Selected for his excellent leadership and impressive work in fine art, Laguna College of Art and Design senior Christopher Ybarra, 21, was the first exchange student selected and sponsored by the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association.
Ybarra spent 10 days in San Jose del Cabo, where he met the mayor, learned of the active art scene in Laguna’s sister city, and visited 18 galleries including the Fraçois Paris’ O Gallery where his art was featured during the city’s weekly Thursday Art Walk on Jan. 9.
The exchange was made possible by a community assistance grant specifically designed for the art exchange. To complete the student exchange, LBSCA plans to host a return visit from a young San José del Cabo artist this summer.
“San José del Cabo is like the Mexican version of Laguna,” said Ybarra, who does not speak Spanish. “Different plants and architecture, but a very active art walk, a distinct downtown area with a church in the middle of it and lots of galleries and restaurants.”
Ybarra also received art lessons during his stay. “I painted, sometimes until 3 a.m.,” he added. Some of his work will be presented at an upcoming City Council meeting.