Summer of Color at the Beach

Wednesday, May 19th, signified the beginning of the installation and exhibition phases of “Summer of Color,” a massive public art and civic project conceived and developed by Portraits of Hope, and involving all LA County lifeguard towers from Malibu to Palos Verdes.

Summer of Color is the culmination of the efforts of nearly 6,000 children in schools, hospitals, and social service programs – and 2,500 adult volunteers — who have participated in the initiative’s program activities, which included painting the brightly colored panels for the walls and roof tops of the towers.

For six months preceding the installation, Portraits of Hope worked with children and adults from 118 school, hospital, youth, and social service programs in civic leadership and creative therapy sessions. The Braille Institute, Special Olympics, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, and Program for Torture Victims are among the many organizations that have participated.

All 2,200 panels for the 5-month exhibition are set to be installed on the towers during the next 3 weeks courtesy of Chris Bonas and Morley Builders, giving beachgoers this summer an unprecedented view of Zuma, Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Dockweiler, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo, Torrance, Palos Verdes, and San Pedro beaches.

“This project is a great visual symbol of community accomplishment, and it is especially meaningful because of the challenges many of those involved in the project have had to face,” says Ed Massey, co-founder of Portraits of Hope.

The project and exhibition has been championed by LA County Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Don Knabe, and the LA Department of Beaches and Harbors and the LA County Lifeguards have worked closely to help coordinate the civic effort.

In preparation for the exhibition, the rails and cross beams on all 156 towers were freshly painted 3 weeks ago by 1,200 volunteers.

“During the civic leadership program sessions, we emphasize the power f teamwork and collaboration to affect positive change in our communities and lives. Summer of Color puts those concepts into practice,” added Bernie Massey, co-founder of Portraits of Hope.

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