San Dimas show gets wild with art

Alison Rodriguez
Staff Writer

Tucked behind the San Dimas Civic Center, the 17th Annual Wildlife Art Show carried on in full force over the weekend of Oct. 19-20, displaying to visitors and artists alike the beauty and brilliance of the natural world.

Approximately 800 people attended the two-day event. Twenty-one different artists were all crammed together in the civic center hall with displays of their work, which included photography, bronze work, sketching, oil painting, sculpting, scratching, sand painting and more.

One of the artists was professional photographer, teacher and tour guide Shayne McGuire. She has traveled all over the world to places like Kenya, Scotland, Alaska, Arizona and Montana to capture her photographs and display them to the public.

“People come up to me and tell me ‘I’m a great photographer; I’ve gotten five likes on Facebook,’” McGuire said. “I just look at them and say, ‘Come with me on one of my photo tours, and then we’ll see how good you really are.’”

McGuire has been participating in the Wildlife show for three years and currently teaches photography classes at the Tri-Community Photography Program in Covina.

She also runs the Wild Compass Photographic Adventure Tours in Africa, Alaska and Arizona where people can go out in the wild and experience it first hand, all the while capturing it on film.

Sand painter Shawn Nelson, also referred to as “The Turquoise Man,” is a member of the Navajo community and lives on the reservation in Arizona.

“My goal for the people of California is for them to learn about and save the species of animals and insects that are slowly dying off,” Nelson said. “I was taught by my grandmother at a young age to respect the earth, and I feel that people here should learn to do the same.”

Nelson had been sand painting for over 40 years. This was his first year participating in the San Dimas show, but he has been featured at the L.A. County Fair for the past two years.

Along with the various artists, the community hosted small performances and group activities that visitors could participate in.

There was a raffle where guests could try their luck at winning one of the participating artist’s original pieces, as well as a clay workshop where one could make their own pottery.

The San Dimas High School drama team also performed swing dancing routines and live vocal performances in front of the center. A student art section featured pieces by young artists from local elementary, middle and high schools.

“People don’t realize how important this kind of art is,” McGuire said. “To be able to go out into the wild and see all of these things is extraordinary. It’s sad that people aren’t that interested in it.”

“Maybe if people looked up from their iPhones and iPads once in a while, they’d get a glimpse of how beautiful our world really is.”

Alison Rodriguez can be reached at

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