LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — The work of local artists is all around us.
Take, for example, the art of 40-year Laguna Beach resident and graphic designer, Bill Atkins.
What You Need To Know
- ArtsOC teamed up with Orange County Community Foundation and Charitable Ventures to create the OC Arts and Culture Resilience Fund
- The organizations have awarded grants of $750 to 70 local artists
- They're in the second wave of grants
- Thanks to those grants, for Bill and artists and like him, the picture is a little brighter
All of his art has a message - maybe none more ever - changing or famous than his design of the California whale tail license plate.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” said Atkins.
For many artists, since the pandemic began, that message has been muted.
According to an ArtsOC survey, to date the Orange County arts community has suffered a $16 million financial blow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why the organization teamed up with Orange County Community Foundation and Charitable Ventures to create the OC Arts and Culture Resilience Fund, awarding grants of $750 to 70 local artists like Bill.
“I was just delighted they considered me to be a worthy artist to support,” Atkins said.
Many local artists rely on the summer festivals to make the majority of their income for the year. Bill actually designed a popular t-shirt for the Sawdust Festival in 2017, and has participated in the show in the past.
This year, the festival was postponed.
Both the Pageant of the Masters and The Festival of Arts Fine Arts Show have been cancelled, losing an estimated $9.3 million and affecting some 140 artists. The Festival of Arts team has shifted online to try and support local artists and fulfill their mission of supporting the arts.
This is the second round of relief payments. Over $150,000 has been handed out, including payments to 19 Orange County arts organizations. Richard Stein is the president and CEO of ArtsOC. He said that the money will hopefully help Orange County artists pull through.
“We know that these grants alone will not solve the problem for these individuals or organizations. But they will make meaningful contributions to those organizations’ survival,” Stein said.
Thanks to those grants, for Bill and artists and like him, the picture is a little brighter.
“Well, art is really a distraction from life or from the events in life,” Atkins said.
Their art worth every word.