Art 'comes to life' in new show

Laguna Beach artist Roark Gourley pointed his iPad at a photograph that depicted a group of modern dancers. Then, the still image on the wall — as seen through his tablet's screen — stirred to life in an eruption of moving images of the dancers in action.

Gourley, together with photographer and filmmaker Robert Celecia and dancer Michelle Lance, are about to give the artsy term "tableaux vivants" a whole new meaning with a joint exhibit called "Moment in Time," which opens at the [seven-degrees] gallery in Laguna Beach on July 5.

The two French words for "living pictures" are much bandied about in Laguna Beach during its summertime Pageant of the Masters season, and Gourley has discovered a way to turn the experience of viewing a flat art image into a multimedia one that's powered by Aurasma, an app for smartphones that provides a platform for augmented reality.

"Augmented reality is like taking the real world and adding to it," Gourley explained. "So this is the first gallery show using augmented reality as just pure art medium."

In the case of the dancers, the still photograph was taken from a video in which dancers were filmed. After downloading the Aurasma app on an iPad, iPhone or Android phone, the viewer trains the lens on the still photo, which then triggers a sequence of moving pictures.

This new art viewing platform, which Gourley is working with Apple and Google to develop into a product called Roark Studios App, should soon be available on the market.

At "Moment in Time" — which coincides with next month's First Thursdays Art Walk — iPads and iPhones will be available for visitors to borrow in order to view the exhibit. Visitors can also follow a simple set of instructions for downloading the Aurasma Lite app on their smartphones or iPads.

Lance, Gourley's wife, said of the new art form: "It comes to life and you don't have to sit in a theater now to view a short work [film] by an artist, and that's why I love it."

The show also includes combinations of still shots from Gourley's film "Liquescent," which was shot underwater and premiered at the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts' Art Star Awards in April. A special screening of the film will also take place during the show's opening.

Twitter: @ImranVittachi

If You Go:

What: Opening reception for "A Moment in Time" art exhibit of works by Roark Gourley, Robert Celecia and Michelle Lance.

When: 6 to 9 p.m. July 5

Where: [seven-degrees] gallery, 891 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Show hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays through Aug. 31.

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