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College portfolio day draws hundreds

More than 500 students and their families attended National Portfolio Day at Laguna College of Art & Design on Jan. 18. The majority of participants were high school and community college students interested in attending art school after graduation as well as a number of prospective graduate students.

National Portfolio Days are educational events for young artists held at colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada. Portfolio Days bring together students and experienced college representatives, who review artwork, offer critique, discuss college plans, and share information about their schools.

In one of the largest turnouts ever, 41 prestigious colleges from across the nation were represented, including Art Center, Cal Arts, Otis, Parsons and Ringling.


The National Portfolio Day Assn., created in 1978, organizes and plans National Portfolio Days. The association consists of representatives from regionally accredited colleges and universities, which are members of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

These events are an opportunity for art college representatives who are interested in students’ development to review bodies of work and provide helpful information to assist with this important step in continuing their arts education. Prospective students received a taste of what it could be like to attend a professional art program.

“We really put Laguna Beach on the map as an art college town," said Laguna College President Dennis Power. “With representation of most of the accredited art and design colleges in the country, and prospective students from around the region, coupled with a beautiful southern California day, the message was clear that Laguna Beach takes art and arts education very seriously "” and is good at it."

Those interested in pursuing their undergraduate and graduate studies at Laguna College of Art & Design are encouraged to contact the admissions department at (949) 376-6000.


First Sundays offers flute and guitar

Laguna Beach Live! will present California Concert Artists Mary Palchak, flute and Isamu Nakashio, guitar, in a free chamber music concert Sunday, Feb. 1 at Laguna College of Art & Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

The duo will perform works by Gershwin, Giuliani, Poulenc, Telemann, Rossini and others, part of the First Sundays program, a collaboration of Laguna College and Laguna Beach Live!

The college art gallery opens at 2 p.m. with the Jeffrey Pan Memorial Exhibit. The concert is 3 to 4:30 p.m. and is made possible by support from the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach and donations from the audience.

Palchak received his bachelor’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and has completed two masters of music degrees.

New Baas exhibit is at Esther Wells

A new exhibit of European plein air paintings by Jacobus Baas, “Scenes From Abroad," will open with a reception Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. at The Esther Wells Collection, 1390 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach. The show will run through Feb. 21.

Baas toured Rome, Venice, Portofino in Italy, Bruges in Belgium, Giverny, Normandy, Aix-en-Provençe in France, and his birth country, Holland, during a recent sojourn to Europe. These sights are the subject of his new, solo exhibition.


One of the founding members of the Laguna Plein-Air Painters Assn. (LPAPA), Baas has exhibited at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Pasadena Historical Museum, and Bowers Museum. He is a member of the California Art Club and the Plein Aire Painters of Hawaii.

The Esther Wells Collection represents a number of leading artists who create original works of oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, drawings, bronze, stone, and terra cotta. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. For more information, call (949) 494-2497.

Tosti shows work from Laguna College

Laguna College of Art & Design students Orion Fisher and James Miller will be showcased at Tosti Studios, 210 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach from Feb. 7 to 23. The show will feature original works from the fine art seniors in a unique venue that doubles as a photography studio and platform for emerging artists.

Guests are invited to attend a preview in conjunction with First Thursdays Art Walk on Feb. 5 from 6 to 10 p.m. The formal opening will be Saturday, Feb. 7 from 6 to 10 p.m.

Prior to the Fisher/Miller show, recent Laguna College graduate Sarah Miska will present a video and sculptural installation, “All of a Sudden," Saturday to Jan. 30. An interactive, sculptural machine made of mechanical parts, pulleys, wood and metal has been created and has filmed breaking drinking glasses full of water.

College Fine Arts faculty member and Laguna Beach resident Brad Coleman met David Tosti through his work at Church by the Sea where Coleman is a minister, and the collaboration between the college and studio was forged..

“I’m excited about the studio as a venue for young, up and coming artists," Coleman said. “They seem to be taking a more adventuresome approach in selecting work and are willing to take greater risks."


Tosti said he aspires to introduce work that is contemporary and lends a different approach than many other galleries.

“As an art lover and photographer, I’m so grateful to be able to offer this space to share the work that’s going on at the college as well as in and outside of our community," Tosti said.

Miller said, “The series of work that will be exhibited at Tosti Studios is an experiment in synthesizing multiple perspectives into a harmonious composition and transforming the objects that I observe into illusions of vast space and color. I work in oils and paint from direct observation, usually basing pictures on my own plaster sculptures."

Leonhard featured at Artist Eye Gallery

Artist Eye Laguna Gallery will feature landscape paintings by Susan Leonhard from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28. Leonhard paints local Southern California landscapes, and occasionally travels to a favorite spot on Kauai’s north shore to capture new scenes on canvas.

Leonhard comes from three generations of artists and has been painting for more than 30 years. She grew up in Shadow Hills, in the foothills of Los Angeles. Her personalized education and years of experience create a unique style blending Impressionism and realism.

“It is a wonderful gift to be an artist, and not a day passes that I am not painting or creating in some aspect," Leonhard said. A reception will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31 at the gallery, 1294 S. Coast Hwy., Suite A, Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 497-5898 or visit www.artisteyelaguna

Museum auction preview online

Auction 100, presented by Laguna Art Museum, features 100 works from 100 top California artists. The auction will take place on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 6 to 10 p.m.

The event will feature both a live and a silent auction. Auctioneer Chuck Dreyer will present the work during the live auction.

A buffet, cocktails, music, and curbside valet parking at the front door of the Museum are included with the price of admission. Tickets for non-museum members are $150 each.

Art will be previewed from Feb. 21 to Feb. 27 at the museum from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or online at

For more information about Auction 100, contact Events Director Marnie Wall at (949) 494-8971 ext. 219.