Since her canvas was a pizza box, when Laguna Beach artist and Sawdust exhibitor Lisa Mansour was commissioned by Slice Pizza and Beer to create something that captured the essence of the Laguna Beach community in the simplest form, the Main Beach lifeguard tower was her obvious choice.
“It is beloved and iconic,” said Mansour of the mother-daughter collaboration: she created the art on the face of the box, a black ink drawing using a Japanese art technique called Notan; the quote on the inside flap—“Without red flag days, there would be no waves of change.”—was written by her daughter, Chloe, 25, who is the model for the figure gazing at the horizon with the lifeguard tower.
“I painted my design using a beautiful calligraphy brush and ink set that my daughter, Isabel, brought back from a study abroad trip to Shanghai in 2019,” said Mansour, whose work is shown at Quorum Gallery in North Laguna. “Chloe used my art as a starting point and wanted to capture this moment in time.”
This is the third pizza box commissioned by Slice Pizza and Beer owners Suzanne and Cary Redfearn, who wanted to celebrate community by commissioning positive, uplifting images created by local artists to adorn their boxes. “So far, all three artists have nailed it. In addition to creating the art for the face of the box, the artists choose a quote for the inside lip … (Chloe) wrote a quote that not only speaks to the artwork, but also to the times. We are fortunate to live in a place with so much talent and it is so much fun to see our boxes all over town with such inspiring images.”
Chloe Mansour, who lives and works in Boston, said: “…These past six months have certainly tested our limits in unprecedented ways. In surf terms, it’s safe to say this year has been full of red flag days. But despite such devastating circumstances, I have been so impressed by the way people have chosen to fight for what is right. Whether wearing a mask or calling for anti-racist resources in our communities, there has been an overwhelming dedication to positive change. Change that may not have been possible had it not been for those red flag days.”
The inaugural box, designed by local painter and screen printer Cynthia Fletcher, is an image of two clasped hands representing kindness and unity. The quote on the inside lip of the box, from Mother Teresa, reads: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
The second box was designed by ceramicist Sharon Hardy, whose image was based on her experience waking up to the golden hills of Laguna and the soaring hawks. The quote on her box from Langston Hughes reads: “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird.”