Ontario Museum showcases local artists

Museum visitor William Lucas admires the painting by Donna Bates, “Not Your Choice,” at the Ontario Museum of History and Art during the Ontario Art Walk on Saturday. The painting, part of the “We the People: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” exhibit, will be on display through April 16. / photo by Brandi Peters

Brandi Peters
Staff Writer 

The Ontario Museum of History and Art joins The Arts Area and Emporia Arts District to create an experience for artists, local vendors and the community. The Ontario Art Walk happens quarterly on the third Saturday of February, May, August, and November.

Local artists performed original works of art, showcasing paintings and displaying handmade goods. Foods from various restaurant vendors were enjoyed by everyone while walking from exhibit to exhibit. 

In a back alley, nestled in between artsy lofts and a grassy area, hopeful enthusiastic vendors are waiting to share their art with customers that admire their work. Many have dedicated years of service to their craft and frequent these types of events to sell their passions.   

Rich Garcia, a self-taught artist for 15 years, said he enjoyed having his art shown at the Ontario Art Walk. Garcia attends art walks all over southern California. Digital artwork and hand-drawn mini canvases are some of the art pieces Garcia had on display. 

Garcia seemed proud to be part of such an important community event. The inspiration and imagination of Garcia’s showcased work are amazing, guests stopped at his booth with such admiration. 

“I just try to let out what’s within and let the art speak for itself,” Rich said. 

Mark Vasquez, a musician, said it was his first time attending the Art Walk. Vasquez creates his own music and hosts and performs at open mic nights.

Mario Penzone, who was in charge of The Bitter End Gallery, was influential in bringing together the musical talent and local artists that showcased their work outside his loft-style storefront. Not only does the gallery offer its services in helping local artists, but they also offer screen printing services along with a photography space. 

“I put this together because I feel like I know a lot of artists, and instead of everyone posting things on Instagram,” Penzone said. “I feel like I could give them a platform where we can all come together and have a good time.” 

During the Art Walk, the Ontario Museum of History and Art showcased 61 local artists, including the museum’s guest curators, Riea Owens and Patricia Jessup-Woodlin. This exhibit theme is “We the People: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” exploring the preamble and further examining the phrase and its interpretations. 

“It was such an exciting time for me to be a part of giving artists their visual voice to let them be seen, speak their truth, vision, and creativity,” Jessup-Woodlin said.

Marissa Kucheck, director of museum arts and culture at the Ontario Museum of History and Art, said it was an opportunity for all different kinds of creatives in their community to showcase their art. 

The Ontario Art Walk is working on reviving the downtown area by appealing to all kinds of people, especially creatives and young families. The collaboration of the Emporia Arts District, The Arts Area and the Ontario Museum of History and Art, known as the Ontario Art Walk, can be experienced again in May. 

The Ontario Museum of History and Art’s “We the People: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” will be on display until April 16 and can be enjoyed Thursdays through Sundays. For more information, visit, ontarioartwalk.org.

Brandi Peters can be reached at brandi.peters@laverne.edu.

Kathi Fox presents her painting “A View into Cal Fire” at the Ontario Art Walk on Saturday. The painting showcases many incidents from the history of Cal Fire service. The painting can be viewed at the Ontario Museum of History and Art until April 16. It will then be moved to permanent display at Temecula City Hall. / photo by Brandi Peters

Brandi Peters is a staff writer and staff photographer for the Campus Times, and a staff photographer for La Verne Magazine.


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