I have lived in Laguna Beach since 1979. The first time I saw the “Sunbathers” statue it became a favorite. At one time, I lived near the area and saw it everyday. I still pass the area at least once a week. I never fail to enjoy its wonderful air as I pass by.
This little sculpture in Nita Carman Park is my favorite in all of Laguna. As you can imagine I was very upset to hear that it is going to be taken down. I fully understand the pressure weather and time plays on all of us, including outside art.
What bothers me is the fact that the city is going to give up on maintaining the piece. When we decide to select a piece of art for our village, don’t we also take on the responsibility to maintain and care for that piece? If the art warranted selection, then I believe it warrants upkeep. I would rather see our art maintained than a new piece selected in its place.
I understand the material selected at the time was not the best choice, and that stainless steel is expensive, but there is money for this piece. It can be saved; it’s just a decision of what is important.
The outdoor art of our village represents all of us. It stands for beauty, the culture of the people, and it represents time. To throw that out also throws out our history and the culture of our past.
When your child asked for a puppy, the first thing you tell them is that a puppy is a long-term responsibility and needs lots of care. Let’s not throw out our little “Sunbathers” of Laguna because we chose not to stand for our long-term responsibility of upkeep and care.
If you know this little gem, I urge you to stand with me and ask the Laguna Beach City Council, and the Arts Commission to review what I believe is a short sighted ruling on this lovely piece of art and do the right thing by saving the “Sunbathers.”
Jan Nichols, Laguna Beach
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