In The Arts

Watercolors on display at Artist Eye

The recent works of Newport Coast artist Nancy Swan will be on display through Aug. 31 at Artist Eye Laguna Gallery, 1294 S. Coast Hwy.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the gallery will host a reception with the artist from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 23.

Swan is a self-taught artist who, inspired by the masters, has painted the world around her since childhood. For the past 40 years, she has documented rapidly changing landmarks of the California coast in watercolors, copperplate etchings and ink drawings.


“Having worked with many media, watercolor’s flowing pigments captivate me," she said. “They mix themselves in a kaleidoscope of color and movement, well suited to the changing moods of the sea."

She said her favorite challenge is the ocean’s constantly changing face.

“I’m inspired and renewed by its energy. I simply can’t resist the desire to pursue its elusive nature with my brush."

Over the last five years, Swan has studied with renowned watercolorist Nita Engle in Michigan. Her copperplate etching technique and choice of materials parallel those of Rembrandt. Her award-winning artwork has been exhibited in shows and galleries throughout Southern California.


For more, call (949) 497-5898 or visit

Win a pendant or painting at Festival

The Artists Fund at the Festival of Arts will offer two prizes next week in their new Opportunity Drawing.

Winning ticket-holders will receive a $3,000 diamond pendant by Adam Neeley, or a $9,800 oil painting by Tom Swimm. Ticket donations are $5 each, available daily at the sales booth inside the Festival entry.

Neeley, a third-year participant at the festival, has created a pendant that features a rare south sea pearl and diamonds in a graceful S-shaped 14k gold setting.

Swimm, a 23rd-year exhibitor, will give away a painting titled “Varnazza Palette," which features the fishing boats and buildings of this historical village in the Cinque Terre region of Italy.

Both artists donated their originals to the nonprofit Artist Fund for this special contest. Proceeds from ticket sales help artists suffering economic hardship due to disaster, injury, or illness.

“It’s a great cause," said Neeley, who received assistance from a similar fund while recovering from a theft several years ago.


Museum welcomes new board members

Mark Christy and Sheldon Harte have joined the Laguna Art Museum board.

Christy is a Laguna native with a degree in business economics from UC Santa Barbara. With an extensive career in real estate and investment, he co-owns Hobie Sports (with partner Joe Gelber), La Sirena Grille restaurants (with partner Scott Cortellessa) and the Tuvalu Home Environment stores (with sister Laurie Alter).

“I’ve committed to make sure that Laguna Art Museum stays in Laguna as an integral part of our town’s heritage, for generations to come," he said. “The museum is every bit as important to the fabric of this town as the festival, our beaches and Laguna’s diverse populace.

“As a result, I intend to do whatever I can to see it survive and thrive and am honored to be a part of this highly committed and effective group of board members."

Harte is the founder of the Harte Brownlee & Associates interior design business, based in Laguna Beach.

“I fell in love with the charm and the artistic nature of the Laguna Beach community, which has been my home for the past 25 years," Harte said. “It is important for the community to have a vibrant museum that stands as a symbol of the creativity that flourishes in this area.

“Art is such an important fiber of this community, and has played such a major part in the history and culture of our town. I am committed to supporting and maintaining Laguna Art Museum’s mission of presenting the unique art of this region and California."


Louis Rohl, president of the board, said, “As the Board of Trustees is retooling its committees, building its strategic plan, and looking toward the future, this is a perfect time to be adding significant members of the community like Sheldon and Mark who will make a difference."

Christy and Harte will join new Board members Sara Forbes Heeschen and Kenneth M. Kaplan, who became museum trustees in February.

OsCene 2010 entries sought

Laguna Art Museum is currently accepting submissions from Orange County and Long Beach artists working in all media for OsCene 2010, due by noon Sept. 28.

OsCene (pronounced O-scene) is a survey of contemporary art and culture in Orange County that is scheduled to show at Laguna Art Museum Feb. 20 through May 16.

The survey exhibition is drawn from artists who work in various media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, multimedia installations, video, architecture, performance and design.

Submissions must include an artist resume, statement, materials in any format that best presents the work (print-outs, DVDs, CDs) and a S.A.S.E., and should be delivered to Laguna Art Museum, Attention: Grace Kook-Anderson, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.

Artists should not send original artwork.

Cooking with writer Cathy Thomas

Award-winning food columnist, author, speaker and teacher Cathy Thomas will demonstrate her creative, yet easy approach to cooking from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday as part of the “Art of Cooking" series at the Festival of Arts.

According to Thomas, part of the fun of cooking and entertaining is creating delectable dishes without spending hours in the kitchen.

Her quick-to-prepare recipes showcase flavorful ingredients, relying on fresh fruits and vegetables to make each dish colorfully delicious.

The food editor at the Orange County Register, Thomas’ weekly columns and food features are nationally distributed on the McClatchy Tribune News Wire and frequently appear in newspaper food sections across the country.

She conducts international and domestic culinary tours on a regular basis, seeking new ingredients, techniques and ideas as she explores world cuisine.

She won the first place award as the best food columnist in the nation from the Association of Food Journalists (in the large newspaper division) and pioneered the use of culinary-based flash videos on the Web.

Her book, “Melissa’s Great Book of Produce" (2006) is a manual that explains how to find, store, prepare and serve fruits and vegetables.

She is currently writing a new book about organic fruits and vegetables, which will be out in the spring of next year.

The cooking demonstration series is free with Festival of Arts admission.

Coffee and Conversations

Artists Carolyn Machado, Mia Moore, Ellen Rose and Yachiyo Beck will host Thursday morning’s “Coffee and Conversations" workshop from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Festival of Arts.

The topic of discussion will be “On Being an Artist "“ The Dream/the Reality."

“As a Mixed Media Assemblage Artist and a 19-year exhibitor at the Festival of Arts, I am excited about engaging my fellow artists in conversation on this topic, Machado said. “I feel that allowing the public/patron a more personal view into an artist’s life could make for some interesting and informative coffee conversation."

The series will continue every Thursday through Aug. 27. Festival admission prices are $7 for general admission and $4 for seniors and students.

Art-A-Fair activities and entertainment

The Art-A-Fair has a variety of hands-on art activities as well as live music performances coming up this week.

Festival-goers can create their own painting at a watercolor workshop between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. today. Between noon and 3 p.m., “See the World Through an Artist’s Eyes" as several exhibiting artists work from the same live model to create different works of art in various mediums.

A colored pencil “art card" workshop will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, followed by a music performance by Al Politano’s jazz guitar trio from 4 to 7 p.m.

Attendees can create something fun for their pet with a “dog house design" workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Satin Blue blues band will play from noon to 3 p.m., followed by Sebastian Sidi with his “smokin’" piano "” with smoke really coming out of it while he’s playing! "” from 4 to 7 p.m.

Art-A-Fair is at 777 Laguna Canyon Road.

Admission is $7 for adults (season pass), $3.50 for students, seniors and military. For more information, visit