After winning approval from the city’s Arts Commission two years ago, installation of a sculpted mural by Laguna Beach artist Randy Morgan titled “A Day in the Life” and also known as “The Waterman’s Wall” began this week on the Beach Street side of the Hobie Surf Shop.
A formal dedication is planned Thursday, Nov. 29 at 3:30 p.m.
The mural measuring 40 feet wide and 12 feet high pays tribute to watermen of all types, including surfers, skim boarders, stand up paddlers, swimmers and life guards.
The mural is classically representative, crafted in faux bronze material in a bas relief style. Though Morgan deems the sculpted mural a gift to the city, the project was underwritten without public funds. “It is not a city-sponsored work of public art; the only city involvement has been the approval process,” said city cultural arts manager Sian Poeschl.
The expansive canvas, the side of the Hobie store, was contributed by the shop’s co-owner Mark Christy. Pacific Edge Hotel also provided support, said Morgan, adding that the installation coincides with the 40th anniversary of what is known as the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, where he hopes to also install a similar work.
Longtime resident Clay Berryhill, an admirer of Morgan’s work, helped finance the project. “Randy is a gifted artist, and I wanted to get on the team to make this a reality,” said Berryhill, an amateur artist and son of a commercial artist.
“Watermen are part of our history that needs to be embraced. It was hard for me to envision the project at first but then I felt honored to help an artist realize his vision and give back to the community,” said Berryhill, declining to detail his contribution or the cost of the project.
Morgan said none of the multiple figures are intended to capture the likeness of specific watermen. The pelicans, though, he’s nicknamed John, Paul, George and Ringo.
More on the project: watermanswall.com. More on the artist: randymorgancollection.com