In The Arts

Winter Fantasy wraps up Sunday

Total paid attendance for the first three weeks of the Sawdust Art Festival's Winter Fantasy has increased 9.3% from last year, according to Sawdust officials. The festival features more than 170 artisans exhibiting and selling a huge variety of wares.

The Winter Fantasy's last weekend is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closing weekend highlights include:

?Puppy Adoption "” In collaboration with the Pet Rescue Group, the Sawdust Winter Fantasy will be hosting a puppy adoption in the gazebo area in Town Square on both days. For more information on the Pet Rescue Group, visit www.thepetrescuecenter.org.

?Canned Food Drive "” The Laguna Resource Center is collecting non-perishable foods Sunday near Pappou's Mediterranean Grille. Canned food items and other non-perishable goods such as cereal, oatmeal, cooking oil and macaroni and cheese dinners are accepted.

?Smokey the Bear "” Smokey the Bear will be on the festival grounds this weekend. Tying into the theme of the Wyland Foundation forest conservation project, visitors can visit with Smokey and make a pledge to forest conservation by painting a forest shape for the mural. The mural pledge project will be held at the Winter Art Series booth.

?Holiday Art Classes "” A wide variety of holiday art and craft projects will be available at four interactive locations: Ceramic Center, Sawdust Studio, Children's Art Spot and Winter Art Series booth. Class highlights include Winter Watercolor Cards with Linda Velasco, Animal Finger Puppets with Stacey Taxin, Eco-prints with Terrell Anansi, Holiday Lanterns with Evelda Loftsgaard, Acrylic Painting with Donita Lloyd and Landscapes and Wildlife Photography with Paul Renner. Class fees range from free to a $5 donation and include all materials needed. All ages are welcome. For dates and times, visit www.sawdustartfestival.org/Calendar-of-Events/ or call (949) 494-3030.

?Live Entertainment "” Country rock group City Country City will be performing from noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday on the main deck. The Laguna Beach High School Jazz Band will perform from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., and Upstream will close out the last entertainment hours from noon until 4:30 p.m. on the main deck.

?Santa Claus "” Jolly St. Nick will be in his house in Town Square from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for holiday photo-taking.

Admission prices are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors (65+), $3 for children (ages 6 to 12) and free for children 5 and younger. The Winter Fantasy is located at the Sawdust Art Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Road.

Booth winners

In the Winter Fantasy's booth decorating competition, first place went to Patti Jo Kiraly; second place to Irene Suess and third place to Dennis Junka. Winners were voted on by tree judges, exhibitors and visitors.

Celebrate Beethoven's birthday

Laguna Art Museum will host Sonatasia's "A Holiday Evening With Maestro Beethoven," featuring local musicians, actors and dancers at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Beethoven's birthday.

Attendees will be celebrating with Mr. Beethoven himself "” played by Laguna Beach actor Jeffery Briar.

Sonatasia will perform the music of Beethoven as well as holiday classics. The event will also provide the opportunity to privately view Laguna Art Museum's current exhibitions "Collecting California: Selections from Laguna Art Museum" and "Jeremy Fish: Weathering the Storm."

Directed by Laguna Beach architect David Parker, Sonatasia is a unique arts experience that combines music, dance and theater in an architectural setting such as a private home, art gallery or museum. Performers make use of the overall space, bringing the audience and players close together for a special experience. Sonatasia is based in Laguna Beach.

The cost is $50 per person with light refreshments and admission to the museum included. Sonatasia is offering 50% off for students, and 20% of all ticket sales will benefit Laguna Art Museum. To make a reservation, contact David Parker at (949) 872-6616. For more information, visit www.sonatasia.org.

Sawyer photos at City Hall

A photo exhibit titled "Stillman F. Sawyer: Silver Images from Nature" is on loan from the Festival of Arts and on exhibit at Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave., through March 18.

Sawyer was a life-member of the Festival of Arts and exhibited his work there for many years, according to City Manager Ken Frank's Dec. 4 Friday Update to City Staff.

Broadway sculpture approved

The Laguna Beach Arts Commission has approved the replacement of the sculpture "Rotating" by Jon Seeman "” located at the restrooms on Broadway "” with a bronze sculpture titled "Jack" by Tim Shockley, Frank said.

The sculptures are on temporary loan from the Festival of Arts, and are rotated every three years. The new sculpture will be installed this week.

Cultural arts funding applications out

The city's Business Improvement District Cultural Arts Funding applications are now available online at www.lagunabeachcity.net, according to Frank.

The funding is available for arts organizations with programming in Laguna Beach. The deadline to submit the application is Feb. 5, with funding available July 1.

Van Praagh to appear with trainer

Laguna Beach Books will host an event for spiritual medium and bestselling author James Van Praagh and his personal fitness instructor Knute Keeling from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

During this free event Van Praagh will share some random readings with the audience and then be joined by Keeling, who will be autographing his new book, "Family Fun and Fitness."

Both men are Laguna Beach residents.

Van Praagh was the host of his own talk show about spirits called "Beyond," and was also the co-executive producer of the primetime TV series "Ghost Whisperer." He has been a guest on Oprah, Larry King Live, and countless other radio and television shows. His most recent book is "Unfinished Business: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Life."

Keeling owns and operates a fitness training and lifestyle consulting business at the Laguna Health Club in Laguna Beach. He was recently voted one of Southern California's top trainers by Orange Coast Magazine. "Family Fun and Fitness" shows parents how to start taking control of their family's health.

Laguna Beach Books is located at The Old Pottery Place, 1200 S. Coast Hwy.


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