By Carly Layne

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The Artist Movement of Laguna Beach

One remarkable things about Laguna Beach is the amount of art that’s produced here. With the festival season coming up this summer, we’re reminded that Laguna Beach really is a mecca for art. Many people who visit our community have the opportunity to experience some of it while they’re here.

Artists moved to Laguna Beach in the early 1900’s and, by the time the population reached 300, half of the people living in Laguna Beach were artists.

18 years later the Laguna Art Museum was opened up in 1918 and it was one of the first museums in the state. Following the Art Museum, The White House Restaurant was established in 1918 and the Laguna Playhouse started in 1920.

Similar buzzes were also going on in France. It was the Modernist movement. We were in the wake of that movement and California Impressionism also  came out of that.  Impressionism, originated in France, is characterized by “small, thin, yet visual brush strokes, open composition and an emphasis on accurate depiction of light in it’s changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time.”

The California Plein Air Painting is described by artists who worked out of doors. Art, through the late 19th and early 20th centuries reflected wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western Society.  Modernism was indeed influenced by modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities and populations.  It was followed unfortunately by the horror that would eventually be WWI.

Modernism rejected enlightenment.  It attempted to stray away from the reflection or “mimetic” depiction of things.  Rather than making everything a photograph, modernism took more liberties stylistically.  This was a great time to be an artist because it was a movement.

I would encourage our folks to read up on exhibits by local artists because you sometimes get even more from the exhibit if you read about it.  “Local Arts” has a calendar and a guide for events that are showing.  The Art Walk is another wonderful event for local artists.  Don’t miss this and don’t miss out on finding out the about the artists’ influences.

Artists are a movement and it’s always amazing to discover what you can see!



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