The 2022 Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach is busily preparing for this summer’s production of “Wonderful World,” a theatrical love letter to the joys of travel and the wondrous art to be found in every corner of the globe. The production’s combination of live music, narration, and artworks magically transformed into “living pictures” (tableaux vivants) promises to visit 17 countries in search of artistic inspiration during its 90-minute performances presented every night, July 7 – September 2, in the Irvine Bowl at the Festival of Arts.
As part of Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy’s ambitious vision of a global community brought together through art, she has also made it clear that there’s room for some nostalgic fun in the process. The Pageant will open with a series of travel posters from that distant time: the 20th century! And to include a local angle, Challis Davy invited Laguna Beach artist and longtime Festival of Arts exhibitor Mike Tauber to create an acrylic painting to be transformed into a “living picture.”
Challis Davy described her idea. “I was assembling a group of charming vintage travel posters of the French Riviera and other seaside resorts. But it felt incomplete without a nod to our own iconic coastline, hotel, and boardwalk here in Laguna. Our recreation of Mike’s painting, Laguna Beach, will be part of our artistic trip around the world. Not surprisingly, the show will end back here in Laguna Beach for the Pageant’s traditional tableaux of Leonardo’s The Last Supper.”
An award-winning 24-year Festival of Arts exhibitor whose mediums are acrylic painting and ceramic tile, Mike Tauber is very familiar with the Pageant of the Masters. He admits to being “surprised and incredibly honored” to undertake Challis Davy’s commission. Tauber worked with the Pageant team, employing props, a volunteer model, and staged photos taken on location as inspiration for his completed acrylic painting titled simply Laguna Beach.
In it, a young woman, like countless plein air painters before her, sits at an easel overlooking Laguna’s pristine coastline and paints what she sees. Tauber’s canvas takes its cues from countless promotional travel posters from the mid-20th century. But it also teases with its gentle nostalgia and echoes of local history, especially when it becomes a Pageant “living picture,” with its own original music and narrative. Tauber concluded, “I’ve always admired the Pageant’s team of professional designers and artists. I’m thrilled that they invited me and I hope, truly hope, they like what I created.”
Tauber’s painting will join the dozens of other artworks transformed into theatrical illusions during the 2022 Pageant of the Masters as it travels the globe in search of artworks revealing cultural traditions of other countries. With Director Diane Challis Davy in charge, there’s every reason to believe “Wonderful World” will once again create its own magical spell. Challis Davy offered a final thought. “Art in every culture expresses our common humanity. I hope our audiences will see universal traits that unite us.”
“Wonderful World” runs July 7 – September 2, 2022. A Pageant ticket is also a season pass to the 90th Annual Festival of Arts Fine Art Show (July 5 – September 2). Follow the Pageant and Festival on social media at @FestivalPageant and visit www.foapom.com. When at the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show this summer, stop by booth #87 to visit with artist Mike Tauber and see his artwork.
ABOUT MIKE TAUBER
Mike Tauber is a professional artist, working in paint, ceramic tile, and cement relief. He earned his bachelor’s degree in art at San Diego State University and worked as an architectural illustrator in post-graduate years. He’s completed mural commissions in Baja California, Queensland Australia, Rio de Janeiro Brazil, and throughout the western United States. Tauber has exhibited and presented at Laguna Art Museum, Fullerton Museum Center, Palm Springs Art Museum, and Yosemite Museum. His work is in the Festival of Arts Permanent Collection, and public art collections of the City of Laguna Beach, Fullerton, Tustin, and others. Works are also in collections of Kaiser Permanente, K. Hovnanian Homes, PIMCO Foundation, Whole Foods Markets and many more. He is based in Laguna Beach, and works throughout Southern California and beyond. www.foapom.com/portfolio-items/mike-tauber