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In The Arts

New portraits by Mayra Barraza arrive

Salt Fine Art will present a groundbreaking series of portraits by Mayra Barraza, “Invisible Men," from March 4 to 28. Barraza has earned a national recognition for her art in her homeland of El Salvador, and in Europe and the United States. She is the winner of the most recent MOLAA awards (2008) and the Iberoamerican Bienniale (2009), and has exhibited her work at the II Biennial in Lima, Peru, Casa de America Latina in France, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno in Spain, Museo del Barrio in New York and Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña in Puerto Rico, among others.

“Invisible Man" is Barraza’s newest body of work and represents a tribute to Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man," exploring the realms of identity, both public and private. Also on display as part of the permanent collection will be her award-winning pieces “The Sleep of Reason," explorations of the violence in her native country, and “Rolling Head," etchings from the Iberoamerican Bienniale. The gallery is at 1492 S. Coast Hwy., Suite 3. For more information, visit www.saltfineart.com or call (917) 957-3387.

First Saturdays to end in March

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The last Artist Open Studios event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 6. The self-guided tour is an opportunity to visit with more than 26 professional artists in private working studios in Laguna Beach.

“This collaboration between the city and the artist community is an opportunity to further Laguna’s reputation as an arts colony," said Mary Ferguson, Arts Commission sub-committee chairwoman. “It allows you to enter into the artist’s world and be absorbed into the work they create. It’s truly a wonderful and unique opportunity."

A map of locations is available at www.lagunabeachcity.net and at the Visitors and Conference Bureau, Cultural Arts Department and at the artist studios. The event is free and funded by the lodging establishments and the city.

Game Art Speaker Series at College

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Laguna College of Art & Design is sponsoring a two-day Game Art Speaker Series featuring Stefano Gualeni on March 3 and 4. Trained as an architect, Gualeni is an Italian game designer known for creating “Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths" and “Tony Tough 2: A Rake’s Progress." Among his most popular works are the internationally licensed series of basketball simulation games “Fronte del Basket." Gualeni is the lecturer of game design and game architecture at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. In addition, he works as columnist and game design consultant, and is pursuing a doctorate in new media studies.

“Multiplayer Game Balancing" will be the topic from 5 to 7 p.m. March 4 at LCAD. This lecture is a general introduction to the specific field of multiplayer game balancing and its lexicon. Taking a step further, the lecture will present and explain the logics and the practicalities of the main techniques applied to achieve and refine fairness and viability in the options offered by competitive multiplayer games. To attend, e-mail sappleoff@lagunacollege.edu.

Landscape show at Wells Fargo

Landscapes by 18 artists from the Festival of Arts will be on view at Wells Fargo Bank through March 9.

The artists’ works depict a range of landscapes from mountains and deserts to seascapes. This exhibit portrays the variety of ways in which the artist looks at the concept of landscape.

“The unique styles, media and perspective that these artists have explored paired with the exceptional quality makes this is a must-see exhibit," said Curator Pat Sparkuhl.

The artists include Scott Albert (watercolors), Hedy Buzan (mixed media), Saim Caglayan (oils), Dennis Dunton (photography), W. Bradley Elsberry (acrylics), Rick Graves (photography), Robin Hall (oils), Robert Hansen (photography), Fred Hope (oils), Mark Jacobucci (oils), Tom Lamb (photography), Mada Leach (mixed media), Geri Medway (watercolors), Michael Obermeyer (oils), Jacquie Moffett (watercolors), James Nordstrom (photography), Gerald Schwartz (oils) and Caroline Zimmermann (oils).The exhibit is on the third floor of the Wells Fargo building, 260 Ocean Ave.

The show is part of an ongoing series that the Festival of Arts is having at Wells Fargo this year. Also at the bank building, the Sawdust Festival has an exhibit on the main floor, while Community Art Project has an exhibit on the second level.

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The building is open to the public 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Chris Gwaltney discusses his work

As a part of their Connections educational program, the Southern California Artists Assn. will present “A conversation with Chris Gwaltney" from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Gwaltney, a noted Laguna Beach artist, will talk about his recent large-scale paintings, which incorporate poetry, evocative figures, multiple layers of color, and gestural brushwork. The images and forms he first builds up are often de-constructed to become an elegantly rich, Visual Haiku.

Gwaltney will also address the subject of the artist/gallery relationship. Represented in three well-respected galleries, he will share points of comparison and contrast gleaned from his broad experience in the world of retail art sales. As in all of the Connections programs, discussion will be encouraged.

Suggested donation is $5 for members; $10 for guests and non-members. The Southern California Artists Assn. is at 3251 Laguna Canyon Road, Studio No. F3. For more information, visit www.socalartists.org.

Banner competition announced

The city of Laguna Beach’s 2010 Banner Competition is under way. Artists may submit designs for selection by the Arts Commission, and those selected are provided with banner material on which to paint original art work. The completed banners are displayed on lampposts throughout the city during June, July and August.

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Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 19 from residents of Orange County, 18 or older. An honorarium of $2,000 is provided to the selected artists.


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