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Artists' tree highlights Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau's Holiday Program

Published: 11/10/2008

Artists' tree highlights Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau's Holiday Program
The Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau as part of their holiday program presents "Unity through Art," a Holiday Tree Giveaway. Residents and visitors can register to win a priceless, one-of-a-kind, nine-foot holiday tree.

The tree, on display at the Laguna Art Museum from November 15 through December 14, 2008, is decorated with signed, handcrafted ornaments by renowned Laguna Beach artists, using a variety of media ranging from glass and metal to clay and bronze. Participating artists include: Ken Auster, Judy Baker, Grace Barrak, Sherry Bullard, Helma Bovenizer, Sandra Jones Campbell, Jude Taylor-Darlin, John Eagle, Grace Everett, Roger Folk, Michelle Geromel, Valerie Gorrell, Julita Jones, Noel Lashley, Mada Leach, Sue Linder, September McGee, Robert Schaar, Armando Sosa, Mike Tauber, Sue Thompson, Cliff Wassmann and Ella Wu.*

Shoppers can register to win by filling out an entry form at these participating galleries and retailers: De Ru's Fine Arts, 1590 S. Coast Hwy., #5; Endangered Planet, 384 Forest Ave., #13; The Esther Wells Collection, 1390 S. Coast Hwy.; Gem Mountain Studios, 577 S. Coast Hwy.; La Rue du Chocolat, 448 S. Coast Hwy.; Pure Light, 821 Laguna Canyon Road; Schaar Galleries, 484 N. Coast Hwy.; Studio Arts Gallery, 1200 S. Coast Hwy.; The Vintage Poster, 1492 S. Coast Hwy.; Whitney Gallery, 350 N. Coast Hwy. Other registration venues include the Laguna Beach Visitors Centers and the Laguna Art Museum. The registration period ends at 5 p.m. on December 14. The drawing for the winner of the tree will be held on Monday, December 15, 2008.

Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau has one Visitors Center location: 381 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, CA 92651; Open Monday- Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Laguna Beach is Southern California's premier seaside destination located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego and along the central coast of Orange County. Known as home to hundreds of local artists, Laguna Beach is primarily served by Orange County Airport located just 20 minutes away. For more information about the LBVCB's Holiday Program, please visit us on the Web at

About the Artists
Ken Auster is one of America's premier contemporary artists. Painting with a fresh, innovative impressionist style, he covers city-scapes, landscapes, interiors and surfing scenes. His work, which took top honors at the Laguna Beach Plein Art Invitational, is shown in galleries from San Francisco to New York. Ken Auster Studio/Gallery is located at 2405 Laguna Canyon Road.

Judy Baker has been an artist in Laguna Beach for the past 16 years. She works in acrylics and watercolors, specializing in animal themes. She has a mountain cabin in Angelus Oaks near Big Bear, where she displays her works.

Grace Barrak creates original fine art in glass. Her blown and torch-crafted work includes small sculpture, jewelry, beads and vessels. She works with varied themes including sea life, insects and botanicals, and fantasy symbols. Her combination of selected glass, precious metals, minerals and gems result in pieces that feature a glowing luminosity, light refraction and magnification. She exhibits throughout Southern California.

Sherry Bullard's multi-media artwork covers a broad range of skills and talents working with clay, mosaics, oil painting and watercolors. She has exhibited at the Sawdust Art Festival, the Art Walk, Winter Fantasy and is actively involved in LOCA (Laguna Outreach Community Arts).

Helma Bovenizer is a sculptor who works in the media of bronze, stone and ceramic as well as a portraitist. You can see her award-winning ceramic bench art in front of the Laguna Beach library. She is currently working on a new paper mache series of sculptures.

Sandra Jones Campbell is a contemporary expressionist whose multiple figures populate lively acrylic-on-canvas or acrylic-on-paper, blending her optimism and candor with a keen visual skill: balancing color, form, composition, humor and subject matter. Her work is exhibited at Pacific Edge Gallery, 540 S. Coast Highway.

John Eagle's nationally renowned style developed from his great love of French Impressionism. His Laguna impressionist paintings are derived from applying paint to canvas without blending using vertical brush strokes. He creates mosaic-like squares of pure color that have a more luminous effect than blended paint. His work is exhibited at Studio 7 Galleries.

Grace Everett works in kiln-formed (fused) glass. Her functional art pieces range from wall hangings to vases, dishes and jewelry in a variety of colors. She exhibits at Studio Arts Gallery and Irvine Fine Arts Center.

