Making art merry

July 01, 2010|By Ashley Breeding,
  • Artist Elizabeth McGhee carefully hangs the last of her oil and wood panel paintings in her space as she prepares for the opening of Festival of Arts.
Artist Elizabeth McGhee carefully hangs the last of her… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

The time has come to "Eat, Drink and be Merry" as the 78th annual Festival of Arts opens to the public Monday with the Pageant of the Masters following suit Wednesday .

New to the Festival this year are 17 emerging artists, who will join 130 returning exhibitors from Orange County to showcase a complete spectrum of media from traditional painting and photography to hand-crafted jewelry and furniture.

"These new artists bring enthusiasm and a fresh new perspective to the art show," public relations director Sharbie Higuchi said.

Colorful oil paintings by "Poster Artist" Tom Swimm, movement-inspired photographs by Margo Moritz and eclectic sculptures made from unrelated objects by Carolyn Machado, and the works of many others, can be seen. Swimm's winning poster for the Festival was inspired by a trip to Portofine, Italy, and depicts the Splendido Mare Restaurant, making it a perfect fit with this year's theme of "Eat, Drink & Be Merry."


"It's a great honor to have my work chosen once again for this very prestigious show", said Swimm. "This is a very colorful and accurate reproduction of my creation and I'm sure it will be enjoyed by all who receive it."

In addition to a fresh aesthetic, the FOA will feature the "Out of the Blue"-themed Art-To-Go auction benefit event, Junior Art Day and chance to win a 2010 ZDX Acura, among other special events.

For the benefit auction, artists were asked to create a "unique" piece of art inspired by the color blue, resulting in a must-see collection of jewelry, glass, prints, paintings, bronze, drawings and other functional wearable art that patrons will have a chance to bid for during a silent auction on August 14, to benefit the Artists' Fund, which provides financial assistance to artists in times of need.

Special attention will be paid to the kids on July 17, when FOA has planned an array of fun-filled activities including an "Art Quest" scavenger hunt, face-painting, ice cream party and a backstage tour of the Pageant of the Masters.

Another highlight for kids is the Junior Art Exhibit, featuring artwork by more than 300 students in grades K-12 from Orange County schools.

"We'll also hold a special new awards ceremony for the kids in August," Higuchi said.

An adults and children's ceramics workshop with Monica Dunham and a printmaking, painting and mixed media course with Mada Leach will also be offered throughout the summer for a fee.

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