The Newport Beach City Arts Commission will host a Centennial Celebration, honoring the life and art of California scene painter Rex Brandt, on Saturday, November 1 at the Central Library. The community is invited to view an exhibition of Rex Brandt paintings from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Central Library and to attend a special program at 2 p.m., followed by a reception from 3-5 p.m. in the Central Library Friends Meeting Room, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach.
Born September 12, 1914, Brandt created hundreds of paintings of Southern California coastal scenes, many of them set in Newport Beach, Corona del Mar and Balboa Bay. The City Arts Commission proposed the event to recognize the integral role that Brandt played in the California watercolor movement and his exceptional relationship with the City of Newport Beach. Not only did the renowned watercolorist live and work in the City for most of his life, he also created the iconic Newport Beach City seal, served on the Newport Beach Public Library Board of Trustees in the 1940s and 1950s and helped establish the Newport Harbor Art Museum. Both he, and his wife artist Joan Irving, were actively involved in the City’s historical and cultural development. Rex Brandt passed away on March 21, 2000 in Corona del Mar, having painted nearly to the end of his life.
The program will be hosted by the exhibition curator Gordon McClelland, an author and art curator specializing in California Scene Paintings. E. Gene Crain, a close friend of Rex Brandt will provide information about the artist and his work. The art exhibition will feature a retrospective overview of original Rex Brandt watercolors. In addition, there will be a projected visual presentation of Brandt paintings along with photographic images of the artist painting on location in Newport Beach. Mark and Janet Hilbert have arranged for a selection of original Rex Brandt watercolors to remain on display in the Central Library through December 15.
For more information on the event or exhibition: www.newportbeachca.gov/culturalarts, under Public Art or contact the Newport Beach Cultural Arts Services Office at (949) 717-3801.