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In The Arts

October 27, 2011
  • Artist September McGee, with the winning national juried painting, "First Steps II."
Artist September McGee, with the winning national juried… (Coastline Pilot )

Playhouse names new associate director

Michael Barker has been named associate managing director of the Laguna Playhouse.

Barker came to the playhouse in July from The Antaeus Co. in North Hollywood, where he was the managing director, according to a news release.

He holds both a master of fine arts in theater management from the Yale School of Drama and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

"Michael has a business acumen that one would be hard-pressed to duplicate, a passion for the theater and he is eager to collaborate with the community," Karen Wood, the playhouse's executive director, said in a prepared statement. "His skill set and dedication are a beautiful fit with the mission and goals of the Laguna Playhouse and I am delighted to welcome him."

Barker and his wife, Heidi, a TV and film costume designer, live in Long Beach.

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A special juried fine art exhibition will kick off the November installment of Laguna Beach's First Thursdays Art Walk on Thursday. An artists' reception and awards ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave.

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That will be followed by the Art Walk, from 6 to 9 p.m., where visitors can take a free trolley ride and visit member galleries and art institutions at no charge. There will be artist demonstrations, exhibit openings and other activities.

"Hop from gallery to gallery enjoying the artwork of featured artists along the way," Rebecca Barber, president of First Thursdays Art Walk, said in a news release. "There is so much great art available for purchase."

For more information about the Art Walk, a shuttle map, and links to member galleries, go to http://www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com.

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At Thursday's Art Walk, the Laguna College of Art & Design will open a show, "Original Art: The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration," presented by the Society of Illustrators.

In its 30th year, the traveling exhibit showcases the rarely seen work of children's book illustrators. The show will go from Thursday through Dec. 16 at LCAD's gallery, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. A reception will take place there from 5 to 8 p.m. during next month's First Thursdays Art Walk on Dec. 1.

According to a news release from LCAD, the 40 pieces on display were part of the juried Original Art 2009 show at the Museum of American Illustration in New York.

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