Volume 14, Issue 76  |  September 23, 2022

Kim’s Convenience makes its California debut at the Laguna Playhouse


If you binge-watched sitcom television during the pandemic, chances are good that you’re already familiar with Kim’s Convenience, the Netflix show that ran between 2016 and 2021. Mr. Kim (known to his family as “Appa”), is a middle-aged Korean immigrant who owns and operates a corner convenience store in Toronto. His English is good, but not perfect. He’s a hardworking, no-nonsense entrepreneur. But Kim is a bit out of touch with the changing times, his adopted language and the Canadian culture, to both humorous and awkward effect. His quirks are endearing, his actions well-intentioned, and he possesses a sizable tender spot, making him compulsively watchable.

kim's convenience 1

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Photo by Jackie Teeple

(L-R) Clinton Lowe and Yong Kim star in the Laguna Playhouse California premiere of “Kim’s Convenience” by Ins Choi

Our first encounter with Kim in episode one is a cringy conversation with a young gay couple who ask to hang their poster in his store window to advertise their upcoming performance – “Gay Town Boys” – at the annual Pride Parade. Kim refuses, deeming the poster “messy” and purporting to hate the garbage, noise and chaos that parades bring into his neighborhood. “Why can’t you be quiet and respectful gays, like Anderson Cooper or Neil Patrick Harris?” he asks them. When one Gay Town Boy accuses Kim of being homophobic (a word Kim has never heard) and threatens to report him, Kim comes up with a solution on the spot – he’ll offer a “gay discount” during Pride Week. For the rest of the episode, Kim is charged with profiling his patrons, getting into arguments with customers over their sexuality and struggling to understand the new rules of gender identity.

Add to Mr. Kim’s confused world his family – 20-year-old Janet and 24-year-old Jung (who’s estranged from Kim) – and wife Yong-mi (“Umma” to her children). Janet and Jung were both born in Canada. Their English shows no signs of a Korean accent. Navigating the cultural traditions their parents impose with the westernized world they inhabit isn’t always easy. Mr. Kim hopes Janet will take over the store someday, while Janet studies to become a photographer. Meanwhile Jung, who spent some time in juvenile detention during his teenage years, now works at a rental car agency. These aren’t the careers these Asian parents planned for their children. Still, despite the disappointments and misaligned values, the underlying love between the characters makes the show both funny and poignant. 

Fans of the Netflix series will find much to appreciate in the theatrical version of Kim’s Convenience, written in 2011 by Ins Choi a full five years before the series made it on screen. “To all the fans of the TV show, it’s a must to come see this play,” said Director Jon Lawrence Rivera. “It’s something they know and enjoy, but it’s different.” 

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Photo by Jackie Teeple

Janet Song and Yong Kim 

Some of those differences are inherent in the adaptation from screen to stage. While the Netflix series leans heavier on comedy, the theatrical production relies a bit more on drama. “I think what’s outstanding about the play is that it talks about the immigrant experience with a great balance of comedy and drama,” said Yong Kim, who plays the role of Mr. Kim (or “Appa”). “What distinguishes it from the well-known TV show is that it has more drama for the theater. We did a call with the playwright and that combination [of comedy and drama] is consistent with his motivation. He wanted to tell authentic stories, but they didn’t always have to be dramatic. The play has a good mix of the two. That’s what spoke to me.”

There are some minor character differences, as well. Janet, who is a 20-year-old student on screen, is now a 30-year-old photographer onstage. Rivera had seen all five seasons on Netflix and had to constantly remind himself that Janet had aged. “I saw the series first, and there’s so much of it [65 episodes in total] that I feel like those are the characters in this play,” said Rivera. “But there’s a bit of an adjustment in some instances.”

One of the bigger adjustments was setting the play in 2011 but understanding the audience would view it through a 2022 lens. “It feels like a lot of the scenes in the play were resonant for a 2011 audience, so we’re keeping that timeline for this production,” said Rivera. “It’s still set in the fall of 2011.” But Rivera acknowledges the world has undergone some significant changes in the past decade that impacted certain interactions. For example, Rivera said, there’s a scene that calls for Mr. Kim to use his martial arts moves on a thief. The thief, played by Clinton Lowe, is a Black Caribbean man. 

