“Camouflage House,” an art installation made from welded steel, salvaged signage and Plexiglas, is now adorning the lawn in front of Laguna Beach City Hall.
The piece was created by sculptor Tom Fruin, who said he hopes the stained-glass house will encourage people to more greatly appreciate their surroundings. The eight-foot-tall house has two archways that provide a place where visitors can stand and look through the stained glass to the outside.
“I hope people will walk inside, it really changes the perception of the world by looking through the colored glass,” Fruin said.
The temporary art installation was unveiled Monday evening, Jan. 6, to a crowd of about 30 onlookers. It is part of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission’s public art program, which invites artists nationwide to contribute. Artists are selected by the commission and then recommended to the Laguna Beach City Council for approval.
“Camouflage House” will be on display for three months.
“We are excited to share Fruin’s ‘Camouflage House,’ a homage to his idea of home,” said Adam Schwerner, Laguna Beach Arts Commission chairman. “Working with the commission and the Cultural Arts Department to bring great work like Fruin’s to Laguna Beach is something that I am very excited about.”
Fruin, 45, who grew up in Manhattan Beach, said he is excited his kaleidoscopic house has found a temporary home in Laguna Beach, a town he’s often visited. He called its Laguna debut a “sort of homecoming” and said he hopes the stop will be part of a larger California tour.
On Monday morning, Fruin moved the house from the Enchanted Garden Exhibit in a park in Los Angeles to its present location. The next stop will be UC Santa Barbara, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and studied psychology.
Fruin is known for a series of water tower sculptures around Brooklyn, N.Y., where he now lives. Like the “Camouflage House,” they are made from steel, signage and Plexiglass.
To create “Camouflage House,” Fruin laser-cut metal and then welded and drilled holes to create the framework for the walls. The pieces were powder-coated to withstand weather elements and each piece of Plexiglass was hand cut.
He named it “Camouflage House,” he said, because one side has bright colors and the other is more muted.
“It can blend in or stand out,” he said. “It’s enhanced by sunlight and the grass in front of City Hall. It also blends in well with the houses on the cliffs above.”