By Allison Jarrell | LB Indy
Wyland surprised residents and visitors to Laguna Beach this week as he began recreating his first ever whaling wall mural adjacent to his gallery. Wyland is known internationally for his 100 whaling walls that feature images of life-size whales and other sea life.
The artist posted a video to his Facebook page on Thursday announcing the new, but familiar, project. The original mural was painted onto the Hotel Laguna almost four decades ago, but it was then painted over by the previous hotel owner a few years later.
“Well, it was 38 years ago on my birthday, July 9, that we dedicated the first of my 100 whaling wall murals, right here in Laguna Beach,” Wyland said. “A few years later, they actually whitewashed it, and I was able to do a tile mural of the whaling wall. But right now, I have a chance to recreate it for the city of Laguna Beach, for all the people that love the whaling wall project, and I want to thank Mo, the owner of the Hotel Laguna, who’s developing an incredible restored hotel, for allowing me to recreate the original whaling wall on canvas. This is for our great community, and I’m really proud to present this.
“I wasn’t going to tell people, but I’m going to be working on it through like mid-August, and then we’re going to have an official dedication ceremony and invite the mayor of course, Bob Whalen, and all the city council, and everyone’s invited,” Wyland continued. “So if you’re driving by on PCH, beep your horn, say hello to me, or come into the Wyland galleries and check out my newest art, and lean over the wall. I’ll see you in Laguna Beach at the whaling wall.”
The new art was unveiled just days after plans for the Hotel Laguna were discussed by the City Council. On Tuesday night, Mo Honarkar’s Laguna Beach Co. received an agreement from the Council that outlines the review of six major development projects, including the renovation and reopening of Hotel Laguna.
By the end of July, Laguna Beach Co. plans to submit an application for the potential redevelopment of the Central Bluffs from Hotel Laguna to Legion Street. City staffers expect this project will include a public pathway that will connect Main Beach to Brown’s Park.
Laguna Beach Co. also plans to request a new conditional use permit and other approvals for the rehabilitation and reopening of Hotel Laguna by the end of this month. Honarkar is trying to get the hotel placed on National Register of Historic Places and wants to get the project certified as sustainable under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.