Bloch exhibit this weekend

Billabong will host an exhibition of Wolfgang Bloch's work at Laguna Art Museum from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with Chronicle's release of a book on his life and art.

The book follows the life-path of Bloch's childhood in Ecuador, his move to America, his art education, the winding journey through California culture, the surf industry and, eventually, his return to the world of art.

Written by Mike Stice and designed by David Carson, "Wolfgang Bloch: the Colors of Coincidence" has more than 50 full-color plates of Bloch's paintings along with photographs and visuals.

Copies of the book will be available in the museum store. Bloch and Stice will be available from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday for personalized book signings.

After enjoying a decade of commercial success as a designer working for companies like Gotcha Sportswear, Quiksilver, Billabong USA, Jeep, Tower Records, Vans, Hobie and Indian Motorcycles, Bloch returned to his first love: painting.

Over the past decade, Bloch's work has been exhibited in the pages of major international publications and on the walls of galleries and museums around the world.

Bloch lives with his wife and two children in Laguna Beach.

Jordanian film shown by Film Society

The Laguna Beach Film Society will premiere the first Jordanian film to win multiple film festival awards, "Captain Abu Raed," at 7 p.m. Thursday at South Coast Cinema.

Set in contemporary Jordan, this is a tale of an elderly airport janitor who has always dreamed of world travel but has never left the country. One day he finds a pilot's cap in the trash and wears it home. He is mistaken by children from a poor neighborhood as an airline pilot. They beg him to tell him the stories of his world travel adventures and as he spins his tales, he learns of their grim lives and vows to make a difference.

Tickets to the film are $20 and include a 6 p.m. wine and hors d'oeuvres reception at Wells Fargo Bank, Community Room. Free to Film Society members. For membership information, call JoAnne Story at (949) 494-8971 ext. 201, or e-mail her at jstory@lagunaart

Festival of Arts named 'Outstanding'

Arts Orange County, founded in 1995 by the county of Orange and state of California as the county's official local arts agency, honored the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters as its Outstanding Arts Organization for 2007-08 during its annual awards ceremony Sept. 24.

For the past nine years, Arts Orange County has hosted this annual celebration of growth and outstanding accomplishments by the county's creative community. The Arts Awards event unites artists and art supporters in spirit and community to salute both outstanding and lifetime achievements in the arts.

Next Art Walk showcases Shelter

Laguna Beach's First Thursdays Art Walk has dedicated Nov. 6 to honoring the Friendship Shelter. Musicians who collaborated on the "Shelter Me" CD will perform at Whelan Gallery on the north end, Studio Arts at the Old Pottery Place and Watercolor Gallery on South Coast Highway.

Alec Bridges, rock-poet Michael Ubaldini, and songwriter Jelani Diaz will be performing during the evening, and CDs will be sold at galleries as well as local book stores, Hobie and Sound Spectrum.

College exhibit focuses on collectibles

Laguna College of Art & Design will presents collectibles and merchandise by artists Jason Bahret, Jody Daily, Kevin Kidney and Cynthia Petrovic.

The free exhibition, "Magic & Merchandise," begins Nov. 2 and runs through Dec. 8 at the college gallery, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. The public is invited to attend the opening reception to be held in conjunction with First Thursdays Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 6. Exhibition hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The show answers the question "What to do with an education in art?" This exhibit of art collectibles and consumer products merchandise demonstrates the vast opportunity in the business market in which Laguna College graduates can utilize their artistic skills and education in securing careers as designers and artists of collectible art and consumer products.

Many of the artists have enjoyed careers at The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., MGA and other entertainment organizations, both as employees and freelancers.

'Surf' legend and author to speak

Shaun Tomson will read from and sign copies of his new book, "Bustin' Down the Door: The Surf Revolution of '75," at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Laguna Beach Books.

"Bustin' Down the Door" recreates the genesis of modern surfing from the perspective of Shaun Tomson, Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew, Ian Cairns, Mark Richards, Peter Townend, and Mike Tomson, who turned unlikely dreams into reality and revolutionized the sport.

This book documents the pivotal season that changed the sport of surfing, through essays written by the legends themselves and photos taken by surfing photographer Dan Merkel.

The book coincides with a documentary film narrated by Edward Norton.

Author Tomson was the 1977 World Champion on the International World Surfing Tour. He is currently chairman of the advisory board for the Surfrider Foundation and owns the apparel company Solitude. He lives in Montecito.

Artists selected for City Hall show

The 25 artists have been selected for the second annual Juried Fine Art Exhibition that will go on display Monday at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave.

Perin Mahler, chairman of the Master of Fine Arts program at Laguna College of Art & Design, reviewed 147 submissions from artists from throughout Orange County.

The artists/artist teams selected are: Hymee Ahn, Katy Betz, Eunice Choi, John Cunningham, Stephanie Cunningham/Betty Haight, Emanuel Dale, Mika Denny, Susan Driscoll, John Eagle, Kaitlin Evans, Jennifer Griffiths, Juliane Hogjera, Ken Marapese, Marianne Matthews, September McGee, David Milton, Patti Ohslund, Claudia Olsen/Connie Beatty-Bean, Karen Petty, Suzette Rosenthal, Brittany Ryan, Scott Settle, Kim VanDerHoek, Cliff Wassmann, and Josie Weber.

An artist reception and award ceremony will be at 5 p.m. Nov. 6 at City Hall, prior to First Thursday's Art Walk. Winners of the exhibition will be awarded $1,000, $500 and $250 for first, second and third place, respectively.

The Juried Fine Art Exhibition will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 26.

Darren Grant 'Abstralism' exhibit

Gallery Ferrone will hold an opening reception for artist Darren Grant from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. This five-week show will feature new works by Grant and will run until Nov. 15 at 1999 S. Coast Hwy.

After years of painting in the realistic style of the old masters, Grant's abstracts reflect all he has learned in the past 20 years in architectural design and traditional realism.

In reply to: his newest series "Abstralism," Grant combines his passion for abstraction with his exacting realism skills.

"When you view one of Darren's traditionally rendered pieces you begin to understand how he can bring such depth to his abstracts," said gallery owner Diana Cook.

The opening reception will feature a live performance by violinist Rrrrrrobin. Credited with inspiring Grant to dabble in abstracts, Rrrrrrobin's upcoming album cover will feature an image from "Abstralism."

New works by Nathan Fischer, Kathy Buist and Mark Garry will be on display.

The gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment. For more, visit

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