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Santa Monica's Fluttering Kite Festival

Every year, the Otis College of Art and Design hosts its annual family-friendly Kite Festival in Santa Monica. The festival brings in well-renowned kite designers to share their expertise and passion for kite design and construction.

The festival has featured prominent kite designers like Tyrus Wong, Melanie Walker, Jose Sainz, Bobby Stanfield, among several others.

KCET's Departures toured Wong's home for its Chinatown series, which boasted an impressive collection of kites and artifacts. He sat down with us to talk about Old Chinatown and the inspiration behind his fluttering pieces.

Wong, now in his 100s, migrated with his father from Taishan to Sacramento when he was just nine. He later developed a love for the arts and attended Otis College of Arts and Design where he earned a prestigious scholarship for his artistic skills.

In the 1930s, Wong had the opportunity to work on design backgrounds for Disney's classic film "Bambi." He used rich watercolor washes and strokes reminiscent of Chinese ink painting, as KCET's Artbound writes.

Wong moved on to Warner Brothers and worked as a motion picture illustrator for iconic films like "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Harper."

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Rich Shelton, Otis College of Art and Design
  • Gail Morgan, communications manager, Santa Clarita
  • Ron Gibian, artist/kite maker
  • Melanie Walker, kite maker

 

 

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