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Photo by Jackie Teeple

(L-R) Susane Lee, Clinton Lowe and Yong Kim star in the Laguna Playhouse California premiere of “Kim’s Convenience” 

“The stage directions of the written play said that Mr. Kim ‘pins the black man down on the floor.’ As soon as I read that, I knew that in 2022 – no matter if this is set in 2011 – having any person on top of a black man will be triggering,” said Rivera. “There are moments where we tread very carefully to ensure we’re telling the story as authentically as possible while being mindful of our 2022 audience.”

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SEPTEMBER 9, 16, 23, AND 30

Sunset Serenades

Laguna Dance Festival

The public is invited to attend the free Sunset Serenades concert series at the Heisler Park Amphitheater on Fridays, from 5:30 p.m. to sunset.

9/9 - Ryan Heflin (Singer/Songwriter)

9/16 - ACE Trio (Chamber music)

9/23 - Pacific Opera Project (Opera)

9/30 - Jason Feddy (Beatles Sing-A-Long)

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

City of Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Avenue

Fridays, 5:30




LagunaTunes rehearsals resume

Laguna Dance Festival

Rehearsals for the fall term will start, in preparation for our “ABBA Rocks the 80s” concert, which was postponed because of Covid. The concert will be in November.

LagunaTunes Community Chorus

Thurston Middle School

7-9 PM



Artist in Residence Concert


The public is invited to attend a presentation of musical composositions "Laguna Beach Suite: from the Canyons to the Sea" by Laguna Beach Artist in Residence Dr. Pamela Madsen. These works, created for and inspired by Laguna Beach, will be performed by the Eric Dries Trio. The concert will also feature selections from "Why Women Went West" performed by Brightwork newmusic. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

City of Laguna Beach

Festival of Art, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd

5:00 p.m.




Youth Art Advisory Board

Laguna Dance Festival

Deadline to apply: September 19, 2022.

Applicants must be between the ages of 14 and 24 and be a resident or enrolled full-time in a school or college in Laguna Beach. The Youth Art Advisory Board serves as youth ambassadors to the City’s Arts Commission in an advisory capacity. The Board gives ambitious youth leadership the opportunity to participate in local advocacy and participate as agents of change in the Arts. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

City of Laguna Beach

Apply HERE.



LPAPA: From Dusk to Dawn

The first-floor hallways of City Hall serve as a gallery space featuring local artists and arts organizations. The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association returns for their annual exhibition of landscapes this August - September. City Hall exhibits are free to view and open to the public during business hours.

City of Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Avenue

Mon – Thurs – 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Every other Fri. – 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.




Glass artist John Barber demonstrates his pyrographic technique at the annual LOCA brunch on October 2


Glassblowing is a physically demanding art form. Sawdust Festival exhibitor John Barber estimates he produces roughly 12 tons of glass each year and burns 4,000 calories a day doing it. It’s not a practice anyone can sustain into old age. So, after a 50-year career as a successful glass artist, Barber began searching for something new. 

The pandemic gave him time and space to explore ways he could apply his artistic skills to a new medium. It took several months of trial, error and experimentation, but Barber perfected a pyrographic technique that combines glass and specially formulated watercolor paints to create unique (and extremely long-lasting) two-dimensional designs. 

“As far as I know, no one is doing this,” Barber said. “To introduce something brand new into my career at this stage of life is really cool. I’m smiling ear to ear. It’s really been wonderful.” 

