By Cynthia Robertson
Each month at the Mission Trails Region Park’s Visitor Center looks a little different, thanks to the ever-changing art exhibits featured on its walls. Along with the monthly exhibits come countless art aficionados and friends of the featured artists. The current exhibit “Seven Great Artists, One Great Show” features seven artists who work in seven different media.
The ambient light of the center has turned out to be an excellent showing place for art. People appreciate the warm tones of the natural light streaming in from the doors and windows.
Vicky DeLong, art coordinator of the Visitor Center since 2011, organizes 12 exhibits a year, with each exhibit featuring 30 to 40 pieces of art. The current exhibit features some images from Mission Trails.
“Visitors enjoy seeing the art, especially if it is of Mission Trails as they can identify with where the image was taken,” DeLong said.
The art program at the Visitor Center started in February 1995 right after the center was built. It was initially run by Richard Johnson, who passed away just a couple of years ago.
“The program was very different in those days,” DeLong said. “Most of the art was one group of oil painters — of which Richard was a member. No jurying — just Richard selecting the artists.”
Shandel Gamer took over the position in 2006, and the following year, jurying began for the exhibitions.
The Mission Trails gallery differs from others in San Diego, DeLong explained, in that at least 50 artists a year can be featured with shows changing monthly, whether they are solo shows, group shows with seven to eight artists, or a show from an organized art group. The medium varies, but the subject is always nature-related.
“The center gets a myriad of people visiting the center who enjoy looking at the art, and sometimes will purchase the art to hang on their walls at home or in their office,” DeLong said.
Bob and Leslie Tutelman drove in from Scripps Ranch for the recent artists’ reception of “Seven Great Artists, One Great Show.” Their friend Steven Gould has several photographs displayed at the showing.
“We always love a chance to come here,” Bob said outside the Visitors Center. “People can come in from a hike and walk right into the art gallery.”
“And I like the gallery because it’s different. It doesn’t have lights that are pointing directly down onto the art,” Leslie added.
“Seven Great Artists, One Great Show” will run through Jan. 30. The next exhibit, “Nature’s Eternal Dance,” features watercolors, oils and acrylics by Joan Hansen. That exhibit will run from Jan. 31 through Feb. 27.
—Contact Cynthia Robertson at email@example.com.