Last Saturday, I attended an intimate soiree of art and music at Moonglow Design owned local plumber and art enthusiast Mike Glancy. The small get together could be heard prominently around 8pm as I parked on an otherwise dark street in Bird Rock. I approached a moonlit deck full of friends and family enjoying a live Hawaiian soundtrack. Large, colorfully painted canvases were hung under canopies where the artists and food tables were patiently awaiting hungry observers.
The atmosphere felt more like a creative gathering of multi-faceted artists than a stoic art event. The first artist I met, Manuel Castro, introduced himself as a sculptor and master percussionist. He told me that he had been working with Moonglow for years, completing commissioned artworks for clients. His artistic passions seemed to be deeply influenced by his musical background and love for Portugal where he’s spent a lot of time traveling. At one point in the night, Castro joined the Hawaiian band on his own set of bongo drums and later a cabasas (a hand-held wooden instrument with metal beads played like a cucaracha).
Tunji, an African-styled artist, showed me a few of his ceramic masks hanging in the Moonglow studio. Made from durable clay and fired under high heat, these intricate masks were once part of a full collection; individual pieces have since been sold and although Tunji has been commissioned for his unique art by many local companies such as Creative Concepts and Healthy Planet, he is forced to support himself as a construction worker. Currently in search of a private workspace to produce his art, his partnership with Moonglow provides Tunji with an artistic oasis.
I also met Glen, a local La Jolla man who also lived and sold art in Hawaii for many years. His works at Moonglow range from surrealistic sunsets to colorful abstract paintings to detailed ink drawings. You can find Glen most days at his studio by the beach: a bench right outside of Wind n Sea. There he sells fun beach paintings and even gives art lessons.
“All the locals know who I am and most of the locals buy my stuff,” he said in response to the notion that he might sell more artwork by tourists at the Cove. Glen claimed he preferred a more mellow lifestyle near his friends and the waves he’s surfed his whole life. After speaking with me, I watched Glen join the other artists near the music to enjoy a glass of wine which was almost spilled by Castro’s dancing feet.
Before leaving, I said my goodbyes to Mike and his daughter Megan. Megan, who is still learning the ropes of her father’s businesses, hopes to take over one day and continue her father’s monthly art shows.
“I think it turned out beautiful. It’s such a beautiful night,” Mike concluded, as I left the festive scene under a ceiling of stars. Amongst so many artworks, musicians and the moon glowing above, it truly was beautiful.