Our Laguna: Festival of Arts opening night reminiscent of 1930s

July 05, 2012|By Barbara Diamond
  • Guests pause to stare at the work of Paul Bond during the Festival of Arts opening night party Saturday.
Guests pause to stare at the work of Paul Bond during the… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

The Festival of Arts celebrated its 80th season at an invitation-only party Saturday night that harkened to the 1930s.

But it was this year's show that created the buzz.

"It is stunning," said Rosemary Swimm, wife of artist Tom Swimm, who was decked out in a tan, double-breasted suit with dark shirt and a spiffy hat for the opening, among the folks who dressed for the 1930s theme.

Swimm is celebrating his 25th anniversary in the show by producing 25 miniatures of scenes from some of his big pieces or favorite subjects, but he is pleased to see newcomers in the show.

"There are a lot of new styles," he said.

Newcomers include photographer Don Earhart, a retired businessman who had taken his hobby to the next level.

He submitted three black-and-white photos of flowers past their prime, which got him juried into the show.

"I was told I couldn't call them "Dying Flowers," so they are "Florals in Transition," he said.


His booth also displays some color photos that he transferred to canvas.

Other newcomers include Ron Azevedo, Linda Grossman, V. Lee Cabanilla, Paul Cheng, Gina Mead Howie, Elaine Cohen, Josh Corbin, Nancy Egan, Amanda Fish, Robin Johnson, MN Kelly, Arlene Rheinish, Michelle LaRae, Ester Roi, Stacey Van Hanswyk, Lee Munsell, Michelle Lance, Annette Wimmer, Will Silverman, Cheyne Walls, Anthony Salvo, Wai-Sin Tong-Darbonne, Fabrice Spies, Marie Tippets, Dan Witte and September McGee.

One of McGee's pieces is featured on the "Black is Back" brochure that publicizes "Art to Go" originals that are donated by Festival of Art exhibitors to raise funds for festival artists suffering financial hardship. The motto is "Without artists there can be no art."

Jacquie Moffet holds the title for longevity at the festival. She has been exhibiting for 44 years, in addition to serving on the board for 16 years, a position in which her husband, Robert, now serves.

Familiar exhibitors included Julita Jones, back in the show after a one-year sabbatical to recover from a fire at her home.

The party included music of the '30s played by Wise Guys Big Band Machine. Gina's al fresco catered the event.

Among those enjoying the evening: Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson, Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham, Arts Commissioners Mary Ferguson and Suzi Chauvel, Bob and Marge Earl, Laguna Concert Band founder Carol Reynolds, former Mayor Paul Freeman and former city administrator Sandy Groves who has opened a studio in Laguna Canyon.


By George, they are good

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