Pugh’s mural brings Hermosa’s past into the present
by Kevin Cody
Hermosa Beach’s 10th, and final mural, commissioned by the Hermosa Mural Committee, is titled “You should have been here yesterday.” The mural depicts the Sand and Surf Club at 14th Street, overlooking the beach, during the height of the Roaring ‘20s.
But artist John Pugh said at Monday evening’s unveiling, he would have preferred his mural be called “Here yesterday.”
His intention, he said, was to evoke the feeling archeologists had when they opened King Tut’s Tomb and found lotus flowers, as fresh as the day King Tut’s sarcophagus had been sealed.
To suggest the sense of discovery, he used the trompe l’oeil effect to make the Sand and Surf Club (known in later years at the Biltmore Hotel) appear set in a deep recess in the 40-foot x 90-foot wall at the back of the former Metropolitan Movie theater, like the Cliff Palace in the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in Colorado.
Pugh thanked fellow artists Matt Duckett, Steve Shriver, Lisa Diaz and Terry Pasquin, as well as El Camino College art students, for helping him complete the mural.
Mural committee president Steve Izant said the mural commission is dissolving itself, and has turned responsibility for the murals over to the Hermosa Beach Historical Society. He noted that the murals, which cost upwards of $100,000 “never appeared as a line item in the city budget.” The murals were funded through donations.
To see images of all 10 Hermosa Beach murals, visit HermosaMurals.org. ER
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