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Local Artist's Talent to Be Displayed at Redlands Community Hospital Foundation's "Evening With the Artists" Event

REDLANDS, CALIF. - - Ginger Peña’s love for art and creativity have fueled her desires and aspirations her entire life but after a tragic bicycle accident nearly took her life in 1987, the artist took the leap most people are too afraid to take: she followed her dreams.

“Life is too short to spend it doing less than what I love,” Peña said about becoming an artist full-time. “The accident taught me the value of what I have in my life.”

Disabled for nearly three years, Peña’s inner strength and love for life helped her find the strength within to overcome her injuries. No longer disabled, Peña, an avid adventurer, has hiked several mountain ranges and trails near her home in Angeles Oaks, Calif.

The former elementary school teacher is one of many artists whose work will be showcased in the “Evening with the Artists” event at Redlands Community Hospital this spring.

Peña, a watercolor and plein air artist, started her art career in watercolor and found that the watercolor canvas has opened new doors to the world of painting for her.

The Hawaii-born artist’s need for an artistic outlet embodies the spirit in which she thrives. Peña said that art is “…anything that you put yourself into that expresses yourself. Art is anything that is creative and expressive; it’s the way of seeing something that you don’t really see.”

This sixth-sense-vision of Peña’s is what allows her to create richly textured pieces of landscapes that she understands and enjoys. A majority of the plein air pieces she’s created have been her visions of Southern California landscapes: the beaches, the foothills of Redlands and mountainous backdrops of the California deserts.

“I like to paint things that I resonate with,” Peña said. “It tends to be inland areas and foothills; subjects that I understand and love.”

The self-taught, multi-award artist has won first place honors at the Hemet Valley Plein Air Festival in July, 2011 and first place in the Temecula Plein Air Festival in June, 2011. She won an Honorable Mention Award at the Plein Air Show at the Redlands Art Association in April, 2011 and received an honorable mention at the Tustin Plein Air Festival in October, 2010.

Peña’s other awards include:

  • Juror’s Choice Award, Multi-Media Mini Show. Redlands, April, 2010.
  • Third Place, City of Tustin Plein Air Competition. Tustin, October, 2009.
  • First Place, Plein Air Show, Redlands Art Association. November, 2008.
  • First Place, Fine Art Institute, San Bernardino. November, 2008.

Peña joins local artists Paul Strahm, Patricia Ford, Donal Jolley, alongside the works of Jean Cranmer (presented by Kimberley Shirk Assoc.) and Jean Cranmer at the annual “Evening of the Artists” event this spring. Peña’s artwork will be available for purchase at the Stan and Ellen Weisser Education Pavilion from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30. Proceeds will benefit the Redlands Community Hospital Foundation. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served during the evening’s elegant event. Tickets are $20.

For more information on the Redlands Community Hospital Foundation’s ‘Evening with the Artists’ event or to RSVP, please call 909.335.5500.

Redlands Community Hospital Foundation is a nonprofit organization which supports Redlands Community Hospital.