Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center reinvigorates interest in community art

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In the wake of a new remodel, the Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center opened its doors with a new show featuring local artists. Board members of the museum hope that this new look and new show will be able to reinvigorate interest in the museum and bring a larger flow of traffic through its doors.

 “I think the show will be well received because the artists here who are represented in the paintings and the sculptures, are local artists,” said Pamela Bruder, Board president.

In the wake of a new remodel, the Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center opened its doors with a new show featuring local artists. Board members of the museum hope that this new look and new show will be able to reinvigorate interest in the museum and bring a larger flow of traffic through its doors.

 “I think the show will be well received because the artists here who are represented in the paintings and the sculptures, are local artists,” said Pamela Bruder, Board president.

Bruder believes that the purpose of the museum is to be a venue for local artists to be a reflection of the community.

“Its just a special show for local artists that we really care about,” she said.

The show features artists not only based in East County but in San Diego County as well. The show has a mostly western theme with a few contemporary surprises, and will run through the summer as and part of a new series of changes that the museum will begin to undergo as a way to muster more community interest in the venue.

“We have a lot of great shows here. Some highlighting great western artists, some highlighting women artists in California, and we are having more and more people discover our venue for their shows,” said Board member and featured artist Jim Kermott, “We are doing a lot of things outside also, our cactus garden is wonderful and people are just now starting to notice it, realize and hear about it. We are going to have more events and things happening in that venue out there.”

In the fall, after the close of its summer show, starting October 3, the museum will open its next show, a retrospective look at Olaf Wieghorst’s work. This exhibit will feature pieces of his work that have never been viewed by the public.

Outside of their work within the museum, Kermott will be working to expand the museums scholarship program. The museum currently gives out scholarships to around 20 students every year coupled with a two week intensive class during the summer to offer the students professional training from some of the featured artists.

“We have a terrific board and great people that volunteer their time, and it’s really neat to bring some culture to East County,” said Jim Daniels, Board member and founder of the museum.

Daniels’ hope for this show is to reinvigorate a love for the arts and culture in East County.

“22 years ago when I was president of the Chamber of Commerce, we joked that you couldn’t say ‘art,’ ‘culture,’ and ‘El Cajon’ in the same sentence,” he said. “And this is exciting because we can now. We have top quality artists with their pieces for sale here and that is pretty cool.”

The show will continue through the summer and ends on Sept. 1.

For more information visit www.wieghorstmuseum.org.

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