Yes, Laguna Beach has an art museum. And yes, it is a very small museum in comparison to most. But, let me tell you, they’ve got some pretty big things going on right now.
There are three major artists showing: Adam Silverman, Richard Kraft, and Tanya Aguiniga. It’s basically an exploration of everything interactive and three-dimensional that appeals to your eyes, ears, and hands.
There were prints of Adam Silverman’s pottery on display, and they definitely show that the materials and forms of his pots reflect biological and astronomical associations. I found myself looking in to an eye and staring at a new planet.
Silverman experiments with materials and the way he fires his pots to get different surface characteristics and colors. He’ll use wood chips, driftwood, and seaweed among others to get these unique textures.
His pottery shows a highly developed sense of space.
Enter the downstairs room that housed Richard Kraft’s video installation that fully surrounds the viewer. At the time, I was the only one in the room and had all 10 screens to myself.
It was completely silent and a weird calming effect came over me. However, as I sat in the middle and glanced around at the screens, I got a strange sense of being rushed at moments. Some screens had very little movement while others had people or animals just scurrying all over the place.
It was strange to watch the motions without actually hearing the accompanying sounds. The videos were recorded in various locations in Los Angeles, New York, and India.
KRAFT & COLLAGE
Richard Kraft is not just tied down to video installation, but he works in a variety of other mediums as well.
The following works are collaged and photographed in such a way that the text and images create a disruptive narrative open to interpretation and the absurd. There is even a small section of the museum called The Young Artists Society Gallery that showcases the work from local middle school students.
This time around, the students studied collage and learned about how Kraft uses fun and imagination to fuse connections between unrelated objects. And I think they did an absolutely fantastic job!
SEA CHANGE: TANYA AGUINIGA’S BLUEBELT FOREST
We’ve been conditioned to keep our hands off the artwork at museums no matter how interesting the surface texture may be and regardless of if it is speaking in to our ears to reach out and have a quick pet. So, when I heard that the entire upper level had been transformed in to a forest of kelp, corals, and other sea natural forms that were up for the grabbing (literally), I was definitely excited.
It was wonderful being able to walk through an entrance that I had to pull back a seaweed-inspired drape and then still be able to touch the other textile creations. These organic elements seemed to be made from man-made materials such as rope, burlap, rubber, silk, plaster, and tulle. And, most elements seemed to come from the floor, so it definitely engaged the viewer as you had to bend down to get a closer look at certain elements.
It mimicked being an above-water scuba diver for a truly immersive encounter.