CAP gets feedback on projects

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.


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

voted no.

“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

among others.

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.


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

Art Gallery.

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

the gallery.

“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