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Festival Of Arts Acquires New Artworks To Its Permanent Art Collection For 90th Anniversary

The festival is an art institution dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting artwork significant to the Festival's and Laguna Beach's rich cultural history.

Festival Of Arts Acquires New Artworks To Its Permanent Art Collection For 90th Anniversary

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach has announced the recent acquisition of four new pieces from talented, longtime Festival exhibiting artists to its Permanent Art Collection. Artwork from Molly Hutchings, Chris Bliss, Ray Brown, and Carolyn Machado will join the over 1,000 two-dimensional and three-dimensional works featured within the Festival's Permanent Art Collection, some dating back to the early 1900's.

"Congratulations to Molly, Chris, Ray, and Carolyn on this remarkable achievement," said Festival of Arts Exhibits Director Christine Georgantas. "We are honored to add their unique perspectives and exceptional talents to the Festival's collection."

The Festival of Arts, celebrating its 90th anniversary, is an art institution dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting artwork significant to the Festival's and Laguna Beach's rich cultural history. Housing over one thousand diverse and eclectic pieces, the Permanent Art Collection is valued by the organization for its cultural and historical significance in relation to the art, culture, and ability to tell the story of the birth of the Festival and local art scene. The Permanent Art Collection showcases how the Festival became a major influence in the art world of Southern California, and many deem the collection a time capsule of art from the last century.

The new additions include a watercolor painting titled "Raven" by Molly Hutchings, a photograph titled "Times Square Saturday Night" by Chris Bliss, a charcoal drawing titled "Great Gray Day" by Ray Brown, and a mixed media assemblage titled "Passing Time" by Carolyn Machado.

Molly Hutchings is a long time Festival artist who has consistently created extremely colorful paintings inspired by the history of quilting. As a local high school student, one of Hutching's paintings was selected for the Festival's Junior Art Exhibit. Today, she has been exhibiting and selling her paintings for the last 29 years at the Festival of Arts. "Molly has developed a style that has become a signature; complicated, yet delicate, and with each facet clearly rendered," shared Pat Sparkuhl, Permanent Art Collection Curator.

Like Hutchings, Chris Bliss has been an exhibitor at the Festival for over 25 years. His work is in high demand both for his fine art and as a commercial photographer serving clients throughout the United States. Bliss finds inspiration in urban skylines and in the challenging and invigorating lifestyles of cities- a focus that he has directed to an ongoing New York City photography project for over 30 years. His photograph "Times Square Saturday Night" is a strong example of Bliss's ability to capture the vitality and color, while also capsulating a moment in time through the show titles on the Marquees.

Ray Brown's "Great Gray Day" is a reflection of his experiences in the field. Brown shared, "Each time I go into the wilderness I am amazed. I use only my own experiences to procure reference for my work. Being out in the field is as important as any other facet of my creative process. It is what drives me." Another longtime exhibitor, Brown's preferred medium is the simple charcoal. His "Great Gray Day" combines the innocence of an owl enduring the extreme elements that surround it, illustrating an atmosphere that expresses strength and determination.

Also acquired into the Permanent Art Collection is a mixed media assemblage titled "Passing Time" by Carolyn Machado. Machado has exhibited at the Festival of Arts for over twenty-five years. She creates her assemblage pieces with recycled materials, collected and carefully curated over the years. Sparkuhl noted that, "This particular work shows Carolyn's abilities to take a narrow vertical structure and create a complex totemic-like composition. The use of materials in this compact structure was very effective." Machado added, "As I continue to explore and create from a world of recycled materials, I remain excited about and challenged with each new piece."

These four artworks will join the historic pieces included in the Permanent Art Collection, adding their own influence on the art world of Southern California and the Festival of Arts. The Festival's Collection are presented in themed exhibits at foaSOUTH and loaned out to museums and institutions for specific exhibitions. The earliest piece is a painting by Thomas Nash from 1913. One of the most significant pieces of art in the Collection is one of the first paintings sold at the opening of the First Festival on August 13, 1932, called "Flower Stalls," by Virginia Wooley.

To learn more about the Festival of Arts, and the Permanent Art Collection visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.

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