Courtesy: Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Collection

Alphabet Block Construction (removed)

Marina Del Rey, California

Rip Cronk (

Mother's Beach, 4101 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, California, 90292
Owner:  Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Collection
Date:  1997
Placement:  parks (recreation areas)
Artwork Type:  sculpture (visual work)
Material:  acrylic paint
Description:  Motivated by a desire to create art that is unpretentious and easily accessible to the public, Rip Cronk and Beach Art, Inc. teamed up to create Alphabet Block Construction. Perched on the sand at Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey this three dimensional mural construction was the first of a proposed 30 lifeguard towers to be produced by Beach Art, Inc. at Los Angeles County beaches. This project ofnted life guard towers was conceived by artist Sergio Premoli as “The Official Open Air Art Museum of Los Angeles County Beaches.” Premoli and Beach Art, Inc. hoped to bring art out of museums and make it accessible to children through the lifeguard towers. In Rip Cronk they found a kindred spirit who believes that murals “are meant to have a street meaning and a meaning about new ways of combining the fine art context in society.”

Cronk worked with a team of 10 students and teachers from Venice High School to produce this 15’ h x 10’ w x 12’ d life guard tower, painted to resemble a child’s alphabet building blocks. Around the sides of the tower the blocks spell out phrases like “Way Cool,” “Be Free,” and “Play.” Alphabet Block Construction was the only of the proposed 30 towers to be built.

About the Artist: A Los Angeles native, Rip Cronk has produced murals around the world. He graduated with a BFA from the University of Florida and later received an MFA from the University of New Mexico. Following his graduate studies, Cronk lived and worked in Hawaii, the San Francisco Bay area, and Zurich, Switzerland.

Despite his world travels and global art production, Cronk is most well-known for his murals along the Venice boardwalk in southern California. In 1979 he became a muralist-in-residence for the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), enabling him to produce eleven murals throughout the Venice region. These works include Venice Reconstituted, Homage to a Starry Knight, Morning Shot, and Situational Ethics. In addition to his many murals and graffiti-inspired studio work, Cronk has written a collection of essays that redefines the role of culture in post-modern society.

Deaccessioned and destroyed.

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