By LINDA MICHAEL
Carl “Rusty” Arnesen, whose artwork will be featured at the Foothills Gallery during the month of August, has been interested in art and drawing since he was very young. But during his early years in the Marine Corps, in school, and as a young attorney, he had little time for painting and drawing. Since his retirement, he has painted more than 30 pastel and acrylic pieces and has sold half a dozen. He has little artwork left from his early years, but one oil painting, done when he was a teen, will be on display along with his more recent paintings at the gallery.
Born in Brooklyn, Rusty was introduced to San Diego on his way to Vietnam while in the Marine Corps. After his last return from Vietnam, he settled in San Diego where he reentered college and attended law school. In college, he took a few art courses, but due to his work and school schedule, he was unable to indulge his desire to paint and draw. After law school, Rusty went into private practice. Later, he became a felony attorney for the San Diego County Public Defenders’ Office. His career as an attorney spanned 30 years. The last 20 years, he served as assistant public defender and chief deputy public defender.
Now able to pursue his interest in art, Rusty enjoys painting portraits, especially portraits on request as gifts for friends. He is an ongoing member of the Foothills Art Association and displays regularly in the gallery. He has entered a number of art competitions, winning four first-place awards, placing second twice and third once for acrylic and pastel paintings in veterans art competitions in La Jolla. He placed second in the Drew Bandish Art Competition in El Cajon and was an honorable mention from the Foothills Art Association. He now lives in Spring Valley, California.
The Foothills Gallery is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rusty Arnesen’s artwork will be featured at the gallery from Aug. 2 to Sept. 3. An artist’s reception will be on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2-4 p.m. at the gallery, 4910 Memorial Drive, La Mesa. Everyone is welcome. Call 619-464-7167 for more information.
— Linda Michael is editor of Footnotes, the newsletter of the Foothills Art Association.