March packed with arts events

EYE ON ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

A trip to San Francisco proved to me that Laguna is with me wherever

I go. I was surprised when the weather there made me feel like I was

still here. But, though everyone who knows me knows that I am

obsessed with San Francisco -- I would never trade it for Laguna.

JAMES STROMBOTNE EXHIBIT

Last Thursday's Art Walk was quite a joy. [seven- degrees] has not

had a lot of public art events because its been booked for private

events, so it was great to be back enjoying the cool decor and

happenings and enjoying great art there. Plus it was good to see

marketing director Allison Ahlfeldt and company.

The exhibit is called "From Mild to Wild" and it consists of

paintings by James Strombotne. It's an extensive body of his work

featuring his paintings from the 1960s to now. Talking with

Strombotne and his wife Terry about his work was incredible. Hearing

first-hand different aspects of his art and what inspired him and

seeing the changes and similarities to his work was great.

In a lot of his paintings, he has numbers mixed with his images. I

was very curious to find their significance. His wife guessed that

they might be numbers reflecting bills or something like that, and I

guessed that it might represent numbers counting up to something like

a deadline. Strombotne said that they didn't mean anything per se.

Ahhh, the magic of an artist flooding the imagination with their work

is wonderful to experience.

Strombotne pointed around the room, telling me about which work

was painted earlier and talking about the more present work as well.

I love the way his paintings drew me in and were so

thought-provoking. He said that his favorite at this time was a more

recent painting that showed witches with their pointed hats and the

usual witch garb playing leapfrog. It was a delight. A lot of his

work seems politically driven and is also centered on varied facets

of women.

The exhibit will run through April 13 at [seven-degrees], 891

Laguna Canyon Road.

LAGUNA HOMEGROWN SURF ART

On March 22 an exhibit themed as Laguna Homegrown Surf Art will be

held at the Surf gallery at 911 S. Coast Highway. Dennis McTighe, our

favorite weather guy, can't wait for the exhibit. He has been talking

about it since he first found out that he would be a part of it.

"I get to be on a wall with some real masters like Bill Ogden,

John Chaney, Pat Tobin, Donita Lloyd, Ryan Gourley and others,"

McTighe said.

Will Pennartz is the proprietor. The exhibit will open March 22 at

7 p.m. and will run through April 19. For information, call 376-9155.

A WHOLE BUNCH OF EXCITING HAPPENINGS

This month is on fire with events. Next weekend is the art

exhibit, paintings by rock 'n' roll great Grace Slick will be at the

Fingerhut Gallery; the Spring into Art classes by the Sawdust Art

Festival are happening all month on the weekends, where people can

learn art by renown artists; the last weekend of this month Mike

Kelly of Pure Color gallery will have an exhibit of rock 'n' roll

photography; Saturday and Sunday No Square Theatre's production of

Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will be performed. Whew,

that's a lot to see and do.

* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline

Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321 or suzie.harrison@latimes.com.

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