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As rehabilitation efforts continue in Malibu and its surrounding area as a result of the Woolsey fire, Depart Foundation and Jamestown Malibu Village have offered a part of the gallery space to The Boys and Girls Club of Malibu as its headquarters for the Malibu Emergency Relief Fund Grants program established Nov. 16.
Jamestown Malibu Village has a multi-year partnership with the BGCM and recognized the need in the early days following the fire for BGCM to have a public-facing, accessible location for those affected by the fire to apply in person for emergency aid and connect with BGCM staff.
“The connection between the Boys and Girls Club and Depart Foundation was natural from our perspective as we have committed long-term support to both organizations,” said Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown. “We realized that in the aftermath of the fire, the community needs both a place of healing and a place to access much-needed services, which we feel is accomplished through the ongoing partnership between our three groups.”
A portion of the gallery also will be transformed into a pop-up shop, featuring donated items for men, women, children, home and surf to be distributed to affected residents. Current participating brands include Billabong, Stella McCartney Kids, Bishop + Young, Malibu Sandals, One Love Malibu, MF Softboards and Mighty Under Dogs of Malibu 501c3 + Ellie.
“Depart Foundation, in conjunction with Jamestown Malibu Village, is delighted to offer space to The Boys and Girls Club of Malibu in support of their vital efforts to rehabilitate Malibu and its surrounding areas and to contribute to the healing process through the work of a local artist, who cares deeply about his community,” said Depart Foundation President and Founder Pierpaolo Barzan.
A new group exhibition conceived by Malibu-based artist Keegan Gibbs — who, among many local residents, lost his longtime family home to the fires — will open simultaneously presenting photography and sculpture made in response to the devastation that the fire has brought to the community.
“The Weather In Malibu” will feature new works by eight artists: Nate Bressler, Jake Burghart, Keegan Gibbs, Lyon Herron, Jack Platner, Riley Smoller, Robert Spangle and Layne Stratton.
“The exhibition exemplifies how pure camaraderie, pure love and pure enjoyment can sometimes only come out of pure devastation,” Gibbs said.
Added Gibbs, “Fires have always been a part of the way of life in Malibu, just as much as surfers, celebrities and summer beach traffic. Their consistency only surprises people who haven’t been here long enough to evacuate a few times, or have stayed to fight flames off their porch, or maybe even been burned out. Growing up, we sat on the beach almost every fall, watching super scoopers do their rounds just off the coast as if it were a seasonal TV special. After a couple of decades, unless the fire ‘got you,’ the fires all seem to blend into each other, and it really does just turn into ‘that time of year.’”
This last fire season, Gibbs said, seems different, though.
“For some, it was the intensity of the wind,” he said. “Maybe the burned acreage number hit a number that made your head kink to the side a bit. Maybe it was the number of houses that burned, in such a widespread rural area. Or maybe it’s because it ‘got you’ this time. ... It was different because it bonded friendships across age and geographical gaps that under normal circumstances hinder deep emotional connection.”
After the fire, Gibbs said, the community “learned what it means to come together.”
Known for his photography, Gibbs has focused his solo show “Marie, Is That You?” on the moments that define virtually every surfer’s lifestyle: the longing for the perfect weather patterns to produce the ideal surf conditions. The exhibition, which includes paintings, photographs, videos and room-sized installations, exemplifies Gibbs’ ability to interact seamlessly with multiple disciplines and mediums in an abstract narrative about the emotions that engulf a surfer.
A California native, Gibbs’ work embodies the cultural diversity that makes Los Angeles the melting pot that it is. Striving for constant stimulation and education, his disciplines evolve and challenge the confines of the others in order to influence and generate new unique approaches. Filmmaking, sculpture, surfing, photography, entrepreneurship, design, painting and even surfboard shaping, things that typically are not associated with each other, find a fluid way to coexist in his practice. Gibbs was recently selected to commission the centerpiece for the Palms Casino Resort’s contemporary art collection, alongside artists Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Adam Parker Smith, Christopher Wool and Dustin Yellin. Gibbs has shown in several national and international solo and group shows.
The exhibition also will debut a new line of artist-designed T-shirts and surfboards designed by Gibbs.
‘The Weather In Malibu’ and ‘Marie, Is That You?’
What: Depart Foundation in Malibu will launch a group exhibition featuring works by artists Nate Bressler, Jake Burghart, Keegan Gibbs, Lyon Herron, Jack Platner, Riley Smoller, Robert Spangle and Layne Stratton as well as a solo exhibition by Gibbs.
Where: Depart Foundation Malibu Village, 3832 Cross Creek Road, Malibu
When: 12-6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday Dec. 15-Jan. 5