Barber will present this technique at LOCA’s annual meeting and brunch event held at the Healy House and entertainment deck on the Sawdust Festival grounds on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m. In addition to describing the process, Barber will show the audience his shop tools, materials, drawing samples and finished fine art. Attendees will also enjoy a buffet-style Champagne brunch and learn about LOCA’s upcoming fall and winter programming. 

glass artist 1

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Courtesy of LOCA

Glass artist and 45-year Sawdust Festival exhibitor John Barber showcases one of his pyrographic watercolor paintings

The pyrographic technique

Motivated by the growing concern about “beating up his body by standing in front of a belching furnace all day,” Barber began thinking about how he could transform a three-dimensional heavy object into a two-dimensional graphic design. In less than a year, he had the answer.

“I put a heavy sheet of watercolor paper on a piece of plywood in front of my furnace. I gather glass from the furnace and drip it over the page, burning black lines into the paper. I can create an image this way. Hence the term ‘pyrographic.’ This is done with extreme heat. Then I paint it with watercolor,” Barber said.

Barber isn’t a traditional watercolorist, and his paints aren’t traditional watercolors. “I’ve found this niche that I fit into as a glassblower/painter,” he said. “I bring a new vision to the work.”

Forty years ago, Barber was researching ancient Chinese and Japanese watercolor techniques. What he read back then, and remembered today, changed everything. “There was a small paragraph that mentioned they often mixed powdered colored glass with red and purple pigments, because those colors were the first to fade,” said Barber. “I filed that in the back of my brain. When I sat down to do these watercolors, I remembered this and realized I had these glass powders. I went on the Internet and figured out how to mix my own watercolor. It’s very simple. It’s just gum arabic, water and glycerin. I mix it with the pigment to create a water-based watercolor. The colors are just incredible. They’re vivid and bold, and they’ll never fade.”

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Courtesy of LOCA

Barber with a plywood burn panel, which holds the watercolor paper during the burn phase

A new twist on an ancient art

Although Barber’s approach is uniquely his own, pyrographics has a long and storied history. A New Zealand native visited Barber’s booth at the Sawdust recently and remarked on his paintings. She told Barber about the ancient Aborigines in Australia who used a similar technique on tree bark. “They peeled the bark off trees and burned images into the bark,” Barber said. “Pyrographic artwork was one of their earliest artforms. I love hearing things like that. It’s one of the reasons I love blowing glass. It has this long history.”

Because Barber uses glass powder pigments in his watercolors, the images will last indefinitely with the same vibrancy as the day they were made. That’s not true of most watercolors, which notoriously fade in the sun. “These glass pieces made 3,000 years ago are just as beautiful today as the day they were made,” Barber said.

While the technique may be ancient, Barber’s application of it to watercolor is wholly original. “I’ve never heard of watercolor painters using glass pigments,” he said. “With this approach, the painting will never be affected by sunlight. It will have the longevity of blown glass. That is unique.”

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LOCA Brunch with Glass Artist John Barber

Laguna Dance Festival

Enjoy champagne brunch buffet, and presentation by John Barber, about his fascinating pyrographic drawing and painting process.

LOCA Arts Education

Sawdust Festival Grounds


$30 / Free to LOCA Members

Purchase tickets HERE.


OCTOBER 12, 19, 26, NOVEMBER 2

Paint Like Manet


Four-part workshop: Learn to paint a still-life floral in the style of Edouard Manet as taught by Lani Emanuel.

LOCA Arts Education

Laguna Beach Community Center

1:00-4:00pm each class

$200 / $100 for LOCA members

Purchase tickets HERE.




Laguna Dance Festival

"Oh, the thinks you can think" when Dr. Seuss' best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper!

No Square Theatre

No Square Theatre, 384 Legion St., Laguna Beach CA

Oct 28-29 & Nov 3-4-5 @ 6:30;

Oct 30 & Nov 6 @ 5:30;

Adapted for Special Needs:

full show Nov 5 @ 1:30;

45min. vignetter Oct 29 @ 1:30


Purchase tickets HERE.



“Art in Public Places” – Grace by Terry Thornsley


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Some of the art you see around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life; and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents.

