Artists Live Work Proposed Project.

Posted by imFORZA Team on February 6th, 2014 | Filed under: Laguna Beach


Every once in a while, a project comes along which has an opportunity to speak to who we are as a community. The Artist Live-Work project that we’ve designed for local sculptor Louis Longi and the Dornin Investment Group is one of these projects. The Long(i) Live-Work-Create project  represents an opportunity for Laguna Beach to enhance its historic and cherished reputation as a community friendly to the arts. This will be accomplished by providing artists with studio spaces that promote imagination, creativity, prosperity, and collaboration. Many of us who have lived here over the years have noticed that artists have left the community because of difficulties finding affordable living and working environments. This project will address these issues and bring artists back into the community.

As you may know, this project is proposed in Laguna Canyon and has been going through the Planning Commission review for over a year. On January 8th, we were approved by the Planning Commission. However, the project has been appealed to the City Council and will be on the agenda March 18, 2014. While many within the community support this project, there is also an opposition group composed mainly of Laguna Canyon residents in the area of Sun Valley Road. Their concerns are primarily mass, scale, and increased traffic. This opposition group describes this area of the community as “their neighborhood”. They describe our artist live- work project as an “apartment building”.  However, we feel that neighborhoods are best shared and that this one in particular, is composed of a wide variety of uses, including light industrial uses, artist live-work, an animal hospital, auto repair, landscaping and other types of businesses. While we are sensitive to the concerns expressed by the opposition group, we also feel that they need to understand that they have been living next to an essentially undeveloped M1-B (light industrial) property for many years. Since the enactment of the Laguna Canyon Annexation Plan in 1991, several other M1-B properties have been developed in Laguna Canyon. This project conforms to all of the applicable standards of the Laguna Canyon Annexation Plan and  has less density than many of the M1-B sites that have been subsequently developed. Therefore, while we understand the desire among the opposition for things to remain as they are, there also needs to be a reasonable expectation for change and for communities to evolve.


As an architect practicing in town for nearly thirty years, I’ve seen dozens of Artist live-work projects in development for Canyon sites. However, during this time, only one or two of them have been built. The reason for this is a combination of economic factors, coupled with the fact that the City has recently reconstructed the Artist Live-Work Ordinance to more specifically define what an “artist” is. This was done to make sure that these types of projects do not become apartment or condominium housing, but truly are designed for artists. The Long(i)- Live-Work-Create project represents a true opportunity to realize this type of project, which is well needed in the community. In addition to being designed for a well known local artist, it is also being financed by the Dornin Investment Group, led by Chris Dornin, a young man who grew up in this community.


If you believe as we do, that this is a good project that will benefit our community,  please let your voice be heard above the squeaky wheel of the opposition. Please come to the City Council meeting and support this project on March 18. If you can’t make it in person, please write a letter or an email to the Council members, or the local newspapers.


If you need any additional information, or would like to discuss this project in greater detail, please contact me.



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Artist Open Studio event on Saturday, February 4, 2012

Posted by imFORZA Team on January 30th, 2012 | Filed under: Laguna Beach

LAGUNA BEACH, CA — (Marketwire) — Don’t miss the penultimate Artist Open Studio event on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Artist Open Studios will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Catch a free shuttle service from the Act V (Corporate Yard) parking lot, located at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road, and take advantage of free parking for this unique artistic adventure.

 Artist Open Studios is a celebration of Laguna’s thriving visual arts community. It is not only a fantastic opportunity to see, buy or commission art, it is also an adventure through the city — to uncover new talent and rediscover established artists. Who could resist the chance to step into the heart of where art is created, to experience something unique, something you just can’t see anywhere else. Experience glass blowing, fused glass hands-on workshops, ceramic, painting, printmaking and bronze lost-wax demonstrations.

 Artist studios are located throughout Laguna Beach with the majority nestled along Laguna Canyon Road. These studios, surrounded by oak trees and rich canyon colors, are the creative backdrop for many artists. Other studios are located where the canyon meets downtown on Ocean Avenue where painters Vanessa Roth and Cliff Wassmann have studios opposite each other, and Marc Whitney of Forest Avenue.

The first stop of the shuttle service will be at the studio of new participant, painter Deborah Paswaters. Meander to the studio of ceramicist and public artist Marlo Bartels whose works can be seen throughout the city. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your own piece of kiln formed glass with Maggie Spencer and see her colorful completed work. Nestled between the oak trees is the studio of Ralph Tarzian who has been a sculptor in Laguna for over 40 years. Glass blowers Gavin Heath and Muffin Spencer-Devlin will exhibit their works along with mixed media artist Ashley Pigden-Hemsley. Many artists are located at Laguna Canyon Artists. This artist complex is widely known for a number of imaginative and experimental printmakers, painters, jewelers and mixed media artists. At the very last stop in the Canyon visit with artists Louis Longi and Olivia Batchelder who transform their contrasting mediums of bronze and silk into one sculptural image.


For a list of participating artists please visit or call (949) 497-0722.

Sian Poeschl
Cultural Arts Manager
(949) 497-0722

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World Famous Pageant of the Masters 2012 Casting Call…

Posted by imFORZA Team on December 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Laguna Beach

The world-famous Pageant of the Masters is looking for volunteers to participate in the 2012 summer presentation of “The Genius”. Volunteers of all ages needed. No theater experience necessary. In addition to needing volunteers to pose in the Pageant, volunteers are needed for positions in the wardrobe, make up, and headdress departments, as well as cast area coordinators and refreshment servers, among other positions.

Saturday, January 7 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sunday, January 8 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Thursday, January 12 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Festival of Arts
Irvine Bowl (backstage)
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-3663 

Click the link below for an informational  flyer with gift offer


The 2012 Pageant of the Masters, The Genius, will be staged July 7 through August 31. Ticket prices start at $15. Tickets are on sale now by calling 1-800-487-3378 or online at The Festival of Arts is a nonprofit organization whose proceeds go to support the arts.

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It’s that time again…the Laguna Beach Million Dollar Home Raffle!

Posted by imFORZA Team on July 12th, 2011 | Filed under: Laguna Beach

Don’t miss out on your chance to win a Laguna Beach home, or $1 Million Dollars!! Tickets are now being sold, and along with the chances to win prizes, including the grand prize, there are also special opportunities this year to get free tickets to the OC Fair, the Festival of Arts, free Hobie Surf Shop T-shirt and more with your raffle ticket purchase!  Click the link below for more information.

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A new and costly rule called Qualified Residential Mortgage, is being considered by federal regulators. If the proposal passes it would require homebuyers to make at least a 20% down payment on a home purchase for the most affordable rates. Federal regulators have taken a law passed by Congress intended to prevent future banking collapses and turned it into an unintended penalty on homebuyers.

Make your voice heard, click on the link below for more information.

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