Heritage of the Americas Museum celebrates 16th year with Cuyamaca College’s Spring Garden Festival

6
37
WEBheritage.jpg

For 18 years, Rancho San Diego’s Cuyamaca College has staged a celebration of springtime in East County, known as the Spring Garden Festival. And for 16 of those years, the on-campus Heritage of the Americas Museum has participated in the festivities with a companion celebration of the area’s Western arts and culture. This year’s event was held on April 29.

For 18 years, Rancho San Diego’s Cuyamaca College has staged a celebration of springtime in East County, known as the Spring Garden Festival. And for 16 of those years, the on-campus Heritage of the Americas Museum has participated in the festivities with a companion celebration of the area’s Western arts and culture. This year’s event was held on April 29.

The pleasantly warm day invited visitors to take a walking tour through the Water Conservation Garden surrounding the museum for family-oriented garden activities, and then to venture into the air-conditioned wings of the museum for exhibits and presentations honoring the history of outdoor Western life.

Kathleen Oatsvall, the museum’s director, spoke about the partnership support during the annual festival, which attracts over 3,000 attendees annually. The event grows and continues flourishing over the years, according to Oatsvall.

“We have a great turnout this year,” Oatsvall said. A new feature within the museum’s event staging this year was an extensive art show and art sale. Recently donors had given the museum high quality prints of Olaf Wieghorst paintings purchased from the Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, some of which were offered for sale at reasonable prices during the festival.

The Ornamental Horticulture Department for the first time offered wine tasting. And this year further saw the college’s Butterfly Festival held in conjunction with the Spring Garden Festival. Scattered amid the native plant sales, water conservation information and garden-related vendor tables, were displays of species of butterflies and pollinator insects.

At one table, attendees could purchase a sleeping butterfly in a box to be released into the garden. (Farm butterflies were kept cool and dark in the boxes, and release buyers could place the open boxes into sunny areas, for each butterfly to warm up and fly away.)

The museum hosted special presentations. “Journey through the Cosmos with the Art of NASA,” showed spectacular photographs from outer space, moderated by anthropologist Dr. Dave Roberts. Bill Evans described nearby National Parks. Fred Thompson, the museum’s Kumeyaay presenter for many years, rounded out the day with a demonstration of Kumeyaay fire making and artifacts.

During the festival, the museum also conducts the Five-Choices Dream drawing as the nonprofit’s major yearly fundraising effort, with tickets priced at $1 apiece. Proceeds go to support the museum’s educational programs, benefiting over 5,000 school children each year from throughout San Diego County.

Heritage of the Americas Museum raffle prizes represented the four wings of the museum: Natural History, Archaeology, Anthropology, and Art. Ticket purchasers could choose which prize each ticket would vie to win: from Choice 1, for Natural History, a Jade Tree from China and White Coral; Choice 2, for Archaeology, a Peruvian Canopa Alpaca Effigy and Archaic Arrowheads; Choice 3, for Anthropology, a Reproduction Hide Bow and Arrows with Navajo Weaving Stick and Small Weaving; Choice 4, the Art wing prize, a Limited and Framed “Arapaho” Print by Olaf Wieghorst with Native American Signed Sculpture; or the overall museum prize, Choice 5, Gift Certificates, Choice of Tea for Two Gift Certificate at the Westgate Hotel (Over an $80 Value, Tax & Gratuity Included), or a $50 Gift Certificate to the Museum Store.

The museum’s motto explains its mission: “By Their Art Shall We Know Them.” The museum opened in 1993 as brainchild of founder Bernard “Bud” Lueck, who had envisioned the facility especially for children, for placing on display his vast collection of archaeological and cultural artifacts and artworks.

Oatsvall urged people to visit the museum. “We actually have four museums in one place,” she explained, noting the four wings each house very different exhibits and displays. “And we have the lowest priced attraction anywhere around here,” Oatsvall continued. General admission is $3. Basic individual membership costs $20 yearly, offering free museum admission, a newsletter and advance notification of special events. The fee for student members and seniors 55 and older drops to $10 annually. She further invited visitors in search of unique gifts to shop at the museum store, which offers museum-related items for sale at low cost.

The Heritage of the Americas Museum is located at 12110 Cuyamaca Drive West. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m. More about the museum and its special events can be found by phoning (619) 670-5194 or online at www.HeritageOfTheAmericasMuseum.com.

6 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here