Art 2.0

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Technology  Impacts The Art world

Two gallery owners share how technology has impacted the art world.  – Moderated by Jason Sanford

Shane Townley owner of Townley Gallery

Technology has completely changed music, film and books. The art world is not an exception for the Internet technology freight train. Out of love for the art world in Laguna Beach, I have personally donated an iPhone and Android app to the arts of the community. This app can be downloaded for free in the Apple store and Android marketplace. The apps show everything art in Laguna Beach, including a map and info of all of the galleries, festivals, events, museum and even rotates 200 artists’ work through the apps that are available for purchase. Soon we will be rotating all of the Laguna ART Group artists through a channel in all of the hotel rooms in Laguna Beach using up-to-date technology.

Joanne Artman, Owner of Joanne Artman Gallery

We have found, through participation at national art fairs, that the use of cutting-edge technology is prevalent and well received amongst the art community. The most exciting phenomenon is the use of an iPhone app, powered by the technology company Collectrium, at the various art fairs. The app enables our gallery to showcase our complete inventory on any smart phone, allowing collectors to instantly receive extensive information on the artists and the pieces, save our gallery contact information and bookmark works as favorites to review after the fair. It also allows you to share gallery works with friends via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. Finally, it allows customers to use the “Virtual Wall” tool to see how a work of art will look in their home.

Pushing the Limits

New local gallery sets out to “push the boundaries to the edge.”

Sanja Simidzija of Green Cube and Art Cube Gallery renown is opening S Cube, a new gallery in North Laguna, and as she says, “It will push the boundaries” of what Laguna is used to calling art.

“We’re going to have a lot of cutting-edge, contemporary international artists,” Sanja explains. “It will be completely different with international pieces and a lot of younger artists—it will definitely be a new frontier.”

The new gallery promises some innovative partnerships with galleries from around the globe, the first being the Ecoh Galeria in Mexico City. According to Sanja, there will also be a wide variety of visiting and guest artists, with exhibits and installations constantly changing—and challenging locals’ perception of art. The opening show, entitled “On the Edge: Statements in Black and White” will kick off the new gallery’s opening.Firebrand Media Chairman Allan Simon will be a business partner in the new venture, which is slated to open at the beginning of November at the previous Essence Gallery location. (346 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-8800;

Respect, Remembrance, Reflection

The Laguna Beach 9/11 memorial, “Semper Memento,” commemorates in the face of tragedy, and gives viewers an opportunity to reflect.

For such an enduring, profound tragedy that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 were, the local monument that was created to commemorate 9/11 is stunningly beautiful and a chance to ruminate on that fateful day—and life in general.

“Laguna was one of a handful of cities that was picked in the whole country for a memorial,” says Mark Porterfield, a Laguna Beach resident and avid arts supporter. “It was a true art collaboration.”

The memorial was designed by local artist Jorg Dubin. Andrew Hill, Sian Poeschl and Mark Porterfield all played key roles in bringing the project to completion. With a design that commemorates all three locations of the attacks—a Pentagon-shaped frame, a Shanksville garden base and the two ominous steel beams from the Twin Towers—due diligence is paid to the tragedy. A stainless steel ball provides a unique way to quietly reflect and also feel a part of the memorial.

“It’s about respect, remembrance, reflection—that’s what I kept telling the New York Port Authority when we were applying,” Mark comments.

The memorial can be seen at Heisler Park.

A Whale of a Design

California’s “whale tail” license plate gets a redesign by a Laguna local. – Section by Jason Sanford

Local artist Bill Atkins has created dozens of posters and banners for big events and celebs, but his most famous original creation is the new California “whale tail” license plate that replaces the previous design. Laguna won a friendly three-city competition to purchase the most of the new plates, beating Santa Monica and Dana Point.

The “whale tail” plate was created as a way to support the California Coastal Commission’s efforts, and can be personalized by drivers with letter and number combos.

Bill will appear and talk about his personal story and the design behind the new plate at the 2011 Laguna Outreach for Community Arts annual membership meeting at the Aliso Creek Inn on Oct. 18. Tickets are $20 at the door. (31106 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-363-4700;

Hero Sculpture Arrives at Signature Gallery for Veterans Day

A reception for sculptor Kira’s bronze work titled “Hero” will take place at the gallery on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m., as a tribute to our country’s military servicemen and women, with an unveiling and dedication to the Wounded Warrior Project at 7 p.m. “I am donating a proportion of my proceeds of all pieces collected over the life of this edition to the Wounded Warrior Fund, in support of the amazing and priceless work that they do for our veterans and their struggling families,” Kira says. “The show will also include a wine and cheese reception on both Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, Nov. 12, I will be providing a live demonstration of my sculpting process in the gallery and engraving dedications for collectors from 2 – 5 p.m.” The “Hero” sculpture allows Kira to engrave the dog tags if someone purchasing an edition wishes to dedicate it to a fallen loved one. (220 Forest Ave.; 949-376-4244;

 Gallery Events

See “Heaven’s On Fire” through Oct. 30 with work by Carson Grier, Steve Whelan and David Blake. Corey Smith’s solo exhibit, “Become a Better You,” lasts from Nov. 3 through Nov. 27. (210 N. Coast Hwy.; 415-690-6180;

Festival of Arts at Wells Fargo
View artwork from this previous summer’s Festival of Arts show on the third floor gallery of Wells Fargo in downtown Laguna at the “Mixed Bag” exhibit through Nov. 28. (260 Ocean Ave.; 949-494-1145;

Mandarin Fine Art
The work of Francisco Arreola will be displayed on Dec. 1 during First Thursday’s Art Walk. Francisco’s work takes on the themes of war, nostalgia and human suffering. (1294 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-9608;

Marion Meyer
The works of Ben Von Mahler, Christian Lopez, David Lopez, Claudia Meyer and others will be on display through Oct. 30 at Marion Meyer Gallery in North Laguna, enveloping a wide range of contemporary art and mixed media. (354 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-5442;

Beginning Nov. 3 and running until Dec. 29, the exhibit “Graffiti Nature,” which is an examination of the influence that graffiti has had on contemporary artwork, will be on display. This includes the acclaimed work of Cisco Merel and the artistic duo simply known as “W.” (1492 S. Coast Hwy. 949-715-5554;

Come and see Jennifer Griffiths’ and Anne Moore’s painted works on display at Sandstone Gallery in North Laguna through Oct. 31. (384 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-6775;

Steven Lucas Fine Arts
Opening recently in the art corridor of Laguna Canyon, Steven Lucas Fine Arts will display some of the most renowned international talents in town. 1945 Laguna Canyon Rd.; 949-376-7611; LBM



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