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Steps in the Sand captures the "soul" of Laguna
by Roberta Carasso

Steps in the SandThe large steel and concrete sculpture, created by local artist, Marsh Scott, is a tribute to the countless and diverse people who have founded, developed, worked, played, and visited our beach city.Situated on a Pacific Coast Highway as you enter Laguna from the north, going south, the original sculptural wall is at North Beach as part of the new Crescent Bay villas. Intimate touches of the artist's hand are evident as the brushed surface reflects the light, signaling passersby to stop and enjoy the form.

SOUL STIRRING: Pictured is a panel of Marsh Scott's original sculptural wall at North Beach.

The sculpture consists of three groups of three panels, a total of nine scenes. Each contains a figure or group of figures, who come from the past and look towards the future. The labor intensive form combines drawing, carving, and computer technology. It began as a large full-size drawing of arcs and lines. The drawing, placed over thick structural steel, was cut out by a computerized laser beam. Scott also formed a concrete niche or backdrop into which the steel rests, framing each figure and giving the shiny light metal a contrasting background. Inventively, Scott creates the scenes alternatively in the negative and positive, evoking a sense of rhythm, contrast, and delight. This means that in one panel she uses more steel and less open area; and in the next panel she uses more open area and less steel. Against the hard, but warm stain of the concrete, the open and closed pattern gives the work a strong sense of light and dark. From left to right, the first panel is of a Native American (Gabrelina) woman creating shell adornments while a member of her tribe spears fish in Crescent Bay. Then a Spanish padre walks the beach between the missions. Here Scott tells of the past, the original occupants of our beach area.

Next, an artist is on the beach, in a tent as the surf's edge, referencing the development of the art colony. Then a 50's surfer appears, next to a figure under an arbor, tending on of the beautiful Laguna gardens. Scott continues with figures of those who made Laguna their home - a family, a little boy playing baseball while his sister practices her dance. There's a shopkeeper helping a man in a suit, a construction worker wearing a tool belt, perhaps remodeling a house or building a booth for the Art Festival. The last panel is an artist looking towards the future, sculpting a globe, pointing a finger to locate Laguna Beach on the circular shape.

Scott is known for her contemporary paintings and sculptures, and many public works. Recently, she worked on "The Angel's Journey" for the City of Los Angeles, collaborating with author Cheryl Thiele. The artist is a welcome figure at the Sawdust Art Festival, the Beverly Hills "Affaire in the Gardens", the Southwest Art Festival in Indio, and many other festivals. One of Scott's striking characteristics is that she is involved with all types of art in diverse situations. Whether she is creating public art, art for a corporation, for a festival, a home setting, a work for a small business, or an architectural collaboration, Scott does not set limitations, but sees art in its broadest form.

Her studio, at 3275 Laguna Canyon Road, is a welcoming place. A member of the Laguna Canyon Artists, Scott with her artist/colleagues opens up their studios each month to the visiting public. The next big opening will be Dec. 8 and 9, from 12 to 5 pm. Why not visit and see working drawings of "Steps in the Sand," and much more.

"Steps in the Sand" is located at 1575 N. Coast Highway.

Laguna News-Post October 25, 2001
Living in Laguna/Art Waves
Roberta Carasso, [email protected]

copyright Marsh Scott 2015