Created by Laguna artist Terry Thornsley, Grace was installed in 2014 just outside the lifeguard station at Main Beach. It was funded by the City for Arts in Public Places. 

art in panorama

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Schools of fish and waves with a patina of greenish blue hues and topped by silvery heads depicting foam bring the mural to life

Comprised of bronze, copper and stainless steel, this powerful mural/sculpture honors the bravery of the Laguna Beach lifeguards, as well as paying homage to the ocean and sea life which surround their work. 

Thornsley was well-known for his intricate bronze sculptures. Grace was built in six sections, each weighing about 150 pounds. When the lights hidden in the design elements turn on at dusk, it’s a breathtaking sight to behold. At the time, Thornsley estimated that he put in 2,500 hours of work on the mural/sculpture.

It is said that after his proposal for the commission was selected, he traveled to Hawaii for inspiration and studied Japanese woodblock prints. 

When Grace was completed, Thornsley said, “It’s a thank you for the opportunity to the City and a gift to the community I live in.”

art in rowing boat closeup

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Intricate details

Thornsley, who passed away in May 2015, was a prolific artist. Beginning at 14, with his first art show in Coronado, Calif., he was immediately committed to a life of making art. The son of a Navy family, he traveled extensively throughout his youth, all the while, sketching and painting. 

Working in bronze, stone, marble and mixed media, he produced hundreds of paintings and sculptures, many of them sea creatures such as sea lions, dolphins, turtles and fish. 

Thornsley moved to Laguna when he was in his early 20s and was a longtime exhibitor at the Festival of Arts (22 years) and occasionally participated in the Sawdust Art Festival. He lived in the canyon and had a studio next to artist Randy Bader.

art in closeup boy

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Thornsley has many public art installations in Laguna 

Including Grace, Thornsley has six public art pieces in town: Peacescape at the Montage; Laguna Locals at Crescent Bay Point Park; Pacific Patinas at 1191 N. Coast Highway; Laguna Kelp Beds at 31852 S. Coast Highway and Water Puppy at the Festival of Arts.

Thornsley said of all his works – these sculptures will be still here long after I have gone. I will leave a little bit of myself behind and know I contributed to my community.

Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl said, “In his handwritten will, Terry left a pelican sculpture to the City. It’s on display in the lobby of the Lifeguard Headquarters.”

This is the 77th article in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are more than 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

For a map of Art in Public Places (not every piece is listed), click here

To apply for the Arts in Public Places program, click here.



Paint Like Manet


Four-part workshop: Learn to paint a still-life floral in the style of Edouard Manet as taught by Lani Emanuel.

LOCA Arts Education

Laguna Beach Community Center

1:00-4:00pm each class

$200 / $100 for LOCA members

Purchase tickets HERE.



Make Kirigami Holiday Cards

Laguna Dance Festival

Two-part workshop: Carolyn Machado and Mia Moore will teach how to make cards using Kirigami paper folding and collage techniques.

LOCA Arts Education

Laguna Beach Community Center

1:00-4:00pm each class

$100 / $50 LOCA members

Purchase tickets HERE.



ABBA Rocks the 80s!

Laguna Dance Festival

An upbeat program of tunes from the 1980s, featuring the popular group ABBA!

LagunaTunes Chorus

Laguna Beach High School Artists’ Theater

4:00 PM




Festival of Arts adds four new pieces to Permanent Art Collection

The Festival of Arts (FOA) of Laguna Beach announced the recent acquisition of four new pieces from talented, longtime Festival exhibiting artists to its Permanent Art Collection. Artwork from Molly Hutchings, Chris Bliss, Ray Brown and Carolyn Machado will join the more than 1,000 two-dimensional and three-dimensional works featured within the Festival’s Permanent Art Collection, some dating back to the early 1900s.

“Congratulations to Molly, Chris, Ray, and Carolyn on this remarkable achievement,” said Festival of Arts Exhibits Director Christine Georgantas. “We are honored to add their unique perspectives and exceptional talents to the Festival’s collection.”

The Festival of Arts, celebrating its 90th anniversary, is an art institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting artwork significant to the Festival’s and Laguna Beach’s rich cultural history. 

