Obscura Society LA & Cartwheel Art Tours: Laguna Beach Art Colony - Atlas Obscura
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Laguna Beach

Obscura Society LA & Cartwheel Art Tours: Laguna Beach Art Colony

Join us as we discover the psychedelic origins of the Laguna Beach art scene and experience the vibrant artist community that exists there today

Join Cartwheel Art Tours and the Obscura Society LA for an in-depth tour of Laguna Beach exploring the contemporary art scene and the community's counterculture past.

In 1967, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love (aka the "Hippie Mafia") opened a store called Mystic Arts World on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. Art gallery, bookstore, and registered church, this psychedelic emporium sold books, art, health food, and most famously, Orange Sunshine LSD. In their quest for higher consciousness, the Brotherhood spawned a thriving community that lead to the formation of the artist collective known as the Mystic Artists. Today, Laguna Beach continues to support a flourishing art scene. Join us as we duck in and out of galleries, mingle with artists and gallery owners, explore street art, and discover the untold history of the Mystic Artists. This two and a half hour adventure has been created for both visitors and locals by Cartwheel Art and Cartwheel Art Tours founder Cindy Schwarzstein, who has been a Laguna local since 1974.

Highlights of this tour include:

Madison Square & Garden Cafe: We will begin our tour at Madison Square & Garden Cafe where we'll be served delicious handmade muffin tops along with coffee and tea. 

Art: Meet artists, discover murals, and explore some of Cartwheel Art’s favorite new contemporary art galleries. During this adventure we'll meet artist Dave Lefner at the Sue Greenwood Fine Art Gallery, view a mural recently painted by internationally known street artist, Ben Eine, and talk with artist Marlo Bartels. At the Laguna Art Museum (LAM) we'll be joined by artist and activist Mark Chamberlain who will discuss the current show “The Canyon Project: Artisvism." Click here for more information about specific galleries and artists we will be visiting. 

History: Mystic Artists! Mark Chamberlain will also share the secret history of hippies and activists in Laguna Beach recounting a specific event in 1970, when Mystic Artists inspired twenty five thousand hippies to converge on Laguna Canyon for a music festival known as the Laguna Beach Christmas Happening. 

Notes for this adventure:

- Meet at Madison Square & Garden Cafe: 320 N.Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, CA 92651

- This is a one mile walking tour. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. 

- Ages 12 and up. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. 

- Not ADA-accessible.

- A portion of the proceeds will go to Cartwheel Art Tours, artist, and partners.  

- Photography is encouraged! Tag #atlasobscura #cartwheelarttours 

- If this is your first time to Laguna, please feel free to contact Cindy for tips on directions, overnight hotel discount options and additional itinerary items that can be added to your visit including the Sawdust Winter Festival and private artist studio visits along with restaurant recommendations and whatever else you might be seeking for your adventure in Laguna Beach. Her email address is here.

Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final.