11/7/19 — 11/10/19
Laguna Beach, California
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Art & Nature Festival brings art and the community together in celebration of our history and future.
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.
Yorgo Alexopoulos (born 1971) is the museum’s commissioned artist for Art & Nature 2019. An American-born artist of Greek descent, Alexopoulos graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently lives in Los Angeles. He creates paintings, time-based media artworks, and installations. He often synchronizes multiple monitors or projections in a dynamic ensemble to create an ever-changing, immersive spectacle. Using landscape symbolism as a point of departure, he combines Euclidean geometric shapes with a multiplicity of moving images, whether filmed, photographed, painted, or drawn, that unite representation and abstraction into a common aesthetic. At Laguna Art Museum his large-scale installation will feature a two channel video projection with sound in which landscape symbols become metaphoric “characters” in an animistic meta-narrative where reality and constructs of our collective subconscious seem to co-exist peacefully. The site-specific work will be on view inside the museum from November 7, 2019, through January 5, 2020.
On November 8, 2019, Alan Braddock, Ph.D. will give the keynote lecture, From Nature to Ecology: The Emergency of Ecocritical Art History. Braddock is the Ralph H. Wark Associate Professor of Art History and American Studies at the College of William & Mary. He has published, lectured, and taught courses about the history of American art and its ecological significance and has helped to initiate new curriculum in Critical Curatorial Studies and Built Environment Studies. His book Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment, accompanied a major traveling exhibition that was organized by the Princeton University Art Museum and traveled to the Peabody Essex Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.