Happy New Year from all of us at ArtsOC!

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Artist Wayne Thiebaud dies at age 101


Renowned artist Wayne Thiebaud, who had a close, longtime relationship with the Laguna Art Museum, has died at age 101. "It was always such a delight to visit him in his studio and to work with when I was curator at Laguna Art Museum in the early 2000s," commented Tyler Stallings, Director of the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College (and a former ArtsOC Board member). "Later, after I departed for UC Riverside, LAM became a sort of Southern California homebase for him with several subsequent shows. His wit and amazing sense of seeing the colors of the world will be missed!" Thiebaud taught for over 40 years at UC Davis. Often associated with the Pop-Art movement of the 1960s--though he avoided that characterization--he is best-known for his vibrant use of color in paintings of everyday subject matter. Among his most beloved works were those depicting cakes and pies in rich pastel hues. His works are in the collections of major museums around the world and have sold at auction in the tens of millions of dollars. One work of Thiebaud's is owned by thousands of peole and viewed daily by drivers on California's freeways and byways: the Arts License Plate, created to raised funds to support arts education programs of the California Arts Council. Read more about Thiebaud's life here.

OC arts community news...

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Arts Orange County and the Orange County Musicians Union, (Local 7, American Federation of Musicians), are pleased to join hands with Californians for the Arts in convening a Regional Conversation next month. The gathering is intended to brief local arts leaders and arts concerned citizens about arts advocacy successes in 2021, goals for 2022, and to inform attendees about changes resulting from the re-mapped districts at the County, State and Congressional level. The event will be held live in the blackbox theatre at the OC Music & Dance/Pacific Symphony building, 17620 Fitch, in Irvine. Admission is free, but reservations are required due to limited capacity. Details here.

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Richard Piatt (above) has been appointed the new Executive Director of MenAlive - Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus. He is the former Director of the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College where he was also a member of the theater faculty. Read more here.

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Artist Kathy Jones (above) has been elected President of the Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation Board of Trustees. The painter, a 19-year long exhibitor at the Festival, also had a longtime career in fundraising, including serving as Vice Chancellor for Advancement at University of California, Irvine. Read more here.

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2021's "Most Influential" Includes Artists & Arts Leaders

The Orange County Register's annual list of 100 (expanded this year to 125) includes a number of artists, arts leaders, arts educators and people important to our community's artistic life. Among them: Irvine Barclay Theatre President (and ArtsOC Board member) Jerry Mandel and OC Superintendent of Schools (and ArtsOC Board member) Dr. Al Mijares. Read the full list here.

ArtsOC news...

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Arts Orange County Board Member Marleena Barber, Executive Director of VSA Orange County, will perform her one-woman cabaret show at Samueli Theater, Friday, January 21st. The show is about her life growing up with Albinism, some of the challenges she faces as a disabled person, and how the arts played an important role in her journey to self-acceptance. The event is presented by the Sound of Music Chapter of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) Guilds as a fundraiser for SCFTA's "Studio D," its inclusive school of dance and music for students with disabilities. More information and tickets here.

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Arts Orange County Board Member Kim Le (above left), owner of Pacific Conservatory, recently arranged with her colleague Tim Nelson (center), Executive Director of the Rose Center Theater in Westminster, to provide a tour for ArtsOC CEO Rick Stein. The proscenium theatre seating 400 was built fifteen years ago, is owned by the City of Westminster and operated by a nonprofit organization. In addition to being available for rent by local arts groups for their performances, Rose Center Theater also produces an annual season of musical theatre for which Nelson serves as artistic director, a role he also plays at Huntington Beach Academy of the Performing Arts.


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