Unmasking the Artist at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel: A Photo Exhibition by Artist Charley Akers

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What started as a simple creative endeavor for Asheville, NC-artist Charley Akers has turned into a tribute to Festival of Arts artists with a photography exhibition at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

Artist Charley Akers

What started as a simple creative endeavor for Asheville, NC-artist Charley Akers has turned into a tribute to Festival of Arts artists with a photography exhibition at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

For the third consecutive year, the exhibit features a selection of Aker’s photographs, complemented by a piece of art by the artist depicted in the portrait. Aker’s unique black and white portraits capture the essence of each artist, while also highlighting their craft. The exhibit includes portraits of southern California artists Ron Azevedo, Marlo Bartels, Paul Bond, Antje Campbell, Russell Jacques, Susan Jarecky, Christopher Jefferies, Murray Kruger, Tom Swimm, Hannah Harris and Rachel Young, each of whom have also been selected to showcase their art at the 2014 Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. The exhibit will be on display from May 8 to August 30, 2014.

Each portrait is captured with a style that often has Akers compared to his greatest influence, Yousuf Karsh. The iconic images of many of the greats, such as Hemingway, Churchill and Einstein, were captured by Karsh and are still held up as the purest representation of these individuals. Akers follows suit in his remarkable ability to disarm the subject and catch a singular moment of who the artist is at their core. Step two for Akers is the integration of artist and art through technology, illuminating the passion and craft of the creator. After a 35-year corporate photography career, Akers’ enthusiasm and drive have allowed him to launch into this new artistic style with the eye of an expert and the heart of an artist.

“In any product or resort shoot I am given every element. What to shoot, where to shoot, when to shoot and how to shoot,” said Akers. “With these portraits, I hold the creative control which allows me the freedom to get to know my subjects and bring the essence of who they are into the camera lens for the world to see.”

“In addition to his obvious talent, work ethic and originality, Charley has a contagious personality,” said internationally recognized painter and sculptor Russell Jacques. “It is one of the best photos ever taken of me.”

For more than 15 years, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel has been the official hotel partner of Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts. In addition to showcasing the incredible works of several of the festival artists, the resort makes the Pageant a first-class experience through packages that feature incredible seats and exclusive offerings. The Behind the Velvet Rope Experience features ocean view overnight accommodations on The Ritz-Carlton Club Level, two premium seat tickets to the Pageant, a guided docent tour of the Festival, a backstage tour of the Pageant for $1,475 per night. This behind-the-scenes experience is not offered at any other luxury resort. The Art Detective Experience includes overnight accommodations and two premium seat tickets to the Pageant with rates starting at $745 per night. Packages can be booked on-line at http://www.ritzcarlton.com/LagunaPageant.

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About Charley Akers
Akers has shot assignment photography for Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies in 22 states and seven countries with credits including hundreds of national and international ads, magazine covers, brochures, and annual reports. Working with CEO’s, celebrities, and professional sports figures his photography has appeared in major magazines, brochures and television around the world. Clients have included AT&T, Coca Cola USA, Hotel Del Coronado, Playboy Enterprises, Polaroid Corporation, University of Georgia, UPS, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, The Omni Grove Park Inn and more. Based on both coasts in Atlanta, GA, Laguna Niguel, CA, and Asheville, NC, Akers continues to enjoy his corporate projects along with his artistic endeavors.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel sits on a 150-foot bluff with panoramic white-water views of the Pacific Ocean and two-miles of sandy beach. The resort is a re-imagined surfside retreat that awakens guests’ senses with its unique ocean-front setting and remarkable service heritage. As the premiere destination for travelers who desire a playful approach to Southern California luxury, the resort has been the recipient of many awards over the years, but is proud to boast earning AAA Five Diamond status for the 29th year, the longest in California. For additional information or reservations at the resort call 800-241-3333, the hotel directly at 949-240-2000, a travel professional or visit the web site at http://www.ritzcarlton.com/LagunaNiguel.

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 85 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company website at http://www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc.

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