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NEIGHBORS : Arting Around : A Ventura sculptor's work graces Wolfgang Puck's new Malibu restaurant.

August 29, 1991|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If you needed a reason to make the trip over to Wolfgang Puck's new Malibu restaurant, Granita, this might be it.

An alabaster sculpture by Paul Lindhard, the founder of Ventura's Art City Sculpture Supplies, is part of the elaborate decor of the establishment.

So how did Lindhard's work find its way across the county line and into this posh pizzeria?

He's got Barbara Lazaroff, Puck's wife and designer of his restaurants, to thank for that.

"She met me at an art show and liked the work I had there," Lindhard said. "She said it would be very good exposure. It sounded attractive, and she seemed like a very neat person to meet, a good contact."

Lindhard visited the restaurant to size things up and went home to sculpt something appropriate.

"All the imagery there is kind of an ephemeral, undersea thing--like things look to us when we're underwater. It's kind of hazy, dreamlike," he said.

"I had three translucent pieces of stone that are a coral orange. I created a composition of six elements that climb up the wall and get bigger and bigger."

More on the Ventura-Puck connection: While working with Lindhard, Lazaroff noticed the photographic work of Lindhard's girlfriend, Catherine Hannon.

And now Hannon, too, has several pieces of her work in the restaurant.

"There's one large triptych and two smaller photos," Lindhard said. "They are abstract seascapes in black and white. The place is unbelievably colorful. This is the only thing that is black and white."

The August issue of Tennis magazine features a list of the Top 50 U. S. tennis cities, and guess what's on it?

Ojai.

It didn't make the Top 10, but the city did make the Rounding Out the Top 50 section.

The city's name was followed by this comment: "The 96-year-old Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament draws 1,400 amateurs."

(It's a wonderful honor, but let's not shortchange the tournament--this year's competition actually attracted 1,501 participants.)

The 50 cities made the list based on their public tennis facilities, organized programs, individual leaders, tennis pros, retailer involvement and local marketing.

Santa Barbara also received mention as host of "a plethora of tournaments and programs."

Remember the Mouse Chase cat toy, brainchild of Thousand Oaks inventor Doren Berkovich?

Well, it was a huge success at the recent Inventors Expo in Anaheim.

There was a bit of media coverage and a lot of consumer interest.

Berkovich said he gave out more than 300 order forms to people interested in purchasing a Mouse Chase when the product comes out on the market, which is expected to be in September.

It's back-to-school time around much of the county, and that means the competition for school items has heated up.

Here's a tip or two on what's hot this year, from a couple of local discount store employees:

"The Ninja Turtles have come back quite a bit since the second movie," said Woody Reeder, assistant manager of K mart in Westlake Village.

"But Pee-wee Herman is out."

Cesar Corella, manager of the Fillmore Thrifty, said the Turtles are moving swiftly, but not as fast as Waldo of "Where's Waldo?" fame.

"Waldo is on lunch boxes, backpacks. . . . He's bad news," Corella said.

"Once you start, you're hooked."

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