City Installs Two New Public Arts Works

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New Bench Embossed With a Special Meaning

Norman Powell, right, tries out the bench he funded in Crescent Bay Park at the dedication with Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman.
Norman Powell, right, tries out the bench he funded in Crescent Bay Park at the dedication with Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman.

A new artist designed bench was installed at Crescent Bay Point Park Wednesday, July 6, by Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman and members of the city’s Arts Commission.

The installation was funded by local resident Norman Powell, who in the early 1970’s had worked on the city’s open space committee that zoned the area as a potential site for a public park. At the unveiling, Powell described the park as “the best place on the planet.”

Through the Arts Commission’s public art contest, artists Rude Calderon and Roberto Delgado were selected to create the bench. Calderon is known for his stone carvings and Delgado for his hand-painted tile and silk-screening techniques. The two artists collaborated, creating the travertine and tile bench titled “The Love that Binds.”

The inspiration for the work was Powell’s desire to celebrate the 50 years of love he shared with his late wife, Armena, who died in 2013. An avid practitioner of ballet, yoga and tennis and an art lover like her husband, she was born in 1936 in Connecticut of Armenian parents, he said.

“We spent a lot of time on the beach together, and that made the park a sentimental place for me,” said Powell, who played no role in selecting the artists, only the location of the benches. “I am a lover of public art, and Laguna has done very well with its share of public art,” said Powell, adding that he makes it a point to tour out of town guests through Laguna’s public art sites.

 

“Bulkhead” Ties Up at Bus Depot

From left, Mayor Steve Dicterow with the artist’s widow, Kay Pastorius-Waller, and Art Commission member Pat Kollenda.
From left, Mayor Steve Dicterow with the artist’s widow, Kay Pastorius-Waller, and Art Commission member Pat Kollenda.

The cherry red sculpture “Bulkhead” by Hal Pastorius, on loan from the Festival of Arts permanent collection, now brightens the downtown bus depot on Broadway Street.

Mayor Steve Dicterow and members of the city’s Arts Commission dedicated the newly installed temporary sculpture Thursday, July 7.

In attendance at the dedication was the artist’s wife, Kay Waller, who is visiting from her new home in New Zealand. Pastorius spoke about her late husband and his body of work. Dicterow noted that the longtime Laguna Beach resident created monumental sculpture located throughout Orange County.

Pastorius served as the first president of the Sawdust Art Festival.

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