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Gallery Owner Dana Yarger and Dana Point Times Columnist Anthony Small

This One’s For You

You’ve heard Bernie Taupin’s art via his beautiful lyrics on Elton John’s monumental hits, including “Your Song,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Rocket Man,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “Crocodile Rock.” Now, you can see and even own those iconic lyrics, as interpreted by the man who wrote them. In the spirit of music creativity, Gallery Dana Bay at 24682 Del Prado Avenue is currently featuring 12 new Bernie Taupin artworks in a series entitled Reflections. This is the first time these works have been seen in public.

Taupin has been a lifelong visual artist and storyteller and told Interview magazine in 2015, “Music and art is an inevitable collision. I personally gravitated from one to the other, because I desired to create on a different topical level, and simply because visceral visual arts exert an almost narcotic drive in me.”

In the collection’s press release, Taupin asked himself, “How do I feel about our biggest hits? How would I translate them visually? I spend most of my free time creating visual art now, so I decided to create a body of work in honor of my other body of work, just this once. These specially crafted works of art are my best effort, and I am so pleased to share these with you.”

Dana Yarger owns the new Gallery Dana Bay and the adjacent Best Friends Gallery (since 2013) with his wife, award-winning artist and New York Times best-selling children’s book author and illustrator Laura Seely.  Yarger is the Curator-Manager for Bernie Taupin Art and has been in the art industry for more than 40 years as a gallerist, collector, curator, agent, publisher, and even as a noted trainer in the psychology of the art acquisition process. Many may recall Yarger as the U.S. Ambassador of the remarkable Elephant Parade outdoor art exhibit that roamed through Dana Point in 2013 in support of the endangered Asian elephant, raising more than $220,000 for the cause. Many of the pieces can still be seen in Dana Point, including at Fire Station 30 at Stonehill and Niguel Road, at the corner of Niguel Road and PCH and along Del Prado. Yarger was also instrumental in the bovine-themed outdoor art exhibit Cowabunga in 2016 and said, “Art in the street brings curiosity and gives us a chance to inspire.”

In addition to representing national and international artworks, Gallery Dana Bay will debut an energetic exhibition program for local art and artists, as well as hosting curator and conceptually themed productions and even non-art events. Last Friday before the Dana Point Symphony, the gallery hosted a reception, with Symphony co-founder Scott Schoeffel doing a short presentation about the history behind the music of the “Beethoven’s Firsts” themed evening. That synergy, that pulling in the same direction was wonderful to see and is a great indicator of what we can have in Dana Point as a true arts and music town.

“We are here for the community to use this space, because we need a kickoff point. There’s not enough of that here right now, so hopefully we can be a spark,” Yarger said.

The vision for Gallery Dana Bay is to be a must see/must attend destination, and it is off to an impressive start.

Vegas Comedy Queen Performing at DHHS

Las Vegas comedy queen Rita Rudner is doing a benefit show for South Orange County School of the Arts on Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Porthole Theatre at Dana Hills High School. Opening the show will be “92629” featuring SOCSA students Molly Bergman and Peyton Goss. This event will sell out. Tickets are $35 and are available at


Legendary Musician and Surfer Passes Away

Randy Nauert, a surfer and musical pioneer who played in one of the first surf bands, “The Challengers” (originally known as “The Bel-Airs”), passed away this week. In January 1963, the band released “Surfbeat” on Vault Records, and it became a massive hit and helped put the surf rock genre on the map. Nauert took the stage with Chuck Berry and most recently joined his friends at Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center (SHACC) in a “talk story” session at the annual Ohana Festival.

Anthony Small is Chairman of the Dana Point Arts and Culture Commission, frontman for local rock band Small World and a solo singer-songwriter. Small and his family have lived in Dana Point for 22 years.

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