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Laguna Chooses Colburn to Be Director

Art: The current senior curator at OCMA will take over April 1, when museum regains its independence.


LAGUNA BEACH — Bolton Colburn, senior curator at the Orange County Museum of Art, has been selected director of the Laguna Art Museum, trustees announced Thursday.

Colburn, who also will serve as chief curator, will start April 1, the same day the museum, which has been an OCMA satellite since merging with the Newport Harbor Art Museum last year, regains independence.

Colburn joined the Laguna museum in 1989 and was its senior curator until the merger.

"He knows the Laguna art community better than anyone," said G. Ray Kerciu, president of the Laguna Art Museum Heritage Corp., which governs the institution.

Said Colburn: "It's really where my heart is, and it's the community I'm most interested in."

The museum's focus on 20th century California art will have an emphasis on Southern California and Laguna Beach, Colburn said, and exhibits will explore everything from architecture to surf culture.

"It's not going to revert to what it was in '60s and '70s, [when it showed] a lot of pedestrian, commercial-gallery kind of art from the coastal communities," he said.

Laguna will have a budget of roughly $450,000, Colburn said. For now, its only staffer is Andrea Lee Harris, who will retain her administrative duties.

OCMA probably will not hire a new senior curator because Colburn has been in charge of the Laguna site, director Naomi Vine said Thursday. She added that a lower-level curator may be brought on to work with chief curator Bruce Guenther.

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