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By Rachel Ford Hutman

Photo by Tim Thomas
Pastelist Molly Lipsher, oil painter Jack Jordan, Paul Henricksen, La Mesa Chamber CEO Mary England, gallery owner Shannon O'Dunn, Mayor Art Madrid, Miss La Mesa Stephanie Packard, and Miss La Mesa Teen Katrina Schweitzer.

March 29, 2009 (La Mesa)—Art aficionados flocked to the grand opening of O’Dunn Fine Art Gallery Thursday evening in La Mesa’s downtown village. The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce co-hosted the event with gallery owner Shannon O’Dunn, an artist and former dean of Fine Arts at Grossmont College. The modern gallery houses over 35 pieces of fine art by sixteen different artists, including the owner. Over 100 people stopped by the Gallery opening for a night of art, champagne and congratulations.

When asked how she felt about the gallery’s opening, O’Dunn replied that she is delighted.  “O'Dunn Fine Art is a good fit with the renaissance of the village that is taking place, and I am working with other merchants to promote downtown La Mesa and its myriad attractions,” she said.

Gallery owner Shannon O'Dunn; photo by Rachel Ford Hutman
Artist Jack Jordan with his paintings

Village business owners couldn’t agree more. Amy McNamara, owner of Tres Fabu, said, “There is nothing like this! This gives residents a higher scale that La Mesa needed.” She added that the new gallery gives locals a reason to stay in town, instead of heading to La Jolla or downtown San Diego.

Sara Marzec of Sara’s Selections Boutique was also pleased with the new addition: “This is just what we needed,” she concluded. “It will bring in a different crowd.”

Prominent artists on display include pastelist Molly Lipsher and oil painter Jack Jordan. Prices in the gallery range from $300 to $2,000. All works are originals except for one print, and the gallery is also interested in buying paintings. “People need to find out that O'Dunn Fine Art is here, look at the paintings, look at their home for opportunities to hang a particular piece, and then come back to purchase,:” said O’Dunn. “This is a process over time rather than impulse buying, although I am of course hoping for some of that too!”

Molly Lipsher, a landscape artist, recalled how she and O’Dunn met. Lipsher was at an expensive charity benefit and her friends didn’t show.  Deflated, she headed home and met Shannon O’Dunn at the bus stop. They started talking and it was “serendipity.”

Miss LA Mesa and Miss Teen La Mesa.

Lipsher has on display a variety of work covering the mountains, desert, and sea. “I don’t know what is missing…maybe the arctic,” she quipped. Another well-known local artist on display is Jack Jordan. Mr. Jordan is a landscape, seascape and oortrait painter. He studied at the Coronado School of Art and at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.  

Laura Duggan has lived in La Mesa since 1975 and she thinks “the gallery is great in the village.”

A fellow San Diego resident for 81 years, Gerry Waltters, agrees. “The gallery is wonderful for the community,” she noted. “Shannon used her expertise to create a charming venue.” Many local residents were also heard commenting how “refreshing” the gallery was, and how there was so much “great art” to see.

O’Dunn Fine Art Gallery is located at 8342 La Mesa Blvd. For more information, call 619-251-8074.

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