City Hall Art Sparks Dialog

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The most recent temporary art installation at Laguna Beach City Hall, created by urban street artist Mark Jenkins, consists of surreal still life sculptures that portray five characters in the age of global warming. Photo courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Social media has been abuzz this week over the most recent temporary art installation at Laguna Beach City Hall. The exhibition, created by the well-known American urban street artist Mark Jenkins and his creative partner Sandra Fernandez, consists of surreal, site-specific still life sculptures that portray five characters in the age of global warming.

Jenkins is an artist in residence in Laguna for three weeks. He has become one of the leaders of the street installation movement, which is based on surprising people with the unexpected in a familiar urban environment.

Comments online have ranged from calling the display “creepy,” “disturbing,” and “distracting to drivers,” to praising the Arts Commission for making a “bold statement about climate change.”

“Thought-provoking, and possibly controversial. That’s exactly how the space should be used,” one person commented.

The project is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. For more information, visit lagunabeachcity.net and xmarkjenkinsx.com, or contact Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl at [email protected]

 

 LAM Announces Commissioned Artist for Art & Nature

Yorgo Alexopoulos is the Laguna Art Museum’s commissioned artist for the seventh annual Art & Nature exhibit. His work will be on view inside the museum from Nov. 7 through Jan. 5, 2020. Image courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

Yorgo Alexopoulos is the Laguna Art Museum’s commissioned artist for the seventh annual Art & Nature exhibit. His site-specific work will be on view inside the museum from Nov. 7 through Jan. 5, 2020.

An American-born artist (1971) of Greek descent, Alexopoulos graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently lives in Los Angeles. He creates paintings, time-based media artworks, and installations. He often synchronizes multiple monitors or projections in a dynamic ensemble to create an ever-changing, immersive spectacle.

In addition to Alexopoulos’ installation, there will be a keynote lecture by Alan Braddock of the College of William & Mary; a film screening; a panel discussion; a program for educators; and a free family festival exploring art and the natural world. LAM will also partner with local galleries and other organizations hosting Art & Nature-related exhibitions, making it a community-wide event.

Braddock’s address is “From Nature to Ecology: The Emergency of Ecocritical Art History.” He is the Ralph H. Wark associate professor of art history at the American Studies at the College of William & Mary. His book, “Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment,” accompanied a major traveling exhibition that was organized by the Princeton University Art Museum.

“The theme of Art & Nature speaks particularly to the identity of Laguna Beach, which for over a hundred years has been a center for art, the appreciation of nature, and environmental awareness,” Malcolm Warner, LAM’s executive director, said in a statement.

 Soka Presents Sergio Mendes, Bossa Nova

Tickets are now on sale for the Saturday, Sept. 14, concert, “Sergio Mendes: The 60th Anniversary of Bossa Nova” at the Soka Performing Arts Center. The composer and triple Grammy Award-winner will celebrate the distinctive jazz-meets-samba fusion called bossa nova, which began in the clubs of Rio in the late 50s. Mendes’ best-known Brasil ‘66 enjoyed global stardom and performed “The Look of Love” at the 1968 Oscars.

Mendes won his first Grammy award in 1992 in the category of Best World Music for his album, Brasileiro. Since then, he has been honored with two Latin Grammy Awards in 2006 and 2010. In 2011, he released his 39th album, Celebration: A Musical Journey, which represented his 50 years as a recording artist.

Tickets for the show, which begins at 8 p.m., are $50-$85 with discounts for seniors, students

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