Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.

Come celebrate the Morro Bay Estuary through art!

Come celebrate the Morro Bay Estuary through art!

Exciting things are always happening at Art Center Morro Bay, but the show that opens today is close to our hearts. Morro Bay Estuary—Celebrating a National Treasure focuses on the beauty of Morro Bay, its wildlife, and the people who love it.

Sylvia Arnold-Hill poses with her acrylic painting of the back bay (top left on wall)

Sylvia Arnold-Hill poses with her acrylic painting of the back bay (top left on wall)

Art Show: Morro Bay Estuary–Celebrating a National Treasure

Opening reception Sunday, March 1, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Art Center Morro Bay

The Morro Bay Art Association; the Historical Society of Morro Bay; the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art; the Office of Deanna Richards, Edward Jones; and the Morro Bay National Estuary Program collaborated to produce the show in honor of the Estuary Program’s 20th anniversary. We love the idea of local artists coming together to celebrate the estuary today, just as a group of dedicated citizens came together 20 years ago and committed to protect and restore it.

We stopped by the gallery for a sneak peek at the artwork and were excited by what we saw. The walls are covered with contemporary watercolors, acrylics, oils, photographs, and more that show the estuary in all its moods and from all different angles. The wide variety of styles, from realism to impressionism, lets viewers see the bay through new eyes with every piece they take in.

Ray Atzet Detail

Detail shot of a watercolor by Ray Atzet

Detail shot of Sylvia Arnold-Hill's painting of Morro Rock

Detail shot of an acrylic painting of Morro Rock by Sylvia Arnold-Hill

Morro Bay Estuary–Celebrating a National treasure is a traveling show. It will be on display at Art Center Morro Bay until April 13. Then, some of these wonderful pieces will be selected for display at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art from April 20 to May 4, and the Office of Deanna Richards, Edward Jones, from May 5 to June 12.

Historical Society of Morro Bay have contributed four photographs from their collection that will travel, too. These rare photographs give viewers the chance to see the bay as it was decades ago—no road out to Morro Rock, a trestle bridge over the water, and other big differences.

The show also includes a video element: the Morro Bay National Estuary Program’s Bay Stories. These short interview-style videos let viewers in on the stories of people whose lives are intertwined with the bay. Local filmmaker Simo Nylander and audio expert Tom Wilmer combined their talents to create them.

20th Anniversary

Tom Wilmer gives the thumbs up during filming

20th Anniversary

Simo Nylander captures the interviews on film

The Bay Story videos will make their debut during the art show’s opening reception and the extended podcast versions are available online.

Please come join us this Sunday, March 1, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Art Center Morro Bay and celebrate the Morro Bay estuary through art!

To watch or listen to the Bay Stories online, click here.