Art in Harmony

Share this:

Artists & Galleries

A local designer and gallerist help navigate the waters between the gallery and the home:   When purchasing a work of art, how can you best integrate its aesthetic statement with your own?- Section by Hannah Ostrow

LBM_36_AG_Cerno_By Jody Tiongco-10

Bret Englander, co-founder, director of sales and marketing, Cerno Group

A well-designed space responds and relates to the architecture, surrounding spaces and often outside environment, as well as objects within the space. Whether you’re starting with a blank canvas or not, it’s important to understand these relationships. That’s not to say you can’t juxtapose traditional, mid-century and contemporary in one space, but rather, all elements should relate and work well together.

When it’s done well, a properly designed space becomes a large piece of interactive functional art. Interior designers can miss the mark when they neglect to make their designs functional living spaces, and prioritize aesthetics over functionality. The objects selected for a space should add to the overall design experience, as well as be functional while working well aesthetically with the space and the other objects.

Our products are a marriage of form and function. Nick [Sheridan, director of design] and Daniel [Wacholder, director of operations and engineering] sit side by side, ensuring nothing is lost in translation during development. Nick designs knowing the intended function of the product, so in theory, you could say function dictates form, but the real goal is to combine both seamlessly.

Two-dimensional works of art that hang on a wall, three-dimensional sculptures, furniture and lighting are all absolutely functional, in that they function as part of the overall “designed experience.”

Bill-BradfieldBill Bradfield, marketing and sales director, Townley Gallery

When I’m working with clients regarding an art piece for a specific space, I keep a number of different factors in mind. The first and most important part is how the artwork makes my client feel. Is it a good fit for the space? How large is the space and what colors are in the room? What is the style of architecture and will the artwork complement the space? You don’t want a piece of art to totally dominate the room, but it is great to see when a piece complements the surroundings and blends well with the environment. You also want a piece to really touch you and make you feel good in the room that we are decorating. The great thing about working with my clients is that the variety and style of so many of the artists that I work with, between Laguna ART Group and the two galleries that we have in Laguna Beach [Townley Gallery and LGOCA], I’m sure to find the perfect art piece for the space in mind, and the client will enjoy it for years to come.

A New Leaf

Laguna Art Museum’s three new spring exhibitions move away from impressionistic beachscapes and towards Golden Age Hollywood portraiture, abstract expressionist sculpture, and contemporary claymation.

John Mason_Blue Wall“John Mason: Blue Wall”

On loan from the artist, the museum plays host to John Mason’s seminal 21-foot-long sculpture “Blue Wall,” completed in 1959. Today considered a masterpiece of the abstract expressionism movement of the postwar era, “Blue Wall” is actually made up of hundreds of individual pieces of clay, sculpted by the artist on the floor of his studio. The pieces were then melded together. In doing so, he pushed the medium of clay beyond the realm of pottery and into the domain of sculpture. “It wasn’t until I started to work on the floor that I began to just cut and slam clay down on the floor and then take pieces or parts of slabs and add them to make a more linear organic form,” the artist explains. “I used the only big empty space in the studio. Otherwise, it would have been bigger.” Experience the game-changing piece, on view at the museum through Oct. 6.

“Ex-pose: Allison Schulnik”

LA-based Allison Schulnik steps in as the third artist to be featured in the museum’s new contemporary art series curated by Grace Kook-Anderson. Her paintings, sculptures and clay animations focus on characters often relegated to the outskirts of society—odd, wild, haunting creatures of the night and of the streets, rendered in bright colors that stand in stark contrast to the dull banality of their backdrops. Allison’s three stop-motion animations, “Hobo Clown,” “Forest” and “Mound,” share, as protagonists, the same type of ogre-like clay creatures with mournful eye sockets whose struggle is somehow beautiful. Colors and characters melt into each other, become each other, at once abstraction and representation. This marks the artist’s first museum exhibition, but her work has already garnered widespread attention: “Forest” was the official music video for the song “Ready, Able” from indie heavyweight Grizzly Bear. Catch these films and a selection of Allison’s other works on view on the museum’s lower level through April 28. (949-494-8971;

