The CASA COASTAL Catalina Island Art Exhibition will be on display at Casa Romantica starting June 17th. The exhibit features artwork by artist Rick Delanty as well as artifacts from the island, and is curated by coastal celebrity Jim Kempton (Surfer Magazine, California Surf Museum).
Read on for some fascinating insights from Jim about Catalina Island.
1. The art and culture of Catalina Island are unique
Many people know something about Catalina, but solely on a peripheral basis. Catalina has a rich history of pottery and ceramics, due to a rare type of clay known as ‘Toyan’ that is embedded in its soil. Native Americans used to sail to Catalina to trade things for pottery made from Toyan clay. Catalina also has a quirky culture — there are at least three generations of people who grew up on the island within the past century, and they have lived a sequestered lifestyle. News, trends, and products are much slower to get there. In this exhibition, you can feel what it is like to live there.
2. Visitors of the exhibit should pay special attention to the relationship between art and artifacts
Rick Delanty’s paintings are the visual and symbolic connection with the rare pottery and antique tile artifacts throughout the exhibit. They are also in harmony with the paintings on display made by artist Otis Shepard in the 1930s. Shepard and his wife Dorothy were responsible for the advertising of Chrysler Motors and Wrigley’s Gum during that time, and created many works for chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., who developed Avalon in its golden era. Other artists represented are ones who hand-painted local scenes on tile and took rare photographs of Catalina.
3. The island has a history that makes for good ghost stories
The disappearance of Natalie Wood is a ghost story that many people know due to her fame. The Oscar-winning actress died during a visit to Catalina Island. While on a boat trip with her husband and costar, she drowned. The circumstances surrounding why and how she entered the water are still unclear. Some people say her ghost still wanders around the nearby beach where her body was found.
In 1921, in order to bring more attention and tourists to Catalina, William Wrigley, Jr. brought the Chicago Cubs out to the island for spring training. They held spring training there every year until 1951. Many people contest to seeing the ghost of a former Chicago Cub baseball player haunting the abandoned Catalina Visitor Country Club. He wanders through the courtyard, which used to be the locker rooms during spring training.
Catalina Island Exhibit
June 17 – September 11, 2016
Free Opening Luau: Friday, June 17, 2016 | 6-8 PM
Exhibition open Tues – Thurs: 11 AM – 4 PM,
Fri – Sun: 10 AM – 2 PM
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