Laguna Art Museum’s 10th annual Art & Nature Festival will welcome thousands of guests from Nov. 3 to 6. PHOTO COURTESY OF LAGUNA ART MUSEUM
Through its 10th annual Art & Nature Festival and largest public program of the year, Laguna Art Museum (lagunaartmuseum.org) will celebrate the natural world, raise environmental awareness, and explore the connections between science and art.
“The Art & Nature Festival provides Laguna Art Museum with a special opportunity to support, celebrate and focus on the beauty of our coastal environment,” says Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum, of the 10th annual event. From Nov. 3 to 6, Laguna Beach will welcome thousands of participants who’ll interact with new indoor and outdoor art exhibits exploring nature. Says Lee, “We truly hope visitors leave with newly acquired knowledge and understanding of our natural environment and feel inspired to create positive change regarding our global relationship to our planet.” Here, Lee breaks down the highlights art lovers won’t want to miss—starting with the opening night party the museum is throwing to celebrate it all.
Rebeca Méndez transports viewers to the Pacific Ocean with feature exhibition The Sea Around Us PHOTO COURTESY OF LAGUNA ART MUSEUM AND PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Opening Party and Rebeca Méndez’s The Sea Around Us Feature Exhibition
“This year’s festival will be kicked off on Nov. 4 by a public opening celebration at the museum and the debut of Rebeca Méndez’s The Sea Around Us, a fully immersive 360-degree visual experience that pushes the limits of audiovisual capabilities to inspire courage to face environmental wrongdoing and strengthen the bond between sea and viewer,” says Lee of the returning artist’s newest project. Méndez transports viewers to an area of the Pacific Ocean 30 miles from the Laguna Beach coast and, using scientific footage, shift s the video to show oozing barrels of chemical compound DDT on the seafloor. Her exhibit will remain on display at the museum’s historic Steele Gallery through Feb. 5, 2023. Says Lee, “This marks the first year the festival actively encourages visitors to make change in the name of preserving our environment.”
Keynote Lecture From National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle
“The party will continue with appetizers, drinks, a live DJ and a keynote address by Dr. Sylvia Earle,” says Lee of the Nov. 4 opening festivities. “Dr. Earle is widely respected as an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and nonprofit organizations. She has led over 100 expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater in addition to authoring over 200 scientific, technical and popular publications.”
Kelly Berg’s Pyramidion exhibit reflects our changing landscape KELLY BERG PHOTO BY ALAN SHAFFER
Coast Film Festival Collaboration
Nov. 4 will also mark the debut of Laguna Art Museum’s exciting collaboration with Coast Film Festival through an exhibit celebrating the epic surf film Five Summer Stories. Says Lee, “Five Summer Stories and our accompanying exhibition highlights our innate connection and respect for nature.”
Kelly Berg’s Pyramidion Exhibit
Lee is proud to feature another commissioned artist, Kelly Berg, whose interactive outdoor sculpture installation—the museum’s first outdoor exhibition since 2020—runs Nov. 3 to 6. Beginning at the museum, viewers will journey to sites through adjacent parks and beaches, where they’ll encounter pyramids that reflect the way the landscape has changed due to weather, geology and climate change. Says Lee, “Kelly Berg’s Pyramidion invites contemplation of the unique and layered geological history of Laguna Beach and places the coast into perspective in terms of time, climate change and regeneration.”
Artist Méndez’s work encourages viewers to make change to preserve our environment. PHOTO COURTESY OF LAGUNA ART MUSEUM AND PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Robert Young’s The Big One
On display in the California Gallery starting Nov. 3, Robert Young’s The Big One presumably still holds the record as the largest painting ever created in Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach resident Young began his 9-by-15-foot painting in 1971 and continued working on it over the course of his life. “Robert Young’s The Big One expresses ocean life diversity and the need to protect the ocean as a habitat,” says Lee. “All of our featured exhibitions wonderfully tackle global issues from a hyperlocal perspective.”
“Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature Family Festival will be held outdoors for the first time,” says Lee of the interactive annual event happening Nov. 5. “Families of all ages can interact with and learn about nature with fun activities.” Let the celebrations begin!