"The Whaling Wall" (1981, 1996) by Wyland
DESCRIPTION:  approx. 12- to 24-foot high by 130-foot long hand-painted ceramic tile mural  (on two walls)
COMMENT:  The original 1981 version of this famous mural was (Robert) Wyland's first that established his series of at least 67 subsequent "Whaling Walls" throughout the world, painted for free to call attention to the plight of whales. 
The 1981 mural was painted on the high perimeter wall south of the parking lot for the Hotel Laguna (shown below).  The fate of the mural was threatened in 1996 by the Hotel Laguna's operator Claes Anderson, who considered it an eyesore and planned to paint over it.  After unsuccessful petitions to the Laguna Beach City Council to protect the mural, Wyland purchased what he mistakenly believed was the mural's underlying property in order to safeguard the mural and build a studio and gallery.  Unfortunately, during the gallery's construction the upper portion of the mural was destroyed.  In September 1996, to the artist's and public's dismay, Anderson had the remaining mural painted over.
Wyland then created the current 2-wall ceramic tile revision of the earlier mural on the north sides of his Laguna Beach studio and gallery.  

© Public Art in Public Places Project

© Public Art in Public Places Project

© Public Art in Public Places Project

LOCATION:  509 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA