Surf's Beat Generation:  An Art and Culture Revolution in Orange County from 1953 - 1964

February 8 – March 12, 2016
Curators: Rhonda Gawthrop and Chrystal McCluney

About the Exhibition

Surf’s Beat Generation defined the connection between the Beat Culture of the 1950’s to Surf Art and culture. The Beats changed the mindset of a young generation leading to an anti-establishment and rebellious freedom into the 1960s. The parallel beat counter-culture movement of art, poetry and music formulated the beginning of modern surf art, which percolated in the coffee houses and cafes of Orange County. The show recreated the feel of the early cafes along the Orange County coast and included music, art, poetry and advertising from 1953-1964.

Surf’s Beat Generation featured the work of local influential artists Rex Brandt, Wayne La Com, Phil Dike, George James, Paul Darrow, Karl Benjamin, Andy Wing and Milford Zornes, among others. The exhibition connected the world of fine art to early paintings from John Severson, “the father of modern surf art,” who was influenced by the beat generation, and also included the Bohemian-style graphics and advertisements featured in surf magazines and local surfboard shops. 

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