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Laguna art college to exhibit works by sports artist Dave Hobrecht as he joins its faculty

Laguna art college to exhibit works by sports artist Dave Hobrecht as he joins its faculty
Artist Dave Hobrecht regards this illustration of baseball legend Willie Mays as one of his most memorable. The artist sat next to Mays while Mays autographed the artwork. (Courtesy of Dave Hobrecht)

Lovers of art and sport may find common ground during the Laguna College of Art + Design’s upcoming showcase of original works by sports artist Dave Hobrecht.

Hobrecht, 47, is known for his black-and-white depictions of dramatic moments in sports. His portfolio includes illustrations commissioned by athletes such as boxer Floyd Mayweather and skateboarder Tony Hawk — all done in the artist’s two-tone, hyper-realistic style.

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Dave Hobrecht is known for his black-and-white, hyper-realistic depictions of dramatic moments in sports. His original works will be showcased Sept. 6-27 at the LCAD Gallery in Laguna Beach.
Dave Hobrecht is known for his black-and-white, hyper-realistic depictions of dramatic moments in sports. His original works will be showcased Sept. 6-27 at the LCAD Gallery in Laguna Beach. (Courtesy of Dave Hobrecht)

Using charcoal and pastels, Hobrecht has illustrated the last time the New York Mets won the World Series (1986), former Laker Kobe Bryant finishing an acrobatic layup and countless other portraits.

In 2015, Hobrecht was commissioned to live-paint the match between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, billed as the “Fight of the Century.” The artist was ringside, torn between sketching and watching the match.

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“I had a better seat than Donald Trump,” Hobrecht said with a laugh. “It was the weirdest thing … I was next to [Robert] De Niro and [Clint] Eastwood — all my favorite actors and musicians were there.”

More recently, Hobrecht was invited to paint onstage beside Ice Cube, Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg during Kings of the West, a music festival last December.

His exhibit for the Laguna College of Art + Design runs Sept. 6-27 at the LCAD Gallery on Ocean Avenue in Laguna Beach.

Artist Dave Hobrecht, right, stands next to his 12-by-4-foot piece depicting pivotal moments in the life and career of boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Artist Dave Hobrecht, right, stands next to his 12-by-4-foot piece depicting pivotal moments in the life and career of boxer Floyd Mayweather. (Courtesy of Dave Hobrecht)

Hobrecht’s path to illustration unfolded at the beginning of summer before ninth grade, when the Huntington Beach native was hit by a car and ended up with a cast that went up to his waist. He was left with little to do in his hospital bed, so he began illustrating, using baseball cards and sports magazines for reference.

Hobrecht has been living in Laguna Beach for seven years, where he continues his work.

Michael Savas, chairman of illustration at the college, said he was impressed by Hobrecht’s ability to marry his passion for illustrating with professional business savvy.

He’s been able to take his traditionally done illustrations ... and market his own work. Many fine artists today are getting really good at marketing.


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“So many students today are attracted to digital — this is the new paradigm. Every student wants to work digitally for a lot of reasons,” Savas said. “What I think younger students don’t realize is that there’s still a huge market in traditional illustration, and Dave’s work is special because he bridges that gap [between art] and marketing.”

Hobrecht not only sells print copies of his work but also versions on canvas totes, T-shirts and baby clothes through his website.

“He’s been able to take his traditionally done illustrations … and market his own work. Many fine artists today are getting really good at marketing,” Savas said.

One of Dave Hobrecht's newer pieces depicts the Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry playing against basketball greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
One of Dave Hobrecht's newer pieces depicts the Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry playing against basketball greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, LeBron James and Michael Jordan. (Courtesy of Dave Hobrecht)

Hobrecht will begin a new project Tuesday, when he starts as an LCAD faculty member teaching advanced perspective. He said he is excited at the opportunity to get into the “nitty gritty” of perspective.

“I don’t think students are really taught tool, they’re not taught basics, and at LCAD, they’re really into developing your core skills and not just rushing you into digital,” he said. “LCAD is cool because it teaches the fundamentals.”

Savas said Hobrecht’s exhibit is “a wonderful way to showcase our new faculty, who I think is going to have a great impact on our students.”

IF YOU GO

What: Dave Hobrecht exhibit

When: Reception, 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 6; exhibit, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays from Sept. 6 to 27 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

Where: LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach

Cost: Free

Information: lcad.edu/about/lcad-campus/lcad-gallery, (949) 376-6000, ext. 289

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