Plein Air art exhibit enhances Leo Carrillo Ranch

The art exhibition was held on the ranch at Deedie’s House.

Monique Dufault, A&E Editor

Carlsbad’s Cultural Arts Department is showcasing the Plein Air exhibition, located at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, for the duration of the summer, officially ending on Aug. 28. Prompted out of circumstance, the exhibit’s site both inspired a partnership of two of the city’s branches and works to enhance the artwork itself.

“This is the first time we’ve held an exhibition at Deedie’s House,” curator Karen McGuire said. “I’m the curator of the city’s Cannon Art Gallery which closed temporarily for the Dove Library remodel. We didn’t want to stop all exhibitions so decided to partner with the Parks and Recreation department to do an exhibition at Deedie’s House at Carrillo Ranch.”

Adhering the theme to the surrounding ranch-style historic park, many of the artists’ influences come from either nature generally, or the famous location itself.

“The theme of plein air (which means basically to paint in the air–to paint outdoors) was to show artwork of paintings of the outdoors,” McGuire said. “They could be local or out of the area, landscapes or seascapes. Since so many painters come to paint at the ranch, it made sense to have this as the theme. The artists are all probably influenced by the impressionists and post-impressionists who were some of the first artists to go out of the studio to paint and all are influenced by light and color and quick ‘impressions’ of nature.”

Due to the prevailing renovation of the Cannon Art Gallery and the exotic location of this exhibit, many factors have changed from the norm.

“The artists were selected by a juror, Connie Beardsley, who is an artist and was the former Cultural Arts Manager of the city of Carlsbad,” McGuire said. “All artists selected are from San Diego county, six of them are from Carlsbad. The exhibition and partnership did change the artwork selections because all artwork could not be hung all the walls, because of the original adobe walls. All artwork had to be small and lightweight and be suspended from the ceiling or attached to free standing posts.”

The culmination of art, location and history reveal a sense of wonderment in spectators passing through the exhibition. For those who would like to experience the free exposition for themselves, Deedie’s House is open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

“I have loved Leo Carrillo Ranch since I was little and have even done painting here myself while I was in fourth grade,” senior Kelsey Adams said. “Knowing that Deedie’s House was intended to display artwork makes it even more special and I highly recommend others to stop by and see it.”