What to My Wondering Eyes
A new mural is about to go up at Laguna College of Art and Design. This new one will be an addition to one already on campus. Unlike the first mural, the second mural is viewable by the public and needs Art Commission approval, which was given this past July 24. What? This may be a bad time to mention it, but I’ve seen the first mural and I’m part of the public. Oops. “College people you are surrounded, lay down your palettes, back away from the first mural and put your brushes in the air. You are under arrest. The Art Commission will convene a grand jury of your peers to access whether you will continue to do still lives or be sentenced to do a still life of being contractors instead.”
This issue of art being seen in public or art being seen in private is a sticky one that never seems to drive by. Recently, brouhaha erupted over a mural called “Wonder.” The conventional story is a public contest was held to pick one favorite word that described Laguna Beach. “Wonder” won. Second place was “Traffic.” Third place was “Entrance.” However, a little investigative reporting on my part discovered the real story. The owner of the mural building was overhead saying, “What the ####. I wonder who desecrated my building? When I get my hands on them I’ll kick the #### out of them.”
Whew. There must be a better way to handle murals. I got the answer. Laguna will letter rate them, E, K or C. Homeowners love the historic registry. That’s a program that everybody embraces. The “E’s” will be judged to have superior value and building owners who have permitted mural work will win a year’s worth of free Laguna Theater movie tickets. The “K’s” will receive a year’s worth of free alfresco parklet dinners on Forest. The “C’s” will be awarded an annual pass to make as much noise as they want in the “Quiet Zone” around Mozambique.
I predict this simple rewards program will motivate Lagunans to run out and buy spray cans of paint. Remember to buy local. Dollars that stay in Laguna help Laguna. And a portion of tax dollars generated by buying spray paint will go to support the clean up of resident murals that had good intentions, but missed the community spirit mark. To keep clean up costs down, there should be subject matters excluded from the get go. For instance, there will be no pictures of the village entrance, no renderings of public parking lots, no displays of trees blocking ocean views, no pictures of skateboard parks and marijuana dispensaries.
With the rules established, let the Laguna Festival of Murals begin. Paint pictures on your house walls, paint pictures on your neighbor walls, and remember to keep murals 500 feet from schools and churches because spray cans of paint fumes are considered a controlled substance not to be ingested by young future mural painters.
Good luck muralists. May the best artists win.
Crantz tells the Indy that he will not participate in the Festival of Murals. He will pick the winners. Entrants who wonder how to get around the rules should make donations to Crantz’ favorite charity…himself.