Richard McLaughlin is one of Santa Barbara's preeminent public artists. He has created public murals for Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Isla Vista and public sculpture for parades, festivals, and celebration events. He is a founding member and one of the guiding spirits behind the nationally recognized Summer Solstice Parade and he was tapped by Santa Barbara's Downtown Organization to create a Millennium Celebration Procession of giant illuminated puppets. He has worked with at-risk youth and young graffiti artists through the Contemporary Arts Forum and City at Peace to create murals, parade ensembles, and theater to encourage them toward more socially responsible forms of expression. In most of his public mural and sculpture projects, he has led a team of younger artist assistants who he inspired to help design, create, and execute the work.
Mr. McLaughlin's studio work has explored themes of power, money, personal identity, and the environment. His current sculptural work explores the energetic fields around objects and concepts of balance, harmony, and radiance. His recent paintings examine ideas of infinite expansion from a point source through manipulations of color and line. The paintings strive to balance dark/light, expansion/contraction, and radiance/harmony.