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OUR LAGUNA:College gala honors supporters

October 12, 2006|By BARBARA DIAMOND

Three key players in the evolution of the Laguna College of Art & Design were honored recently at the 45th anniversary gala of the founding and flowering of the art school.

Special recognition was given at the festive black-tie event to David Young, 94, Roger Armstrong, Nancy Lawrence and Jonathan Burke, representing the many contributors to the success of the school over the years.

Young, 94, only recently retired from the board of the Festival of Arts, which joined with the then-Laguna Beach Art Assn. to create the Laguna Beach School of Art. He also served for more than 20 years on the school's board of trustee.

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Armstrong is a local painter and highly respected teacher at the school.

Lawrence founded Color It Orange, a countywide, juried show for students. She also is a long-time member of Designing Women, established in 1973 and for a long time the school's only support group, and one of the school's first fundraisers.

Burke was honored as the founding Dean of Fine Arts and acknowledged for his more than 25 years of continuing service.

The event kicked off the school's new Founders Scholarship Fund, an endowment, with the earnings earmarked for merit and need-based financial assistance for students and related programs.

The history of the school was illustrated by the invitational alumni art exhibition, which showcased works by some of the best graduates in five disciplines: painting, sculpture, illustration, graphic design and feature animation.

College, alumna and trustee Regina Jacobson organized the invitational art exhibit, which will continue at Seven Degrees throughout this month.

"The art is just amazing," said Mary Ferguson, chair of the board of trustees of LCAD — the acronym used by the school.

Seven Degrees, a popular Laguna Canyon restaurant, hosted the celebration. Don Crevier and Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson-Schneider served as co-chairs of the glamorous event.

The last time that many men donned dinner jackets for an event in Laguna Beach was probably the first Pageant of the Masters post-season gala. In fact, Arts Commissioner Mike Tauber seemed to be the only male guest who didn't wear a tie.

"There is one other," he said. "Besides, it's OK — I'm an artist."

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