Celebrating Long Beach Arts Month: Robert Tolone


October marks Long Beach Arts Month and the Long Beach Post has partnered with the Arts Council for Long Beach to celebrate the image makers, the painters, the dancers, the designers, the musicians, and the countless other artists who make our city vibrant and cultured. Our homepage will feature an artist’s own unique interpretation of Long Beach daily so make sure to check back every weekday to discover or rediscover a local talent.

Belmont Shore resident and artist Robert Tolone calls them “Beach People.”

For the past 15 years since moving here, Tolone walks the beach practically every day and picks up what plastic he finds. Whether the task is easy, as when it is particularly cluttered after storms, or more difficult, as when Tolone has to search for the pieces he needs, he collects what most consider trash and turns them into playful pieces of art.

“A lot of plastic washes up onto the sand,” Tolone said. “It’s not good that so much plastic is floating in the ocean but I couldn’t help noticing that the pieces are colorful and beautiful. They are weathered and broken. So I make sculptures out of them that I call ‘Beach People.’”

The artist has a rich, intellectual history, having received both his BFA and MFA from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Tolone’s work can be seen at multiple solo exhibitions throughout the country. He was one of the head sculptors for The Spongebob Squarepants Movie and his roster of clients include Bergdorf Goodman, FAO Schwartz, MOMA, MOCA, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Company, Sony, Nordstrom, Nickelodeon and Jack in the Box.

See more of Robert Tolone’s work on Facebook or on his website.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.