Roger Folk - Recognition and growing demand for his drawings and paintings led him to abandon a successful commercial career as Marketing Art Director of Disneyland and devote full time to fine art. Today, he is an accomplished watercolorist whose mastery in portraying a wide variety of subjects with authority and sensitivity has earned him the respect of art critics and collectors throughout the United States and the world. Juried in as a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society in 1978, he also serves on their board of directors. He exhibits at the Festival of Arts.

Michelle Geromel has been an artist most of her life. Her earlier works were in pencil and pastel. Now, she paints sexy figuratives as well as her unforgettable giraffes. Her work has been seen nationally in art shows and publications. And her paintings hang in various collections throughout the United States and Africa.

Valerie Gorrell is a ceramic sculpture artist, painter and printmaker. In 2007, she along with Helma Bovenizer received the bench award for their commissioned piece in Laguna Beach, which sits as a bus stop, acts as a tourist attraction and is a great place to sit and read or people watch. She serves on the LOCA board and was a resource artist at the Festival of Arts summer art program.

Mada Leach has a new approach to her mixed media pieces: "All of my Shibori papers, silks, cottons and other fibers are now mounted on acrylic and canvas rather than on paper behind glass. Her new series is "Making Tracks - Color Across America." She exhibits at the Festival of Arts and is a co-founder and board member of LOCA.

Julita Jones' layers of meaning are etched and slowly carved into layers of metal, then layers of ink all magically transformed into endangered species. Through her viscosity etchings, she presents as much information as possible about each animal's plight and the important role it has played in the history of mankind. The unique framing takes the message one step further. She exhibits at the Sawdust Festival and Festival of Arts, and is on the board of LOCA.

Sue Linder has exhibited at the Sawdust Art Festival for more than 30 years. Her ornaments are well known at the Winter Fantasy. Her work is on display at the Stephen Frank store on Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach. She works with her husband in the medium of sheet metal: he cuts it and she paints it in acrylics with a variety of motifs including ocean, tropical, animals and birds.

September McGee is considered one of California's most collectible figurative artists. She continues to astound art lovers around the world with her unique blend of American Impressionism and American Realism, resulting in an amazing palette of colors, lively brushstrokes and beautifully rendered oils. From beach paintings to landscapes, florals and still lifes, she works in a variety of media including oils, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, pencil, charcoal and sculpture.

Robert Schaar is a nationally recognized painter whose representational style is described as "deceptively loose and spontaneous." He is well known for his portrayal of a variety of subjects, including American and European scenes, and for his colorful depiction of thoroughbred racing and golfing. His images are available worldwide as limited edition fine art prints, giclees and lithographs. View his work at Schaar Galleries, 484 N. Coast Highway.

Armando Sosa, a graduate of California State University San Bernardino, is a glassblower. He started 10 years ago; the past five years he's been working at United Glassblowing in Santa Ana. His glass art is displayed and for sale at Studio Arts Gallery.

Jude Taylor-Darlin has been a professional artist for 30+ years. She creates and designs in stained glass, etched glass, fabric painting, wood, mixed media and others. Her work has been commissioned and purchased internationally. She is exploring airbrushing and brush painting on watercolor paper, inspired by her travels (particularly her visits to China and Japan), the ocean and nature. Trips to Hawaii have influenced paintings she's working on now. She exhibits at the Festival of Arts and Sawdust Art Festival. Her studio is at Laguna Canyon Artists; and her work is on display at Studio Arts Gallery.

Mike Tauber is a professional artist who creates murals in paint, tile and relief. His sardines mural, titled "Community" is on permanent public view at Hagan Place, 383 Third St., Laguna Beach. The mural brought him a 2007 "Best in Collaboration" award from the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance and is the inspiration for his "Merry Fish-Mas" ornaments. He is also know for this Fine Art Tiles that are available daily at Studio Arts Gallery at the Old Pottery Place center in Laguna Beach. He has kept a studio in Laguna Beach since 1989.

Sue Thompson at the age of 45 was motivated by a lifelong desire to create art, so she enrolled in a local painting class sponsored by the city's recreation department. Drawing on her experience as a food server, bartender and catering specialist, she began painting restaurant life in front and behind the scenes. Her work is evolving toward singular figuratives outside her familiar eatery themes. Bold colors, playful humor and body language are the three elements that define the works of her self-taught style. Her studio is at Laguna Canyon Artists.

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