Abstract painting with large brush strokes of yellow, white, red and blue.

How will we know it's us without our past?

John Steinbeck   Grapes of Wrath

2017 Exhibitions

Judith Dolan: On Broadway

September 23, 2017 - January 21, 2018

Painting of a woman in a fancy purple and black dress with feather fan, multiple necklaces and a crown.

This exhibition presents the work of artist-scholar Judith Dolan, theater costume designer and Distinguished Professor of Theater and Dance at the University of California, San Diego.  Dolan’s designs have earned accolades on Broadway and off, including the 1997 Tony Award for Candide.  With a MFA in Costume Design and a PhD in Directing and Design from Stanford, her designs have been seen at numerous companies in the United States and Europe, including Dublin’s Abbey Theater, London’s Old Vic, The Kennedy Center, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Shakespeare Theater in Washington DC, and the New York City Opera.  Her professional practice includes extensive historical research, the use of collage and storyboarding, and the creation of hand-drawn sketches and renderings.  This exhibition surveys Dolan’s creative process across nine theater productions over two decades—creative accomplishments concurrent with her rise to Distinguished Professor rank at UCSD—including The Winter’s Tale (2014 Old Globe, San Diego), A Room with a View (2011 Old Globe, San Diego), Travesties (2014 Alley Theater, Houston), Parade (1998  Broadway), MacBeth (1993 Alley Theater, Houston), Candide (1997 Broadway), LoveMusik (2007 Broadway), Paradise Found (2010 London), and Fool (2014 Alley Theater, Houston).

Major funding for this exhibition was provided by Dr. Michael A Bernstein and Ms. Patti Harp with additional support from Crystal and Jeff Anderson, Weston Anson, ArtWorks San Diego, Robert Pascale and Sara Bauer, Gail and Ralph Bryan, The David Copley Foundation, Martha and Edward Dennis, Patricia and Jack Fisher, Marcy and Jeffrey Krinsk, Margret and Nevins McBride, Wendy Nash, Colette Carson and Ivor Royston, Marilyn and Michael Yeatts.

Artistic sponsorship by Lynelle and William Lynch.

Corporate support provided by Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP.

Institutional support provided by the City of San Diego’s Commission for Arts & Culture and by the Members of the La Jolla Historical Society.

Weather on Steroids: the Art of Climate Change Science

La Jolla Historical Society February 11 - May 21, 2017

San Diego Central Library Gallery June 10 - September 3, 2017

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach CA October 24, 2017 - February 28, 2018

Weather on Steroids: the Art of Climate Change Science explores the question of consequences, challenges, and opportunities that arise from the changing climate on our planet. The exhibition merges the artistic and scientific to create a visual dialogue about the vexing problem of climate change, explores how weather variability affects the day-to-day life of local communities, and investigates Southern California vulnerability to climate change. It draws on the region’s scientific expertise at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, whose La Jolla-based investigators are at the forefront of climate research, reflecting on humanity’s role in our changing environment, and envisioning new possibilities for a sustainable future. Science serves as the inspiration for the creative responses from visual artists, who merge subjective images with empirical observation to reveal how climate variations upset the planet’s balance with extreme weather impacts.  By illuminating the reality of climate change, Weather on Steroids aspires to proactively stimulate public dialogue about one of the most important issues of our time.

Participating artists include Tiersa Cosaert, Judit Hersko, Cheryl E. Leonard, Dana Montlack, Lilleane Peebles, Oscar Romo, M. Luna Rossel, Eva Struble, Paul Turounet, Ruth Wallen, and Allison Wiese. 

Contributing scientists include Michel Boudrias, Michael Dettinger, Alexander Gershunov, Kristen Guiguis, Ralph Keeling, Manfredi Manizza, Art Miller, Walter Munk, David Pierce, Richard Somerville, and Shang-Ping Xie.  

Curated by Tatiana Sizonenko with Science Consultant Alexander Gershunov.

Major support for this exhibition provided by Climate Education Partners (CEP), which is funded by the National Science Foundation, and by the Reuben H. Fleet Foundation, Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation, Donald G. Yeckel, Chairman. Additional support provided by IS Architecture, the Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation, the Florence Riford Fund of the San Diego Foundation, Walter and Mary Munk, Jeffrey and Joy Kirsch, and ArtWorks San Diego.

Media Sponsor


Fleet Science Center

Birch Aquarium

Jean Isaac's San Diego Dance Theater

Vanguard Culture

The Museum of Making Music

Belle Baranceanu: the La Jolla Murals

Artist's sketch on brown paper of the back of a man standing in front of a sculpture of a woman holding pottery on her shoulder.

June 10 - September 3, 2017

A recent acquisition to the La Jolla Historical Society’s archival collection, a cartoon of preliminary drawings used by Belle Baranceanu to create The Seven Arts mural at La Jolla High School in 1939-40 under a New Deal commission.  The mural, done in fresco, was lost when the building was demolished in 1975. The full-scale cartoon consists of nine panels and various fragments done in wax pencil on brown paper.  The cartoon panels are the fullest and most expressive surviving representation of the lost mural by the hand of the artist.  Some of the original panels will be exhibited and the remainder presented in a scaled photographic format.  The presentation will include related paintings, sketches, and photographs as well as information about the conservation of the cartoon.  The exhibition will also present material related to the 1935 Scenic View of the Village, Baranceanu’s mural that survives in situ at the La Jolla Post Office.  Curated by Jennifer P. Hernandez, Ph.D. 

Major support for this exhibition was provided by Sandy and Dave Erickson with additional support from Bram and Sandy Dijkstra, Joseph and Linda Marrone, Seonaid McArthur and Barry Bielinski, Gillian Peoples and Steve Younes, Margie Warner and John H. Warner Jr., ArtWorks San Diego, and the David C. Copley Foundation.

Special thanks to John W. and Kathleen Howard for their donation of the Seven Arts mural cartoon to the La Jolla Historical Society.