City Celebrates Surf History

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Although not submitted to be featured in the “Art of the Board” exhibit, Drew Brophy shared examples of surfboard art that are similar to what the City of Malibu will display at City Hall.

As the City of Malibu rides the 2016 wave to its 25th anniversary celebration on March 28, one of the special events being planned is an exhibit of surfboard art in the upper lobby of City Hall titled “Art of the Board.” The Cultural Arts Commission is sponsoring the event to help celebrate Malibu’s culture and history of surfing. The call is now going out for surfboards with artistic drawings, paintings or graphics as entries to the exhibit from artists and collectors in the Malibu area.

“It’s pretty exciting and fortuitous that that the city council liked the idea for combining the exhibit with its 25th anniversary celebration,” Eric Myer, head of the Cultural Arts Commission, said. “This show will be unveiled on March 28 — the same day the City of Malibu became incorporated 25 years ago — and will be on display for six months, until September.” 

Myer explained that, “The Cultural Arts Commission is looking for unique, one-of-a-kind boards that tell a story or show amazing artwork by a talented artist. The boards will be hanging from the lobby ceiling with the appearance of being like fish on a line.” 

Graphic artist and illustrator John Van Hamersveld — best known for his “The Endless Summer” surf movie poster, as well as album covers for The Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” and The Rolling Stones “Exile on Main St.” — is designing a poster for the exhibit that will be ready soon, and he will make a personal appearance at the unveiling on March 28.

“It was quite a coup getting Van Hamersveld to do the poster,” Myer said of the former Malibu resident. “He will also design a giant banner that will hang off City Hall to one side, as well as street pole flags. Several of his selected works will also be in the show, and he will be there to sign them.”

In addition to Van Hamersveld’s pieces, Myer said a possible side exhibit of local resident Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner’s collection of surfboard wax is in the works.

Myer specified that surfboards for the exhibit will need to be full size (no miniatures), that an individual can submit more than one surfboard for the show and that it’s OK if a surfboard has already been shown as part of another exhibit. The total number of surfboards included in “Art of the Board” will be limited by the space available in the upper lobby of City Hall. 

Anyone interested in entering a surfboard(s) is asked to submit a photo that will be reviewed by a five-person committee made up of two members of the Cultural Arts Commission and three members of the community with expertise in art and/or surfboards. 

Myer said, “Once the selection is final, we’ll create a procedure for storing and exhibiting each piece.” They will then “make a concerted effort” to put all of the surfboards up at City Hall at the same time. 

The city is making a substantial investment in purchasing the hardware and fittings necessary to safely hang heavy surfboards from the ceiling. However, it’s hoped that the “Art of the Board” exhibit will be the first of many ongoing art exhibits at City Hall, and that the hardware can be used multiple times.

Photo submissions for the surfboard exhibit can be made beginning Jan. 11.

For more information, visit malibuartsandculture.org/surfboardart or contact City of Malibu Recreation Manager, Amy Crittenden, at 310.456.2489 ext. 337.