Recognized Artists Make New Moves
A grand opening of Shane Townley’s new gallery, Laguna Art, at 305 N. Coast Highway, is slated for Thursday, Sept. 6, from 6-9 p.m. with a group show of 20 artists plus 10 more “emerging artists” working outside the gallery, Townley said.
After a two-year stint in New York to launch his Gallery 104, Townley is returning to Laguna’s art scene with some exciting new ideas, including a proposal he’s made to his new landlord, Mo Honarkar, to develop the two vacant storefronts next to his gallery as artists’ studios. Townley said he envisions connecting those spaces to his gallery and offering booths that working artists could rent. Honarkar did not respond to a request for comment on the proposal.
Townley’s new gallery is named after his 8-year-old app, LagunaArt.com, which enables iPhone users to activate a live map to locate galleries, festivals and artists near them. The art-finding tool is also available for New York, San Diego and Beverly Hills.
Townley opened his first Orange County gallery in San Clemente in 2006 and founded the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art, which he later sold to a partner. Most recently he owned Townley Fine Art in Laguna Beach, which he closed in 2015.
Another familiar face in the Laguna art arena, Hugo Rivera, has moved his gallery, to a larger, street-facing suite at 550 S. Coast Highway—the same building where he opened his first Laguna gallery in 2012. A Laguna local, Rivera has participated in and has given classes at the Sawdust Festival, Art-A-Fair and the Festival of Arts. His gallery exhibits the work or more than two dozen artists.
Rivera grew up in Orange County and earned a civil engineering degree in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he began painting on his bedroom walls. Early in his career, he worked as a muralist but transitioned into figure painting. His first Laguna Beach show was at Townley Fine Art.
Newcomers Get Settled
A newly transplanted Florida native, Lindsay Rapp,has opened a gallery at 266 Forest Avenue to show her own work exclusively
“Although this is a bit unconventional, it is the perfect fit for me and my career. I am able to create in my studio and immediately show the world my work on the gallery walls. It is like a dream come true,” Rapp said.
The artist moved to Orange County after closing her Philadelphia gallery, when she became engaged to her University of Pennsylvania sweetheart. Rapp also attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She plans to participate in every Art Walk and has scheduled her first “big show” for Dec. 7.
Making her own dream of sharing authentic Mexican culture with others come true, Adriana Guzman has opened AG VisionGallery at 532 S. Coast Highway. Her store offers, sculpture, paintings, crafts and home décor all designed or made in Mexico. Featured are paintings by the coffee artist, Amaya, and hacienda furniture by Fausto Polanco, a Baja California craftsman. Guzman also owns an interior designer business and retail store in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Another new gallery dedicated solely to showcasing the artist/owner’s own work has opened in the former On Board clothing store, opposite the Hotel Laguna. Marlon Holden’s seascapes can now be seen through windows recently covered in brown paper.
His new gallery sits right next door to his mother’s gallery, Ruth Mayer Fine Art. In addition to seascapes, the Hawaiian-born Holden also photographs deserts, forests and mountains. He attributes much of his inspiration to his parents and the seven years he spent with them on an around-the-world sailboat journey.
“My inspiration for a shot comes from that time spent in the mountains or on the ocean bearing witness to her beauty,” Holden said.
Holden and his staff market his work to members of the American Society of Interior Decorators (ASID), among others. A special service allows designers to submit a photo of a client’s room and get a digital rendering of any of Holden’s works in that room, according to Will Scott, the company’s vice president of design.