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City News

Virtual Dedication of the Public Art in Heisler Park

The Arts Commission held a Public Art Virtual Dedication and Q&A session with artist Chakaia Booker on Friday, October 16, 2020, in recognition of the latest temporary art installation at Heisler Park.

CLICK HERE to view the video dedication


The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission has installed one of its most ambitious temporary art projects to date. Nationally acclaimed sculptor Chakaia Booker, with the assistance of Laguna Beach artist Gerard Stripling, has installed her sculpture series in Heisler Park. The works, entitled “Gridlock”, “What’s Not” and “Pass the Buck”, have travelled from their temporary display at the Navy Pier in Chicago and will be on exhibit in Laguna Beach through June 2021.

Arts Commissioner, Donna Ballard said, “The City of Laguna Beach’s Cultural Arts Department and the Arts Commission have been working for the past two years to bring this temporary art installation by internationally renowned American sculptor Chakaia Booker to Heisler Park. It’s not to be missed.”

Booker fuses ecological concerns with explorations of racial and economic difference, globalization, and gender by recycling discarded tires into complex assemblages. Tires resonate with her for their versatility and rich range of historical and cultural associations.

The sculpture, “Pass the Buck” is inspired by Madam C. J. Walker, a noted businesswoman, philanthropist, and advocate for civil rights of the early 20th Century. Walker developed a beauty line for African American women and became a self-made millionaire. Bookers sculptures captures Walkers steadfast conviction that one should give back what they are given, creating a sort of visual representation of the notion of paying it forward. The sculpture embodies the karmic idea of “what you give out to the world, is what you receive back.”

Suzi Chauvel, who serves with Ballard on the Commission said “Race. Gender. Environment. Chakaia Booker’s themes throughout her career have never been so relevant. She is one of America’s most important living artist and to have her rare and inspiring creations grace Heisler Park is such a gift.”

Arts Commissioner, and Chair Adam Schwerner added “The Commission continues to pursue that which enriches and feeds the cultural discourse in our town. Booker’s work comes to Laguna Beach with implicit questions and I so look forward to the conversations her work will engender.”

The sculptures will be on exhibit through June 2021. This exhibition has been funded by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.