Friday, July 28, 2006

Art, surf come together

Museum to host block party for exhibition

Now's the time. All you who have been wanting to learn more about the surfing culture, and all you surfers who have wondered what goes on in a fine art museum, get to Highland Avenue for a blow-out, fun-filled party and exhibition all about surf culture.

The Brevard Museum of Art and Science and the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and Museum are joining to present "Surf! Art! Party!" The family-friendly block party will be in front of the museum from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

While there, you can view the art exhibition, "Eternal Summer: The Art of Surf Culture," co-curated by professional artist and surfer Bruce Reynolds.

"It's going to be awesome," said Tony Sasso, the surfing executive director of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and Museum.

"I'm just so excited because I think this is going to be way beyond what anybody expects."

Activities include music by Danny Morris Band, known for their surf music and Morris' cover of Dick Dale surf guitar.

"Danny can rip a lick just as good as anybody," Sasso said. "That's going to be a real neat experience for a lot of people."

If you're looking for more acoustic sounds, the Tribal Drums group will perform in the intimate al fresco space known as Link's Garden. Activities include a giant sand pile for children to play in and a puppet show of "Turtles' Way: Loggy, Greeny & Leather."

Skateboarders will do a demonstration by Graffiti Skate Zone.

"They set up portable ramps and it's pretty cool," Sasso said. "I'm not sure most folks realize how far skating has advanced."

Food will be provided by Mel Broom's Delicious Meats, Natures Table and Da Kine Diego's Insane Burritos.

Scott Brasington, co-owner of Da Kine's, thinks a cross-cultural event and exhibition like this will promote interest in the "good vibes of surf" and in the museum.

"I know it will be my first time going in (to the museum) and I've lived around here forever," he said. "I never thought of it, so (the event) has put it on my radar."

Saturday's event also will include a live auction for artwork by Reynolds, prints by John Severson, a T-shirt signed by surfing champs C.J. and Damien Hobgood and a travel package to Costa Rica.

This unusual event came about after months of collaboration between Sasso and Dane Pollei, executive director for the Brevard Museum of Art and Science.

"We got talking one day and he said, 'I'd really like to do something fun, kinda like a surf art exhibit,' " Sasso said. "And I had always wanted to do a surf art exhibit at our museum and didn't have the room."

Knowing he would need help, Sasso went to Reynolds.

Reynolds has work in the permanent collection of the Walt Disney Corp. His work also has shown in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and at art shows in Laguna Beach, Calif., Baltimore, Md., Kansas City, Mo., and New York City.

In Florida, he has shown at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts and those in Winter Park. He frequently comes away with awards in the Melbourne and Space Coast art festivals.

This will be his first time to show at the Brevard museum.

Other artists with works on view at the museum's surf exhibition include Robert Brennan, David Burton, Wayne Coombs, Steve Forstall, Jim Hannan, Reggie Holladay, Mark Longeneker, Henry Lund, Pat Madden, Eric Maurus, Michael "Nemo" Nemnich, Rick Piper, Larry Pope, Gary Propper, John Severson and Damian Share.

As described by Reynolds, who lives in Cocoa Beach, the exhibition includes: classic type surf art, wave and scene oriented to avant garde type of artwork, collage, mixed media, assemblage, enhanced photography, art surfboards, art made of discarded surfboard parts, printmaking, memorabilia and more.

Pollei said the exhibition shows the extent of the surfing culture into mainstream society.

"Certainly part of it is to recognize and celebrate an important part of our local culture, but it's also to make people realize that the influence that surf culture has on contemporary art with this, we want people to come in and say, 'oh yeah, that is art.' "

Contact Harbaugh at 242-3717 or pharbaug@brevard.gannett.com.

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