Annual Art Star Awards to be March 18

The Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts will honor Michael Ramirez at the third annual Art Star Awards to be March 18 at [seven-degrees]. Ramirez will be keynote speaker and recipient of the Prestigious Art Star Award.

Organizations, business and individuals who have contributed and shaped the arts and culture of the community and the county will also be acknowledged.

“The enlightenment and enjoyment the performing and visual arts bring us all cannot be taken for granted. From time to time it is important to recognize those people who have excelled in enriching our lives. Art Star Awards intend to do just that,” said Alliance Chairman Dennis Power.

Alliance members from more than 20 Laguna Beach arts organizations submitted nominees in five categories. The categories and the nominees are:


 Best New Arts Program: Gallimaufry and Greene Contemporary Dance Company, Inside Studio Arts, Laguna College of Art & Design MFA Program.

 Arts Patron of the Year: Academy of Fine Art Foundation, Bank of America, Lou and Laura Rohl.

 Outstanding Arts Collaboration: Color It Orange, Betty Haight, Laguna Outreach Community Arts.

 Innovation and Arts Leadership: Marion Meyer, Laguna Beach Arts Commission, Southern California Artists Association.


 Laguna Beach Artist of the Year: Cheryl Ekstrom, Sherwood Kiraly, Scott Moore.

The winner in each category will be announced during the Art Stars Awards event where they will be presented with a custom designed bronze sculpture created by local artist Louis Longi.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Ramirez is a senior editor and the editorial cartoonist for Investor’s Business Daily.

“Editorial cartoons should be smart and substantive, provocative and informative,” he said. “They should stir passions and deep emotions. Editorial cartoons should be the catalyst for thought.”

A regular contributor to USA Today and the Weekly Standard Magazine and formerly a regular guest on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS Television, Ramirez’s work has a distribution of more than 450 newspapers and magazines through Creators Syndicate. The Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts was established in 2002 as a partnership among more than 20 Laguna Beach organizations. The mission is to serve as an advocate for the arts, promote collaboration and networking among the arts organizations of Laguna Beach, and to serve as a united voice for the arts in the city. For more, visit

— Cindy Frazier