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Artist gives back $20,000 grant for surfer statue, accuses Laguna Beach of meddling with his art

June 4, 2010 | 11:34 am
PublicArt Sculptor Andrew Myers has told Laguna Beach officials that the changes made to his submission in the Brooks Street art competition are unacceptable and that he is withdrawing his winning entry.

The city was waiting for Myers' written withdrawal before taking further
action on its obligation to provide a piece of public art for its Brooks Street access renovation or pay into the art-in-lieu fund. The letter arrived Thursday morning.

"To do anything different from the council's previous action would take subsequent council action," Assistant City Manager John Pietig said. "No date has been set for the item to be heard."

Myers decided to relinquish the $20,000 prize money rather than make the changes to his bronze sculpture of a surfer that were imposed by the City Council at its May 18 meeting. The changes included relocating and reorienting the sculpture and removing the orange color from the surfboard.

"The council compromised the artist's vision, and I agree with his position, and I applaud him," architect Morris Skenderian, who redesigned the Brooks Street public access, told the Coastline Pilot.

Read the full story here.

-- Barbara Diamond, Coastline Pilot

-- Photo from Don Leach