State of the Arts

Tina Borgatta and Kristen Schott | November 28, 2016 | Feature Features National

With colonies like Laguna Beach and Santa Ana's downtown district, O.C.'s fine art scene is abundant with established and emerging talents. Here's a look at who—and what—is catching our eyes now.
In her artwork, Vanessa Rothe, seen here at her Laguna Beach home, blends traditional realism with impressionist strokes.

For this painter, writer and curator, art is life.
Her childhood memories are as vivid as the colors in her paintings—the hours spent in her father’s Laguna Beach boutique, the lustrous silks he handpainted, the antique rugs and Japanese kimonos adorning the space, and the A-list clientele (Barbra Streisand among them). As the daughter of designer Detlev Rothe and model Jacqueline Ricaud, Vanessa Rothe was exposed to all forms of art. It’s no wonder she dances effortlessly between creative realms—as writer (she’s Fine Art Connoisseur’s West Coast editor), realist painter, gallerist and curator. Her latest show, The Jet Set Collection, debuts with a reception at her eponymous fine art gallery Dec. 15. It showcases several of her new works and some 40 pieces by international talents. Getting here hasn’t been easy—she’s studied hard, worked harder and lived throughout Europe: “I retraced van Gogh’s footsteps in Provence. I came face to face with the ‘Mona Lisa’ in Paris. I noted thick white paint on the nose of Rembrandt in Amsterdam and admired Bernini’s statues in Rome.” So, one might ask, what’s next? A trip back to “la Ville Lumière” in May (her 14th visit) with Laguna College of Art + Design’s Paris Seminar, an artist immersion program she helped organize: “Every time I go to Paris, I’m filled with inspiration.”


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