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Art Splash to debut in new location


Art connoisseurs can see the best of the local best this weekend, when 55 works by about 20 South County artists will be displayed throughout the four galleries on the ground floor of Dana Arts Plaza in this year’s Alice Baum ArtSplash.

“This is one of the main events the Dana Point Coastal Arts created,” said Cliff Wassmann, Coastal Arts president.

“It’s a juried competition that has whittled down the initial pool of 2,000 South County applicants to 55 pieces by 20 or so artists - most of whom are new to this competition, I believe. And from this group, three prizes will be awarded.”

A panel of three judges - Rey Isip, a locally acclaimed artist; Karin Schnell, an independent art consultant; and John Warren, a sculptor whose work has been displayed at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach - will deter mine Saturday evening which works will be awarded first prize ($500), second prize ($300) and third prize ($200).

Among the art forms represented at Alice Baum Art-Splash 2005 are watercolors, oils, photography, sculpture, mosaics and digital art. Jazz Attack, a jazz trio, will provide live musical entertainment Saturday.

“This is a really cooperative venture, with all four (first-floor) units of the Dana Arts Plaza being used for this event,” Wassmann said, referring to his own business and two others, plus the Coastal Arts headquarters.

ArtSplash began five years ago, when Alice Baum, an art lover and retired alcohol/drug counselor then newly-relocated from Washington, D.C., to Dana Point with her husband Don Burnes, was asked to chair it. Three years of her tireless and enthusiastic networking turned ArtSplash into one of the premier art events in the South County. When she passed away last year, the Coastal Arts decided to honor her memory by adding her name to the event

Held at the Renaissance Cafe last year, the Alice Baum ArtSplash will be making its Dana Arts Plaza debut. Wassmann hopes to see as many as 200 people there. That’s the same number he estimated had attended the latest First Friday Art Show last week.

“First Friday started out as a group art show with reception,” he said. “But it evolved into a communal event when the surrounding businesses saw how many people we were attracting.

“So last Friday, J.C. Beans held poetry readings, and since I noticed many of the pieces had a tropical theme, I ended up finding hula dancers, who performed for the crowd. The thing is, these 200, one of the largest (crowds) we’ve had, stuck around: stores that normally close at 9 stayed open till 10 because of them.’’

Plans for the next First Friday, July 1, include a fashion show from Girl in the Curl. Randy Au is expected to show his ceramics and Don Latwig his photography. The Dana Point Theatre Company will give spectators a preview of their Shakespeare-in-the-Park production.

“It’s good to see we’re basically waking the whole block up,” Wassmann said.


- ©2005 Dana Point Coastal Arts -