Sculptor and Painter Cinthia Joyce’s Passion for Beauty and Art Exists in Every Fiber of Her Being

Good form.

  • Category
  • Written by
    Tanya Monaghan
  • Photographed by
    Monica Orozco

Walking up to Cinthia Joyce’s gorgeous Manhattan Beach home, a hand-painted Black Lives Matter sign stands proudly on her lawn. She greets me at the front door with a warm smile and sparkling blue eyes.

Stepping into her house, the magic of her art comes to life. Bright and bold walls—many painted by Cinthia—bring life and energy to each room. The entrance boasts her larger-than-life bronze statue of the Greek mythological character Atlas, a 2½-year project.

As Cinthia took me through each room, revealing one new work after another, it felt as though we were walking through a museum. In her garage studio, all sorts of body forms and statues—both human and animal—offer a feast for the eyes and a glimpse into her creative world.

“I dive in with the intention that each time I work on something, I want it to be new, challenging and exciting. I want to take risks.”

Cinthia studied under a host of master sculptors and painters throughout her illustrious career. Her résumé boasts a lifetime’s work of public and private art commissions; invitational, solo and juried exhibitions; and countless awards. She is a sculptor member of the prestigious California Art Club and the art director of the Torrance Performing Arts Consortium. She has also done many other private and public commissions, including Pacific Gray Whale—a 13-foot-high monument in front of the Point Vicente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Cinthia’s father’s family arrived in California in the 1700s as pioneers, and her maternal great-grandmother came over from Scotland during the Gold Rush. Her Scotland home was dismantled, packed up and put on a boat that set sail around Cape Horn. Once on the California coast, it was masterfully reassembled.

Many years later, as one of six children, Cinthia grew up on an acre of land in Malibu. Immersed in the world of arts and crafts from a young age, she was particularly captivated by animals—one of her favorite subjects.

“There was so much space then that you didn’t have to ask your parents [if you could have an animal],” she says nostalgically. “We used to have Easter egg hunts on Topanga Beach, and we would be awarded prizes that ranged from baby chicks to a goat depending on how many eggs you found amongst all the artichokes growing in the sand dunes. We would even save up our money and buy animals at the dime store, coming home with a honey toad or a baby alligator.”

While attending UCLA to study art history, she met her husband, Peter, as he was finishing medical school. Soon after graduation, her natural curiosity and passion for art took her all over Europe, exploring museums, churches and palaces steeped in rich history.

When she returned to America, Cinthia went back to UCLA to study interior design. She got married and moved to Manhattan Beach to raise her two children.

Cinthia finds beauty in both the weird and the whimsical. To her, everything is art. Even the daily process can be beautifully unconventional. She begins each day with a meditative tea out in a tropical outdoor haven she created in her backyard, nicknamed “the bayou.”

“I set up my whole breakfast with antique china on my tea table,” she shares. “I pick myself a bouquet, burn a candle out there and do my spiritual reading. Then I dive in with the intention that each time I work on something, I want it to be new, challenging and exciting. I want to take risks.”

With COVID-19 and quarantine changing the way people experience the fine arts for the short term, Cinthia was recently selected to participate in a virtual exhibit, The Garzoni ChallengeAdvancing Women Artists at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. “This is actually a really spiritual time,” she says. “We have lost the art of living life on a daily basis, but this time has reminded us that it’s important to live in the moment. I hope we don’t lose that.”

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