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A new class of art

Ever wonder how to create mosaics? Want to find out more about

raku yaki? How about mastering the creation of palette art? Expanding

the scope of artistic skills and learning the tools of the artist is

the concept behind Laguna Outreach Community Arts’ program Art



Art Escapes brings art education to adults through professional

Laguna Beach artists teaching interactive workshops and giving

hands-on demonstrations and public art tours.


“This is the sixth workshop, and for a start up program, it’s been

very successful,” said Mada Leach, Laguna Outreach Community Arts

program co-founder.

The classes meet at 2 p.m. each Monday for aspiring artists to

learn a new medium. There are classes in ceramics, collage,

papermaking, watercolor, drawing, painting, sculpture and more.

“Our artists’ work is represented at the Sawdust Festival, the

Festival of Arts, Art-A-Fair and in private galleries and studios,”


Leach said.

On Monday the class will have a holiday theme, and local palette

artist September McGee will teach, on a smaller scale, how to make

holiday palettes much like the 200 that decorate Laguna’s streets

during the season.

“I’ve done two palettes for the city, so I’m familiar with the

process,” McGee said. It’s a wonderful way for people to express

themselves by creating holiday decorations.”


McGee will discuss the history of the palettes, how to do them for

submission for the city and how to create them.

“We’re going with a holiday theme in sync with the palettes around

Laguna -- probably poinsettias,” McGee said. “We’ll use different

tones of pink, reds, greens and holiday colors.”

Much like the other artists in LOCA, McGee is not just a

professional artist. She also has a passion for teaching art and has

been doing so for some time.

“I got involved teaching art 24 years ago,” McGee said. “I began

teaching terminally ill and special-needs children and taught them

how to feel through their art.”

LOCA was created more than 10 years ago by Anne England and Leach.

The concept grew to include every art medium and many art

organizations in Laguna, from visual to performing arts.

Its mission is to provide educational opportunities for artistic

enrichment to the community and schools and to have many programs and

workshops that happen year-round for people of all ages.

“All comments have been very positive,” artist and organizer

Sherry Bullard said. “We visited hotels to encourage tourists to join

the classes -- we are always looking for things to do in the off

season to fill the gap.”

Laury Phillips, who helps with the program, said she thinks it’s a

great way to give people a taste of experiencing different art

mediums, to explore creative outlets and to have contact with the

local artists.

“Much of it is funded by the Business Improvement District,”

Phillips said. “We’ve been working with the Visitor’s Bureau and

Kathleen Spalione. She’s been integral, very supportive.”

Most Art Escapes classes are held at the Pottery Shack at 1212 S.

Coast Highway. The cost is $25. For more information and class

schedules and descriptions, call 363-4700 or visit

* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline

Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321 or