An art exhibit is now open to the public at the Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center, situated in the 588-acre historic King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, a favorite landscape for plein air artists who are known for painting outdoor settings using natural light, soft pastels and oils. Sophia Wong, the store and events manager for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, says the show is the first for the plein air artists’ group.
Last year Wong invited them to create the show, dubbed “Miles of Scenic Beauty” after she saw painters setting up canvases around the vast ranch property to catch the natural light and beautiful landscapes. The “Painters of the Santa Monica Mountains” is a group of artists who live in the area. As the invitation to their show says, “What better way to express their passion for its beauty and charm than to paint what they see, preserving this naturally diverse area through their artistry?”
Wong says the artists are “painting in the way that plein air is traditionally done. They are often painting along the driveway, or near the mansion, or by the visitor center” looking for just the right light and bucolic scenes. The mansion is a historic Spanish Colonial Revival formal residence that was built in 1928 for razor magnate King C. Gillette.
If you go:The art exhibit presented by the Painters of the Santa Monica Mountains runs through May 28 at the Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, at 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. Phone: 805-370-2301