In a house surrounded by lush foliage and jasmine lives a pioneer and
an art icon in Laguna Beach. She says she loves life, the community and
other artists here.
Anne England has been a Laguna Beach resident since 1962 and an artist
since age 3. Her intelligence and creative mind has made a significant
difference for Laguna’s art community. It was England’s idea for the
inception of a studio art tour, and she is the co-founder of the Sawdust
festival’s annual Art Walk.
The event, which took place last weekend, is now in its 11th year.
This year’s attendance was three times that of last year.
“With this tour, you can see the artists in their own habitat,
creating,” England said.
At Sunday’s reception, England was awarded for her years of dedication
to the art world and the Art Walk by Helen MacNamera.
“What makes an artist is what they dream. Anne England had the energy
to make it happen,” MacNamera said.
England also co-founded Laguna Outreach Community Arts, which came to
fruition about 10 years ago. In the beginning she was told she couldn’t
use the acronym LOCA because it means out of one’s mind. However England
dug a little further and found that it also means “joy and excitement.”
“LOCA keeps art flowing to the schools and teaches the children to
have art in their lives,” England said.
Artists involved with the program coordinate with teachers at South
Orange County schools and do hands-on demonstrations for the students.
“It’s been proven that kids with art experience make better grades.
It’s so important,” England said.
Another example of England’s commitment to community is her
involvement as co-founder for the Artist’s Benevolent Fund.
“It started originally when an artist had cancer and needed financial
help,” she said.
The fire in 1993 that ravaged Laguna Beach really put a lot of the
artists in dire need.
“We had an auction at the Sawdust Festival after the fires. It was a
big auction and everyone participated,” England said.
Last year 130 artists participated in the Festival of the Arts “Tie
One On” fund-raiser for the Benevolent Fund. “We’ve helped so many people
it’s so wonderful.”
Along with her many accomplishments, England is a survivor who was
awarded the Breast Cancer Survivor of the Year award by the American
Although she was told the chances of surviving her cancer were very
slim, she had no doubt she would beat it.
“The Laguna art community is a really tight community and really do
take care of their own and look after each other,” she said. “They have
taken great care of me.”
England said she wants to help cancer patients through art, teaching
them the virtue of its cathartic nature.
* SUZIE HARRISON is a writer for the Coastline Pilot. She can be
reached at 494-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.