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Museum opens Roger Kuntz show Sunday

“Roger Kuntz: The Shadow Between Representation and Abstraction" will be on exhibit at Laguna Art Museum from Sunday to May 24. Kuntz lived in Laguna Beach from 1964 until his death in 1975 at the age of 49.

This exhibition of more than 90 paintings, sculptures and works on paper is the first major show of the artist’s work since his death, and will focus on Kuntz’s search for what he called the “middle ground" between figurative and non-figurative painting. By 1950, Kuntz believed that post-war Abstract Expressionism had run its course.

Kuntz embarked on several painting series, culminating in the acclaimed “Freeway Series," bare, geometric, paintings "” dating from 1960 to 1962 "” of concrete canyons, underpasses, ramps, pedestrian spirals, tunnels and signs, carved in deep shadow and light. This shift away from pure abstraction was in sync with the times, and Kuntz was included in the first national survey of Pop Art organized in 1963 by John Coplans, editor of Artforum magazine.


The show is organized by Susan M. Anderson for Laguna Art Museum and features the “Freeway Series" as well as a selection from the artist’s interiors, beach, bathtub, blimp, and tennis series.

In conjunction with the show, at 1 p.m. Sunday the museum will present “Alternate Universe: 1950s and 1960s Los Angeles and the Claremont Group," a conversation with artists Jack Zajac, Doug McClellan, Tony DeLap and Paul Darrow, moderated by Paul Karlstrom, former West Coast Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.

Also planned:

? “Sunshine State of Mind: L.A. Art Scene of the 1960s," 1 p.m. April 19, a lecture by Peter Plagens, artist and contributing editor for art at Newsweek, on Los Angeles art of the 1960s and the development of his book Sunshine Muse, the definitive survey of West Coast art from 1945 to 1970.


? “Kicking over the Traces: Roger Kuntz’s Freeway Series," 1 p.m. May 17, a lecture by Susan M. Anderson, guest curator of the exhibition and former curator of exhibitions at Laguna Art Museum, discussing the apex of Kuntz’s career.

Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free. For more information, visit

Inside Studio Art series continues

John and Rebecca Barber’s Studio Arts Gallery will host the third in its “Inside Studio Art" interview series at 4 p.m. March 29. The series invites a guest artist to exhibit at the gallery and be interviewed á la “Inside the Actors Studio" in front of a live audience.

“I’ve always loved ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ "” getting to know who the actor is and the reason why they do what they do. With Inside Studio Art, we’re bringing that concept to visual artists," Rebecca Barber said.

Inside Studio Art is moderated by reporter Bill Harris, best known for his entertainment reporting on Entertainment Tonight and E! Entertainment Television as well as co-hosting “At the Movies with Rex Reed."

Industrial and fine artist Aaron R. Thomas, whose work in acrylic has earned him international clients and commissions, will be interviewed next. Thomas works in a variety of media including 3-D sculpture in acrylic and metal as well as 2-D painted works.

Thomas’ exhibit at Studio Arts, also featuring collaborator Anne Ewen, runs through April 2.


The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance nominated the show for a “Best New Art Program" honor as part of the award series bestowed each spring.

Tickets to Inside Studio Art cost $15 and are available by calling (949) 376-1619. Gourmet coffee and light refreshments, compliments of Sapphire Pantry, will be served.

The series continues May 31 with master glass artist and gallery co-owner John Barber, followed by fused glass/mixed media artist Ron Dier on July 26. The 2009 series concludes with John Taylor, who creates found object ship sculptures, on Sept. 27.

Studio Arts Gallery is at 1200 S. Coast Hwy. in the Old Pottery Place complex. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Visit or call (949) 376-1619.

Pan exhibition creates memorial scholarship

Laguna College of Art & Design hosted an artistic tribute celebrating the life of former student Gung-Li Jeffrey Pan in early February, raising close to $1,000 for a scholarship in his name. In addition to 50% of the proceeds from the sale of artwork, the Pan family generously donated $10,000 and pledged an additional $1,000 annually to establish an endowed scholarship in his memory.

Jeffrey Pan was a Game Art student from fall of 2005 to spring 2008. His sudden passing in April 2008 devastated the college community, and in response, a memorial exhibition was created in his honor. The artist reception was on Feb. 5, bringing together the participating students and Pan’s family.

In a gesture of reciprocal gratitude for the endowed scholarship, the college gifted a portrait painted by classmate Joseph Leonard to Pan’s parents.


SKYLAB hosts Live and Local event

SKYLAB modern art gallery owners Doug and Lydia McLaughlin will take the Laguna Beach art scene to the next level with the debut of Live and Local at 6 p.m. April 11, a night of local art and local music, with proceeds going to a local charity.

“There’s really nothing like this happening in Laguna," Doug McLaughlin said. “Orange County is full of exceptional emerging artists and musicians, and we wanted to provide the right venue for meeting them."

The show will feature Sean Woolsey, a wildlife painter known for his unique imagery "” wild, yet contained. Live and Local will be Woolsey’s first show of his promising art career. For more information visit

Music will be provided by Tavis Bohlinger, a songwriter and acoustic guitarist whose laidback lyrics coupled with cool guitar riffs complement SKYLAB’s candlelit patio. For more information about Bohlinger, visit

A portion of the proceeds from the pieces sold will go Falling Whistles, a project of local resident Sean Carasso, whose goal is to end the war in the Congo "” specifically the use of children in the military. For more information about Falling Whistles, visit

SKYLAB modern art is at 1452 S. Coast Hwy.

For more information, call (949) 376-2400 or visit

Seniors’ art exhibit will be in April

Seniors age 55 and older are invited to participate in the city of Laguna Beach and Community Art Project’s 2009 Senior Art Exhibit, April 11 through 17 at Wells Fargo Bank, 260 Ocean Ave.

Entries will be accepted from residents of Orange County 55 years or older as of Sept. 1. All entries must be original and have been executed within the last two years.

Categories are: Two Dimensional (includes drawing and photography); Oils; Acrylics; Watercolors; and MultiMedia.

Two-dimensional work must measure no more than 2 feet by 3 feet including the frame and be no more than 3 inches in depth. No three-dimensional artworks will be accepted. The frame must be sturdy enough to support the art without buckling.

The artwork must be ready for hanging with wire (no saw tooth hangers). An entry form must accompany each piece of artwork submitted. All artwork must be framed and ready for hanging.

Artworks may be submitted from 9 to 11 a.m. April 4 on the second floor of Wells Fargo Bank in Laguna Beach.

A reception and awards ceremony will be from 11 a.m .to noon April 11 at Wells Fargo Bank.

Artwork must be picked up between 9 and 11 a.m. April 18.

For an entry form, call Patty Koss, Senior Services Coordinator, at (949) 464-9535.

Banner entries due March 20

The city of Laguna Beach is seeking entries for its 2009 Banner Competition, a project of the Arts Commission. Selected artists are provided with banner material, 4 feet by 16 feet, on which to paint original vertical art work to be displayed on lampposts throughout Laguna Beach during the summer months.