Malibu Times Featured Article

Malibu Seen: A Whale of a Tale

By Kim Devore / Entertainment Editor

Originally Published June 2015, The Malibu Times

Kathleen Keifer Malibu artist Kathleen Keifer has been spending her summer restoring murals at Webster Elementary School.

Kathleen Keifer

Malibu artist Kathleen Keifer has been spending her summer restoring murals at Webster Elementary School.

One of Malibu’s favorite visual scene-stealers, artist Kathleen Keifer, has been busy at work with a sweet summer project.

Paintbrush firmly in hand, she has been helping to restore a dozen murals at Webster Elementary School, including two that she herself painted.

The oldest mural greets you as you enter. As you stroll in, admiring the skilled brush strokes and color, you know you are in a special community place.

Webster students painted the entrance 20 years ago. It presents a charming folk art scene of kids at play.

Kathleen was joined on this summer endeavor by an enthusiastic team of young art restorers who share her love of preservation, including Brian Chao, Kayla Hefter, Will Lacey, Michael Rumpp and Kathleen’s own daughter, Claire Keifer.

Claire is a Webster alumna. In 1998, she worked on her first mural with the talented David Legaspi. She had the privilege of being mentored by the famous painter at the tender age of three.

The south-facing mural, titled “The Book of Whales,” was badly damaged and then cleaned by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.

The mural has a special meaning to all involved, as it was the first mural painted by David in Malibu.

The crew has been working away all summer long and hopes its eye-popping efforts will be ready to view for the upcoming school year. Kathleen, who has depicted some of Malibu’s most beautiful vistas with a colorful approach, is hoping the Webster kids get a helping hand and some artistic inspiration to boot. “We really want to do a fundraiser and unveiling,” she says. “We will just have to see what happens.”

I first met Kathleen about 20 years ago when she had regular showings at the old McLean Gallery at Cross Creek. I fell in love with her artwork straight away as it reminds me of the local version of Monet’s famous haystacks. She paints up iconic depictions of Malibu palms at all times of day, lifeguard stations from dawn to dusk, and everything from old VWs loaded up with well-worn surfboards to throngs of cyclists at Zuma Beach.

Needless to say, between Kathleen, David and the kids, these school murals couldn’t be in better hands. So get ready as they help Webster to make waves!

DAVID’S GRAND DISPLAY

He’s famous for his splashy water scenes, cool pool pictures and personal portraits, and just happens to be a longtime fan of Malibu.

So if you’re a follower of artist David Hockney, you won’t want to miss his latest exhibit at the L.A. Louver Gallery in Venice. As one of the biggest names in contemporary art, he has displayed his latest and greatest at the gallery many times.

This time, his showcase is called “David Hockney: Painting and Photography.” It was organized in collaboration with Annely Juda Fine Art in London.

Instead of pools, people are his focus in this extraordinary display featuring crusty card players, determined Scrabble fans and more. The show opened July 15, but there’s still time to catch a wonderful glimpse before it moves on this fall.

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