Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hermosa Beach Art

A donated statue seeks a home in Hermosa Beach
by Robb Fulcher
Published July 17, 2008 Easy Reader Newspaper, Hermosa Beach

The city Parks and Recreation Commission will mull where to place an 8-foot-tall, 6-foot wide statue by highly regarded sculptor and designer Richard H. Ellis. The piece was donated to the city by Strand resident Steve Hunt.

The commission on Aug. 5 will consider a public spot for the statue, which depicts a tree with water flowing through it, and seagulls.

Hunt, an environmental resort developer, gave the sculpture to the city after deciding to rebuild a Pacific Palisades property where the piece has stood since it was commissioned at a cost of $25,000.

“The piece has received great public reception but no longer fits the site,” Hunt wrote in a letter to city officials.

Hunt offered to pay for a crane and truck to deliver the statue. He mentioned possible sites such as the Pier Avenue/Valley Drive intersection at the greenbelt, and the Community Center at Pier Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, where it would become part of a city “gateway” project officials hope to create with a Dewey Weber surf statue.

Hunt and wife Janine have contributed to the surf statue project as well.

“Having been a resident of Hermosa all my adult life (over 40 years) I have always believed in the artistic tradition of our community…Our family has always supported the concept of environmental development and including art with every project being built,” Hunt wrote.

Ellis’ works have been commissioned for the Ahmanson Foundation and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and he created the “Bob Hope Humanitarian Award” sculpture that was presented to Oprah Winfrey during a primetime Emmy award program.

He earned a masters degree in sculpture with distinction from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles and studied in Europe with the aid of two Prix de Rome fellowship awards.

Hunt’s resort developments include Kilauea Lakeside Estate in Hawaii, a secluded waterfront hideaway consisting of a five-acre peninsula of botanical gardens surrounded by a private 20-acre freshwater lake with more than 1,000 feet of lakefront and a private white sand beach.

Hunt lives part-time in Kauai. His great uncle Joseph Poindexter was territorial governor of Hawaii from 1934 to 1942, before the islands became a state. ER


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Steve Hunt