New Art Gallery Space at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Exhibits the Works of Four Renowned Artists

From mixed media of African tribal life and beach-themed paintings to metal surf sculpture and hand-crafted jewelry, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel showcases original works of art from four multi-talented artists.

“Travelers love to experience the art and culture of the destination they are visiting, and our art hall provides them with a sample of some of the local talent,” said Director of Marketing Donna Bond. “We took an underutilized space at the resort and transformed it into a beautiful display where we can showcase paintings, photographs and sculpture in a gallery-like setting, Additionally, we have had a long-standing partnership with the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, so it was natural to create a public art display which has quickly become a point of interest for guests visiting the resort.”

Working with local artists and galleries such as Karen Tobin’s McCullolm Gallery, the resort has featured several amazing exhibits over the past year and a half. The current exhibit featuring artists Gabrielle Pool, Kevin A. Short, Derek McDonald and Laura Carley will be on display through the end of January 2013.

Mixed Media from Gabrielle Pool
New Zealand-born artist, Gabrielle Pool has been exhibiting since 1993. Her paintings and mixed media works have been exhibited in solo and group shows in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, the U.S., the U.K., Greece and the Bahamas. Partly schooled in Japan, her early inspiration from her teacher, Mori Sensei has led to a powerful oriental influence, with her first solo show in Chiba-Ken at the age of 16.

In 2004, Gabrielle began to record several of the world’s vanishing tribes – the Hamer Tribe in Ethiopia, the Maasai of Kenya, and more recently, the Indigenous women artists of Utopia in Australia’s Northern Territory. Gabrielle immersed herself in tribal life, often used sacred body paint pigments in her work. “My painting has always been driven by a desire to preserve and record the history of ancient people and their environments, in a world that seems to be trying its very best to eradicate them and ‘civilise’ them.”

In 2005, Gabrielle was invited by Nelson Mandela to travel to Africa to collaborate in the production of the Unity Series, alongside 20 other leading international artists. The works depicted the five phases of Mandela’s life, culminating in his vision for the future, launched at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland in the same year. In 2007, Gabrielle was the subject of an hour-long TVNZ documentary about her career as an artist, while National Geographic Australia posted a feature article about her challenging views as an explorer.

Surf Art by Derek McDonald
A self-taught artist, Derek McDonald was born in Orange County, California where he began to explore his artistic side at a very young age. Derek was curious about all things mechanical. In his freshman year of high school, Derek took metal shop. It was then that he was exposed to a whole new world which included welding; his artistic focus was found, and metal became his passion. As a young man, Derek’s family was far from rich, so to make art, he turned to the open road collecting pieces of metal and other nonsense. He grew fascinated with the challenge of what could be made from his collection of junk. He started making small primitive sculptures or his family and friends in 1985. That evolved, and in 1989 he began selling his art locally.

Hand-Crafted Jewelry by Laura Carley
Laura Carley is a Southern California native. She became interested in art and design at an early age as she was taught to oil paint by her great grandmother who was an artist. Laura received her Bachelor’s degree in art from San Diego State University. During her studies at San Diego State University she developed a love for working with metals. Upon graduation she began to create a collection of jewelry which she exhibited at Taboo Gallery in San Diego.

Shortly after, Laura moved to San Francisco where she was quickly absorbed into the jewelry community. She began to exhibit her jewelry in local art festivals such as the Sausalito Art Festival, the Marin Art Festival, the Union Street Festival, the Saratoga Art Festival and the King’s Mountain Art Festival. She also joined the Women’s Jewelry Association of San Francisco where she won a design award for one of her beautiful heart creations. Her next endeavor was to exhibit at the Buyer’s Market of American Craft and the ACC Craft show in Baltimore. Her collection was shown in over 200 galleries across the United States and Canada.

After five years in San Francisco, Laura returned to Southern California, where she settled in Orange County. Soon after, she was accepted to exhibit her work at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. She has now been exhibiting at the Festival of Arts for 12 years. During this time she has also exhibited at the La Quinta Arts Festival, the Scottsdale Arts Festival and the Beverly Hills Affaire in the Gardens.

Paintings from Kevin A. Short
Kevin Short is an internationally collected painter whose works have been exhibited in museums around the world. His bold approach to capturing life’s moments has put him at the forefront of the modern impressionist movement. He has won numerous prestigious awards; best of shows, awards of excellence, and first places. He was featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times, and as the cover artist for the Surfer’s Journal. Southwest Art Magazine has featured him and his work in many issues; heralding Kevin’s one man exhibitions as “Best of the West”. He has been the featured artist for many other national publications and journals, and has authored “Painting Landscapes in Oils” and “The Art of Oil Painting” for Walter Foster Publishing. Kevin was the subject of the documentary: Documenting the Vibe, and his book “TRESTLES” exemplifies how artists can draw attention to land use and preservation. Kevin was recently included in “California Light – A Century of Landscapes” by Rizzoli Press.

Kevin was raised along California’s coast. Born in San Diego, and reared in Santa Barbara, his love for the ocean began through sailing, fishing, and spending long days in the surf. Kevin creativity was nurtured in an artistic family in the little California town of Goleta. Years later his studies formalized with oil painting at the University of New Mexico, and Pepperdine University in Malibu. He further distinguished himself by graduating with honors from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Kevin’s paintings are displayed in The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel premiered as the first luxury resort along coastal Orange County in August 1984. Today, the resort is a re-imagined surfside retreat that awakens guests’ senses with its unique ocean-front setting and remarkable service heritage. The resort is the premiere destination for travelers who desire a playful approach to Southern California luxury. The resort has been the recipient of many awards over the years, but is proud to boast earning AAA Five Diamond status for the 27th year, the longest in California. The resort offers many extraordinary luxury experiences including Raya, 180blũ, The Market Place, enoSTEAK, Bar Raya, The Spa and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment. For more information or reservations call 800-241-3333, the hotel directly at 949-240-2000, a travel professional or visit the web site at

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 80 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company website at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)

Contact :
Deanne French
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
(949) 240-5088