A larger than life size bronze sculpture of a woman by Laguna Beach artist Sukhdev Dail was selected for a public art commission for Main Beach by the city’s Arts Commission on Monday.
Dail’s proposal includes glass elements that will cast colorful pools of light around the installation site, midway between the new lifeguard headquarters at the beach’s north end and the historic lifeguard tower halfway along the boardwalk, said commissioner Ken Auster. The design still needs City Council approval.
Finalists for the $40,000 commission, which included Pat Downing and Ricardo Duffy, presented models and maquettes for a second time on Monday, after the commission did not favor their first efforts, Auster said. “All three have experience with public art and were able to fulfill the commission’s instructions the second time by creating new works and presentations,” he said.
Dail, a native of India who now lives in Laguna Beach, shows his work at the Ocean & Forest Gallery downtown. “I go to the beach enjoying the sunrise or sunset and became inspired by people enjoying the sand and the sea,” he said.
A picture of his wife waving a colorful scarf remained in his mind when he created “Sea Breeze,” the work selected by the commission that embodies a woman whose hair and scarf will take shape in colorful glass that suggests a sail. “She is a mythical spirit who emerges from the sea, happy and graceful,” he said. “It is something that people can relate to.”
The sculpture proposal was sought after another low-lying work envisioned for the front of the lifeguard headquarters was shelved.
“We have changed the location of the new sculpture as not to clutter the area of Terry Thornsley’s sculpture,” said Auster, referring to Thornsley’s relief sculpture “Grace,” which adorns a retaining wall near the terminus of a public path through Heisler Park and the headquarters building.