‘Camouflage House’ Pops Up at City Hall

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Mosaic glass sculpture brings myriad colors to Laguna Beach

Tom Fruin’s “Camouflage House” at City Hall is made of welded steel, salvaged signage, bits of plexiglass sourced throughout New York City, and other recycled materials. Photo by Allison Jarrell

Los Angeles-born sculptor and installation artist Tom Fruin recently returned home to the West Coast to take on his first temporary installation in Laguna Beach.

Nationally acclaimed for his iconic water tower in Brooklyn, Fruin’s most recent sculpture, titled “Camouflage House,” is an exploration of light that was created of welded steel, salvaged signage, bits of plexiglass sourced throughout New York City, and other found materials. The installation, which was unveiled Jan. 7, brings myriad colors to Laguna Beach City Hall and will be on exhibit for three months.

“Meant to be a source of refuge and safety while also offering no real protection, the ‘House’ tries to hide in plain sight on a busy thoroughfare in Laguna Beach, recalling both simple times of beach cottages and playtime in the sand,” Fruin said of his work. “The patchwork patterning is based on the concept of a quilt: gathering disparate materials to make a cohesive whole that contains the history and memory of the pieces from which it is composed, yet somehow telling a story that is all its own. One of sustainability and exuberance.”

Temporary public art installations like Fruin’s are a program of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission.

“We are excited to share Fruin’s ‘Camouflage House;’ a homage to his idea of home. Working with the Laguna Beach Arts Commission and the Cultural Arts Department to bring great work like Fruin’s to Laguna Beach is something that I am very excited about,” said Adam Schwerner, chair of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission. “The Arts Commission continues to bring art to the community that engages, questions and delights.”

Arts Commission vice-chair Pat Kollenda added, “Continuing the dialogue and engagement that artist Mark Jenkins started in the City of Laguna Beach, another high-caliber artist is gracing the front of City Hall with color and imagination. This piece can be viewed both during the day and at night for two different experiences. The Arts Commission is dedicated and working hard to bring an array of thought-provoking works to the community, and huge kudos to the City Council for their support.”

The art installation was funded by the city’s lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. For more information, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net or www.tomfruin.com.

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