What's It All About?

Laguna Art Museum's Annual Gala

On September 21, 2019, Laguna Art Museum will launch its second century. Supporting the museum’s art education and exhibitions programs, Gala 2019 promises fine dining, exquisite wines, performance art, and dancing, hosted by Masters of Ceremonies Chuck Henry and Fritz Coleman. A live auction featuring unique experiences adds to the excitement of the evening. Proceeds ensure operating support for Laguna Art Museum to continue its mission to be the premier museum of California art and a center of culture for Laguna Beach.

  • Space is limited. For information about sponsorships, please email Sara Gale or call 949.494.8971 x219.

Honorary Chairs

Jane and Joe Hanauer

Laguna Art Museum is pleased to announce the Honorary Chairs for its Gala 2019, Laguna Beach residents and civic leaders Jane and Joe Hanauer. Even among the many individuals who have gone above and beyond in support of important causes in this city, Jane and Joe are exemplary. Both Jane and Joe participate in the city’s arts organizations as trustees, tirelessly volunteering their time and expertise, and we cannot thank them enough for all their support and advocacy of Laguna Art Museum.

“How lucky we are to live in a town that is so well known for its commitment to the arts. As Thomas Merton wrote, ‘Art allows us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.’”
– Jane and Joe Hanauer


The Wendt Award

Lita Albuquerque

Lita Albuquerque is the Wendt Award recipient for 2019. Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work that ranges from painting, sculpture, poetry, and multi-media performances to large-scale ephemeral projects in sites around the globe. Active since the early 1970s, and often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, she has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using astronomical images, the earth, the body, color, motion, and time to explore human identity in its relation to the universal. She was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for her Stellar Axis: Antarctica project, which culminated in the first ephemeral artwork created on that continent. In 2014 her outdoor performance An Elongated Now was the centerpiece of Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature, complementing the installation Particle Horizon inside the museum. Since 2015, Albuquerque has served on the museum’s Board of Trustees.

The Wendt Award is named for the great landscape painter William Wendt, a leading light in the museum’s founding organization, the Laguna Beach Art Association. It recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to California art. Previous recipients include Ruth Westphal, Wayne Thiebaud, Peter Alexander, Yvonne Boseker, and Tony DeLap.


Masters of Ceremonies

Chuck Henry

Chuck Henry is co-anchor of NBC4 Southern California’s NBC4 News. Henry has won dozens of awards and honors for his work as an anchor, host, reporter, director and producer. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Television and Radio News Association and other awards include Los Angeles Area Emmys, Golden Mikes, Los Angeles Press Club Awards and a national Cable Ace Award for Best Host of a Series.

Fritz Coleman

Fritz Coleman is NBC4 Southern California’s beloved weathercaster for the NBC4 News. He joined NBC4 in 1982 as the weekend weathercaster and two years later moved to weekdays, where he has been part of the longest-running evening news team with legendary journalists Chuck Henry, Colleen Williams and Fred Roggin. A Southern California broadcasting icon, he is renowned in the region for his extensive knowledge of weather, his sense of humor and affable personality.


Fine Dining

Chef Craig Strong

Craig Strong is Chef and Owner of Ocean at Main, the culmination of over 20 years of distinguished experience. The restaurant recently opened in Laguna Beach with chef-driven, seasonally changing dishes that highlight pristine ingredients. Chef Strong was the executive chef for nine years at Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, where he helped the restaurant garner Five Stars from Forbes. Previously, under Chef Strong’s helm, the now-called The Langham Huntington in Pasadena earned a Michelin star for two consecutive years. Earlier in his career, Strong cheffed at The Arts Hotel in Barcelona and The Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, Georgia, and served as sous chef at Glitretind Restaurant at Stein Erikson Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah. He studied at L’Academie de Cuisine in Washington, D.C.


Live Auction

Exclusive Trip Opportunity

For 4 Guests

The live auction offers a once-in-a-lifetime private art and travel experience hosted by artist Lita Albuquerque and Laguna Art Museum executive director Malcolm Warner for four guests to New York from May 6 to May 9, 2020. This exclusive trip will include hotel accommodations for three nights and four days of VIP visits personally arranged by Albuquerque and Warner at galleries, artists’ studios, museums, and private collections. The trip will also include attendance with Albuquerque and Warner at the invitation-only preview of the Frieze New York art fair, and time for personal exploration. The successful bidder will enjoy an exclusive and rare opportunity, while the proceeds from the event ensure operating support for Laguna Art Museum to continue its mission to be the premier museum for California art and a center of culture for Laguna Beach.

Wine Pairing Experience

For 15 Guests

Laguna Art Museum will host you and your guests for a wine and cheese pairing experience for fifteen, sponsored by the Boisset Collection of historic and unique wineries. The tasting will be followed by a museum tour with executive director Malcolm Warner.

Artful Fare at Studio

For 12 Guests

You and your guests will enjoy a private dining experience for twelve at Benjamin Martinek’s Chef’s Table at Studio, the artistic, craftsman-style restaurant at the edge of the Pacific at Montage Laguna Beach. Valid through November 25, 2020.


Honorable Mentions

Gala 2019 Committee

Deborah Engle
Kristin Samuelian
Elie Weaver

Kathleen Abel
Wendy Aird
Rick Balzer
Ann Coffee
Susan Davis
Michelle Fisher

Chuck Fry
Amy Fulford
Jane Hanauer
Betsy Jenkins
Lucetta Kallis
Laura Rohl

Lester Savit
Deborah Schlesinger
Marnie Wall
Blythe Wheaton
Lizanne Witte
Susie Wood

Diamond Sponsors

The Honarkar Family


Platinum Sponsors

Jane and Joe Hanauer
Laura and Louis Rohl

Elie Weaver and Hilton Weinberg

Gold Sponsors

Wendy Aird
Cody and Deborah Engle
Barbara and Greg MacGillivray
Danny and Jeri McKenna

Mark Porterfield and Steve Chadima
Marisa and Stephen Robbins
Tom and Barbara Stiles

Silver Sponsors

Rick Balzer and Lyn Burke
Crevier Classic Cars

Kristin and Steve Samuelian


Keith and Sue Colestock
Robin and Steven Kalota
Emil and Michele Monda

Daniel and Francine Scinto
Lizanne and Matthew Witte
Villa Real Estate

We look forward

to having you


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