Housing more than 1,000 diverse and eclectic pieces, the Permanent Art Collection is valued by the organization for its cultural and historical significance in relation to the art, culture and ability to tell the story of the birth of the Festival and local art scene. The Permanent Art Collection showcases how the Festival became a major influence in the art world of Southern California, and many deem the collection a time capsule of art from the last century.

The new additions include a watercolor painting titled Raven by Molly Hutchings, a photograph titled Times Square Saturday Night by Chris Bliss, a charcoal drawing titled Great Gray Day by Ray Brown, and a mixed media assemblage titled Passing Time by Carolyn Machado.

Molly Hutchings is a long-time Festival artist who has consistently created extremely colorful paintings inspired by the history of quilting. As a local high school student, one of Hutching’s paintings was selected for the Festival’s Junior Art Exhibit. 

Festival of Arts adds four woman holding raven

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Courtesy of FOA

Molly Hutchins displaying her watercolor “Raven”

Today, she has been exhibiting and selling her paintings for the last 29 years at the Festival of Arts. “Molly has developed a style that has become a signature; complicated, yet delicate, and with each facet clearly rendered,” shared Pat Sparkuhl, Permanent Art Collection Curator.

Like Hutchings, Chris Bliss has been an exhibitor at the Festival for more than 25 years. His work is in high demand both for his fine art and as a commercial photographer serving clients throughout the United States. He finds inspiration in urban skylines and in the challenging and invigorating lifestyles of cities – a focus that he has directed to an ongoing New York City photography project for more than 30 years. 

Festival of Arts adds man with Times Square

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Courtesy of FOA

Chris Bliss with “Times Square Saturday Night”

His photograph Times Square Saturday Night is a strong example of Bliss’s ability to capture the vitality and color, while also capsulating a moment in time through the show titles on the marquees. 

Ray Brown’s Great Gray Day is a reflection of his experiences in the field. Brown shared, “Each time I go into the wilderness I am amazed. I use only my own experiences to procure reference for my work. Being out in the field is as important as any other facet of my creative process. It is what drives me.”

Festival of Arts adds four man with owl

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Courtesy of FOA

Ray Brown’s charcoal presentation of “Great Gray Day”

Another longtime exhibitor, Brown’s preferred medium is the simple charcoal. His Great Gray Day combines the innocence of an owl enduring the extreme elements that surround it, illustrating an atmosphere that expresses strength and determination. 

Also acquired into the Permanent Art Collection is a mixed media assemblage titled Passing Time by Carolyn Machado. Machado has exhibited at the Festival of Arts for more than 25 years. She creates her assemblage pieces with recycled materials, collected and carefully curated over the years.

Festival of Arts adds four woman in gold jacket

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Courtesy of FOA

The mixed media assemblage of “Passing Time” by Carolyn Machado

Sparkuhl noted that, “This particular work shows Carolyn’s abilities to take a narrow vertical structure and create a complex totemic-like composition. The use of materials in this compact structure was very effective.” Machado added, “As I continue to explore and create from a world of recycled materials, I remain excited about and challenged with each new piece.”

These four artworks will join the historic pieces included in the Permanent Art Collection, adding their own influence on the art world of Southern California and the Festival of Arts. The Festival’s Collection is presented in themed exhibits at foaSOUTH and loaned out to museums and institutions for specific exhibitions. The earliest piece is a painting by Thomas Nash from 1913. One of the most significant pieces of art in the Collection is one of the first paintings sold at the opening of the First Festival on August 13, 1932, called Flower Stalls by Virginia Wooley. 

To learn more about the Festival of Arts and the Permanent Art Collection visit

How to get there

Visit Laguna Beach City Map Visit Laguna Beach Coast Map

Funds for this calendar are provided by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.


Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center screens Searching for Sugar Man tonight

Tonight (Friday, Sept. 23) at 8 p.m., the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) will host a screening of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for

Sugar Man. It won the Best Documentary category at the 85th Academy Awards. The film also won several other awards, both in the U.S. and other countries, in 2013.

