LAGUNA BEACH, CA — Laguna Art Museum will present the fifth annual Art & Nature, a multidisciplinary exploration of art’s many and various engagements with the natural world, November 2-5, 2017.
Art & Nature includes a work of art specially commissioned for the event – Seascape – an installation off Main Beach by Mexico City-based artist Pablo Vargas Lugo; concurrent exhibitions inside the museum as part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles; a keynote lecture by renowned California historian William Deverell; and a free family festival exploring art and the natural world. In addition to events at the museum, Laguna Art Museum will partner with local galleries and other organizations hosting Art & Nature-related exhibitions, making it a community-wide event.
Art & Nature serves a number of purposes: to provide a festival of art and ideas for the community; to inspire artists; to find and develop connections between art and science; to raise awareness of environmental issues; and to celebrate Laguna Beach as a center for the appreciation of art and nature. The museum’s Executive Director, Malcolm Warner, explains why Laguna Art Museum is the ideal organization to conceive, develop, and present the popular program:
“The theme of Art & Nature speaks particularly to the identity of Laguna Beach, which for over a hundred years has been a center for art, the appreciation of nature, and environmental awareness. In 1929, when the Laguna Beach Art Association built an art gallery to show and sell their work, they chose a commanding location on the coastline close to the natural wonders they loved to paint. The present museum occupies the same site. There could be no more appropriate venue in which to explore the art-nature connection.”
Keynote Speaker: William Deverell, November 4
William Deverell is Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West and Professor of History at the University of Southern California. He writes on the history and culture of the 19th and 20th century American West. He received his A.B. in American Studies with honors and distinction from Stanford University and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. He has been a visiting fellow and professor at Yale University, Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Getty Research Institute.
Seascape: Main Beach, Laguna Beach, November 2 – December 2
For the fifth Art & Nature, Mexican artist Pablo Vargas Lugo has chosen to bring the intervention sponsored annually by Laguna Art Museum into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. This artwork will acknowledge the origins of Laguna Beach as a haven for plein air painters, and its character as a city whose imagination remains firmly set on the seas. During Art & Nature the ever-changing seascape and a familiar element of urban infrastructure and growth will come together, pinpointing a small section of the ocean as a seascape under observation and reminding viewers of the shifting conditions under which development and our future are taking form.
About Pablo Vargas Lugo — Pablo Vargas Lugo was born in Mexico City in 1968. He studied at the National School of Visual Arts in the National University of Mexico from 1988 to 1993. His work has been shown extensively in Mexico, South America, the United States, and Europe. Among his most important solo exhibitions are micromegas, at the Museo Amparo, Puebla and the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City; Intemperie at the Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City; Eclipses for Austin at the Blanton Museum of Art; Contemporary Projects at LACMA in Los Angeles; and Congo Bravo at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City.
Lugo’s work has been shown at the 26th Bienal de São Paulo and the 5th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and in institutions such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and MALBA in Buenos Aires. He lives and works in Mexico City.
Fall Exhibitions: Through January 14
California Mexicana: Missions to Murals, 1820-1930: Artistic and cultural exchange between California and Mexico has flourished since the time when California was part of the United States of Mexico. The exhibition highlights this vital aspect of the state’s history through a panorama of works by artists on both sides of the border, from scenes of mission and rancho life through images of romantic Old California, to the emergence of a cross-border modern art scene.
Dan McCleary: Prints from Oaxaca: This exhibition focuses on the prints the Los Angeles-based Dan McCleary has made at the Taller de Grabado in Oaxaca, Mexico, in collaboration with Mexican master printer Fernando Sandoval. It comprises mostly etchings and other forms of intaglio, along with related paintings and drawings. Some prints that the artist made on his most recent Oaxacan sojourn, in May-June 2017, will be shown for the first time.
California Mexicana: Missions to Murals, 1820-1930 and Dan McCleary: Prints from Oaxaca are part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is the latest collaborative effort from arts institutions across Southern California presenting thematically linked exhibitions and programs designed to celebrate the region’s vibrant cultural history.
Art & Nature Schedule of Events
• November 2: Local galleries open nature-inspired exhibitions during First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach.
• November 3: Pablo Vargas Lugo discusses his work, including the Art & Nature commission, Seascape.
• November 4: Curators Katherine Manthorne and Alberto Nulman Magidin, Seascape artist Pablo Vargas Lugo, and historian Steven Hackel discuss California Mexicana: Land Into Landscape, moderated by Malcolm Warner.
• November 4: California historian William Deverell gives the Art & Nature keynote lecture.
• November 5: The Art & Nature Family Festival offers free admission to the museum and art, nature, and science activities for visitors of all ages.
• Through December 2: Pablo Vargas Lugo’s Seascape is on view off Main Beach.
About Laguna Art Museum
Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. Its mission is to collect, care for, and exhibit works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles, and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field.
Laguna Art Museum stands just steps from the Pacific Ocean in the beautiful city of Laguna Beach. The museum is proud to continue the tradition of the Laguna Beach Art Association, founded in 1918 by the early California artists who had discovered the town and transformed it into a vibrant arts community. The gallery that the association built in 1929 is part of today’s Laguna Art Museum.
Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Cliff Drive.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
General admission: $7.00
Students, seniors (60+), and active military: $5.00
Children under 12: FREE
Museum members: FREE