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  • by Jennifer Gunlock, Collections Manager

Celebration of California: Jonathan Art Foundation’s Auction & Fundraiser

Next month we at the Jonathan Art Foundation will be reprising our annual event Celebration of California—an elegant evening featuring gourmet local cuisine paired with California wines and live and silent auction. On March 23rd guests can expect luxurious items and events available on auction, including cruises, reciprocal club stays, art and photography, distinguished wines and spirits, golf and sporting events. This fundraiser supports the Foundation’s broad-based art and education mission, as well as the preservation and display of the art at the Jonathan Club.

The imagery for this year’s theme is centered around the sublime Jack Wilkinson Smith (1873-1949) painting, Untitled (Seascape with Rocks). I consider this to be one of the Jonathan Club’s “signature” paintings. Likely a depiction of the Laguna Beach tide pools where Smith often frequented, its moody fog-filled sky is warmed by the almost flame-like yellow rocks in the foreground. My personal attraction to this piece may be that it brings back memories of my childhood visits to Laguna, where I’d gleefully pick at the poor hermit crabs and anemone, and of my current hikes along the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. My routine, after descending the steep, sandy cliff trails to the rocky beach, is I remove my shoes and tiptoe to the water’s edge. I cautiously position my naked feet on the slippery rocks and face the surf as it charges toward me. The icy water licks my legs, and even possibly gets my jeans wet, but I delight in my intimate moment with the sea. Plus, the repetitive rainstorm-like sound of the surf rushing against the pebbly shore, magnified by the amphitheater of the cliff’s walls, is a spa for the ears. Smith’s painting, like many others at the Club, is a comforting reminder of our home’s natural beauty, and it prompts us to appreciate that beauty while it is still with us.

SAVE THE DATE! We look forward to celebrating with you on Saturday, March 23rd at the Town Club. Guests who attend our fundraiser will receive a small memento celebrating this classic Smith painting. And be sure to join us for drinks on the rooftop at the end of the night!

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