Wyland Invited Town To Whaling Wall Re-Dedication At Hotel Laguna


Famed marine life artist Wyland is celebrating the completion of his life-sized mural along Pacific Coast Highway. Things are back as they should be, many residents agree. For 20 years, a large beige wall on the property of Hotel Laguna lurked below the colorful ocean mural at Wyland’s Laguna Beach gallery. 

In a town known for art and beach-life culture, many are glad to see the return of the masterpiece, as a glimpse of life out in that big blue ocean. While he painted tie 130-foot mural, fans and friends dropped by to lend their positive reviews. Now, Wyland is threw a party for residents and visitors in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 19 at 6 p.m.

Wyland, whose studio has graced Laguna Beach with his art and view of the ocean world for 20 years, appreciates the action that Laguna has taken to protect the coastline.

He first visited Laguna Beach in 1971, and caught sight of a mother and baby gray whale during their migration along the coast. He was 14-years-old at the time, his website says. Years later, he was inspired to recreate that memory in a life-sized scale. 

Wyland painted his original mural on the Hotel Laguna’s wall in 1981, on his 25th birthday. That was the first of his 100 international “Whaling Walls.” The large as and sometimes larger than life works of art even landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records, as painting the world’s largest mural.

Unfortunately, that rendition of mother and calf was obliterated by the previous hotel owners who called it “an eyesore,” the Register reported. Wyland felt the reverse was true, for years watching that big swath of beige paint and waiting for chance to fill that blank canvas.

His new mural, still on the Hotel Laguna property now owned by investor Mohammad Honarkar, was painted on a removable surface to preserve it. 

“I think it’s better than the original,” Wyland said of the new mural. 

To the artist, the mural highlights Laguna Beach, and local efforts to ensure we have clean water and oceans, Wyland told the Register. 

He is looking to develop the Wyland of the Sea Art and Science Museum, which he anticipates building in Southern California, and that will be the ultimate home for this mural.