A Painted History

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Kort Pearson.

In August, surf artist Roy Gonzalez debuted his latest project, a mural outside the Laguna Riviera Beach Resort at St. Ann’s Beach. Designed to encapsulate Laguna’s quintessential elements, the vibrant seascape features a collection of the city’s most colorful characters, including Laguna’s legendary greeter, Eiler Larsen; surfers Jack Denny and George “Peanuts” Larson; musician Joey Petrovich; Surfing Heritage Foundation founder Dick Metz; beloved skimboarder Max Caputo; and Laguna Riviera Beach Resort founder Harry Willats. The artist has future plans to incorporate reggae musician Red Locks and famed lifeguard Dean Westgaard into the display. A dedicated advocate of Laguna’s creative community, Roy has earned praise since the 1980s for his promotional art for surf and skate companies, as well as for his signature concert and festival posters. “Roy is an iconic artist within the surfing world, and St. Ann’s [Beach] is where all of the surfers and locals have hung out for years, so having Roy use our wall as his canvas made perfect sense,” Laguna Riviera Beach Resort owner Kort Pearson says. “Over the years, various artists and non-artists have painted on the wall, but no one has ever come close to the detail of what Roy has accomplished. The wall is much more than just art; it is also a memorial to locals.” (lagunariviera.com) —T. E.

Giving Their gifts
Jennifer Hutchinson.

Susan Hough and Laguna Beach resident Jennifer Hutchinson are on a mission to help local girls and women discover their intrinsic talents. Recently, Susan and Jennifer—who combine decades of experience in mentoring, counseling and working with adolescents —created Living Your Gifts, a program dedicated to empowering girls and women by challenging media representations and stereotypes of traditional femininity. In June, Living Your Gifts celebrated the successful debut of a summer camp—held at Laguna’s Neighborhood Congregational Church—for participants ages 11 to 14, and now offers ongoing six-week sessions for various age groups. The organization’s weekly workshops incorporate self-esteem exercises, discussions, creative projects and rituals inspired by those performed in the villages of Burkina Faso in West Africa. “We want to work to build girls’ intuitions and help them to develop healthy boundaries,” Susan explains of the initiative. “And we’d like to see [the program] expand into other neighborhoods and areas of Southern California.” (livingyourgifts.com) —T.E.

Fashion’s Darling
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Locals would do well to take style cues from 5-year-old Alonso Mateo, who relocated to Laguna Beach from Monterrey, Mexico, two years ago with his parents. The fashion-forward online phenomenon has accumulated more than 55,000 Instagram followers on his personal account, which primarily features playful snaps of his daily designer ensembles. Meanwhile, his freelance stylist mother Luisa Fernanda Espinosa’s account—also mainly composed of photos of Alonso—currently boasts more than 210,000 followers. The boy wonder favors Kitson Kids, Little Marc Jacobs and Bonpoint, as well as children’s lines by sartorial powerhouses like Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior and Gucci. —T.E.

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