Bust of Natalie Wood to be unveiled in Avalon

Courtesy photo Artist Kevin Kresse created bust of Natalie Wood.

A bronze sculpture depicting celebrated film star Natalie Wood will be unveiled at an event on Monday, Nov. 29, at the Hotel Metropole at 2 p.m.

The bust was commissioned by Arkansas attorney Samuel Perroni, who will be in Avalon that day signing copies of his latest book Brainstorm: An investigation of the Mysterious Death of Film Star Natalie Wood.

“I think Natalie Wood deserves a place in Catalina Island history,” says the former Assistant U.S. Attorney and celebrated former criminal defense attorney.

The sculpture is a “tribute to the actress and a gift to her fans,” said Perroni.

He said the public is invited to attend the book signing, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., and the Natalie Wood bust unveiling at 2 p.m., all scheduled at the Hotel Metropole.

Perroni has said he “will not profit in any way” from Wood’s death, vowing to donate all of the book’s proceeds to charity and paying for renown sculptor Kevin Kresse to create the bust of Natalie Wood.

Arkansas-based visual artist Kevin Kresse created the work this past spring and summer. He began with an armature of foam to keep it lightweight, then sculpted on top of that with an oil-based clay, before sending the sculpture to a foundry to be cast in bronze, the sculptor is quoted in a press release.

“I concentrated on conveying the qualities which made her such a lovely person and wonderful mother. It is difficult to capture these in a frozen moment of sculpture, but I’m proud of the results,” Kresse said. “I hope her fans see the beauty and humanity in this piece and that it is a positive addition to Natalie’s legacy.

“I, like so many people in the world, have always loved Natalie Wood. She had those innate qualities of sweetness and likability, besides being one of the most beautiful people to have ever graced the screen,” Kresse said.

Gail Fornasiere, Deputy Director of the Catalina Island Museum’s External Affairs Committee, said the museum’s committee plans to meet Dec. 5 to discuss the potential of adding the Natalie Wood bust to the museum’s permanent collection.

Kevin Kresse is a painter and sculptor based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Kresse has been awarded painting fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Arkansas Arts Council.

He has also won several awards in the Arkansas Arts Center annual Delta competition. Kresse previously exhibited his work around Arkansas and in New York City; Washington, D.C., Memphis; Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Bust of Natalie Wood to be unveiled in Avalon