The OC art world sometimes seems to be a zero sum game; for every cool new gallery that opens, we lose something iconic. Such was the case in 2010, when Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow (also known as AR4T) opened in North Laguna, around the same time that The Surf Gallery off of Thalia Street closed. The galleries are/were dedicated to contemporary art inspired by youth culture and action sports, and now they’re coming together for a show at AR4T called “Expression Session,” which is a retrospective of artists shown at The Surf Gallery.
Founded and owned by Will Pennartz, The Surf Gallery was dedicated to surfing art and photography on the contemporary cutting edge at a time (it opened in 2001) when no other gallery really was. “There was a movement happening in surf culture,” Pennartz says. “It just needed a home, and The Surf Gallery was my way to share it with the world.”
“Will created an incubator for the most innovative artists in surfing and nothing can take its place,” says Torrey Cook, who is co-owner of AR4T along with Mark Weiner. “We are honored and excited to have Will bring The Surf Gallery back to Laguna – even if only for a short time.”
AR4T is focused more on snowboarding, skateboarding and the music scene, though with plenty of surfers in the mix as well. Not to mention nightlife. The opening parties at the gallery just north of Broadway on PCH can be cool chaos, with music, drink and all the most creative kids in town gathered together. Let’s just say it’s more fun than your average art walk opening. The Surf Gallery had epic opening events as well, so assume that this exhibit (which runs through the month of June) will be a must-see.
Drop In for Art
“Expression Session: The Surf Gallery Retrospective” @ AR4T features new and iconic paintings, prints and photographs from artists including Art Brewer, Joe Curren, John Severson, Pat Tobin, Tyler Warren and Alex Weinstein, and many more.