Sunday, November 29, 2015 • 11:32

Center for the Arts to host plein-air exhibition

To Wander - In San Diego Back Country by Charles Reiffel is one of the historic plein-air paintings, on loan to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum, that will be featured in "Second Spring--Conserving Nature in Life and Art," opening April 5.
March 26, 2014
In addition to freshly-painted plein-air works, the upcoming exhibition at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum will feature a gallery of historic pieces depicting local landscapes, on loan to complement and enhance "Second Spring--Conserving Nature in Life and Art."

Several organizations are contributing to the show: City of San Diego, The Kinsella Library, La Jolla Historical Society, The University Club, The Irvine Museum and the Laguna Art Museum.

Running April 5-27, "Second Spring" is being presented by three local nonprofit organizations to celebrate the tradition of plein-air painting while also highlighting the beauty and history of the San Diego region, particularly the San Dieguito River Valley.

Under the banner of the Art in Nature Alliance, the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC), the Plein-Air Painters of America (PAPA) and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido (the Center) will host 20 nationally known plein-air artists who will, over the course of a week, paint outdoors in the San Dieguito watershed in San Diego County, capturing the beautiful flora and fauna that inhabit the 55-mile-long river valley that stretches from the mountains to the coast. The fresh-from-the-field art will then be hung in the museum galleries at the Center.

As an interesting counterpoint to these contemporary works, and to provide perspective and context, "Second Spring" will include a complementary exhibition of more than 50 artworks by early California impressionist painters. The paintings, culled from private and public museum collections, document the San Diego area in the early 20th century. Among the featured artists are Maurice Braun (1877-1941), Charles Reiffel (1862-1942), Charles A. Fries (1854-1940) and Alfred R. Mitchell (1888-1972). The Irvine Museum, the City of San Diego's Commission for Arts and Culture and the La Jolla Historical Society will all loan artwork for the exhibition.

The purpose of "Second Spring" is to inspire interest and appreciation for nature through the tradition of plein-air painting while also allowing Southern California residents to enjoy and bond with their local landscape through the eyes of three generations of artists. Concluding April 27, the exhibition will run through the official countywide celebration of Earth Day, resonating with and reinforcing April's theme of preserving the natural world.

In addition, the show will serve as a fundraiser for the conservancy, as the newly created works will be up for sale during a ticketed Opening Gala at 6 p.m. on Sat., April 5 at the Center. Tickets are $100 per person and are available through the SDRVC at (858) 755-6956.

The exhibition will be officially unveiled to the general public on Sun., April 6. During the exhibition, the museum will be open Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Regular admission is $8.

For more information or photos, contact Carissa Marsh at (760) 839-4178 or

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