Sawdust artists nominated for Art Star Awards

Posted on January 27, 2015 by Sawdust Art Festival

Michele Taylor 3

Michele Taylor in her studio.

This week, the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts announced the nominees for its ninth annual Art Star Awards, and three current or former Sawdust Art Festival artists have been nominated for “Artist of the Year.”

Michele Taylor, Gerard Stripling and Terry Thornsley have received nominations for the honor. Taylor is a current Sawdust mixed media and glass artist; Stripling and Thornsley have participated in the festival in the past.

Taylor and Stripling, nominated together, have collaborated  to create several public artworks, including a bench embellished with limestone and resin in front of the Susi Q Senior Center, and a fallen police memorial outside the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Thornsley is a Laguna Beach artist who has created hundreds  of paintings and sculptures, many of them sea creatures such as sea lions, dolphins, turtles and fish. He works in bronze, stone, marble and mixed media.

Local artist Carla Meberg has also been nominated in the “Artist of the Year” category.

The ninth annual Art Star Awards will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 12 at [seven-degrees] in Laguna Beach. Trophies designed by Louis Longi will be awarded to organizations and individuals in six other categories, including Best Arts Program, Individual Arts Patron of the Year and Outstanding Arts Collaboration.

Tickets are $85 each ($750 for a table of 10). For tickets or more details, email

On a related note, applications are still being accepted for the $5,000 [seven-degrees] of Inspiration Grant. The goal of the grant is to provide support for an emerging or established Laguna Beach artist to develop and present an arts project or program that advances recognition of Laguna Beach as an innovative arts city. The deadline to submit is Feb. 2, and the winner of the 2015 grant will be announced during the Art Star Awards on April 12. Those interested in applying may do so online at

A turtle by Michele Taylor.

A turtle by Michele Taylor.