Local artist paints East County for Heritage of the Americas Museum

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Fine art is expressed in many ways, but at a fundraiser for the Heritage of the Americas Museum, Gloria Chadwick captured the heart and soul of East County in producing a benefit exhibit “Plein Air paintings of East County” on Aug. 28.

Fine art is expressed in many ways, but at a fundraiser for the Heritage of the Americas Museum, Gloria Chadwick captured the heart and soul of East County in producing a benefit exhibit “Plein Air paintings of East County” on Aug. 28.

Native to this area and living in Dehesa, Chadwick’s well known nationally for her art, and in many cases her heart. She is an advocate for endangered species and much of her work reflects this passion, and the same can be said for the air plein pieces shown at the Americas Museum. 

Going through the exhibit, she captured an essence of community with every stroke of her brush and her love of many places in East County the chosen subjects. This exhibit is unique not only in its sense of community, but also the region’s history.

From Julian to La Mesa, and just about every city and community in between, she tethered together a fascinating presentation of the places that many locals know and love. Taking that in mind, the fundraiser was more than a benefit, it was a journey.

Creating her masterworks on a smaller scale, Chadwick was able to benefit art lovers with something affordable, with paintings selling between $150 and $300, giving one-third of the proceed to the Americas Museum.

For El Cajon, Chadwick selected the “Rocket at Gillespie Field” and the old “Police Station on Fletcher Parkway,” both with a story and history. With the “Police Station” she has retained a piece of El Cajon’s history, as it will soon be replaced with a new hotel. In La Mesa she chose the unmistakable landmark “The Cloud Tank,” which people in the area either love or hate. She captured the beauty of her favorite spot in “North Lake Murray” and the La Mesa exhibit would not have been complete without the “Mt. Helix Cross.”

And this was the case for each community she represented, also displaying her life-long knowledge and love of the backcountry, journeying through more than 20 communities to capture how she sees much of East County, both urban and rural, through her eyes. In speaking with her and going through each collection, her love of painting was evident, but her love for the region was undeniable. And the fact that she did all of this in plein air, she brought life to still subjects, monuments and historical places that only can be captured in this style of painting. This show was a perfect match for everything that the Heritage of Americas Museum stands for. 

The Heritage of Americas Museum is a non-profit designed and maintained for one reason—for the education and world experience of children throughout San Diego County. It’s collection of artifacts, both ancient and new, offers anyone that walks through the doors an experience that will take you on a journey locally and globally. Museum Director Kathleen Oatsvall and any of the volunteer docents in the museum not only know the displays, but also can tell you the story behind each one of them, and how private collector Bernard Lueck achieved getting many artifacts that cannot be seen in any other museum in the world. Its outreach and programs to children are the foundation of its existence.

Many lovers of Chadwick’s artistic style and supporters of the Americas Museum wondered through the exhibition on the museum’s Tropical Patio and shared memories as they voyaged through, one piece at a time.

For those that were unable to attend, Chadwick’s works are still available at the museum. Not only can you walk away with one-of-a-kind, consummate piece of art at a price that many can afford, but also help the Americas Museum in keeping its mission in serving the youth of the community. But time is short, as this art is only available at the museum through Sept. 5.

To see more of Gloria Chadwick’s art visit www.GloriaChadwickArtStudio.com.

Located on the outskirts of the Cuyamaca College campus, the Heritage of the Americas Museum is a must see for those whom have not seen its spectacular exhibits. Visit www.Cuyamaca.edu/Museum.

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