Art & Nature

Art & Nature

Art & Nature Festival brings art and the community together in celebration of our history and future.

Creative Science

Art & Nature

The event 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 theme of Art & Nature speaks particularly to the identity of Laguna Beach, which for over a hundred years has fostered art, the love of nature, and environmental awareness.

In 1929, when the Laguna Beach Art Association built a 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.

11th Annual Art & Nature: Rising Inversion

Begins November 2, 2023

At the heart of Art & Nature 2023 stands Cristopher Cichocki, the visionary artist whose outdoor installation Rising Inversion will debut at Laguna’s Main Beach November 2-5. Rising Inversion harnesses oceanic and planetary elements engaging in direct dialogue with the surrounding natural landscape of Laguna Beach. From dawn to dusk, this transformative installation morphs from a sprawling arc of sand and barnacles into a luminescent orb rising over the Pacific shoreline. This synergy encircled within the elements of water and light will illuminate throughout the night in a phosphorescent glow powered from the residual energy of the sun.

About The Artist: Cristopher Cichocki

Multidisciplinary artist Cristopher Cichocki encapsulates the cycle of decay and renewal through examining relationships between humankind, the natural world, and industrial mutation. The scope of Cichocki’s self-defined New Earth Art underlines the increasingly toxic global environment confronting our planet in the new millennium. Within his site-responsive practice, Cichocki generates new ecosystems configured between organic and synthetic materials and sounds. His aesthetic invokes opposites; the desert is submerged underwater, while macrocosms enter the view of a microscopic lens. All of these elements culminate into Circular Dimensions – Cichocki’s ever-evolving series of audiovisual performances showcased within the framework of live performances and multi-sensory installation environments.

Cichocki attended CalArts and Yale Norfolk School of the Art. Hailing from the Coachella Valley, he has explored the depths of the California desert over the past three decades, while generating exhibitions and performances throughout North America, South America, Asia, and Europe that include the Museum of Image & Sound (São Paulo), Biennale Urbana (Venice), Casa França Brasil (Rio de Janeiro), Platforme (Paris), Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego), Museum of Moving Image (New York), Coachella Music and Arts Festival (Indio). His work is held in many permanent and private collections including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum, and Lancaster Museum of Art. In 2014 Cichocki founded the curatorial platform Epicenter Projects that has recently partnered with the Paris-based Fondation LAccolade – Institut de France to create THE ELEMENTAL, a contemporary center for the arts located in Palm Springs focused on building intersections of art, science, and environment.

Featured EXHIBITION: Breaking the Rules: Paul Wonner and Theophilus Brown

Although today Wonner and Brown are thought of as California artists, neither was a native of the state. Wonner was born in Tucson, Arizona, and came to the San Francisco Bay Area to study at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1941. After serving in the U.S. Army in Texas, he spent time in New York working as a graphic designer while continuing his training at The Art Students League and Subjects of the Artist School. Brown, who hailed from Moline, Illinois, graduated with a degree in music from Yale in 1941. After serving in the army, he studied art in New York and Paris. The pair met at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1952 while earning their master’s degrees in art. They fell in love and stayed together for nearly 56 years.

Both Wonner and Brown were important contributors to the development of Bay Area Figuration, a rebellion against the widespread pursuit of Abstract Expressionism. Over time, both artists’ works became less gestural and more overtly representational and, in Wonner’s case, increasingly detailed and precise. Brown became best known for his psychologically evocative landscapes with classic bathers, as well as for his lonely urban scenes. Wonner also painted figures but received greatest acclaim for his “baroque” still lifes laden with everyday objects, animals, and flowers.

Art & Nature
Art & Nature

Featured EXHIBITION: Marking an Era: Celebrating Self Help Graphics & Art at 50

Founded in a garage in East Los Angeles by Sister Karen Boccalero, a Franciscan nun, working alongside artists and other collaborators, Self Help Graphics & Art has remained consistently focused over the past 50 years on printmaking, offering workshops based on the idea of teaching anyone to learn and inviting people to come and make art.

Today, Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG), is dedicated to nurturing the creation and advancement of new artworks by Chicana/o/x and Latinx artists, specializing in experimental and innovative printmaking techniques and various other visual art forms.

In celebration of the Self Help Graphics & Art momentous 50th anniversary, Laguna Art Museum presents the largest selection of works by SHG artists from the museum’s collection to date. Curated by Curatorial Fellow and Guest Curator Rochelle Steiner, Marking an Era: Celebrating Self Help Graphics & Art at 50 offers a contemporary look at the earliest works and themes that have initiated countless discussions and collaborations at the heart of Chicana/o/x art making in the region and beyond.

Family Festival

The Art & Nature Family Festival is an event for all ages. Laguna Art Museum partners with local organizations whose missions focus on art, climate, science, animal welfare, and environmental education to present fun and enriching hands-on activities and educational stations throughout the museum.

Art & Nature

For more details on the Opening Week Schedule, click here.

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