Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow, in conjunction with Surfline, Thalia Surf Shop and Vans, present Expression Session : The Surf Gallery Retrospective. The exhibition will feature works from 16 of the most influential contemporary artists in surf culture during the past decade, through the eyes of guest curator Will Pennartz, founder and owner of The Surf Gallery (2001-2010).
When The Surf Gallery opened its doors in 2001, it was the only gallery in the world dedicated to surf-related art and photography. Will’s mission was to blend contemporary art and more traditional surf imagery – a reflection of the changing modern surf culture. And he did it. The Surf Gallery, tucked between Thalia Street Surf Shop and Goko Cafe, just up the steps from the famous Thalia Street Surf break made waves – large ones. “There was a movement happening in surf culture,” explains Will Pennartz says. “It just needed a home, and The Surf Gallery was my way to share it with the world.” In addition to the Laguna gallery, Will organized exhibitions in New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, Sydney, Sao Paulo and more.
The artists that Will Pennartz brought to Laguna were avid watermen and artists, using their talents to express their love for the ocean while at the same time making very large dents to the front door of the fine art world. “The Surf Gallery was my favorite gallery in Laguna,” says Nick Cocores, Thalia Surf Shop owner. “Young or old, there was something for everyone. Will brought the fun of art shows back into Laguna and we all hung out there every day. The Surf Gallery inspired a new direction of art and culture that has helped surfing stand out from the rest.”
Having closed in 2010, there remains a huge hole in the Laguna Beach Art Community. AR4T owner Torrey Cook said, “The Surf Gallery was not just an inspiration but a brother in art. Though our gallery also focuses on contemporary art – we feature young, emerging artists from a realm of land – skateboarding, snowboarding, music. Will created a incubator for the most innovative artists in surfing and nothing can take its place. We are honored and excited to have Will bring back The Surf Gallery to Laguna – even if only for a short time. It will be a well-needed recharge of the batteries.”
EXPRESSION SESSION: The Surf Gallery Retrospective will feature new and iconic paintings, prints and photographs from:
Featured Image : ”Makaha Surf” Mixed-Media Original Painting, by John Severson