Hurrell_Jean_Harlow“George Hurrell: Laguna to Hollywood”

Laguna Art Museum has long been noted for its leading collection of California impressionism, a movement that peaked in the 1920s and 1930s—the museum’s origins trace back to the Laguna Beach Art Association, incorporated in 1920 with landscape painter Edgar Payne as its president. This spring, however, the museum turns its curatorial eye away from the plein air paintings that gave it its name and toward the artists who created them, as captured in George Hurrell’s stunning portraiture. During the 1920s, George lived alongside and captured the lives of Laguna’s most notable artist residents—Edgar Payne himself, Frank Cuprien and William Wendt, among others. But the end of the decade saw George swept up in the madness of Hollywood’s golden era. As the “grand seigneur” of Hollywood portraits, George photographed some of the biggest stars of the day—Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Gary Cooper, Bette Davis. Those photographs, as well as those from the artist’s pre-Hollywood days, are on display in the museum’s upper gallery through April 28.

“Having It All” Opens at the Playhouse 

The latest show to hit the Laguna Playhouse stage features five women who find themselves stuck in an airport terminal, together forming a motley crew of modern women: Each has taken a different path in life, each has struggled to find the precarious balance between career and family. For the playhouse, “Having It All” slides in as the second of three shows this spring that explore the roles of modern women in love, career and friendship. (Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two” ran in January; “Steel Magnolias” opens at the end of April.)

A new musical by Wendy Perlman, David Goldsmith and John Kavanaugh, “Having It All” marks the playhouse debut for LA director Richard Israel. Loyal audiences will recognize Jennifer Warren, who appeared in “Lonesome Traveler” at the playhouse earlier this season. The show opens March 5 and runs through the end of the month. (949-497-2787;

Gallery Events 

JoAnne Artman Gallery

“This is America” continues through the end of March, featuring the bold, dynamic canvases of Colombian-American artist America Martin. Her exploration of the human form traverses disciplines, blending both classical and non-Western traditions within the artist’s confident vision. (949-510-5481;

Exclusive Collections Gallery

Stop by Exclusive Collections on March 9 for an artist appearance from Gloria Lee or on the weekend of March 15 for an exhibition of whimsical, unexpected scenes from San Diego-based painter Michael Summers. (949-715-8747;

Sandstone Gallery

Throughout March, Sandstone brings to the forefront abstract paintings from Lynn Welker and Mada Leach. Lynn’s abstracts are slightly more rooted in landscape and earth tones than Mada’s bright, geometric “mindscapes,” but the two artists share a mastery of color and composition. (949-497-6775;

Pacific Edge Gallery

“Peep Show,” featuring more than 25 new works from Sandra Jones Campbell, continues throughout March at Pacific Edge. The painter’s distinctive, stylized acrylics have been a major presence in Laguna since the early 1980s, including, notably, her mural that faces Main Beach in downtown. (949-494-0491;

05_ValBritton_Collapsible_CityCES Contemporary

The term quadrivium, which CES Contemporary borrowed for its latest exhibition, refers to the Renaissance-era study of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy, united in their concern for numbers and their relation to time and space. The nine artists whose works make up “Quadrivium” share this interest in linear composition and geometric divisions. The show runs through March 24, followed by the gallery’s first all-photography exhibition, “Saturn Runs,” which opens March 30. (949-547-1716;


In March, AR4T welcomes all-female international art collective Splendor Device, founded in 2012 by Anaheim gallerist Kelly Castillo. Don’t miss the March 3 opening for “This Wilde Abyss,” complete with live music and the chance to chat with the 15 artists featured in the show. (415-690-6180;

The George Gallery

Through the end of April, “Silk and Sequined Earth” features sensory abstracts from New York City–based Lindsay Walt and Marilla Palmer’s collages that merge the natural with the artificial—think sequins and pressed flowers. (949-715-4377;


Mayra Barraza’s art has earned her world renown, from her native El Salvador to Spain, France, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Throughout March, her new show at Salt, “Mating Season,” features new works including “Lady G—Born This Way,” a classically inspired portrait of a reclining Lhasa apso painted on a plush red velvet canvas. (949-715-5554; LBM


Share this:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here