Eye on arts and entertainment
Next Thursday is First Thursday’s Art Walk, and this one will be
the first of the season that starts when it’s already dark outside. I
don’t know why I find it exciting, but something about the cool air
and dark skies seems to add to its festive nature.
COMMUNITY ART PROJECT SURVEY RESULTS
The results have been tallied from Community Art Project’s recent
survey that was given to get feedback from CAP members, contributing
artists, donors, business supporters, city officials and fund-raiser
attendees about CAP direction in choosing projects. There were 90
“We did it basically to give a voice to people who have
contributed to CAP,” said Mike Tauber, CAP board member. “Things like
how to spend their money, how the organization should be run --
supporting things that make CAP strong.”
The first question referred to what type of styles and media
people would like to see more of.
Figurative (human or animal) received 31 votes, abstract received
31 votes and representational got 26 votes. The second part of the
question regarding the type of art people wanted to see more of
included 43 votes for sculptures, 30 votes for murals, 23 for mosaic,
16 for glass, 13 for carving and 13 for assemblage.
Respondents commented that it was important to appeal to all
visitors and residents and that interactive, traveling and kinetic
work might be a good suggestion.
“The answers showed that it was important that because we have a
limited amount of space it would be best used by putting an artist’s
best work on display,” Tauber said. “It also showed that people want
fewer over-exposed subjects and painted murals. That they don’t want
to see the same artist and imagery -- that they kind of want one of
He also said results give notice to check out what art we already
have and also to look at pieces that satisfy the masses.
The second question asked who the public art should be done by.
“The majority, 43 voted for all artists,” Tauber said. “There had
been some discussions of having only local artists and that got a
vote of 32 people.”
Regional artists got a vote of 18, emerging artists got 17 and
international artists received four votes.
The biggest voice of opinion in regard to that question was that
the most important thing is to get the best artist doing their best
“The comments suggest that with all artists considered the
integrity of good art will benefit the city the most,” Tauber said.
The next question asked the voters to write in artists they would
like to see have public installations. The following artists were
listed: Ken Auster, Jacobus Baas, John Barber , Bruce Beasley, Jorge
Dubin, Mark De Suervo, Pam Deily, Larry Gill, Robert Graham, Steve
Harmon, Nick Hernandez, James Koch, Micay, Scott Moore, Fitz Maurice,
Tuan Nguyen, Debra Paswaters, Carolyn Reynolds, Tim Shockley, Stephen
De Stabler, Miriam Shelton, Pat Sparkuhl, Scott Schoener, Ralph
Tarzian, Mike Tauber, Michael Todd, Andy Wing, Buster Simpson,
Harrell Fletcher and deceased greats -- Picasso and Rodin.
One question asked if people would like CAP to commission
event/contemporary installation art. Forty-four voted yes and 23
“These would be only up for a month -- just installed for the
purpose of short term viewing,” Tauber said.
The next question asked if they would like a portion of funds
raised by CAP to be donated to the city for public art projects. 72
people voted yes and 16 voted no. Twenty eight voters said they would
like it to be for public murals, 22 voted for sculptural bench
competitions, 13 voted for summer banners, eight voted for art in
Council Chambers and two voted for city parks. Some of the comments
mentioned that they would like to see multimedia collaborations
(visual arts, dance, film), functional art such as fountains, tables
and chairs, an artist in residence, holiday palettes and interactive
Another question asked what kind of art events would be
interesting to attend.
Forty-nine voted for a tour of a personal collection, 38 for an
artist studio tour, 27 for a guided walking tour of public art, 25
for art appreciation lectures and 20 voted for guided museum tours.
Community Art Project members said they are looking forward to
working with these results for art in Laguna Beach.
GWINDINGWI GALLERY CHANGES LOCATION AND NAME
Members of the art walk since their opening on Glenneyre Street,
Gwindingwi gallery has moved its location to a much larger space at
1550 S. Coast Highway and has changed its name to Joseph Wise Fine
It’s hard to miss it -- showing predominantly in their front
window is the eye-catching sculpture “Kids at Play’ by Dominic
Benhura -- six kids playing, carved in a 7-foot-long stone.
“We’ve changed our name so it encompasses all kinds of art,”
co-owner Donnie Wise said. “Our mission is to feature a superb
collection of exquisite modern and contemporary fine art, featuring
both local and international artists.”
The gallery used to primarily feature original serpentine stone
sculptures from Zimbabwe -- now its added an impressive collection of
original paintings from world-renowned artists -- the walls are
ignited by beautiful vibrant paintings such as Tim Howe’s “Poppies
Howe from New Zealand is one of the permanent artists showing at
“He paints on site, goes to Europe -- Paris, Provence, Barcelona
and spends a couple years at a time on his work and brings them back
with him,” Wise said.
Artist Victor O’doi is from Guana and his work is very distinctive
as well, depicting market and street scenes from his culture.
The gallery will feature about four to five artists and some of
the work will be rotated in and out.
“Right now it’s more the sculptures and the paintings,” co-owner
J. Scott Crosby said. “The nice thing is that people come in to look
at the different artists and also notice the sculptures. It’s a soft
way of introducing them to the sculptures.”
Crosby said that with the sculptures there’s about a dozen or so
different artists at any one time. Last year the gallery held a
reception for master Shona artists Nicholas and Anderson Mukomberanwa
from Zimbabwe. It was an incredible experience hearing some of the
stories behind their work -- they had a magical presence.
Other well-known artists showing at the gallery are Michael Perez,
Ramon Castellanos and Agnes Nyanhongo.
Joseph Wise Gallery is at 1550 S. Coast Highway. Information:
* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.