Laguna Beach artist Ron Taybi is donating his latest work, “Gracious – Beacon of Peace” to the seaside city of Sochi, Russia, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics in February.
The ballerina statue, 22-feet tall and weighing 4 tons, is being given as a symbol of peace, gratitude and friendship because Taybi believes that nations should be exchanging art not arms. “Gracious,” which will be shipped by air, will serve as a marquee at Winter Theater, a performing arts venue built by Joseph Stalin, the artist’s spokesman said in a statement. Each time an athlete wins a medal, the ballerina will light up the colors of his/her country’s flag.
The public is invited to the unveiling, which will include a Russian ballet performance, planned for Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. at Taybi’s studio, Rami Design, 24 Hammond Suite E, Irvine.