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California Mission Hosting Art Exhibitions in Spring 2004


Mission San Juan Capistrano will present "The Artist's Artist Versatile Putt," an exhibition by California artist Donald "Putt" Putnam, May 15 - July 15, 2004 in the Barracks Gallery. The paintings are representational scenes, many featuring images from the Old West.

Putt Putnam is a former circus clown who later painted sceneries and backdrops for such well-known MGM films as "Mutiny on the Bounty," "The Brothers Grimm" and "The Four Horsemen." He has taught at the prestigious Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, and continues to teach young artists. His work is featured in galleries across the nation, and is part of the collections of many celebrities. Recently, he completed a 72-foot mural-over 1,000 square feet-on San Gabriel's busy West Santa Anita Avenue, on the side of the Mission Art Center store across the street from San Gabriel Mission. The mural depicts life in early California, with scenes of Native Americans, Franciscan padres and Spanish señoritas. (right: Donald "Putt" Putnam, Castaway, with photo of the artist.)

"I paint to please myself and the pleasure is contagious," Putnam declared.

According to The Savvy Collector, "A traditional painter of the both the old and the modern West, Putman chooses to paint the west 'Because it includes the whole scope -- beautiful women, rugged men, landscapes, interiors, exteriors and I have the freedom to relate an exciting idea in a way which I believe shows through to those viewing my works.' His first employment in the field of art began in 1961 working as a scenic artist for MGM Studios. He then served an an instructor at Art Center College for roughly ten years before devoting himself full time to producing paintings for art galleries." (left: Donald "Putt" Putnam, Morning Dreams)

Putnam was featured in an April, 1997 Art of the West article titled "Painting the Truth," by Shirley Behrens.

Mission San Juan Capistrano is currently featuring "William George, Itinerant Vendor: Illustrating on the Edge," an exhibition of Old West paintings, January 19 - March 22, 2004, also in the Barracks Gallery.

William George is a world-famous illustrator, formerly employed by Argosy and Cavalier magazines and several major publishing houses. His work has been featured on covers of popular western novelists, including those of Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour.(right: William George, Untitled)

Mission San Juan Capistrano will also present "People, Places, Things," an exhibition by Santa Ana, CA artist Scott Prior, March 25 - May 13, 2004 in the Barracks Gallery. Prior is an award-winning artist whose paintings are on display in many prominent galleries across the country.

There will be a special opportunity to meet artist Scott Prior at a reception on Friday, March 26, 6 p.m. in the Barracks Gallery.

Mission San Juan Capistrano has had temporary art exhibitions in the Soldiers Barracks since the Fall of 1999. For well over a hundred years a popular subject for artists, the Mission's grounds and buildings are among the most painted objects in California.


Editor's note:

See brief videos of the Mission grounds here and here, donated by a private party.

Read more articles and essays concerning this source by visiting the sub-index page for Mission San Juan Capistrano in Resource Library.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

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