Seven miles down the coast from Newport is the well-known Laguna Beach. Known for its magnificent beaches and delicious restaurants, the truest beauty of Laguna is its art. Galleries, festivals, and even a hotel are dedicated to the arts all over town.
If a visitor does not want to search for the art in the city, they can view pieces easily at the Laguna Art Museum. The museum was founded in 1918 by local artists where they could show their work to one another. It wasn’t until 1972 that the gallery was given the name, Laguna Beach Art Museum.
The museum showcases special exhibitions as well as a variety of events, including concerts and family days. Unlike every other art museum in the state, the Laguna Beach Art Museum only showcases California art. The works range from the nineteenth century to present day, and they are crafted with a variety of mediums.
As of right now, the museum has three current exhibitions: Helen Lundeberg: A Retrospective, Frederick Hammersley: Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, and City Life, Los Angeles: 1930s to 1950s. Showing until May 30, the Helen Lundeberg exhibit presents the artwork of painter Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999). Featuring 60 to 70 paintings, the collection shows the evolution of her art, beginning in 1930. After 20 years of working with art, Lundeberg decided to move onto a larger scale of style utilizing flat and broad areas of color.
Another exposition is the Frederick Hammersley exhibit. Offering 38 drawings and prints of the abstract painter, the masterpieces range from casual studies of life to composed abstractions.
The last current exhibit at the museum is the City Life: Los Angeles. This display offers the celebration of development of the modern Los Angeles. The exhibit focuses on the urban style of the city.
In June, the museum is having two new exhibits: Peter Krasnow: Maverick Modernist and Anthony Friedkin: The Wave Portfolio. Both exhibits can be found the upper level of the gallery from June 26 to Sept. 26.
Peter Krasnow: Maverick Modernist shows over 70 portraits and sculptures created in his life of 93 years. In the 1930s and ’40s, Krasnow created his “Demountables,” a series of hand crafted wooden sculptures. During the political era of the ’40s, Krasnow created abstract paintings blanketed with bright colors to contrast the dark times.
The museum is also introducing Anthony Friedkin to the public. The art shows the waves of Zuma, Venice, Hermosa, La Jolla, Carmel, and Santa Monica Beaches between the years of 1977 and 2006. In his “Wave Portfolio”, Friedkin captures the beauty and power of the waves through black and white coloring.
Looking around Laguna, a viewer can find all sorts of incredible art; whether it is on the side of the road or underneath them. Take “Another Day In Paradise,” for example. Created in 2007 by Valerie Gorrell and Helma Bovenizer, it was inspired by happiness and created to bring joy into an individual’s life. The bench is located directly in front of the Laguna Beach Public Library. Another is the “Mozambique Public Art Piece,” completed by Mia Tavonatti in 2005. Designed for the early Portuguese explorers, each tile of the mosaic is placed to create the larger image.
Every year, there are tons of festivals all around Laguna to showcase artists from all over the world. The Sawdust Art Festival, beginning on June 24, has over 200 Laguna artists attending to present their work. Some art is not even on paper; some are jewelry, ceramics, and glass.
Art-A-Fair is another festival that is known around the world. Featuring 125 international and local artists, each one has a different style of art. For example, Miguel Borbolla, an artist who has gifted the United States with a new form of art, Repujado. Meaning, “to give depth to,” Repujado is individually crafted by hammering to create art out of various metals.
If one ever wants to stay in Laguna and loves art, they should definitely check into the Art Hotel. Only a mile away from the heart of Laguna and across the street from Crescent Bay, a visitor can explore around the town or enjoy the art within the hotel.
The next time one goes to Laguna, go an adventure to see all the amazing pieces the city has to offer. Most visitors just to go the beach or get lunch with friends, but do not look within the town’s beauty itself. There is so much history to each piece of art everywhere in the town that is truly magical.