The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

Voice of OC posts press releases to provide readers with information directly from organizations. We do not edit or rewrite press releases, and encourage readers to contact the originator of a given release for more information. To submit a press release, email

For Immediate Release


LAGUNA BEACH, CA (October 11, 2018) — On Saturday, September 29, 2018, over 400 people attended Laguna Art Museum’s sold out Centennial Ball, which raised more than $923,000. This once-in-a-lifetime event was held at the recently renovated Festival of Arts grounds. It was a night to remember!

Proceeds from the event benefit the museum’s mission of providing acclaimed exhibitions, art education for all ages, and excellent programming to the community. Wonderfully historical and beautifully renovated for the Festival’s 85th anniversary, the Festival of Arts grounds were an especially fitting place to celebrate Laguna Art Museum’s 100th year.

Guests entered the Ball by walking through a gold frame. The first part of the event recalled the era of early California art, featuring 1920s jazz by The Gatsbys, and hors d’oeuvres and creative cocktails by Chef Amar Santana of Broadway by Amar Santana. Guests arrived in black tie for this special occasion, ready to enjoy an evening with friends and fellow art lovers in celebration of the museum’s artistic heritage, which is closely intertwined with the city’s establishment as an art colony in 1918.

Dinner was infused with the aesthetics of modernist and hard-edge art. Music was provided by The Tony Guerrero Quintet and special guests. Chef Ben Martinek, the recently appointed Chef de Cuisine of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, prepared a delicious three-course dinner, paired with wines courtesy of Morlet Family Vineyards. Celebrity MCs Chuck Henry and Fritz Coleman led the evening’s program, including remarks from LAM Board Chair Louis Rohl, Centennial Ball Co-Chairs Kathleen Abel and Deborah Engle, Centennial Executive Committee Co-chairs Susie Gordinier and Betsy Jenkins, and Executive Director Malcolm Warner. Fritz Coleman provided a brief stint of stand-up comedy that had the guests greatly amused. A spirited paddle-raise to fund the museum’s two pillars of activity, exhibitions and art education, led by Henry and Coleman, inspired donations from the audience, supplementing ticket sales and sponsorships. The event raised more than $923,000, a new fundraising record for the museum.

The after dinner entertainment included witty “appraisals” from the anonymous performance artists The Bumbys. The Bumbys are anonymous performance artists who provide “’A Fair and Honest Appraisal of Your Appearance’ using nothing more than analog typewriters and charming wit.” After-party bites were prepared by Chef Craig Strong, formerly of Studio at Montage and now chef of his new restaurant in Laguna Beach, Ocean at Main. The celebrations continued, inspired by the California Light and Space movement, with music by Soulcirque, a three man group playing DJ’d tunes accompanied by drums, keyboard, and saxophone. The illuminated dance floor brought it all together, keeping guests dancing until the end.

The museum is humbled and honored to have received such generous support from individuals, corporations, and sponsors, and to be able to celebrate this major milestone in such glamour and style. The event reflected the city’s heritage, its love and support of the arts. Our co-founder and “patron saint” of the museum, Anna Hills, would be proud.

Lead sponsors for the event included Montage Laguna Beach, Broadway by Amar Santana, South Coast Plaza, Compass, Ocean at Main, and Morlet Family Vineyards. Supporting sponsors included Modern Luxury Orange County, Arrow&Branch, Código 1530, House of Carbonadi, Modern Illumination, gorjana, Skinfix, Zinc Café & Market, and Viña Herminia.

The Centennial Ball co-chairs were Kathleen Abel and Deborah Engle, and the committee members were Wendy Aird, Rick Balzer, Susan Davis, Amy Fulford, Vanessa Helin, Lucetta Kallis, Marisa Robbins, Laura Rohl, Kristin Samuelian, Ann Wareham, and Leslie Weaver.

About Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. It collects, cares for, and exhibits works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles, and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field.

Laguna Art Museum stands just steps from the Pacific Ocean in the beautiful city of Laguna Beach. The museum is proud to continue the tradition of the Laguna Beach Art Association, founded in 1918 by the early California artists who fostered a vibrant arts community. The gallery that the association built in 1929 is part of today’s Laguna Art Museum.


Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Cliff Drive.


Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Closed Wednesdays

Closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day


General admission: $7.00

Students (18+) and Seniors (60+): $5.00

Visitors aged 17 and under: FREE

Museum members: FREE

Media Contact: Cody Lee, Director of Communications | 949.494.8971 x211 |

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *