Showing disrespect for artists

Coastline Pilot

"The Classic" by renowned artist Andrew Myers, which won a commission from the Arts Commission to commemorate Laguna Beach surfing at Brooks Street, caused a controversy recently because Myers' work featured an orange surfboard instead of bronze — to the dismay of the City Council.

The council is imposing a "compromise" to move the statue to another location and to have Myers redo the work in bronze.

Of course, the city has a right to determine what it wants to do with its property.

However, Myers needs to be paid his commission for his "time."

Myers under no circumstance should be "required" to change his art for the council's satisfaction. His art should be either returned to him or moved to another location acceptable to the council.

For a town that is supposedly serious about its art, it doesn't seem to be too serious about its artists. Myers is one of the great sculpture artists of Laguna Beach with a career that portends worldwide recognition. Moving the statue from Brooks Street defeats the whole purpose of the commission Myers won. Furthermore, requiring Myers to change his art in order to satisfy the "taste" of the council is a slap in the face not just to Myers, but to all artists. The council simply doesn't understand the nuances of art.

Laguna Beach needs to distinguish itself as a world class forum for serious art, otherwise be relegated to just another commercial entity that homogenizes art as simply another design commodity. It cannot have it both ways.

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