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By Peggy Junker

June 14, 2018 (La Mesa) - With the publication of James Newland’s chronicled history of La Mesa and the Mt. Helix area titled “Around Mt. Helix,” word has gotten out that this community has been an artist’s hub since the turn of the 20th century.  From the area’s famous film-makers, performers and painters of the past, to today’s galleries and well-known residents, it remains a haven for the arts and art supporters in East County. 

Dan and Roz Oserin, owners of Nainsook Framing + Art, expanded their part in the local art scene last year when the two hosted a juried art show for the heART of Mt. Helix event to benefit Mt. Helix Park.  For the second year, they will host the contest in their Nainsook Gallery along with the artists’ reception on Saturday July 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. This event is open to the public.

An artist herself, Roz Oserin has been volunteering on the heART of Mt. Helix committee for several years and says the goal of the event is to attract award winning art to feature at the heART.

Last year’s contest drew 14 artists and 25 paintings.  With a year behind them, she is hopeful that the 2018 event will be even larger.

“We expanded it this year to include photography,” Roz points out, “I’m excited about that. We’ve been promoting the juried art show since February this year and the word is spreading through the art community,” she added.

With a growing repertoire of artists, she says they have been encouraging locals to bring in their work and hang it in their gallery.  The outreach, Roz hopes, could translate to an increasing pool for the juried art show as well.

Nainsook Gallery features local artwork, exclusively, year-round and regularly sells paintings and 3-D art, making it a valuable clearinghouse for artists.  A large percentage of both her day to day art sales as well as those featured and sold at the heART event go back to the artists.

This year’s judge for the juried art show is local, award-winning watercolor artist Elaine Harvey.  Contestants will vie for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as two Honorable Mention and one People’s Choice category awards.  The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $350, $250 and $150, respectively.  All winners will receive one complimentary ticket to the heART event.

For anyone interested in entering their work in the juried art show, here is what you should know:

It is open to all artists.

Theme: All things Mt. Helix including parks, people & events

Medium: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel, Pencil, Ink, Charcoal or Photography

Format: Framed artwork no larger than 1435 sq. inches

All entries are due to Nainsook Framing + Art located at 8130 La Mesa Blvd. in downtown La Mesa on Friday, July 6, 2018 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. with a completed entry form and entry fee.  To download an entry form, visit the Mt. Helix Park website’s “heART of Mt. Helix” page at or where you will find winners from last year’s contest.

All winning artwork will be displayed at Nainsook’s gallery from July 14 through August 25 and will be on display and for sale at the heART of Mt. Helix event on Saturday, August 11 from 5 to 11 p.m.

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