Cardboard Yacht: Help Build One in Santa Monica

Artist Kiel Johnson will lead an art project that hearkens back to the days of William Randolph Hearst's yacht.

The OC Fair, which will take its final bow for 2017 on Sunday, Aug. 13, offered, like it always does, a little bit of absolutely everything one could dream up or imagine.

It even includes what has been billed as "the world's largest paper garden," a mega craft project that came together, petal by petal, under the eye and inspiration of artist Kiel Johnson.

Did you cut a daffodil out, or a daisy, while visiting the Costa Mesa event? Then take note that Mr. Johnson has a fresh goal in sight, and it is ramping up just as the OC Fair closes.

He'll be taking on the building of the Oneida, William Randolph Hearst's yacht, and he'll be doing so at the Annenberg Community Beach House, a landmark that has wayback ties to the publishing magnate.

The estate of Marion Davies, Mr. Hearst's companion, once grandly stood on the site, decades ago. Today? The beachfront property serves as a cultural, social, and splash-fun beacon for Southern Californians searching out some history, some stories, and a place to swim.

And a place to make memorable art. For this yacht, under Mr. Johnson's direction, will not contain the typical materials, such as fiberglass and steel, found in a sea-worthy vessel.

Rather, it will be constructed from cardboard.

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You can help Mr. Johnson's quirky quest from Monday, Aug. 14 through Friday, Aug. 18 by contributing to the cardboard Oneida. Just stop by the beach house from 10 a.m. to noon on any of those days, roll up your sleeves if you have roll-up-able sleeves, and pitch in.

The yacht build actually starts on Aug. 11, if you want to observe, but should you want to participate, Aug. 14-18 is your window. And, of course, the yacht will look more boat-like with each passing day.

If you're wondering if the construction of the cardboard Oneida is all leading up to the annual Cardboard Regatta, which will row across the Annenberg Community Beach House Pool on Saturday, Aug. 26, ponder no longer: The offbeat Oneida "...will be on display as an inspiration to all — especially the builder-participants..." joining the regatta competition.

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