Esther Kang

Manhattan Beach fundraiser to spotlight local architect’s devotion to community

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Architect Pat Killen will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at FOLA's annual fundraiser event on Feb. 1. Courtesy of Pat Killen

Architect Pat Killen will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at FOLA’s annual fundraiser event on Feb. 1. Courtesy of Pat Killen

Architect Pat Killen is best known for his high-style modern beach homes, but unbeknownst to many, his portfolio is widely varied. Homes actually account for less than half of his past projects in his 35 years in the South Bay. Preschools, restaurants, medical buildings, memorials — Killen even picked up painting some 10 years ago, an art form he’s still working to hone.

On Feb 1, the Foundation of Local Arts [FOLA] will honor him with a lifetime achievement award at its fifth annual fundraiser, to be held at a private home designed by the architect in the Hill Section of Manhattan Beach. Themed “Architecture, Art and Design,” the event will also recognize interior designer Donna Grossman and William Hoblik, a visiting artist from Florida known for reinterpreting iconic portraits with wine labels.

“It’s really an honor that people believe I made that type of impact on the community,” Killen, 60, said. “I’ve always prided myself in giving back to the community, from coaching kids’  soccer teams to serving as a Manhattan Beach arts commissioner. I’m grateful for those opportunities.”

The evening soiree will include a fireside presentation by the honorees, a silent auction and raffle. Young FOLA musicians who enrolled in the organization’s jazz camp this month will perform, and a selection of works by local artists will be on display.

Killen, an Ohio native whose architect firm Studio 9one2 is based in Manhattan Beach, refers to the South Bay as home. He lived briefly in Manhattan Beach before settling down in Hermosa with his family. After that, he moved up to the Rolling Hills Estates then just last year relocated to Venice.

William Hoblik, a visiting artist from Florida, created this portrait of the Rolling Stones using wine labels. Courtesy of Janet Solisman

William Hoblik, a visiting artist from Florida, created this portrait of the Rolling Stones using wine labels. Courtesy of Janet Solisman

“As an artist, it’s important to keep yourself fresh and be able to always develop a different philosophy,” he said. “It took me years to develop a style. Architecture has always been an old man’s profession, and I’m just getting good at what I do. It’s a lifestyle in general and in order to develop that it takes years.”

Needless to say, Killen has no plans to retire in the near future.

He’s currently working on a piece for the fundraiser’s auction: a sculptural painting using a technique he developed over the years using a dissected acrylic canvas. He noted that proceeds from the auction will benefit local youth’s art endeavors, something he believes is being neglected by the public education system.

“The education system is failing to look at other aspects of education,” Killen said. “You can’t just give up on the arts.”

Tickets, available at foundationoflocalarts.com, are $45 until next Wednesday and $55 thereafter and at the door. All tickets include one complimentary drink and appetizers. They may be purchased in person at Look!Optometry at 451 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

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