Stand With the ‘Sunbathers’

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The City Council voted to dismantle “The Sunbathers” sculpture in Nita Carman Park–permanently. I am devastated, outraged and appalled.

I have lived in Laguna Beach since 1965 and have greatly appreciated our city’s many publicly displayed art works. Since its installation, though, I have particularly loved “The Sunbathers” sculpture, a wonderful piece of art. I always proudly showed “The Sunbathers” to visitors. I still point it out to my adult kids and make them look at it again when they return home to Laguna. I do this with my grandkids, too. This sculpture has been a joyful gift to me, bringing me pleasure just by being there

I preferred it in its original colors and location, further removed from the Wilson Street park edge, where sunbathers would certainly choose to bask, but I have still enjoyed it in white and in its present siting. Every time I drive or walk by, I look at it and smile. The piece, created by Leonard Glasser, has whimsy, charm, style, grace, and “fits” Laguna. It is one of my favorite pieces – if not my very favorite piece – of art in Laguna. I am proud to live in a town that supports such public art for all of us to enjoy.

I understand that the material of the work is failing. The artist who created the piece has offered to remake it in stainless steel. Surely, that would stand the challenges of weathering. I have read that some are objecting to this solution, claiming that the artist’s assessment of cost to do this is not accurate. Why not ask the artist to remake the piece in stainless for an appropriate, agreed-on set price?

Leonard Glasser is a very talented artist. I have seen a video showing many other pieces he has created. His outdoor work appears to be of non-corrosive metal. It definitely seems a medium appropriate for our sunbathing couple.

I urge the Laguna Beach City Council, and the Arts Commission to reverse their ruling about removing these “people.”  We, the public, want our “Sunbathers” to remain, enjoying their relaxation in this lovely little community park while we enjoy looking at them.

I urge you, the residents of Laguna Beach and visitors to our pretty city, to come and view this delightful art piece and then join in this effort to save it here in Laguna.

Lorna Shaw, Laguna Beach


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