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Capturing a new wave

Amid a wave of international focus in the art world, Laguna Art Museum will unite a diverse group of artists with a common focus: regionalism.

“The OsCene 2010: Contemporary Art and Culture in OC,” which opens Sunday and runs through May 16, will exhibit the work of 49 visual artists and 25 filmmakers who explore themes within nature and landscapes, human behavior, relationships and culture around them.

Their visions are depicted through an array of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, live performance, multimedia installations and video.

Curator Grace Kook-Anderson said she is excited to see a surge of female artists and a multigenerational range of artists with such different backgrounds and practices.

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“There are many similar themes as well as conflicting ones,” she said. “There will definitely be some threads of dialogue between these different artists and their works.”

Aside from all newly featured artists, also new to the event is an iPhone App, which will provide artist biographies as well as an explanation of their pieces on audio, so patrons can tour the exhibit “with the artist.”

The museum has also teamed up with the 2010 OC Music Awards, creating a display of 11 iPods where listeners can tune into nominees’ music and place their votes before the March 6 Awards show.

Other highlights include a painting-style wall piece by Jocelyn Foye, made from the physical impact of the Orange County and Long Beach Derby girls, who competed in the museum Thursday, three landscape paintings on Friez paper created by third-graders at St. Mary’s School in Aliso Viejo, and a live artistic performance at Saturday evening’s opening celebration, now open to the public.

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Among the exhibitors are New Orleans native and Long Beach resident Kendell Carter, who created an installation called “Too Black…Not Black Enough,” a somewhat humorous reflection of racial relations that shows two identical paintings “Too Black” and “Not Black Enough” at opposite ends of a tight rope, and a pair of gold shoes traversing between the two.

“It’s about my own personal perception, and being caught between the two,” said Carter, who also has a piece titled “Mark” in the museum’s permanent collection.

Inspired by post-Hurricane Katrina images, Shannon Hayes Faseler designed “Aesthetics of Decay,” in which she paints faux mold atop a playful Toile wall pattern, hoping to convert the moldy images into “abstract, colorful patterns” in the eyes of her viewers.

McLean Fahnestock, illustrating her “question of faith in science and in the media,” has made a film of a 1960s television reconfigured to play the Apollo 11 landing, just as it would have been seen by viewers of that time — fuzzy.

Film Curator Keiko Beatie said she, too, is excited to see a wide array of film entries.

“We’re seeing a birth of filmmakers with all of this new technology,” she said. “Anyone can make a film — and they are.”

Documentaries of talented aspiring filmmakers and students will play throughout the exhibit, including Mark Jeremias’ journey to Brazilian favelas where he inspires kids to better themselves and live a positive life.



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