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“Art in Public Places” – Support by Louis Longi

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Some of the art you see around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents.

Overlooking Main Beach, Support was created by local artist Louis Longi in 1999. The 4-foot-high by 12-foot-long cast bronze and wood sculptural bench is located at Heisler Park, 375 S. Cliff Drive. Support was funded through a donation by the Inn of Laguna. It pays tribute to the City of Laguna Beach and how they support our local artists through commissioned projects and annual art festivals.

art in three sculptures

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The installation gives visitors a respite at one of the most panoramic views in town

An artist whose career spans more than 35 years, Longi’s sculptures use “lost-wax” foundry, a technique using wax to create a mold into which metal is later poured. Longi then welds together the bronze pieces extracted from the mold. 

In 1987, Longi earned his degree in the Fine Arts Program with emphasis in sculpture and painting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. From 1988-1990, he was in an apprenticeship in bronze sculptures and lost wax foundation at the Ed Dwight Studio, Denver, Colo. and from 1990-1991, he was in an apprenticeship at Fedde Bronze Works, Denver, Colo.

art in front view

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The bench is in front of “Seabreeze” created by Sukhdev Dail

According to Longi, “My objective as an artist is to sculpt forms that evoke emotion. The genesis of the sculpture is mine. The completion…is limited only by the imagination of the viewer.”

Longi settled in Laguna in 2008. In collaboration with artist John Barber, Longi also created Beacon and Usher as part of Art in Public Places. It’s located at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road.

This is the 78th article in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are more than 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

For a map of Art in Public Places (not every piece is listed), click here

To apply for the Arts in Public Places program, click here.