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Featured Artist 2016


Betty Haight and Stephanie Cunningham will be the featured artists for the 2016 show. For the last ten years these Laguna Beach artists have exhibited at the Laguna Festival of the Arts where they are well known for their collaborative work called “duets”. They decided to take a hiatus this year from the rigor of the Laguna show and have agreed to take part in Art, for Heaven’s Sake.

These women have a national following but they also have roots in Redlands. Betty was the first woman district attorney in San Bernardino County where she practiced for 28 years. During that time she took art classes and when she retired she moved to Laguna Beach to pursue a career in art. She maintains ties to the Inland Empire where her husband, “Chip” Haight is the SBCO Presiding Judge. After moving to the beach, Betty met Stephanie in an art class. As their friendship developed they realized they shared many similar views about art and the creative process.

Stephanie’s passion for art goes back as far as she can remember. When she was four years old, one of her finger paintings was chosen to be hung in an exhibition. Since then, she has completed multiple degrees in art, one of which is from the University of Redlands, and has worked for over thirty years as both an art teacher and exhibitor.

Their duets are a combination of collage and oil paint. Each artist paints on a separate canvas in her own studio then the canvases are physically joined together to create one work. Determining which canvases to pair takes much conversation and a bit of trial and error.

Stephanie paints soulful landscapes, providing a moody environment for Betty’s figurative work. The attraction of working collaboratively is the opportunity to blend opposite points of view. Stephanie creates a story line for each finished “Duet” painting. This leads the viewer to the possibilities of interaction between the figures and their environment. Each finished canvas has a copy of this story line attached to the back. Upon completion, the finished "Duet" is framed with pieces of scrap wood embellished with paint and paper left over from the materials used in the creative process.

In addition to showing at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, they have shown in galleries in California, Florida, Louisiana and Iowa, and are in numerous private collections. Several of the duets have also been used on movie and TV sets, the result of a Hollywood production designer seeing their work at the Laguna Festival. Their work can be viewed on the movie set of "The Proposal" staring Sandra Bullock, in "The Last Song," a Nicholas Sparks film, and on episodes of the TV series "The Young and the Restless," as well as in a Barbara Streisand comedy released in 2012.

Betty and Stephanie will bring unique works and much energy to Art, for Heaven’s Sake this year. For more information, visit www.cunninghamhaight.com

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