Orange County artists exhibit at the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show

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Until a few months ago, the organizers of the Festival of Arts were unsure whether the summer festivals could return this year.

Without question, those involved are thrilled to be there again, even if this meant that the work that normally occurs over the course of a year had to be completed in a significantly shorter time.

“It’s such a festive mood,” said Sharbie Higuchi, director of marketing and public relations for the Festival of Arts. “It feels like a huge family reunion of the arts and we are so grateful and happy that our doors are open and we can reconnect with the arts, our artists and actually with each other. I think Laguna Beach and all the art exhibitions are the perfect place to do just that. “

The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, founded in 1932, reopened to the public on Monday, where visitors could see and purchase the works of various artists from across Orange County. The Fine Art Show runs through September 3, with general admission starting at $ 10. The show’s opening times are from 4:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekends.

The artworks shown in the exhibition included ceramics, paintings, jewelry, photography, prints, and more. It is a competition event for artists who can present their work there year after year, as it is a juried exhibition. Higuchi said artists receive a rating based on content, craftsmanship and use of design elements, professional presentation and originality.

Visual artist Paul Bond, whose medium is oil paints, stands with his wife Donna as they greet the guests to their exhibition at the opening reception of the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach on Saturday.

(Don Leach / employee photographer)

A distinguished group will serve as the jury for this year’s exhibition: Selma Holo, General Manager of the USC Museum; Kim Kanatani, director of the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art; Juri Koll, founder and director of the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art; and Gerald Stripling, a sculptor.

Jordan Dimitrov has cast a spell over the jury in the past. He said he once got the highest score on the Fine Art Show and was asked to serve as a juror. Dimitrov produces nautical art and brought back very detailed sculptures of ships that he had designed and built himself.

“The most important thing in my work is that I build it from the inside out,” said Dimitrov. “You can’t see everything inside, but the inside is completed with the same details as my outside. There are engines, there are boilers, there are areas where the crew gathers. There are even beds inside. “

While many are unable to take one of his ships home with them, Dimitrov has also photographed his ships to make his work more accessible.

The construction of these sculptures took time. That patience also benefited Cheyne Walls, a landscape photographer who showed some breathtaking views at his booth.

Festival of Arts President David Perry and Mayor Bob Whalen, center, from left, stand with cheering artists.

Festival of Arts President David Perry and Mayor Bob Whalen, center, from left, wave at the cameras and stand with cheering artists waiting to cut the ribbon at the Festival of Arts opening reception in Laguna Beach on Saturday.

(Don Leach / employee photographer)

“It’s about visiting these places 10, 13, 15, 100 times to see them at their absolute best, and what we do is explore all these landscapes and find them at their best”, said Walls Wall.

Walls, a Newport Beach resident, looked forward to exhibiting in person again.

“For the past year you’ve talked to collectors on the phone, you’ve talked to friends on Skype or Zoom,” he said. “It’s fun to just be outside again, to be in a creative environment with other creative people in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Laguna Beach.”

Among the works presented by Peter Levshin were some photographs of Buddhist novices in Burma. The pictures show the monks doing various activities such as teaching and prayer.

A viewer of his work surprised him when he noticed a feature of a work from different angles – the eyes of the sitter followed him across the room.

Guests see the work of Brock Rothage at the opening reception of the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach on Saturday.

Guests see the work of Brock Rothage at the opening reception of the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach on Saturday.

(Don Leach / employee photographer)

“A guy comes up and says, ‘You work for Disney,'” Levshin said. “I say, ‘No, why?’ He says, ‘I like what you’ve done with your eyes.’ I said, ‘What? What did you do with your eyes? ‘

“So I start to stare, and now I can’t help it. I run back and forth and say, ‘How the hell does this work?’ It has to do with symmetry and it has to do with placement or something, but it’s totally weird. “

Pegah Samaie, who graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design with a Masters in Fine Art in Painting, is exhibiting at the Festival of Arts for the second time.

Her work was mainly concerned with women surrounded by natural elements such as fire, water and flowers that help convey their own feelings.

“I feel like this is a good place to have art, especially for locals, as I live near Mission Viejo,” said Samaie, who was the first to win LCAD’s Trustee Choice Award last year. “I graduated from LCAD so I have a lot of friends in Laguna Beach.

“This is a good opportunity for any artist because the show is … very selective so it’s really an honor to be one of the artists who are on this show.”

Mary Nichols from Chico was in town to visit her family and she shared her thoughts that the festival is back to the public.

“It’s very rewarding that we still have this in our state,” said Nichols. “It’s still thriving and people are experiencing it here.”

Jason Feddy performs on the main stage as guests arrive on the opening day of the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show.

Jason Feddy performs on the main stage as the guests arrive for the Festival of Arts opening reception in Laguna Beach on Saturday.

(Don Leach / employee photographer)

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