The film tells the almost unbelievable true story of a gifted singer-songwriter named Rodriquez who became a sensation in South Africa while remaining in obscurity in his native U.S. Rodriquez was a forgotten Detroit singer-songwriter from the early 1970s who, unbeknown to him, was a huge star in South Africa during the apartheid era. He’s not the first person to be given the boot in his 

hometown, but upon listening to the wonderful soundtrack of this film, it is a sad commentary. 

Laguna Beach Cultural movie poster

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Courtesy of Facebook

Oscar-winning documentary to be shown tonight at 8 p.m. at LBCAC

There’s plenty of humor in Searching for Sugar Man as well in this tale of parallel universes: One in which Rodriquez is Elvis and another where he’s scarcely a blip on the radar. The film begins as an investigation by curious fans seeking to learn about the whereabouts of Rodriquez and what may have happened to him. The stories circulating about him are not promising, but they are undaunted and continue to search for answers. 

Everyone who sees Searching for Sugar Man will be thankful that they did.

Official movie trailer of “Searching for Sugar Man”

To purchase tickets, click here.

The LBCAC is a beacon and catalyst for advancing art appreciation, enhancing the quality of life, and promoting civic and cultural development. The arts center contributes to Laguna Beach and the surrounding community through its exhibitions and events.

Grant funding made possible by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach. For more information and to view the events calendar, visit


City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission

Community Art Project (CAP)

Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters

First Thursdays Art Walk

Friends of the Laguna Beach Library


Gallery Q at THE SUSI Q

KX 93.5 Radio

Laguna Art-A-Fair

Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC)

Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association

Laguna College of Art + Design

Laguna Concert Band

Laguna Craft Guild

Laguna Dance Festival

LOCA Arts Education

Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association


No Square Theatre

Sawdust Art Festival


The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts

Third Street Writers

Visit Laguna Beach

Laguna Live! to present a special night with Opera Laguna 

Laguna Live! is presenting Opera Laguna in keeping with their mission which promises to increase the awareness of, and participation in, diverse musical experiences and to present high quality musical performances that are affordable, intimate and in the community. Education for kids in the community continues to be a high priority for Laguna Live! and with thanks to support from the Festival of Arts Foundation they are pleased to invite children (12 and under) to attend the concert for free.

The concert will feature Oriana Falla and Arnold Livingston Geis on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 6:30-8 p.m. in The Sanctuary at Neighborhood Congregational Church.

The audience will delight in the discovery of the power of the human voice and the joy of opera in a fun and intimate setting while enjoying works by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Britten and Schumann. 

Laguna Live Falla and Geis

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Courtesy of Laguna Live!

Soprano Oriana Falla with tenor Arnold Livingston Geis

Soprano Oriana Falla is praised by Opera News for her “palpable purity” and by LA Opus for her “large, lovely and vibrant [voice].” Falla, a Colombian-American, began her 2021-2022 season with a Concert for Peace for the Washington Concert Society. Most recently, she recorded for the new Disney film Encanto. In December 2020, she sang Mimi in Pacific Opera Project’s drive-in performance of La Bohѐme. Opera News hailed the performance as sung with “rare clarity” and referred to her performance as having “plumbed the character’s emotional depths…the most heart wrenching moment of the performance.”

Tenor Arnold Livingston Geis is praised by Opera Today for his “sizable lyric instrument” and “honeyed tone on all registers.” Geis is a recent graduate of Washington National Opera’s prestigious Cafritz Young Artist Program. In the 2021-2022 season he made his Lincoln Center debut creating the role of Mr. Marks in Lynn Nottage and Ricky Ian Gordon’s Intimate Apparel. He also sang Agamemnon in a workshop of Wayne Shorter & Esperanza Spalding’s Iphigenia at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Obadiah in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with St. George’s Choral Society in New York.

Tickets for adults are $35 or VIP $55 (Reserved front row seating and “Meet and Greet” session with performing artists) and available at, or by calling 949.715.9713. The reception takes place at 6 p.m.

Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach.

Live! Music Matters – Laguna Beach Live! presents new children’s series led by Zach Churchill, begins October 4

With thanks to the Rotary Club grant, Laguna Beach Live! has announced their new, free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” It is a music class for ages up to 4 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill will lead the sessions while attendees will sing, dance and play child-friendly percussion instruments.

The program will take place at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St., and will run for six consecutive weeks beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 11:30 a.m.

live music Churchill

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach Live!

Live! Music Matters will be led by local musician Zach Churchill

Laguna Beach Live!, a nonprofit organization, strives to increase the awareness of and participation in diverse musical experiences, enhancing the reputation of Laguna Beach as a music town. To this end, they present high quality live musical performances that are accessible…affordable, intimate and in our community. Education for the kids is a high priority and this new series “Live! Music Matters” is evidence of that dedication. 

live music library

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

New children’s series begins on October 4 at Laguna Beach Library

Their goal is to continually increase the quality and number of professional live performances in the city throughout the year, especially in the non-summer months, and to offer educational programs to promote the appreciation of music for the enjoyment and education of residents, especially students. They believe increased cultural activities will enrich the lives of all who attend these events and have a positive economic impact on the city.

For more information about Laguna Beach Live!, go to

Spaces are limited. To sign up, call the library at 949.497.1733, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Laguna Art Museum presents Her Great Gift: The Nancy Dustin Wall Moure Collection

The exhibition, Her Great Gift: The Nancy Dustin Wall Moure Collection, opened August 28 at Laguna Art Museum (LAM) and is on display through February 12, 2003.

Presented together for the first time, this eclectic collection of California art is full of gems. The picture of Mission San Gabriel created in the 1830s is believed to be the first oil painting made in Southern California. From there the collection departs on a journey that parallels California’s boom in population, matched by an immense output of artistic diversity. The Nancy Dustin Wall Moure Collection spans across time and demonstrates how early preferences for painting dark, formal and interior spaces were replaced by scenes of the outdoors, explorations of light and imagery that captures the quintessential California lifestyle.

Each year LAM presents the Wendt Award to an individual who has made a significant contribution to understanding or promoting California art. This year the museum acknowledged Nancy Dustin Wall Moure for her great gift.

Laguna Art Museum Landscape

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Courtesy of Chris Bliss

“Landscape” by William Wendt, 1912

According to the LAM website, “Her Great Gift is the first presentation of the Nancy Dustin Wall Moure Collection. The exhibition focuses on 40 artworks made from the 1830s through the 1970s that traces how artists documented the California experience. Discover the earliest known oil painting made in Southern California, California plein air paintings, watercolors from the WPA period, mid-century abstractions and explorations into Light and Space. Artists include Mabel Alvarez, Karl Benjamin, Norton Bush, D.J. Hall, Roger Kuntz, Fernand Lungren, James McCray, Arnold Mesches, Charles Rollo Peters, F. Grayson Sayre, Stanislav Szukalski, John Law Walker, Julian Bracken Wendt, William Wendt and many others.

“Art historian Nancy Moure assembled and gifted her collection of nearly 100 paintings, works on paper and sculptures to the Laguna Art Museum permanent collection in the 1990s. This year, Laguna Art Museum is honoring Moure with the Wendt Award for her contribution of more than 50 publications and exhibitions documenting the artistic history of California art history.”

 For more information, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

Save the Date: LAM’s 10th Annual Art & Nature is scheduled for November 3

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) will present its 10th Annual Art & Nature, a multidisciplinary exploration and celebration of art’s various engagements with the natural world, beginning Thursday, Nov. 3. The multi-faceted event is the museum’s largest public program of the year, bringing together thousands of participants to foster a love of nature, raise environmental awareness, and discover cross-sections between science and the arts.

“This year’s 10th Annual Art & Nature Festival will once again bring the community together to appreciate the intimate connection between art and nature,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of LAM. “The festival celebrates the museum’s long-standing history as a cultural center, offering in-depth programming and impactful exhibitions that honor the rich history of California art.”

