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Art from the smallest hands

Young Chang

There’s a countywide celebration of what happens when a child imagines

something and translates that thought onto paper, onto canvas, with

paints, with film, with clay, with whatever qualifies as the stuff of

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visual art.

Imagination Celebration of Orange County, a longtime tradition that

started its 17th festival last week and will run through May 12, includes

a series of exhibits in Laguna Beach amid dance, music and theater

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programs.

“If it can be classified as art -- I know that’s a pretty broad

subject -- I know that we cover it,” said Daniel Stekol, executive

director of Imagination Celebration.

Places like the Laguna Art Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art

will display works made by tiny hands and offer workshops for kids to

stop in and be artists.

“Drawing From the World of the Imagination,” a day of art activities

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and music as well as dance performances, starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at

the Laguna museum. Art projects will teach techniques like watercolor

painting, embossing and collage-making, while a treasure hunt requiring

children to closely examine art will allow children to look at works in a

different way.

“I think it will get them involved,” said Jean Lawson, chair of the

museum event. “They’ll find out that the museum is not a forbidding

place. It’s some place you can just have fun with art.”

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A dance performance by students of the Kyne Dance Academy will follow

a choral show at noon.

“We wanted all the arts to make it a real rounded experience,” Lawson

said.

Also in Laguna on Saturday will be “Sharing Art from Heart to Heart”

at the Art-a-Fair Festival Grounds, a program where artists will lead

children through art activities.

The Orange County Museum of Art’s satellite gallery at South Coast

Plaza will present “Major Art/Minor Artists” May 11 through Sept. 12. The

show includes more than 600 pieces done by third- to fifth-grade students

from area schools.

The Newport Harbor Nautical Museum in Newport Beach will exhibit works

by students between kindergarten and eighth grade through May 12; the

Orange County Department of Education in Costa Mesa will honor works

created by department workers and their families through May 12; and

about 10 other venues throughout the county will exhibit art during the

festival.

Less obvious locations including shopping malls, schools and libraries

are sprouting patches of art to target people not necessarily looking for

it.

South Coast Plaza’s Crate & Barrel wing will host an exhibit titled

“1000 Pieces of Art” through May 12, although the works number about

1,300.

An 8-year-old’s self portrait stops shoppers entering Crate & Barrel

with its color and honesty, which is stunning considering the creator

hasn’t had that long to get to know herself.

An 18-year-old’s self portrait near the entrance to Sports Chalet is

done entirely in shades of blue. Laugh lines crease the face, blues fade

and darken through the cheeks and different moods come at you.

Jungles, jungles during sunsets, a lazy cat on a couch, still lifes of

vases and flowers, abstracts and pretty much anything the imagination can

come up with surround these works.

“That way, families who are used to going to the mall can go to the

mall and see the visual arts or a concert,” Stekol said.

FYI

* Where: Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach

* When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

* Cost: Free

* Call: (949) 494-8971

* Where: Art-A-Fair Festival Grounds, 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna

Beach

* When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

* Cost: Free

* Call: (949) 855-0202


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