By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
The new art gallery and studio in Crestline, operated by Molly Collins across from Rim Bowling on Lake Drive, is showcasing the art of local artists each month with a “meet the artist” open house. Featured art in June and July 2023 has been the spiritual art of three visiting artists and a healing painting workshop of abstract painting.
Last weekend, the art of Nancy Nieto was showcased, introducing the artist to the community.
Actually, the local resident doesn’t need much introduction. She is an internationally well-known artist, representing her Mexican heritage. Nieto has also written a book about the theory of art, featuring art she has produced over her long career.
Critics, such as Miguel Angel Rodriguez of La Opinion, have said about her work, “Her love for folklore and the manifestations of Mexico make her a faithful representative of Mexican pictorial art.” Her work has been shown in numerous Mexican and Chicano cultural centers throughout the western states and Mexico.
At the open house at Molly’s Art Gallery and Studio, much of the art displayed featured Día de los Muertos paintings, honoring ancestors. These colorful paintings were very inspiring. “Color is scintillating life giving energy,” said Nieto.
During the open house, Nieto told her life’s art journey and the places it’s taken her. Her motivations for art have been many over the decades. The people at the open house were impressed with her work and her stories of their creation.
In another one of her series of art she’s created paintings of fantasy animals that are vibrant with colors. Her favorite animals to paint are bulls, cats, birds and horses. She was chosen to create wallpaper for Casa Hermoso, representing Mexican motifs. She has also been honored numerous times at various art shows and exhibits.
Nieto has lived on the mountain off and on for decades, finding her way back to her mountain retreat to reactivate herself.
Future “meet the artist” open houses will be held on Saturday afternoons at Molly’s Art Gallery and Studio at 24002 Lake Drive in Crestline as the summer progresses. Collins also hosts paint parties, both in the studio and at homes and businesses, plus she gives individual and group art classes and paint parties on Friday nights. The art gallery is open weekends. See the website at Mollysartgallery.com or call Collins at (909) 436-8461 for exact class times and dates.