Lamb said the collection really got its start with pieces willed to the festival by the late Lorna Mills, manager of the old Laguna Federal Savings and Loan on Ocean Avenue. Other donations and purchases of pieces by festival exhibitors built the collection.
“It is a history of U.S. art,” said Lamb, chairman of the Permanent Collection Committee.
Some of the collection can be seen in the festival offices, other pieces are on loan to venues such as the bus Depot, the bank and City Hall.
The names of the professionals whose offices were on the tour are not being disclosed at their request for security reasons. One of them has a mind-boggling collection of Laguna’s plein air painters, and the other focuses on regional watercolors, including a Millard Sheets snow scene. Both collectors are Laguna residents.
After lunch the group convened at City Hall, which was opened for the event by Arts Manager Sian Poeschl, who answered questions about the city collection, Art in Public Places installations and showed a film she and Arts Commissioner Suzi Chauvel produced this year on the installations and what motivated the artists.
The tour began in the front lobby where works by Amy R. Kennedy, Nick Pasco, Roy Ropp and Gardner Symons are displayed.
Kennedy was a Laguna Beach resident from 1939 to 1945. Dr. Mark Judy is of the opinion that Pasco’s wonderful, untitled nighttime seascape depicts Woods Cove. Ropp painted the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club when it was where City Hall is now.
Symons’ piece is untitled Laguna Beach coastal scene.