Eclectic exhibits

Major exhibition of John Paul Jones work combined with other noted local artists, on display through Jan. 23.

December 16, 2010|By Ashley Breeding,
  • Curator Mike McGee holds a John Paul Jones 1950 etching he called Self Portrait.
Curator Mike McGee holds a John Paul Jones 1950 etching… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

The Laguna Art Museum has a treat for everyone this season, with an eclectic exhibition featuring Southern California artists.

Whether you have a taste for the abstract, post-Impressionism or modern installations, the museum has something to enjoy over the holiday.

The show pays tribute to the late Laguna artist John Paul Jones and his daughter, Megan Hart Jones, plus the works of E. Roscoe Shrader, Sean Duffy, Ryan Schroeder and Cerno are also on display through Jan. 23.

A painter, sculptor, printmaker and arts educator, John Jones first gained national recognition in the 1960s with his figurative prints, drawings and paintings before turning to sculpture in the 1980s, said curator Mike McGee, who studied under Jones at UC Irvine.

"On display we have about 50 pieces that best represent who Jones was as an artist," he said. "He was a pretty complicated guy — a romantic existentialist who felt very deeply — and that complication came across in his art."


A longtime resident of Laguna, Jones was on track to become one of the most famous artists in the country, McGee said, but it never came to fruition.

"Many of his supporters from the '70s had retired or passed away, at the same time that American art was changing and we saw the [emergence] of Pop Art," he said. "He sort of became unfashionable."

The LAM exhibit is McGee's — and Laguna's — way of paying homage to the artist whose popularity seems to have ebbed in the last decade.

The religious-inspired portraits and still lives of Jones' daughter, Megan, who died at age 20, will be featured in the Young Artists Society Gallery.

A graduate of Laguna Beach High School who studied art at Laguna Beach College of Art in the mid-1980s, Megan was commissioned to paint a mural in the city library. The work — a depiction of students engaged in music, dance, art, reading and sports — is still extant today.

Renowned for his colorful, post-Impressionistic landscape and figure paintings, many of Shrader's works illustrate social gatherings, intimate interactions and beachside scenes.

The Los Angeles-based artists' illustration work, including paintings from his time with the New Hope colony, and California works from the 1920s and 30s will be exhibited in four galleries on the main level of the Museum.

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