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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 83  |  October 15, 2021

“Art in Public Places” – North and South Waves by Larry Gill


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

This is the 30th article in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are more than 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

Some of the art you see around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life; and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents. 

North and South Waves was installed at Forest and Pacific Coast Highway in 2003. The abstract ocean wave forms were created of stainless steel and granite by Laguna Beach artist Larry Gill.

art in closeup

Click on photo for a larger image

In 2017, it was cleaned and sealed to keep it looking bright

 “I believe art is a kind of energy,” said Gill. “I look for beauty and awe to empower a piece of artwork.”

Though he originally aspired to be a painter, Gill discovered early on in his career that he was far too tactile not to sculpt. For the past 45 years, he has been creating his works of art using stone, metal and other media. He has a welding studio in Santa Ana, which allows him to shape metals into inspired pieces of art.

art in duo

Click on photo for a larger image

The waves are made of stainless steel and granite

He’s installed sculptures around Laguna Beach, from “Welcome,” a permanent waterfall structure at the Sawdust Art Festival, to “Waves.” He also created the new gates at the Sawdust Art Festival, where he has been an exhibitor, with fellow artist Gavin Heath to commemorate the 50th anniversary. 

Requiring a lot of engineering, Gill’s work is typically very time-intensive, labor-intensive and massive. 

For a map of Art in Public Places (not every piece is listed), click here

To apply for the Arts in Public Places program, click here.


Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

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

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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