Save the Date LAMs 10th Annual Mendez

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Courtesy of LAM

“The Sea Around Us” by Rebeca Méndez which will make its debut in LAM’s historic Steele Gallery on Saturday, Nov. 5

Rebeca Méndez returns to Art & Nature as the featured artist with her newest project The Sea Around Us, which will make its debut in the museum’s historic Steele Gallery on Saturday, Nov. 5. Creating an immersive 360-degree video art installation, The Sea Around Us will transport viewers to an area of the Pacific Ocean located 30 miles from the Laguna Beach coast, portraying the ocean as a fully animated body as well as a place of deep interconnectedness for all living things. Using scientific footage, the video shifts to thousands of oozing barrels of DDT on the seafloor being sampled by robotic arms. This hidden ecological calamity is revealed in conjunction with imagery that inspires awe and strengthens the bond between sea and viewer, inspiring the courage to face environmental wrongdoing, to take restorative action and to avoid repeating transgressions against our natural resources.

Presenting the first outdoor exhibition since 2020, LAM will bring Kelly Berg’s Pyramidion to the City of Laguna Beach on November 3-6. Pyramidion is an interactive sculptural experience inviting contemplation of the layered history and unique geology of Laguna Beach. Beginning at the museum, participants will journey to several sites through the local park and beaches, encountering pyramids of various sizes and colors that reflect the ever-shifting nature of the landscape. The temporality of the installation parallels much of the earth’s landscapes that shift and change due to weather, geology and the effects of climate change.

On display in the California Gallery starting Thursday, Nov. 3 will be Robert Young’s The Big One, which is thought to still hold the record as the largest painting ever created in Laguna Beach. As a resident of Laguna Beach, Young began his 9-by-15-foot painting in 1971 and continued to work on the piece throughout his life.

Additional Art & Nature festival programming includes the First Thursdays Art Walk, a keynote lecture from National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence Dr. Sylvia Earl and the annual free Family Festival.

Continuing Laguna Beach’s legacy as a center for the arts, Art & Nature provides a unique opportunity for the Southern California community to come together for a festival of art and ideas, to inspire artists, and enhance the appreciation of nature as a place that inspires awareness about the environment we share.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. For more information, visit

Upcoming events at Laguna Art Museum

Check out these upcoming events at Laguna Art Museum (LAM). From Storytime Saturday bringing literature to life for youngsters (along with a butterfly portrait project) to American painter Robert Standish sharing his career, style and technique, there is something for all ages.

Upcoming events Storytime Saturday

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Courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

Storytime Saturday brings literature to life for youth, along with a butterfly portrait project

–Saturday, Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. – Storytime Saturday: The Year We Learned to Fly

Bring literature to life during a participatory story time will have you making and moving. On the fourth Saturday of each month, you’ll craft a storytelling experience inspired by a museum artwork or exhibition to foster children’s understanding of the role of art in their lives. Read-alouds will be supplemented with mindfulness exercises, art-making projects, or in-gallery activities that promote meaningful connections with caregivers and others. Sessions are designed for PreK-2 learners and their families. This month’s session will include The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López, with a butterfly portrait project to help participants imagine a bright future. Cost: Museum members: $7; Non-members: $14. All children receive free admission. Tickets are required for accompanying adults only. For tickets, go here.

Upcoming events Standish

Courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

Artist Robert Standish discusses his career, style revolution and techniques

–Sunday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. – Artist Spotlight: Robert Standish 

Join artist Robert Standish as he discusses his career, style evolution and techniques. Standish is an American painter living and working in Los Angeles whose organic process reveals the emotive effects of color, shape, line and texture. Inspired by the color-field painters, Abstract Expressionism and Abstract Spiritualism, Standish’s free-flowing use of paint is his way of exploring abstraction, composition and transcendence. Advance tickets recommended. Cost: Museum members: $7; Non-members: $14. For tickets, go here.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. For more information, visit

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