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Murals of La Jolla installs William Wegman's 'Opening'
Wegman’'s whimsical and innovative use of photography and dog imagery has taken on a variety of themes over the years.


LA JOLLA, CA.- The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library announced Murals of La Jolla, a project of the Athenaeum installed Opening, new artwork by William Wegman on 1162 Prospect Street.

William Wegman's quintessential style is on view in his new mural. He is best known for photos and videos involving dogs, most often his own, in a variety of costumes and poses. His bold and light-hearted photography takes on a graphic nature in his mural, while also incorporating his well-known and loved theme of Weimaraners. The crisp and simple nature of this image captures the viewer with playful composition and perfectly executed quirkiness.

"This image is a great demonstration of Wegman’s interest in issues of perception and identity and making things both witty and strange,” said Mary Beebe, a member of the Murals of La Jolla Art Advisory Committee and Director of the Stuart Collection at University of California, San Diego, “Smart subversive humor is always present. He has an important work in UCSD’s Stuart Collection, La Jolla Vista View, 1988."

Wegman’s whimsical and innovative use of photography and dog imagery has taken on a variety of themes over the years. He has produced film and video works and published books for both children and adults inspired by the dogs. As a prominent figure in the art world for many decades, he has had work exhibited by museums, both nationally and internationally.

William Wegman was born in 1943 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and a master’s degree in painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He spent time as a teacher at the University of Wisconsin and California State University, Long Beach. Since then he has participated in artist residencies at both the Phillips Academy in Massachusetts and Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He lives and works in New York and Maine.

“Wegman exhibited a sizable artist's book, Field Guide to North America, at the Athenaeum in 1992. The book depicted paintings, drawings and photographs from a camping trip, with one photograph showing a dog covered by tree bark and with the title His bite is worse than his bark,” said Erika Torri, Athenaeum Executive Director. “This work, as well as all other works showed his ever present humor. We are happy to work with him again and to share his work with our community.”

Opening (15' 6" high x 20' 6" wide) joins 12 murals currently installed throughout La Jolla. Since 2010, large-scale artworks have appeared in a variety of locations throughout the village of La Jolla, some prominently displayed while others are tucked away in more discreet locations.

Murals of La Jolla was founded by the La Jolla Community Foundation and is now a project of the Athenaeum. The goal of the mural project is to enhance the civic character of the community by commissioning public art projects on private property throughout La Jolla. Murals of La Jolla Art Advisory Committee is composed of the heads of the major visual arts organizations who commission artists to propose the intervention of an image on specific walls on privately owned buildings. The first two artworks by Roy McMakin and Kim MacConnel were painted directly on their sites. Subsequent artworks have been printed on vinyl and installed on billboard-like structures. Each work is on view for a minimum of two years and has been generously funded by private donations.

Murals of La Jolla, a project of the Athenaeum demonstrates that commissioning artists to create works for public spaces brings energy and vitality to a community.

To date, new works by Kelsey Brookes, John Baldessari, Gajin Fujita, Anya Gallaccio, Robert Ginder, Ann Hamilton, Robert Irwin/Philipp Scholz Rittermann, Nina Katchadourian, Kim MacConnel, Ryan McGinness, Roy McMakin, Richard Allen Morris, Catherine Opie, Julian Opie and Fred Tomaselli have been installed throughout La Jolla.

Murals of La Jolla committee members include: Matt Browar, committee chair, art collector, and CEO of Browar Management Corporation; Mary Beebe, director of the Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego; Hugh M. Davies, the David C. Copley director and CEO of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Lynda Forsha, project curator and principal of Art Advisory Services; Kathryn Kanjo, chief curator, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Patsy Marino, community leader and art collector; Erika Torri, Joan & Irwin Jacobs Executive Director of La Jolla Athenaeum and Mark Quint, owner of Quint Contemporary Art.

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, located in the heart of La Jolla, in San Diego County, is one of only 16 nonprofit membership libraries in the United States. This rare cultural institution offers a depth and accessibility of resources and programs found nowhere else in the region including one of the most significant collections of artists' books in Southern California. The Athenaeum also presents a year-round schedule of art exhibitions, concerts (classical, jazz, acoustic and new music), lectures, studio art classes through its School of the Arts, tours and special events.





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