When flying a kite there is one element which is absolutely essential, wind. The day Hotel Casa del Mar hosted its first kite flying event there was most certainly plenty of it. Dramatic skies and clear views made for a picturesque day at the beach, but the white caps in the ocean proved that the strong gusts might be too much for the kites to take.

This was a day to honor one of our own; a Santa Monica treasure whose achievements deserved high flying recognition, quite literally. Famous artist and kite creator, Tom Van Sant, was gracious enough to spend his day flying his kites in front of our Santa Monica Beach Hotel. But the 24 mile an hour gusts proved to be too much for Van Sant’s 35 year-old kites, and though his famous Jacob’s Ladder kite did not take to the skies, the day was far from ruined.

 

Enter George Peters and Melanie Walker from Boulder, Colorado. Inspired by Van Sant’s revolutionary kites from the 1970s, this duo makes whimsical flying creations that are easily the most innovative and captivating in today’s kite world. Their large banners which emulated flickering fire and giant feathers stuck in the sand, while flying high above was a magnificent color-blocked bird, a large-scale tuxedo and a life-like monster. Howling winds could not stop these two from enjoying the day. In fact, it didn’t stop a lot of people! Van Sant, though unable to fly his masterpiece, spent the afternoon with Peters and Walker on the beach. Also joining them were friends and family including Peters’ 90 year-old father. Bundled up in a winter jacket with the hood securely over his head, he lay back in the sand and said, “This is paradise!”

Though Van Sant’s kite was unable to take to the skies, another one of his impressive flying masterpieces made an appearance in the Lobby Lounge of Hotel Casa del Mar. Stretching from one end of the seating area to the other, Van Sant’s kite, Wong, caught the eyes of guests when they first checked in. While Peters and Walker’s kites flew high on the beach, Van Sant’s kites entertained guests at our Santa Monica Hotel.

Hotel Casa del Mar announced plans to make “Flying Art at Casa del Mar” an annual event featuring kite artists from around the world.  Anyone interested in participating in a future breathtaking high flying event can email flyingart@hotelcasadelmar.com.

To learn more about Tom Van Sant, click here or visit his website.

To learn more about George Peters and Melanie Walker, click here.