance company, and the Alonzo King LINES Ballet, a contemporary ballet company from San Francisco, will be performing at the playhouse.

The two companies also will put on a show at 2 p.m. on Sept. 9, with a pre-show appearance by their artistic directors set for 1 p.m.

Tickets for the Backhausdance, Hubbard Street and Alonzo King performances range from $25 to $50. Tickets can be purchased by calling (949) 497-2787, visiting http://www.lagunaplayhouse.com or stopping by the box office between 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, or until 8 p.m. on performance days.

The playhouse is at 606 Laguna Canyon Road.

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Laguna gallery to present mixed media and neon art show

The JoAnne Artman Gallery in September will open "Leap of Faith," a show of mixed media pieces by Randy Brennan and neon sculptures by Lisa Schulte.

"All expressions of light, scents and textures continuously impact my work," Brennan said in a prepared statement. "I can spend six weeks on a painting, but the magic doesn't happen until I nail it with a patina [—] that's when the sparks fly. The whole painting comes together."

According to a news release, Schulte is an industrial designer and artist who has worked with neon lighting for 30 years.

"These neon piece have evolved out of my personal struggle to move from darkness back into the light and to recreate my voice as an artist," she said in a prepared statement.

"Light — dazzling, soft, dappled, and dripping from every surface and in every person, finally found its way back to me. Neon — extracted from the air, abundantly found in the universe, yet elusive on [E]arth, is giving new vibrancy to my life, my art and self again ... "

An opening reception for "Leap of Faith" is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., during September's First Thursdays Art Walk.

JoAnne Artman Gallery is at 326 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays, from 6 till 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month, and by appointment. For more information, call (949) 510-5481 or visit http://www.joanneartmangallery.com.

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Elsewhere in Laguna ...

In other Laguna arts news, artist Henry Asencio, an abstract expressionist and abstract realist, will be making a special appearance during the first weekend of August at the Exclusive Collections Galleries.

Asencio will be appearing there from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, and from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5. He will also appear at EC Galleries during its Masterpiece Monday program, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 6

EC Galleries is at 417 S. Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 858-3574 or visit .

Meanwhile, former Bluebird Canyon resident David "Dusty" Cupples has self-published a novel, "Stir It Up: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government," which is available on Amazon.com for $14.99.

—Imran Vittachi

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