By Denny Freidenrich, Special to the Independent
As a young girl, Robin Hiers fondly remembers riding bikes with friends in her Top of the World neighborhood and watching her parents, John and Lee, help co-found the Sawdust Festival and Art-A-Fair. It was an exciting time for the young artist. The Hiers even had a booth at the Art-A-Fair when she was 8. The Daily Pilot dubbed her, “Laguna’s youngest art pro.”
“I knew from a very early age, I was destined to become an artist,” she says.
Hiers’ parents always had art galleries in town. One was The Pink Palette. It was located across the street from where Mozambique is today. Young Robin used to lay on the gallery floor and draw. She knew one day she would paint happy, bright paintings. For fun, she would invite her TOW friends and their parents to play “art gallery.”
They would tape their pictures on the wall. As Hiers says, “Everything was for sale.”
Five years ago, decades after attending San Diego State University, working at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles and moving to Colorado, artist Robin Hiers came full circle with her Laguna roots.
Hiers had made a name for herself painting in the Boulder area, but felt her career couldn’t advance any further unless she moved back to California. That, and she missed her family, the lifestyle and the beauty of the coast.
Today, Hiers’ work is a celebration of the Southern California lifestyle. Her paintings of tanned, bikini-clad young women make people happy. She got her first local gallery break after meeting Rober Holton. At the time, he was in the process of opening Drizzle. In return for showing her work, Hiers worked at the gallery a few days a week.
Over time, Hiers began painting scenes of The Deck, where beautiful people were having fun and taking selfies. “Lucky for me, John Nye said I could show my art there because he loved it. It has become a huge part of my success, to be seen there in that fun environment,” the artist notes.
“I want my pieces to remind people of happy times in their life. I grew up with a mom who painted, loved Champagne brunches, and bossa nova music. My dad was my biggest fan and saw my ‘brand’ potential even when I was little,” Hiers says.
“I paint fun memories because it’s what I know. I’m all about a slightly glamorous lifestyle, done with a retro twist. And don’t forget, the people in my paintings have a sassy smile to them. I have many ideas in my head. I am never not working. But then it really isn’t work when you love what you do, is it? It’s my passion,” Hiers reports.
These days, Hiers is represented by gallery owner Bridgette Shaw, of Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art. “Ours is a kismet relationship. Bridgette’s wonderful gallery is perfect for me. Can you believe it? I paint, laugh, and sell art right on the beach. Coming back to Laguna has become my American dream,” Hiers concluded.
Robin Hiers’ work can be seen at LGOCA, 611 S. Coast Highway. Call ahead to arrange an appointment at 949-940-6662.
Denny Freidenrich lives in Laguna and generally writes commentary.