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Sawdust artist seeks votes for contest

Laguna-based Made in Heaven By Missy, which is owned by Melissa Brooke Belland (known as Missy Beehive) and operates at the Sawdust Art Festival, has been selected as a finalist in Yahoo!'s Ultimate Connection Contest from nearly 10,000 entries.

The three finalists with the most online votes will win prize packages with a combined value of more than $100,000 and a power lunch with Ivanka Trump high above New York City — in an as-yet undetermined suspension system — in July.

The prizes include a $25,000 keyword ad campaign budget from Yahoo! Search Marketing, mentoring throughout the year from recognized marketing stars, access to a Yahoo! Search Marketing expert throughout the year and a website makeover.


The contest is held by Yahoo! and Trump as part of Yahoo’s Be A Better Marketer Campaign, and was created to help small-business owners better market themselves online to attract new customers.

Online voting closes on Sunday; to vote, visit /ultimateconnection/.

Student art exhibition to begin

Laguna College of Art & Design will launch its summer gallery on June 29 at a new location adjacent to the Sawdust Art Festival at 793 Laguna Canyon Road.


The off-campus exhibition venue will be open to the public Monday through Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Aug. 15. Admission is free.

Gallery 793 showcases the works of students in the college’s Master of Fine Arts program. The gallery is run by the graduate students.

More than 75 pieces of original artwork will be available for sale to the public, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit ongoing programs of the college.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception to be held on from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 29. Attendees will be treated to an evening of fine art, refreshments and the opportunity to meet the artists.

Lost Julia Bracken Wendt piece restored

Community Art Project, as part of its ongoing commitment to better the variety of publicly viewable art and expand the range of venues to view it, recently supported the restoration of a valuable piece of Laguna’s rich art heritage.

The organization held a June 7 reception and viewing of the piece, a restored impression created from a mold that has been reliably attributed to Julia Wendt Bracken.

The piece is on display at the Old Pottery Place and was restored by Marv Johnson.


MacGillivray receives top honors

Laguna-based MacGillivray Freeman Films’ “Hurricane on the Bayou” and “The Alps” films have received a combined seven nominations for this year’s annual Giant Screen Cinema Assn. Film Achievement Awards, the most nominations ever received by a distributor in a single year.

Hurricane on the Bayou was nominated for four awards: Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Film for Lifelong Learning. The Alps was nominated for three awards: Best Film, Best Cinematography and Best Sound.

The awards will be announced at the annual GSCA conference in September.

For more information, call (949) 494-1055 or visit

Sawdust announces free entry times

July 6 and Aug. 3 will be free admission days for all Laguna Beach residents at the Sawdust Art Festival; First Fridays Free debuted in 2005.

Residents are also invited to come to the show for free on any Thursday in July and August beginning at 6 p.m. to enjoy live entertainment on three stages, shop for original, Laguna-made art or simply relax by the waterfall and say hello to friends and neighbors.


The Annual Sawdust Artists Benevolence Fund Art Auction will be held Aug. 5; all Laguna Beach residents will be admitted for free beginning at noon and are encouraged to come to this worthwhile event that supports all of Laguna’s artists in times of need.

To receive free admission, identification with a Laguna Beach street address must be shown at the ticket window. One free entry per date per identification card.

The Sawdust Art Festival features 200 Laguna Beach artists and their original, hand-created artwork. The festival includes three stages of entertainment, art classes for children and adults, artist demonstrations including glass blowing, three cafés and the Sawdust Saloon.

The festival will run from June 29 to Sept. 2, and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except July 4, when the closing time is 6 p.m.

For more information, call (949) 494-3030 or visit on the web.

Festival of Arts holds reunion

A small reunion was held between now-retired Festival of Arts Board Member David Young and the first recipients of the Festival of Arts College Scholarship.

Mary Linda Strokamp, Jenny Williamson and Sally Reed met with Mr. Young in downtown Laguna Beach to reiterate their gratitude for the Festival of Arts scholarships they received several years ago.

This is the festival’s 75th anniversary.

Paintings take artist on galactic voyage

Cliff Wassmann’s paintings of Antarctica, which go on display at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach on July 1, will be part of a new art venture from Lucasfilm, maker of the “Stars Wars” movies.

While viewing the paintings at the New York Art Expo, James Monosmith, director of Acme Archives, a publisher of collectible film-based art, noticed the similarity between Wassman’s frozen landscapes and the ice world Hoth, featured in “Star Wars — The Empire Strikes Back.”

Acme Archives, official licensee of Lucasfilm, is creating a new series of limited edition prints based on the films. The series presents views that were not seen in the films but fit within the Star Wars universe.

Wassmann’s antarctic visionsare now being released as special collector’s edition prints geared for Star Wars fans.

The first in the series, “The Approaching Storm,” depicts the Imperial Walkers (tank-like weapons) marching across a frozen ice plain. The original painting was unveiled at the 30th anniversary Star Wars Convention in May in Los Angeles. More works of the ice planet as well as other scenes will be released later in the year.

Wassmann’s original Antarctica paintings, a project he has been working on for two years, will help kick off the Festival of Arts’ 75th anniversary in July.

After painting the South Orange County coast almost exclusively for 20 years, Wassmann has now focused on a series of oils based upon his journey to Antarctica in 1998.

Based on his photographs taken of the Antarctic Peninsula, the paintings depict not only the glaciers and icebergs but also the whales, penguins and other marine life that thrive here.

One painting of Deception Island contains more than 500 penguins.

The island is a major breeding ground for Chinstrap penguins, which climb up and down its steep slopes by the thousands in their quest for food to feed their chicks.

Trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Wassmann paints in oil on masonite panels, which allow for ease in applying the fine details that mark his work.

For more information, visit or