A Public Art Event

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.

Featured Artwork

The Sea Around Us

Creating an immersive 360-degree video art installation, Rebeca Méndez’s The Sea Around Us will transport viewers to an area of the Pacific Ocean located 30 miles from the Laguna Beach Coast, portraying the ocean as a fully animated body as well as a place of deep interconnectedness for all living things. Using scientific footage, the video shifts to thousands of oozing barrels of DDT on the seafloor being sampled by robotic arms. This hidden ecological calamity is revealed in conjunction with imagery that inspires awe and strengthens the bond between sea and viewer, inspiring the courage to face environmental wrongdoing, to take restorative action, and to avoid repeating transgressions against our natural resources.

The Artist

Rebeca Méndez

Rebeca Méndez is an artist, designer and chair of the Design Media Arts department at UCLA, where she is also director of the CounterForce Lab. Her research and practice investigate design and media art in public spaces, critical approaches to public identities and landscape and artistic projects based on field investigation methods. In addition to her many great permanent public commissions, including two for the Metro Art Crenshaw/LAX project and three for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Méndez’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections. Among them are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Nevada Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca in Mexico, the El Paso Museum of Art and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. From 2017 through 2019 she served as selecting committee member for the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award.

Outdoor Exhibition


An interactive sculptural experience inviting contemplation of the layered history and unique geology of Laguna Beach. Beginning at the museum, participants will journey to several sites through the local park and beaches, encountering pyramids of various sizes and colors that reflect the ever-shifting nature of the landscape. The temporality of the installation parallels much of the earth’s landscapes that shift and change due to weather, geology and the effects of climate change.

The Artist

Kelly Berg

Kelly Berg is a Los Angeles based artist who creates paintings and mixed media sculptural works that explore the ever-shifting nature of our world. Known for her compositions depicting the movement of tectonic plates, volcanic eruptions and dramatic geologic formations, Berg’s works offer a new perspective within the context of contemporary landscape and the sublime. The integration of geometric forms within her compositions and the reoccurring imagery of pyramids emerging from dark rifts in the earth create a visual framework that symbolizes a convergence of the human and natural worlds.

Featured Exhibition

The Big One

Laguna Beach artist Robert Young began his magnum opus in 1971. The enormous 9’ x 15’ painting was a work in progress throughout Young’s life. An avid scuba diver and ocean lover, Young added colorful fish, pristine reef, coral and other sea life onto his canvas over decades. The painting was displayed at Sea World but eventually came back to Laguna Beach where it is thought to still hold record as the largest painting ever created in the city.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Sylvia A. Earle

From Mission-Blue.org: National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, called Her Deepness by The New Yorker and The New York Times, Living Legend by the Library of Congress, and first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine, is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and non-profit organizations including the Kerr McGee Corporation, Dresser Industries, Oryx Energy, the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, American Rivers, Mote Marine Laboratory, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Rutgers Institute for Marine Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Ocean Futures.

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.


Access Granted!