Laguna College of Art and Design this week welcomed a trio of heroic-scale figurative sculptures, which were installed along Laguna Canyon Road at the main campus last week.
The “Canyon Walkers” figures designed by a faculty sculptor and created by students replace three, two-times life-size female busts that have marked the college’s main campus for nearly 10 years. Cast in plaster and intended to last five years, the carvings underwent numerous repairs, but degraded due to exposure to the elements.
The new bronze sculptures are titled, “The Art Student,” “Hiker and Companion,” and “Traveler,” were all conceived and designed by Brittany Ryan. She leads the college sculpture faculty and is an alumna who earned drawing and painting degrees in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
Ryan led a team of student sculptors, who include Elizabeth Alvarez, Maxwell Gerber, Charlie Goering and Atiyeh Hess. They studied in disciplines ranging from animation to game art.
“ ‘Canyon Walkers’ will complement and capture the free-thinking, artistic spirit of Laguna Canyon,” President Jonathan Burke said in a statement. “Each figure tells a story of Laguna Canyon archetypes whose stories in this unique environment will live on for future generations.”
Burke first discussed the replacement sculptures with Ryan two years ago. The works will be the first large-scale public art installation for Ryan, who has exhibited four years at Festival of Arts. Last year, Ryan also received a commission to create a sculpture of LCAD co-founder, Nellie Gail Moulton. The work was presented at the college’s annual fundraising gala.