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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 37  |  May 7, 2021

City to hold dedication for temporary public art installation, Shark Migration by Casey Parlette, on May 7

The latest temporary art installation by the City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission will be by Laguna Beach artist Casey Parlette. Located outside City Hall, Shark Migration will be on exhibit for three months. Created of steel, the sculptures draws attention to the plight of these creatures which are much demonized and have become a scarce sighting off our coastline. This installation gives viewers the opportunity to stand with the life-sized sharks and appreciate their scale and beauty.

Parlette is a wildlife artist with a lifetime of ocean experience. With a career that includes commercial diving and ocean lifeguard, Parlette draws his inspiration from the natural world. This is the first temporary installation for Parlette, who hopes the installation will travel to other locations throughout the United States. The project was funded by Laguna Beach residents Mark Porterfield and Steve Chadima though an Arts Commission public art donation program.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Casey Parlette outside his studio with a shark tail

Donor Steve Chadima said, “We’ve known Casey and admired his work for many years. What attracted us to this project, however, was Casey’s goal of helping people to appreciate the variety of sharks that inhabit the ocean nearby and their importance to the overall ecosystem. We’re particularly excited to see that it will be going on tour to other cities along the coast after its run in Laguna Beach.”

Arts Commission Chair Adam Schwerner said, “Casey Parlette is bringing a shiver of sharks to the lawn of City Hall. Seeing his beautifully executed sculptures will, hopefully, spark us to wonder about the role sharks play in our oceans and how we can act to preserve and protect them.” Commissioner Donna Ballard added, “The installation reflects Casey’s exploration and fascination with the ocean and marine life.”

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Courtesy of Casey Parlette

Shark scuptures by Casey Parlette are coming to City Hall

This will be the second public art installation for Parlette; a permanent piece was installed in 2017 at the north end of Heisler Park overlooking Divers Cove. The sculpture and bench were donated by the Ostensen and Olenicoff families.

“Of the many honors of my position, one is seeing our local artists thrive,” said Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl. “Our Laguna Beach artists are taking opportunities to continue to propel their craft and our prominence as an arts community funded through generous support of residents like Mark and Steve.”

The public is invited to a dedication to be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7. The dedication will commence at the red phone booth on Forest Avenue with a temporary installation by Jeffrey Skarvan titled Call to Action, and travel to the lawn of City Hall. The dedication will include a discussion with the artists about their works. To attend, please wear a mask.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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