O’Dunn Fine Art opens new exhibit with a ray of summer sunshine

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There are no prints, lithographs or copies. O’Dunn Fine Art in La Mesa offers affordable original pastels, oil paintings and watercolors “for people that give a damn,” said Shannon O’Dunn.

Owner of O’Dunn Fine Art, she opened her gallery in March 2009 and sells only original paintings. After a recent remodeling, O’Dunn said she is going nowhere anytime soon.

There are no prints, lithographs or copies. O’Dunn Fine Art in La Mesa offers affordable original pastels, oil paintings and watercolors “for people that give a damn,” said Shannon O’Dunn.

Owner of O’Dunn Fine Art, she opened her gallery in March 2009 and sells only original paintings. After a recent remodeling, O’Dunn said she is going nowhere anytime soon.

On Friday evening, she held an opening reception for her Summer Now and Then series, featuring artists Paul Strahm, Glen Maxiom, Jacqueline S. Dotson, Jerry Dunn, W. Jason Situ and S.D. Mummert.

“My living artists are all people that have collector base, are authors, written books and my dead artists—I have both,” she said. “They are listed in the database and there is a collector’s value to them all.”

O’Dunn said her goal in her gallery is to put out great looking paintings but not have a high price point. 

An artist of pastels and oil painting, Glen Maxion is a self-taught artist, retired earlier this week as a special education teacher at Grossmont Union High School District’s WorkAbility/T.P.P. Career Center, and is looking forward to pursuing his art on a full time basis. He is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, has shown his work around the country and won several awards for his works. 

“People are my passion. I’m interested in gestures that expresses emotion and feeling,” he said. “I have always found the poses in between poses to be the most interesting.”

A native of San Diego he said he began doing works at the beaches because he found people of all ages being spontaneous, reflective and he tries to bring out the relationships and feelings of his subjects.

Paul Strahm began painting full time in 1997, but said his seventh grade teacher first recognized him with one of his drawings. 

 “I started doing en plein air painting after I broke my foot, had a cast on my leg, out of work for five weeks, so I would drive around and sit in the back of my pick-up truck throughout parts of San Diego,” he said. “I love being outdoors and I do not see that changing.”

A member of the Clairemont Art Guild, Strahm began showing his paintings and people started buying them. It was 1990 and he decided he wanted to pursue his art full time.

O’Dunn said she has around 60 artists in her gallery, but that the point of this show was to get some summer images. 

“The artists featured are not start up artists, they have a collector base, have won awards and their prices are reasonable. You can walk away with an original for a few hundred dollars,” she said. “These are for people that understand that when you live with an original, you live with something the artist touched, you can move it around the house, it starts to talk to you.”

Strahm said O’Dunn is a great person, a great businessperson and he loves doing business with her.

“I have the upmost respect for her as a person, businesswoman and I am more than pleased, I am honored to be a part of her gallery,” he said.

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