After nearly 15 years, Bolton Colburn is stepping down from the directorship of the Laguna Art Museum. The Laguna Beach Independent broke this puzzling news in an article published yesterday, stating that Colburn voluntarily resigned, effective May 13. The article didn't provide any explanation for the sudden move, nor would Colburn say much in response to a query from the OC Weekly.
“I've been at the helm for 14 years and another 10 in the curatorial department,” Colburn said. “Time for a change.”
Asked if there was anything else he could say about his departure, Colburn demurred. “I've realized exhibitions at Laguna Art Museum that would have been very difficult to realize at any other institution at the time.”
During his tenure at the museum, Colburn helped expand the museum's artistic reach by developing exhibitions focusing on Southern California surfing and pop culture, such as last summer's “Art Shack” and 2008's “In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz factor.” He was in the process of trying to arrange a showing on California's psychedelic art–along with San Francisco's Haight Ashbury, Laguna Beach was a major center of that scene–when he left.
There's no word yet on where Colburn will land or who will replace him at the museum, but apparently his soon-to-be-former employer is looking for someone a lot like Colburn to fill his shoes. Good luck with that.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).