In the Arts: Festival of Arts ramps up website

The website for the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts has been given a makeover — the first in nearly a decade.

The famed venue for the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters recently introduced a user-friendly website. Combining traditional colors and graphics with advanced navigational and search functionality, the redesign has incorporated social media tools, a radically revised event calendar and an expansive artist database.

"After months of development with our website designers, we're very excited to unveil the new website in conjunction with the Festival's and Pageant's 80th anniversary celebration," Sharbie Higuchi, director of marketing and PR for the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, said in a release. "Technology has really changed in the last 10 years, [and] it was important for us to keep up with the times and elevate our online presence."

Along with offering content about the Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters, the website showcases yearly exhibits and projects. Now, multimedia has been brought to the fore with videos, event slide shows, an interactive calendar and other visual content from last year's season, along with archival footage dating back to the Festival's inception.

Membership registration, donations and the purchase of Pageant tickets have been simplified, and brand new sections about the Festival's permanent art collection and spotlight pages have been rolled out. The exhibitor gallery now not only allows visitors to sort through 140 exhibiting artists by medium and name, but also enables them to view popular tags.

On tap for the next phase of this campaign are blogs, a searchable database of the permanent art collection, an online exhibitor application and more.

"It's always been our mission to raise awareness about the talented array of artists at the Festival of Arts," Higuchi said. "Now, with the launch of the new website, we're able to give our artists an additional platform to reach art collectors and art enthusiasts everywhere."

—Rhea Mahbubani


PMMC seeks art pieces for its open house

A local nonprofit is looking for the next marine mammal masterpiece to display at its open house.

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is accepting entries for its Marine Mammal Masterpiece art contest through Jan. 20. The contest is open to K-12 students.

The grand prize winner will be a sponsor to one of the center's patients, take a behind-the-scenes tour and get to watch the animal be released back into the ocean.

Runners-up will receive award certificates and goodie bags. All entries will be on display at the center's Earth Day Open House from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 28.

Participates are asked to create a scene that depicts the perfect day for a marine mammal. Entries can be in any medium, but must fit in the frame on the official entry form, which can be found at

Art work will be judged by the center's staff and board members.

Submissions can be dropped off daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or mailed to: The Pacific Marine Mammal Center, 20612 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. Atttn: Debbie MacCarter.

—Britney Barnes

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