Launching the inaugural Cultural Excellence Award, the City of Dana Point and the Dana Point Sister Cities nonprofit recognized longtime Capistrano Beach resident and nationally celebrated artist Timothy J. Clark.
During the Nov. 7 City Council meeting, Dana Point Sister Cities President Robert Zasa explained that the nonprofit’s board decided to launch the award to recognize individuals who contribute to the culture of the South County area, and (are) notable nationally, internationally, and regionally, “because we are an organization that promotes culture and wants to celebrate that.”
The nonprofit will not be presenting the Cultural Excellence Award on an annual basis, Zasa explained; rather, the award will be based on merit, recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Dana Point community.
“Tim meets all those criteria,” Zasa said. “Tim’s been a 40-year native of Dana Point in the Capo Beach area. He’s internationally celebrated.”
Zasa noted that while Clark’s watercolor paintings are “phenomenal,” he’s known for “expressive interiors, urban landscapes, beautiful architectural drawings, portraits and figures.”
Clark’s works are displayed in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the City Museum of New York, the University of California, Irvine Langson Museum of California Art, the Hilbert Museum and the Laguna Art Museum, Zasa added.
The city also presented Clark with a plaque recognizing his contribution to the town’s culture.
Mayor Mike Frost noted that Clark has brought “cultural, international, national and regional notoriety to Dana Point.”
While speaking on the City of Dana Point and the Dana Point Sister Cities’ recognition, Clark touched on his artistic inspirations, drawing from the beauty of Dana Point.
“There’s one thing everybody in this room knows, and that’s that this area is peaceful,” Clark said. “This area is incredibly beautiful. Every time I go by the beach, I think how lucky I am.”
“I mean, I’m an Orange County native, but this place is incredible,” Clark continued. “And because it’s incredible, it’s inspirational. The Beach Boys sang about it, didn’t they?”
Clark added that he’s lucky that not only his neighbors have his paintings, but the Smithsonian does, too.
“I wave our flag every time I go to the East Coast, anytime I go anywhere,” Clark said. “There are paintings that the National Portrait Gallery has that were created here, or the Hispanic Museum that were created here.”
“From coast to coast,” Clark continued, “I love this city, and I already won a big award just by living here and being able to create in peace, because that’s what this place is all about.”