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Thompson Leaves Art Center Post

Gallery: No successor yet named to succeed the director of O.C.'s Center for Contemporary Art.


The director of the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art resigned Jan. 1. Citing personal reasons, Barbara Thompson left the volunteer position after serving since April 2000. Thompson plans to work on exhibition installations and curatorial projects. No new director has been named.

She will remain an active member of the 22-year-old nonprofit, artist-run co-op gallery. The center was closed in December for refurbishing and repairs. It reopens today with a members' show, followed midmonth by an Orange County High School of the Arts student exhibition.


Naomi Vine Services Scheduled Friday

Memorial services for Naomi Vine, founding director of the Orange County Museum of Art, will be at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Barnabas Church, 3955 Orange Ave., Long Beach. Cardinal Roger M. Mahony will officiate.

Vine died Dec. 24 of a brain tumor. She was 52 and is survived by her husband, Albert Milano, and son, Victor, 11.

The museum will close until noon that day to allow staff and volunteers to attend the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Naomi Vine Memorial Fund at the Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, Calif. 92660.


Laguna Beach Art Groups Form Alliance

In 1996, a bitter merger attempt involving the Laguna Art Museum almost left the city without its landmark institution. Three years later Pageant of the Masters threatened to move to San Clemente.

Now Laguna Beach arts groups have joined forces in a new, nonprofit advocacy organization.

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance comprises two dozen members, including the Art Institute of Southern California, Laguna Art Museum, Sawdust Art Festival, Festival of Arts, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach Film Festival, California Choreographers Dance Festival, Music in the Park Inc., and Seven-Degrees multimedia gallery. Each voting member organization pays an annual fee of $100.

The alliance serves to ensure that the arts are included in city planning decisions, members say, and it is a way to take a stand on issues concerning the arts.


Irvine Museum Presents California History Book

The history of California from 1453 to the 1870s is illustrated in "California, This Golden Land of Promise." Coauthored by Joan Irvine Smith and Jean Stern of The Irvine Museum, the 368-page book contains 405 color paintings and drawings and 88 black-and-white etchings, prints and sketches from 50 collections in the United States.

The Irvine Museum published the volume with Chapman University and it satisfies the state's public school curriculum requirement for history in the fourth grade. All Orange County schools may request a free copy, Stern said. Twenty thousand copies are in print.

The book is filled with detail, such as the information that the austere life of missionary Junipero Serra included common practices of penance. He would whip himself, put a torch to his chest or beat his chest with a stone at the end of his sermons. The timeline of California and world events offers highlights of noteworthy moments in history. A book-signing and slide presentation by the authors will be Feb. 10 at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art.

Several paintings in the books are among the collection at The Irvine Museum, 18881 Von Karman Ave., Irvine. The museum will move its 12th floor office suite and gallery to the ground level lobby, which has a larger exhibition space.


Dead Sea Scroll Exhibition Closing

Museum-goers who have not seen "The Holy Land: David Roberts, Dead Sea Scrolls, House of David Inscription" exhibition at Bowers Museum of Cultural Art have until Wednesday. Hours have been extended for the remainder of the run, with the museum open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Wednesday.

The companion display, "World of the Etruscans," has been extended through April 21. The exhibition brings together 335 objects from 2,000 years ago, including elaborate sarcophagi, bronze helmets, lifelike terracotta statues and gold jewelry. The show is curated by Daniel Virtuoso for the Centro Affari e Convegni in Arezzo, Italy, and comes to the United States for the first time after it was recently shown at El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago, Chile.


Laguna Pageant Holds Casting Call

The Pageant of the Masters is holding a casting call for its 2002 show, "Heroes and Heroines." Men, women and children of all sizes and agesare invited to apply to become volunteer actors for the living-pictures presentation held from July through August. Prospective volunteers will be measured and photographed. The only requirement is the ability to stand very still.

Casting calls will be held today from 7 to 9 p.m., Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. backstage at the Irvine Bowl, 650 Laguna Canyon Road. Students can earn credit toward community service requirements by volunteering. Information: (949) 494-3663.


Art Institute Offers Student Scholarships

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