John Culqui’s art goes on display at Surfing Heritage Gallery

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ddr projects art exhibitDDR Projects presents the artwork of John Culqui at Surfing Heritage Gallery in Costa Mesa March 6 – March 28. An opening reception will take place Saturday, March 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The art exhibit will display original paintings, limited edition prints, clothing and more.

John S. Culqui was born in Lennox, California. John is a first-generation Ecuadorian American and the youngest of eight children. His exposure to the arts began at home as he observed his mother designing custom dresses for her clients and his father, a master jeweler, creating new pieces. John’s family maintained their South American heritage while assimilating themselves to American cultural. This dual tradition would become the catalyst for John’s artistic endeavors.

A typical Southern California kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, John spent a lot of time outdoors and visiting local beaches, skateparks and backyard bowls often.

“I remember as a kid going to the Dockwieler State Beach with my family. It was a ten-minute drive from our home on Osage Avenue, straight down on Imperial Highway. The smell of the beach air was fresh and salty. The color of the water was this blue gray in the morning and in the afternoon the skies would clear it became a blue green and always cold. I now try to capture these smells and colors in my surf-themed art, along with the familiar Southern California landmarks such as the smoke stacks at El Porto, the ominous oil derricks looming just beyond the horizon up and down the coast and the nuclear power plant at San Onofre State Beach.”

After graduating from high school, John attended Woodbury University in Burbank, California where John studied architecture and earned his degree. Upon completing his studies John took up painting as a way to stay creative, but John’s training in architectural design fundamentals influenced his unique style and composition.

“I generate my art for the purpose that most artists do, to create dialogue, awareness, emotion and or a memory. In my skate and surf art, I want the viewer to feel the motion of the water, the moving board, smell the water and concrete, and to feel the grit of the wheels touching the asphalt. I hope to create enough iconographical clues throughout my painting that the viewer looks closer and ask questions as to what it all means. And, a way to make a more personal connection between myself, the viewer and the overall work”

John’s work holds appeal for anyone who loves the Southern California culture and lifestyle. It showcases the iconic images of the coastal culture along Pacific Coast Highway and makes one long for summer. When viewing John’s work, one can’t help to feel as though they’re dropping into a bowl or carving a wave. Watching an iconic SoCal sunset and feeling like a character from Endless Summer or Single Fin Yellow.

The Surfing Heritage Gallery is located at 3333 Bear Street, Suite 303 (the Crate & Barrel wing), in South Coast Plaza West, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. For more information, call (714) 800-1654 or go to

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